Samkshepa Dharma Shastra
XXXIV. Sanyasa Dharma
(Duties of those who has forsaken worldly life)
You can forsake the world (become a Sanyasi) only when you do not find attraction in any thing. People who take sanyasa without this are base human beings.
He who is detached only, gets Sanyasa and those who have attachment can continue to be householders and do their duties. The one who takes Sanyasa when he has attachments will go to hell.
3. Jabala Sruthi:
When you are a Brahmachari if you gets detached you can take Sanyasa. We can also take Sanyasa when we get detached either when we are a householder or when you are in Vanaprastha. You can live in all these stages and assume Sanyasa if you are detached with everything.
The bad effects of the clan or the bad effects of sins and good deeds would be cleaned by Sanyasa like a fire cleaning Gold. It would make all bad things into ash.
God Vishnu has two forms. The moving form is that of a Sanyasi and the fixed form is that of an idol.
The person who becomes a sanyasi saves from hell, 30 generations of his manes before him and would prevent thirty generations that follow him from hell.
A person who is very sick and in the death bed can take Sanyasa just by his mind and word. This is called Apat Sanyasa.
The four types of Bhikshus (Sanyasis) are Kuteechaka, Bahoodaka, Hamsa and Paramahamsa, in the same order of importance.
Kuteechaka, after taking Sanyasa, can get alms from his house or some of his relatives. He should wear tuft, one sacred thread, and have three numbers of staff, and a pot for carrying water. He should chant Gayathri Manthra more number of times.
He should spend the entire spare time in Japa, Dhyana and reading or hearing of epics like Ramayana, Bhagawatha and would always think of God in his mind.
Bahoodaka should go away from his relatives and should live by taking alms in other houses. He should not receive alms from more than seven houses per day. If he gets sufficient alms in two or three houses, he should not ask for alms in any other house. He should follow other rules of the Kuteechaka.
Hamsa should have one staff, ochre robes and should have a cloth which can be used to move away living things on his way without hurting them. Other things are like Kuteechaka. It is not clearly mentioned whether he should have a tuft.
The Parama hamsa should have two loin cloths, one torn cloth to cover himself and one staff. He also should definitely have a water pot. He should control his mind and senses and meditate on Brahma. He should always chant "Om". He should hear Vedantha, learn them by heart and remember them. He could live in any neat place.
He should leave out passion, anger, pride, avarice and foolishness and would live without egoism.
12. Bhavishyad Purana:
The staff should be a bamboo stick. It should have even number of nodes, pretty and should be from a tree growing in a holy place. It would be better if it has many black spots. It should be straight and should reach up to the eye brow or nose.
If they need a book on Vedantha, they can get it from a Grahastha.
They should be always alone and if spoken reply suitably along with the name of Narayana. They should not talk unnecessarily.
Meditations, cleanliness, taking alms, being in solitude always are the only four duties for them. Paramahamsas do not have a fifth duty.
They should not pluck flowers for worship but worship Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva using fallen flowers and leaves, Salvation would be given to them by Vishnu and Wisdom would be given to them by Lord Shiva.
They should stay not more than one day in a village and not more than five days in a city. They can stay for four months comfortably in the place of their choice during rainy season.
A Brahmin who takes up Sanyasa which leads to salvation and follows all rules with a firm mind would burn like a peaceful fire and would become like Brahma,
Sanyasis who are old and who are ill can stay in one town or village They should be particularly served by the Grahasthas of that place.
The people who are in search of Athma and those who have realized it are the form of God. So whatever they wish would happen. So the Grahasthas who wish to get wealth can get it by serving them.
Thus ends the Varnashrama Dharma portion of the Samkshepa Dharma Sashthra.
B. Ahneeka Prakarana
[Details of Acts to be Performed]
I. Prabodha Samaya (Waking up time)
II. Brahme Muhurthe Japyani (To be chanted in the Brahma Muhurtha)
III. Soucha Vidhi (Laws of cleanliness)
IV. Gandoosha Vidhi (Rules for gargling)
V. Achamana Vidhi (Rules for inner cleaning)
VI. Dandavadhana Vidhi (Rules for cleaning of teeth)
VII. Snana Vidhi (Principles of Bathing)
VIII. Snana Bedha (Different types of bath)
IX. Snanrhani Jalani (Waters suitable for bathing)
X. Samudhra Snanam (Sea bathing)
XI. Naimithika Snanam (Bath for a reason)
XII. Sankramam (Starting time of the months)
XIII. Rajaswala Snanam (Purificatory bath of the girl after periods)
XIV. Kamya Snanas (Optional bathing)
XV. Malakarsana snanam (Oil bath)
XVI. Naraka Chathurdasi Snanam (Deepavali bath)
XVII. Nadheenaam Rajaswala Dosha (Tainting of rivers by period)
XVIII. Vasthra pareedhanam (Rules for dressing)
XIX. Pundra dharana Vidhi (Rules of wearing sacred religious marks)
XX. Sandhyavandana Vidhi (Rules of worship at dawn, noon and dusk)
XXI. Kamya Japani (Desirous chants)
XXII. Durbha Prasamsa (Appreciation of Durbha grass)
XXIII. Homa Vidhaana (Rules of fire sacrifice)
XXIV. Homa Kala (Time of Homa)
XXV. Homarhasamidha (Holy sticks suitable for Homa)
XXVI. Homa dravyani (Materials for Homa)
XXVII. Brahma Yagna Vidhi (Rules of Brahma Yagna)
XXVIII. Dwitheeya Bhaga Kruthyani (Rituals to be performed in the second part)
XXIX. Thritheeya chathurtha bhagayo kruthyani (Duties in the third and fourth part)
XXX. Deva Pooja (Worship of Gods)
XXXI. Vishnu Pooja (Worship of Lord Vishnu)
XXXII. Shiva Pooja (Shiva worship)
XXXIII. Vaiswa deva homa (Offering in the fire)
XXXIV. Aathidhavyam (Hospitality)
XXXV. Bhojana Niyama (Rules of taking food)
XXXVI. Bhojana Pathrani (Vessels for eating food)
XXXVII Bhojana Karana Vidhanam (Method of taking food)
XXXVIII. Bhakshya abhakshya viveka (Food which can be eaten and not to be eaten)
XXXIX. Bhojanathara Karyani (Activities after meals)
XXXX. Rathrou Karthavyani (Duties at Night)
Ahneekam are the acts that we should perform during the day and night. This chapter gives in detail, the proper ways of doing our duties from the time we wake up on a day till we wake up next morning.
I. Prabodha Samaya
(Waking up time)
We should wakeup during the Brahma Muhurtha (4. 30 AM). As soon as we wake up we should take a stock of
1. The actions we did yesterday.
2. The money we earned by just means
3. The actions that we plan to do today.
4. How we are going to earn money today.
5. How we have to behave so that we do not hurt others.
6. The efforts involved in doing the duties.
And then we should think of God.
2. Smruthi Bhaskara:
The last part of the night is Brahma Muhurtha. The night s divided in to four Yamas of three hours each. Each three hours is subdivided in to 3 Muhurthas. Thus there will be two last Muhurthas in the in the final Yama of the night. The first of these is called Brahma and the second would be called Roudhra. Approximately the Brahma Muhurtha would start at 4. 30 AM.
1. Daily as soon as we wake up we should take stock of our life. We should think about 1. The activities of the previous day.
2. Whether we gave any charity during the previous day.
3. Even if we have not given anything in charity, did we ask somebody else to give
4. The truths that we have spoken and think about our age, death disease, sorrows, passions and also the future when we would become older.
II. Brahme Muhurthe Japyani
(To be chanted in the Brahma Muhurtha)
The following Slokas are to be chanted as soon as one gets up:
Oh Brahma, Oh Vishnu, Oh Lord Shiva, Oh Sun God, Oh Moon God,
Oh Budha, the son of earth, Oh Guru, Oh Shukra, Oh Saturn,
Oh Rahu Oh Kethu, All of you please make this morning good to me. 1
Oh Sage Shukra, Oh sage Vasishta, Oh sage Krathu, Oh sage Aangeeras,
Oh king Manu, Oh sage Pulasthya, Oh sage Pulaha, Oh sage Gowthama,
Oh sage Rahibhya, Oh sage Mareechi, Oh sage Chyavana,
And Oh Daksha, all of you please make this morning good to me. 2
Oh sage Sanathkumara, Oh sage Sananda, Oh sage Sanathans,
Oh sage Appyasura, Oh sage Simhala, Oh seven notes,
Oh seven great mountains, Oh seven sages, oh seven holy rivers,
Oh seven animals, and oh seven worlds, make this morning good to me. 3
Oh sweet smelling earth along with its rivers, Oh air which touches me,
Of fire, which burns fiercely, Oh sky. Oh passing sounds,
And all the great things, make this morning good to me. 4
If these very holy verses are read in the morning or at least remembered,
that would destroy bad dreams, and make the morning good, by the blessing of God.
Reading the epic Mahabharata, or singing it with blessing of Saraswathi.
If Brahmins also sing the name of Lord Kesava as soon as they get up,
Would be blessed by Nala, Yudhishtra, Goddess Sita and Lord Janardhana. 6
In the early morning the names of God should be repeated in a loud voice. Singing the names is considered equivalent to reciting prayers.
The Brahmin who recites Vedas in the morning and sees lucky people, cow, fire and the person doing Yaga would be saved from all dangers.
III. Soucha Vidhi
(Laws of Cleanliness)
After getting up from the bed, gargle and clean your mouth, do Achamana (ritual of inner cleaning), cover your head with a cloth and without spitting as well as taking deep breath, attend to your calls of nature in bushes covered by grass which are not used for worship. It is clear from here that when we are engaged in some activity and want to answer the calls of nature, we have to do Achamana before that.
During day time as well as dusk, hang the sacred thread on the right ear and face north while answering calls of nature. In the night face the south.
Take with you water and mud for cleaning yourselves and attend calls of nature facing north in the day time and face south at night. If we collect water and mud afterwards, then we have to take bath with the cloths that we are wearing.
If you happen to urinate in a place where water is not available for cleaning, then clean yourself as soon as you get water and take bath. If you happen to attend calls of nature with wet cloths, do Pranayama three times and take bath again. If you attend calls of nature before cleaning yourself after vomiting, after shaving and after cropping and after making love, you become dirty for three days. That is you cannot do any rituals for three days.
You should not attend to calls of nature in the way, or on ash, or in cattle house or while seeing air, fire, Brahmin, Sun, Water and cow. We should not attend to calls of nature in ploughed land, water, land meant for fire sacrifice, in dilapidated temples, in ant hills and in nests of animals You should not attend calls of nature while standing, walking, in the river shores and on the top of a mountain. We should not attend calls of nature in front of fire, Sun, moon, water, Brahmin, cow and wind. If such wrong things are done by one, he will lose his intelligence and become mad.
You should not attend calls of nature wearing slippers and holding umbrella. You should not attend to calls of nature in the sky, in front of a woman, Guru and a Brahmin.
If we forget to put the sacred thread on the ears while attending calls of nature, then we have to wear a new sacred thread.
After attending to calls of nature one should not get in ponds and rivers to clean yourself. We should take water in a pot and clean yourself.
The water are mud which we get in a place or country is suitable for cleaning one self.
The method of cleaning oneself using mud is described. We should clean the penis once by using the mud and anus thrice using mud after attending the calls of nature. Then the left hand should be cleaned using water mixed with mud ten times and right hand cleaned seven times. This number is for the householder. For Bramacharis it is double this number and Vana Prasthas thrice this number and for Sanyasis four times this number. The leg should be cleaned seven times using the mud. Water should be taken in a broad necked pot, water poured in the concerned place and then the place cleaned by left hand. Then the water should be transferred to left hand and the right hand cleaned.
First you should clean the anus, then penis, then feet and then the hand.
The above rules of cleanliness has to be observed in the day time. In the night half of it only need to be observed, and while on travel quarter only need to be observed. When you are sick or handicapped, observe as much as possible.
Even boys who have not received sacred thread, women and non-Brahmins also should use the above method using water and mud. The number rules above does not apply to them. They have to clean themselves adequately.
If you happen to touch man's bone, open flesh, stool (other's), urine, semen and blood, you have to take bath, apply ointments, clean yourself again and do Achamana. Suppose these were our own, then we need only to clean that spot and do Achamana. Suppose some one takes the entire water of Ganga and uses one mountain of mud to clean oneself till he dies, if he does not have faith, the operation of cleaning will never clean him. So it is necessary to follow the ritualistic rules with faith.
Cleaning can be done either by time, fire, water, mud, mental satisfaction. Even if we do not know how they clean, they would definitely clean.
Act of cleaning brings fame to Brahmin. So he should take special effort for doing that. Cleanliness and Dharmic laws unless followed will not give results for any action.
IV. Gandoosha Vidhi
(Rules for Gargling)
After cleaning ourselves with mud and water to the prescribed number of times, and after tying the matted hair and the loin cloth, man should gargle and then do Achamana.
On the right side of the Brahmin, the gods live. So he should sit and gargle facing the left.
After answering calls of nature, we have to gargle twelve times, and after urinating four times and after taking food 16 times.
V. Achamana Vidhi
(Rules for inner Cleaning)
Wash your hands and legs and face, keep the sacred thread in normal position, and keeping both hands in between the knees, we have to do Achamana. Then we have to clean the teeth.
Make your right hand in the shape of the ear of the cow, and take water three times and then wipe your lips twice. Keeping the thumb and little finger open and folding the other three fingers, you have to drink the water; this is called the Achamana method. Every time you have to take water sufficient to drown a single grain of black gram.
Achamana should be done using Brahma theertha which is not hot, facing east or north. For getting clean we should bathe in water reaching up to the chest in case of Brahmins, reaching up to the neck in case of Kshatriyas, reaching up to the mouth in case of Vysyas and reaching up to the bottom of the mouth in case of Shudhras and ladies.
Achamana should not be done standing or firmly sitting or with hands held outside the knees. Immediately after meals Achamana can be done sitting firmly on the earth. You should not Achamaneeyam with upper cloth worn on one side of the body or with cloth hiding the shoulders. It should also not be done without sacred thread, wearing dirty cloths and not tying the hair. All activities following such wrong Achamana need to be repeated again. If Achamanas are done facing south or west, then we need to take bath again and do Achamanam again.
While doing Achamana we have to touch water (pot or river) with the left hand. This is because in the left hand live the twelve Adithyas as well as Varuna the lord of water,
Water in the Bronze vessel, copper vessel and silver vessel is always pure. So you have to hold the Udharani (ceremonial spoon) and take the water from the vessel and pour it in the right hand and do Achamana. Taking it directly by the left hand is considered equivalent to drinking of Alcohol.
Brahman should always do Achamana using Brahma Theertha, He can also do it using Rishi theertha and Deva theertha but he should never do it using Pithru theertha.
This classification is based on where we hold the water in the right hand. If we hold it just below the thumb it is Brahma Theertha. If it is held just below the little finger it is Rishi Theertha and at the edge of four fingers, then it is Deva theertha. If it is held between the thumb and the first finger, it is called Pithru Theertha.
The water has to be taken after washing the hand and legs. The water that we see clearly should be used. The water which can just drown a black gram should be taken and it is sufficient if it reaches up to the chest.
After the Achamana, we have to close our lips and wipe the mouth by the base of the thumb twice. Then we have to touch the mouth by all fingers held together.
It is said after this all organs should be touched by the fingers. We drink the water saying Achyuthaya Nama, Anathaya Nama and Kesavaya Nama and touch the organs using fingers chanting the 12 names of Vishnu. This method has been taught by our elders. We should touch our eyes using thumb and first finger, touch the nose using the thumb and the third finger, touch the ears with thumb and the little finger, touch the shoulders using the thumb and the second finger, touch the belly button using the thumb, touch the chest using three fingers and touch the head with all fingers. There can be differences in these rules. The family tradition has to be followed.
Achamana can be performed standing in water but should not be done in water if the depth of water is below our knees.
Achamana must be performed after bath, after taking food, after drinking fluids, after sneezing and after sleep.
If during chanting of mantra, we happen to see anything dirty, Achamana should be performed and chanting recommenced.
Manu and Parasara are of the opinion that the sacred waters of Prabhasa, the ganges, Sun, Varuna, Chandra, Fire and wind are always in the right ear of a Brahmin.
If we are not able to do Achamana, or if we are not able to get water for Achamana when we have to do Achamana, we need only to touch our right ear. This is equivalent to Achamana. During meals, Homa, taking of alms, eating, or giving of alms, we need to perform Achamana twice.
After eating mango, sugar cane piece, betel leaf and Soma Pana, there is no need to do Achamana. After taking the Vishnu Pada Theertha also Achamana should not be performed. You should not wash your hand in this case.
VI. Dandavadhana Vidhi
(Rules for cleaning of Teeth)
Daily the mouth becomes old. Hence one becomes defiled. So we should clean our mouth using one of the sticks prescribed. Then only the teeth and mouth become clean.
We have to first wash our hand, legs and face and then to Achamana and clean the teeth facing east in a sitting position.
Whichever stick we use to clean our teeth it should be purified by recitation of the following Mantra:
"Rishi Prajapathi, Anushtup Chanda and Brahaspathi devatha
Aayurbala yaso varcha praja pasu vasuni cha,
Brahma pragnam cha medhaam cha thwannoi dehi vanaspathe."
Please give me long life, fame, children cattle,
Make me realize Brahmam, give me wisdom,,
You who have been grown in the forest.
Sticks from all trees with thorn are suitable for cleaning the teeth. They give us punya. All sticks from trees having milk would give us fame. The stick should be as thick as the tip of our little finger and should not be dry.
Sticks of Khadhira, Khadambha, Kharanja, Kharaja Thrasini, Venu, Pruthwi, Jamboo, Nimba, Apamarga, (In Tamil Karungali, Kadambai, Pingu, Charadai, Kla, Moongil (Bamboo), Ven, Mandarai, Naval, Vembu (neem), Nayuruvi, Bilwam, Yerukku, Athi), are suitable for cleaning the teeth. Sticks of Peepal tree, purasu and Simshubha are not suitable. Some saints feel that sticks of bilwa should not be used.
During Chathurdasi, Ashtami, Amavasya (new moon), Pournami (full moon), Sankramana (month beginning) we should not use meat, should not make love nor clean teeth (The commentator says, meat eating is the Dharma of Kshatriyas)
To clean teeth on Sradha (devotion day of manes) and during days of Starving, cleaning teeth is a sinful act. If it is done by mistake then water over which Gayatri is chanted 100 times should be sipped.
We can clean the teeth using grass and leaves on all days except Amavasya (new moon) and Ekadasi. It can be done using the leaves of Jambu, Plakshas, Ichi and Mango. Among them Mango is very good. A widow, a virgin and a Brahmachari should not clean their teeth.
You can clean the teeth using tooth powders using any finger except the second finger
VII. Snana Vidhi
(Principles of Bathing)
As soon as you get up in the morning, it is absolutely necessary to take bath in great rivers after cleaning the body and cleaning the teeth.
By taking bath man attains strength, beauty, fame, dharma, wisdom, pleasure, courage and great health.
One should not eat anything without taking bath, without chanting stotras, without oblations in the fire and without giving charity. If something is taken without these then the food is equivalent to stool, spoiled blood, worm and poison.
All the rituals told in Vedas are to be done after taking bath. The man who has not taken bath is not suitable to meditation and fire oblations.
The householder and Vana prastha should take bath both in the morning and noon. The Sanyasis should take bath thrice, in the morning, in the noon and at dusk. The Brahmachari need to take only the morning bath. All sections need to take bath only once, if they are sick or when there is scarcity of water. If one is healthy and if plenty of water is available, one should take bath. Bath is ordained for Brahmins and non Brahmins.
The Brahmin should stand in the middle of water and without any thoughts in the mind, think of only Lord Vishnu, do Achamana and take bath by thrice going below the water. While under water he should chant the Aghamarshana Suktha.
During bath and other acts, one should meditate on Lord Narayana, By this he gets rid of attachments and reaches Brahma Loka. He will not be born again in this world. The bathing act has five parts viz. Sankalpa (telling of intention), Chanting of Varuna Suktha, sprinkling water on self with chanting, Telling of Agamarshana Suktha and giving oblations to Devas. While taking bath in the pond or while washing the feet of a Brahmin or while chanting Gayathri or while giving water offerings one should do it facing the Sun. When one is taking bath in the river, he should bath against the tide do marjana and chant Agamarshana, In other places it should be done facing the sun. At night he can take bath facing east or north. In ponds belonging to the Gods, you should take bath opposite them.
One should tie his hair, do Achamana, wash the shore with water, keep durba there, wear pavithram, with folded hands recite Varuna Suktham and worship the Goddess of water and then take bath. Then he should clean his body including arm pits and again take bath, do Achamana twice, sprinkle water using the chant "aapohishta.. ", chant Agamarshana Suktha, take bath, do two Achamanas and offer oblations to Gods. This can be learned from scholarly elders.
A man who is sick can take bath in hot water.
The period of 96 minutes before sun rise is called Arunodhaya period. Taking bath at that time is supposed to be great. That is we have to take bath around 4. 30 AM.
There are three types of bathing. They are Nithya Snana (daily bath), Naimithika Snana (causal bath) and Kamya Snana (desirable bath). During all types of bath Tharpanam (oblations to satisfy Devas, Rishis and manes) should be performed. Bathing after cropping the hair or after shaving is called Naimithika Snana. Any bathing after we become defiled is Naimithika Snana. On such occasions two times bathing is prescribed. During the first time, no Tharpana needs to be done. After drying oneself we have to take bath again, Then Tharpana should be done.
The Tharpana after the bath should be performed with wet cloths, standing in the water, where we have taken bath.
We have to do Tharpana to Gods in the same water. The water has to be lifted to the height of the horns of a cow. Tharpana (that which satisfies) should be done to Gods, manes and Rishis in that order. If the order is changed the water is equivalent to blood and will invite the wrath of Devas.
For devas the Tharpana should be done facing the north with sacred thread in the Upaveethi (left shoulder to right hip) position. In case of Rishis it should be done facing north wearing the sacred thread like a garland (niveethi) and for manes (pithrus) it should be done with sacred thread worn in the Pracheena veethi (From right shoulder to left hip) facing the south. We should stand in the middle of water and take water with both hands while doing Tharpana.
After doing Tharpana for devas and Rishis, we should do Tharpana for the God called Yashma in the banks of the river (pond). We have to say, "due to my washing my body with water, I have made the water dirty and so I am giving oblations to Yashma so that the sin committed is pardoned."
A Brahmin after the bath should wear the sacred thread in the Prachina veethi position and stand in the shore till all the water in his body dries away so that all animals are satisfied. If water falls from hair towards our back, it is equivalent to toddy and if it falls in the front, it is equal to water of Ganges. So we have to bend towards the front while drying our hair. The uthareeya (upper cloth should be folded twice (four fold) and water allowed to fall through its tips. We should never make it three fold. We should not remove the water from the upper cloth in the middle of the water. When we remove the water from cloths, we have to wear the sacred thread in the niveethi (garland) position.
After removing the water from upper cloth, in the four fold state, we should put the sacred thread in proper position (upaveethi) and carry the upper cloth by our left wrist and do two Achamanas.
After taking bath we have to do Tharpanam to devas, sages and manes, do Achamana and dry our body and head by the two cloths that we wear. We should not remove water from the hair by shaking it.
VIII. Snana Bedha
(Different types of bath)
There are two types of bathing called as Gowna and Mukhya
The nines types of bathing viz Agneya, Varuna, Brahma, Vaavya, Divya, Manasa, Parthiva, Kapila and Saraswatha are mentioned in the Sasthras.
After washing our hands and legs, sitting facing the east and after doing Achamana, the Basma Snana (Ash bath) should be started.
Using the white from the fire sacrifices and after chanting eesana manthra, the ash should be sprinkled on our heads.
Ash should be sprinkled after chanting Thath Purusha manthra on the face, Agora manthra on the chest, Vamadeva manthra on the private parts, sathyajotha manthra on the legs and Pranava (Om) on all parts of the body. This is called Agneya snana (bath by fire), If we get ash from fire sacrifice it is much more divine but it can be performed using any ash.
The bath by reciting Jala Deva Daga manthra in the middle of water and dipping in the water and later doing Tharpana to devas, Rishis and manes is called Varuna snanam (bath by water)
Sprinkling water on the tips of our breast after chanting the Aapohishta manthra and using Deva theertha (water from tips of fingers) is called Brahma snanam. This is called Mathra snanam.
The falling of the dust raised by the hooves of cows during dusk is called Vayavya snamam (bath by wind)
Bath which occurs as per the advice of great people is called Saraswatha snanam.
Bathing in the rainwater in the Northern solstice of Sun (utharyana) when there is rain as well as sun light is called Divya Snana.
Meditating on Lord Vishnu with four arms as carrying conch, wheel and mace is called Manasa snanam (mental bath)
Taking clean earth, chanting mantras and taking bath is called Parthiva snanam.
IX. Snanrhani Jalani
(Waters suitable for bathing)
Ponds and lakes are those water deposits made by man. Devakhata are natural collection of water. Those water deposits worshipped by sages are called Saras. Katham is a stream. Bigger streams which flow for a distance of more than 800 bows are called River. Bigger streams with lesser lengths are called Arivi.
You can take bath in the water of well or pond constructed by our ancestors, kings, Great sages and Devas. It is better to take bath by dipping in water than taking from well and taking bath. Better than that is the water of the mountain spring. Better than that is the water from Saras (water worshipped by sages) and better than that is water of rivers. Even better than that is the sacred water worshipped by elders. Better than everything is the water of Ganges.
3. Yoga Yagnavalkya:
You should not take bath in the pond constructed by others. If you happen to do it, take out seven clods of mud from the pond and put it on its shore. If it is some body else's well, remove three pots of water and throw it away before taking bath. It is proper to take bath in wells and ponds which are public and have been constructed as charity. If you happen to take bath in wells constructed by atheists and debased people, we should perform Prajapathya Kruchram (?). If there is a river you should not take bath in well or a pond, when there is a lake you should not take bath in a pond.
X. Samudhra Snanam
We should always worship the Banyan tree and the sea, You can take bath in the sea during Parva (Festivals/Full moon day) periods. On Saturdays we can touch the Banyan tree,. During other times both should not be touched.
During the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) Tuesdays which come along with Chathurdasi, we can take bath in the sea. During the parva (full moon) with Chathurdasi, you can take bath in the non Chathurdasi period. Similarly during the Pucha Amavasya (new moon), we can take bath only when there is Amavasya. The husband of a pregnant woman should not take bath in the sea.
In Rama Sethu (Bridge constructed by Rama) you can take bath in the sea daily. The rule that you have to take bath only in Parva is applicable only to other places.
When you are taking bath we have to think of Kuru Kshethra, Gaya, Ganga, Prabhasa and Naimisaranya. It is not proper for intelligent people to think of some other river when they are taking bath in a river. But Ganges is an exception.
Water is always pure; mixing it with fire is very special. So it is always good to take bath in hot water. But this is normally done by only by a sick person. When you are not ill, it is better to take bath in cold water. Taking bath in cold water mixed with hot water is considered especially good.
XI. Naimithika Snanam
(Bath for a reason)
After doing Sankalpa, take bath in the river and then chant one of Aagamarshana, Dadvishannor Paramapadha, Gaythri and Yunchademana, while still dipping in the water and then do Pithru Tharpana (worship of manes)
Those who touch a woman in periods, one who has given birth to a baby, sinner, corpse and the man who has touched a corpse, should take bath immediately with the dress one is wearing.
If one sees a bad dream or if he vomits, if he gets a shave or if one makes love or if the smoke of a dead body falls on one's body, then he has to take bath immediately.
But in times of sorrow or pain, or in narrow streets, or in streets with large number of up and downs, in shopping streets and in towns, try to move away from a person (as told by above) as much as possible. It is told that it should be to a length of a cow's tail. There is then no need to take a bath.
If the body of a dog touches you, then you have to take a bath along with dress or that part should be shown in the fire before washing. Then if we wash our feet and do Achamana, we become pure. Some other people are of the opinion that if we happen to touch the under belly part of a dog, it is sufficient if we wash that part and do Achamana. If we happen to touch the upper part, it is necessary to take bath immediately. After seeing the festival of Gods, or after doing a good act or after bidding farewell to relatives and friends, we should not take bath. We should not take bath at the middle of night.
During eclipse, Sankramana (Beginning of a month), marriage, and birth, we can take bath and do charity at night. During other periods we should not bathe at night.
If we are forced to take bath at night, we can take bath using the water brought during the day time. If we do not have such water we can take bath in the river after lighting a fire in its shore.
During lunar and solar eclipse, it is very special to take bath in the Ganges. We can take bath in other rivers also.
During the time of eclipse all river waters are equivalent to Ganges water, all Brahmins are equal to God and all charities are equal to charity of land.
The benefit of giving in charity crores of cows can be got by taking bath in the Ganges during the eclipse.
If we take bath in the Ganges during lunar and solar eclipse, we get the benefit of taking bath in all holy rivers of the world. It implies that there is no need to take bath in other holy rivers, after such a bath.
During the time of eclipse, it is essential to take bath, do charity and Sradha towards worship of manes. The people who do this get immense blessings. When solar eclipse comes on a Sunday and lunar eclipse comes on a Monday it is called Choodamani eclipse.
We can take bath and do all the above during the eclipse, even if we are in the untouchable period.
(Starting time of the months)
The Sun travels from Mesha to Meena Rasi. The time, it enters a particular Rasi is called Sankramam (Most of us follow solar months). For us this is the month beginning also. The bath, charity and other holy deeds during that time gives good blessings from the Sun God for the next seven years.
The actual time of Sankramam is minute and cannot be easily known by us. So understand that thirty Nazhigas (12 hours) preceding and succeeding Sankramana are also holy periods.
Understand that there are two Ayanas, four shdaseethi, four Vishnupathi and two Vishus, among Sankramanas. Makara (Utharayana), Kumbha (Vishnu pathi), Meena (Shadaseethi), Mesha (Vishu), Rishabha (Vishnu pathi), Mithuna (Shadasethi), Karkidaga (Dakshinayana), Simha (Vishnu pathi) Kanya (Shadaseethi) Thula (Vishu), Vruschiga (Vishnupathi) and Dhanus (Shadaseethi)
The first Twenty Nazhigai (Eight hours) in Dakshinayana is a holy period. And the succeeding twenty Nazhigai in Utharanayana is the holy period. For the Sankramanas The Ten Nazhigai (4 hours) before and Ten Nazhigai after are holy periods.. If Sankramanas (as well as Utharayana) like Vishu happen 45 Nazhigai after Sun rise then Tharpana should be done on that day. If it happens afterwards, the Tharpana should be done on the next day. But this is not true for Karkidaga Sankramana. The holy period is on the same day whenever Sankramana happens.
It is told that Ayanas are billion times effective, Vishu thousand times effective and Vishnupathi and Shadaseethi are also one thousand times effective.
XIII. Rajaswala Snanam
(Purificatory bath of the girl after periods)
A woman undergoing periods becomes pure only after taking rest for three days and after taking bath on the fourth day.
A woman in periods is an outcaste woman on the first day, on the second day she is equivalent to a woman who has given birth to a child and on the third day just a woman in periods. On the fourth day during Sangava time (after 8. 30 AM) if she takes bath she becomes pure. When taking bath she has to wash her body with mud 21 times and pour water over herself one hundred times. After taking bath, she should see the Sun God and pray for a birth of a son. This is the proper method according to Sastras.
A woman in periods becomes pure after a purificatory bath on the fourth day. If she bleeds again after 18 days, she becomes impure only for one day, but if it happens after 20 days, she has to take rest for three days and take bath on the fourth day. When she is undergoing periods, she should not apply collyrium to the eye, should not comb her hair and should not spin yarn. She should take food without anybody seeing her. If some body sees her she should do redemption. If a woman in periods happen to touch another girl in periods or a girl who is impure, she has to take rest for three days and take purificatory bath. When in periods impurity due to birth or death happens, then she should take bath before taking food. If Yekadasi comes in between, she should not take any food during that time.
If she gets sick during the periods and is not able to take the purificatory bath, then on the fourth day, another woman should touch her and then take bath. She should then wear cloths, touch her gain and again take bath. Like this she has to do ten times and then the sick girl in periods should give some thing in charity and also sprinkle herself with holy water Then she becomes pure.
XIV. Kamya Snanas
On the occasion of god's festivals, marriages and fire sacrifices, the impurity of touch does not cause impurity; there is no need to take bath then.
The one who takes bath in the river in the Pushya (poosam) star, his own birth star, Vyathipatha, vydrithi and Amavasya helps seven of his earlier generations to get rids of their sin.
People who take bath in the river on Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays get rid of sickness like a deer cannot catch hold of lions. He, who takes bath in the Krishna Chathurdasi of the chaithra month in the ponds in Shiva Temples or in river Ganges, does not attain the status of corpse after he dies.
He who takes bath in the Ganges on the Amavasya day which falls on a Tuesday, gets the benefit of giving 1000 cows in charity. He who takes only the Havis (food offered to God) daily during the Krithiga month chants mantras and daily takes bath in rivers, would get rid of all sins. Daily taking early morning bath in Thula, Makara and Mesha month helps you to get rid of all sins. Taking bath using the powder of gooseberry fruit on ekadasi day gives great happiness to Lord Vishnu. But you should not take bath in the parva period, sapthami and Navami.
XV. Malakarsana Snanam
The good days for taking oil bath (bathing after applying oil all over the body) are given here. If we take oil bath in those days then we will gain health, increase in strength etc. Taking oil bath on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, the concerned planets would bless you and grant peace, wealth and pleasures in life. Four thidhis starting with Dwitheeya, Sapthami, Navami, Dasami and Thryodhasi are very suitable for taking oil bath. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are not suitable for il bath. Oil bath should not be taken on the day of your birth star, Sankramana and Vyatheepatha. During Ekadasi, Chaturdasi, Ashtami, Prathama and Parva days, oil bath should never be taken. Oil bath should not be taken by those who desire a pleasant life on Uthram, Kettai, Thiruonam, Thiruvadirai and at night. In case of children, elders and those who are sick oil bath and bathing in hot watrer can be taken according to the circumstances.
XVI. Naraka Chathurdasi Snanam
Oil bath in hot water has to be taken along with sun rise on Aswayuja Chathurdasi in the Krishna Paksha (Waning moon days)
1. Sara Samgraha:
Those who desire to be wealthy should take oil bath with scented oil and using hot water on Aswayuja Krishna Chathurdasi along with Sunday and Swathi Nakshatra. Because it is Deepavali on that day, Mahalakshmi resides in the oil and Ganges in hot water. So if we want to remove poverty, oil bath on that day is essential. Then we have to wear new cloths and ornaments. (Please note that Swathi and Sunday will occur on Deepavali day only in rare cases)
That later part of night when Narakasura was killed by Lord Vishnu, we have to take oil bath so that we avoid going to Naraka (hell)
Ghee, mustard oil, scented oil with flowers and oil which has been boiled can be used for oil bath always. You should not take oil bath after shaving or hair cutting. After adding Ajya (Ghee) in oil, oil bath can be taken in days when it is barred also. If we put a leaf of Thulasi in the oil. the bad effects of Thidhi, Vara (day) and Nakshatra will not happen. But Oil bath should never be taken on a Dwadasi day.
Oh king, that man who provides help to 100 Brahmins to take oil bath, is considered as having taken bath in the Ganges for one hundred years. Understand that it is considered as great, if ladies can take oil bath on Fridays and Tuesdays
XVII. Nadheenaam Rajaswala Dosha
(The tainting of rivers by period)
Rivers in India are considered as women. It is believed that they too are tainted for three days in a year.
1. Brahmanda Purana:
Godhavari, Bheema, Thunga Bhadra, Venika, Thapi, Payoshnike in the south of Vindhya mountains and Ganges, Narmada, Yamuna, Saraswathi, Vishoka, And Vidhastha to the north of the Vindhyas are the great rivers of India.
Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Thunga Bhadra and Kaveri are considered as great rivers.
The rivers have periods on the first three days of Karkidaka month (July-August) and people are requested not to take bath in rivers during that period. From fourth day, they become as pure as the Ganges. Ganges does not have the tainted nature due to periods.
The rules for taking bath in the rivers are as follows. The man who carries Umbrella to the river looses quarter of the punya (result of good deeds), he who wears slipper looses half the punya. He who travels in a palanquin to the river looses the entire punya. So even if you are rich, you should go to the sacred rivers as a common man. But if you are sick instead of a bullock cart, one can go in a cart drawn by a horse.
XVIII. Vasthra Pareedhanam
(Rules for dressing)
After reaching the shores from the water you have to wear two white cloths, one as a shoulder cloth (Uthareeya) These cloths should be clean, Then you have to wash your feet with water mixed with mud. You should not dry your hair by shaking.
While taking bath in the river, we should wear the dried cloth first and then remove the wet cloth underneath. When you are taking bath in a well (private places), remove the wet cloth first (in the sky direction), tie the dry upper cloth over your head like a turban, wear the sacred thread like a garland and then change cloths
Dark red coloured cloths, blue cloths, black cloths, cloths without border and wet cloths should never be worn. Even cloths with blue or black border should not be worn. People wearing cloth without tucking, One who does not tuck one side of the tail end of the cloth, people who tuck the portion in between instead of the tail end,, People who tuck cloth upwards, people who tuck cloths on the waist thread are considered as people who are not dressed. Man without Katee Suthra (Waist thread) who does all dharmic rituals does not get any benefit from such rituals. He is also equivalent to a man without dress. Man who does not wear a tucked cloth but wears it like Dhothi (lungi) and a man without upper cloth is considered as nude.,. These people are not eligible to do rituals. If they do, it would be dear to the asuras. A wet cloth shaken seven times is equivalent to a dry cloth. This is a Apath Dharma or a dharma where there is no other go. You should sprinkle cloth with Shcheevo mantra, take it chanting Devasthava mantra, shake it chanting Avadhootha mantra, show it to Sun chanting either Dharani or Udhithya Manthra and wear it chanting Aavahanthi mantra.
3. Yoga Yagnavalkya:
Bathing, giving charity, chanting of mantra, homa, chanting of Vedas, Tharpana, Sradha and taking meals should not be done with one cloth.
XIX. Pundra Dharana Vidhi
(Rules of wearing sacred religious marks)
In this Kali Yuga, house of any one who has Gopi Chandana mud in his house, is considered as equivalent to Dwaraka. Any one who is seen by a man wearing Gopi Chandana becomes pure. We have to wear Urdhva Pundra (Long mark) using Gopi Chandana.
You have to apply the long mark with Gopi Chandana, which indicates the feet of Lord Vishnu, for our benefit in the forehead and other places. By doing so one would become dear to that great Purusha called Narayana and he would become suitable for getting the reward of salvation.
3. Vasu deva Upanishad:
The detailed method of applying Gopi Chandana is given here:
First we have to salute Gopi Chandana and take it. And pray as follows:
This Gopichandana which destroys all sin,
Has been born out of the body of Lord Vishnu,
Salutations to him who holds the holy wheel,
Please grant me salvation because of wearing this.
You have take water with the chant starting with "Imam may Varuna…" and because it came from the body of Vishnu you have to add water, kept in the left hand and make it a paste keeping it on the right hand. Then we have to chant thrice with the Rik starting with " Devaa avanthu na…"and then pray the lord using:
Oh Achyutha who lives in Dwaraka,
Who holds the conch, wheel and the mace,
Oh Govinda who has as eyes like Lotus,
I surrender before you, please take care of me.
The householder should then chant the Vishnu Gayathri and, should take the Gopichandana using his ring finger and apply it, chanting the twelve names of Lord Vishnu starting with Kesava, on his own forehead, belly, chest, neck, right arm, right upper arm, left arm, left upper arm, left side of the neck, behind portion of the belly and behind the neck. And then chanting the name,"Vasudeva" he has to apply it on his head. Vanaprastha and Brahmachari should apply chanting either Vishnu Gayathri or five names of Lord Krishna in forehead, neck, chest and upper arms. The sanyasis called Kuteethaka, Bahoodhaka and Hamsa should apply it with the second finger on forehead, head and chest chanting "Om". The paramahamsa Sanyasi should apply it only on his forehead.
4. Vishnu Smrithi:
Performing Yagna, Giving charity, doing meditation, doing Homa, Chanting of Vedas and doing Tharpanam for the manes without applying Urdhwa pundram is useless.
(Please note that in many families such marks cannot be worn while doing Tharpana.)
Now the rules of Tripundra (Three lines using sacred ash)
Using the ash generated by fire, chanting the five mantras called Sathyojatha and also chanting the Manthra starting with "Agneerithi…"
Take the ash chanting "Manasthoke..." mix it with water and put three lines each in forehead, chest and shoulders in the lateral fashion, and chant mantras starting with "triyayusham...", "triyampadam..." etc. Wearing sacred ash like this is called Sambhavee vrutha and is very dear to Lord Shiva,
So any one desiring salvation, should definitely wear the sacred ash. Those Brahmachari, learned man, householder, Vanaprastha and Sanyasi who wear tripundra would get rid of all their sins. They would have prayed all Gods by doing this. They would have been deemed to have taken bath in all sacred waters. He who applies the sacred ash, will get all types of wealth. He would enjoy all types of pleasures. He would be considered equal to the one who has chanted all mantras of the Vedas. After death, he would not take birth in this world again. He would attain salvation. This is told by Kalagni Rudra.
Chanting the triyayusha mantra, you have to apply sacred ash in the forehead, two arms, belly, head and chest as well on both sides of the body. For applying this Sacred ash should be made in to a paste with water. This should definitely be done by all Brahmins knowing Vedas.
We should wear sacred ash in Sradha, Yagna, meditation, Homa, Vaiswadeva and worship of Gods. Any ritual done without applying sacred ash is useless. (In many families wearing sacred ash is forbidden while doing Sradha.)
All people desirous of long life, wealth and salvation should definitely wear sacred ash. This should be worn regardless of the Varna we belong to. Whether to wear Tripundra or Urdhwa pundra depends on the practices of our clan. We should not change it.
8. Smrithi Sangraha:
Tripundra should be worn laterally using sacred ash. Urdhwa pundra should be worn using Gopichandana in a vertical fashion. You should not change this. But sandal paste can be worn vertically or laterally. We should never wear it in a circular fashion. We should not wear ordinary ash or charcoal. We can wear Kumkum, if it is given as Prasada.
We should do all rituals wearing either Urdhwa Pundra or Tripundra. We should never do them with an empty forehead.
XX. Sandhyavandana Vidhi
(Rules of worship at dawn, noon and dusk)
The period from fading of stars to sun rise is called dawn.
The last 48 minutes of the last part of night is the beginning of dawn. When you see the suns rays upwards on the sky, it is dusk. Because Sandhya indicates a period of time in a day, the worship done during that period is called Sandhya Vandana.
3. Yoga Yagnavalkya:
During Sandhya, we have to worship the Goddess of Sandhya. We should not do Sandhya Vandana in the evening after Sun has set. Similarly we should not do it after Sun rise. Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva worship Sandhya at the proper time. So a Brahmin should also definitely do it.
Learned people are of the opinion that Sandhya Vandana should be done thrice in a day-at dawn, noon and dusk.
The dawn worship should be done when stars are still there, the noon worship after the noon bath and the dusk worship when Sun is still there.
Any Brahmin who does all other Dharmas except Sandhya Vandana undergoes untold sufferings.
He who because of the lack of wisdom, engages in only matters other than Sandhya Vandana should be banished from rituals by Vedic Pundits.
He who observes Sandhya steadfastly, gets rid of all is sins and attains the world of Brahma.
A Brahmin who commits sin by body, mind and word during the day, if he performs the Sandhya Vandana at dusk with devotion, gets rid of all sins.
A Brahmin who commits sin by body, mind and word during the night if he performs the Sandhya Vandana at dawn with devotion, gets rid of all sins.
Some elders are of the opinion that Argya (water offering), Sandhya Dhyana (meditation), Gayathri japa and Upasthana are the four important aspects of Sandhya Vandana. This is a confirmed truth. Other things like Prokshana are only branches.
Forty eight minutes before Sun rise is the most important time for Sandhya Vandana. One hour and 24 minutes after Sun rise is the Gowna (average time?) time for Sandhya Vandana. After that you are not supposed to do Sandhya Vandana
In the Gowna time above you can do Sandhya Vandana, only if there is revolt in the country, if water is scarce, if you are ill and if you are in danger Like that Sandhya Vandana can be performed in Gowna time during noon as well as dusk.
A man who is healthy and is not ill should do Sandhya Vandana at the proper time. If he does not do it, he is a great sinner who troubles the Sun God.
Sandhya Vandhana performed in falling water is faulty. The Pithrus and Gods will not appreciate it.
After wearing the sacred thread and tying the hair properly and after doing Achamana twice, the Sandhya Vandana should be performed with great attention
You have take water in the cup made by both hands, and chanting Gayathri, face the Sun and offer Arghya (Water oblation) three times
You have to take water in the cup made of both hands and lift it to the height of a cow's horn and then pour it.
Arghya should be done in water. If water is not available, you can clean a place and offer Argya there.
Arghya should be given standing in the dawn and at noon and should be given sitting at dusk.
After giving Arghya, you have to give Prayachitha Arghya (Arghya of redemption), perform Achamana, do Athma Pradakshina with water (Throw water around your head in a circular fashion), stand near a Durba grass in a clean place, wear Durba and meditate on the soul. Then we have to Tharpana to the nine planets and the twelve devathas starting with Kesava.
The specification of the place where Japa (meditation) is to be done is described. If you get one effect for doing Japa at home, if you do it by the bank of the river you get two times, in the cattle shed 10 times, before homa fire one hundred times, In great temples and sacred waters and before God thousand times of one hundred crore times.
You should assume a comfortable seat and posture, control all your senses, recall the name of sage, Chandas (meter) and Devatha (God to whom it is addressed) and do Pranayama understanding its import silently.
You have to do Gayathri Japa after chanting ten times Gayathri with the seven Vyahruthis, You have to do Gayatri Japa after doing Pranayama ten times, during dawn, noon and dusk.
Brahma put all the Vedas in one part of the scale and Gayatri Manthra in the other part of the scale. Both were at par. That is Gayathri is equivalent to all the four Vedas together..
In the morning Gayathri Japa should be done standing till the Sun rises, In the evening it should be done sitting till the stars rise.
Daily the house holder and Brahma Chari should chant Gayatri 108 times during each Sandhya Vandana. Vana prastha and Kuteesika Sanyasi should chant 1008 times.
Gayathri should be chanted within the mind. Chanting with the movement of the face, toungue and other body parts without it being heard by others is considered Madhyama (medium) and chanting it with other people hearing is Adhama (bad)
Gayathri should be counted using phalnges of the fingers. This is done because Gayathri is the mother of the Vedas. This rule is not applicable to other Japas.
After chanting Gayathri till sun rise, you have to complete it by chanting the mantra starting with "Uthame Shikare Devi"
Then you have to pray Sun god using the chants of the three Vedas in a standing posture (upasthana). Similar Upasthana should be done all the three times.
After doing Upasthana, you have to salute the four devathas starting with Sandhya. The four devathas are Sandhya, Savithri, Gayathri and Saraswathi.
23. Then you have to salute east, south, west, north, up, down, environment and earth chanting the names of these directions/Gods in a perambulating way. Then you have to do Upasthana of Yama, Vishnu, Virupaksha and Savitha chanting the proper mantras and facing the proper directions. Sandhya Vandana should be done as per the customs of the family and then the entire act should be dedicated to God.
XXI. Kamya Japani
Please know that After sprinkling with water chanted by cleansing mantras, if Rudram is chanted eleven times, then you get freedom from all sins.
It is definite that if we chant Rudram eleven times we get rid of the sins like great crimes.
After taking bath chant divine mantras which makes you get rid of sins. Specially chant Savithri and Purusha Suktha daily, there are no mantras equal to them.
He who chants Purusha Suktha observing celibacy and with controlled limited food for five to six months, will get rid of all sins.
Chanting of Hari's name is the greatest. We have to always meditate or sing or chant names of Hari. If we do that, we would become happy and would get solace.
A wise man by chanting the names of Lord Vishnu gets rid of all sins and becomes pure.
A devotee of Hari gets benefit equal to the conduct of Raja Sooya Sacrifice, by chanting the names of Rama and Krishna. But he has to do this after doing his daily duties.
Chanting the thirteen letter chant "Sri Rama Jaya Rama, jaya jaya Rama" twenty one times, you can get rid of crores of the Brahma hathya sin.
Even if crores of dangers which give fear toi man comes, if he chants "Rama Rama", those dangers will vanish,
The Kali Purusha will not spoil the man who sings the six names of Shiva viz. Shiva, Shankara, Rudhra, Eesa, Neelakanda and Trilochana. Those people are blessed who chant the Shiva's names "Mahadeva, Viroopaksha, Gangadhara, Mruda and Avyaya"
XXII. Durbha Prasamsa
(The appreciation of Durbha grass)
This is grown on the shores of Ganges. In its root resides Lord Brahma, in its middle resides Lord Vishnu and on its tip lives Lord Shankara. In all other areas all devas reside. So it is important to use Durbha in rituals.
Any ritual or acts performed using the sacred purifying ring made of Durbha (Pavithram) like chants, meditation charity, taking of food would result in immeasurable benefits.
A seat made of Durbha grass is very holy. This is the best seat for a Sanyasi. You would get victory in yoga, quickly if you use this seat.
If you do not get Dhurbha, you can use Kasa grass (Naanal in Tamil). This grass is equal to Durbha.
5. Vrudha Vasishta:
Seven types of Dhurbha have been referred to. They are Viswamithra, Dhurbha, Kasa, Durva grass, paddy straw,. Balbhaja grass and Barley grass.
Dhurbha is dear to Brahma, Kasa grass to Rudhra, Dhoorva grass to sages, And Viswamithra to Lord Vishnu.
Viswamithra is so named because it is friendly to Brahmins for doing all their rituals and enemy to all the sins done by them,
If Kusa (Durbha) and Kasa are not available, the other types of Dhurbha can be used.
The Pavithras to be worn in the hand should be either made of Dhurbha grass, or silver or gold, They should be worn in right hand.
Since there is a rule that you have to do Achamana wearing Pavithra, you should never do Achamana wearing Pavithra made of Kasa grass.
Dhurbha should be collected in the month of Maagha or Sravana. These are considered new always.
Dhurbha collected in other months can be used only for that month. A Brahmin should use Dhurbha, flowers and Samith (Sticks) collected by himself and not use those collected by others.
XXIII. Homa Vidhaana
(Rules of fire sacrifice)
All Vedic acts should be begun after bath, Sandhya Vandana, and sprinkling of all materials for Homa as well as for other things in the house by water brought after bath.
Brahmin should do Sandhya Vandhana properly, then do Surya Namaskara (salutations to Sun) and should do Homa both in the morning and evening in the fire started on the day of marriage.
In the stalipaaka done in fire, two hand full of rice, two hand full of barley should be offered to the fire. Some people are of the opinion that the first offering in the morning should be to the Sun God. Before and after the offering to the fire Parishechana (sprinkling water all round the fire telling mantras) should be done. In the place where we intend to keep the fire, two sets of three lines, one ending in the east and another ending in the west should be drawn, water should be sprinkled on the place and the fire kept over it. The water remaining after sprinkling should be emptied either in the east or north and new water taken.
The householder should use the Oupasanagni lit on the day of marriage for performing acts like Sthalipakam and Sradham. The Vedic sacrifices should be done in Trethagni and all public rituals should be done in the normal fire and not in Oupasanagni of an individual. If we are not able to observe Vedic rituals then the rituals of Smarthas should be done. Otherwise it is enough if we do bath, Sandhya Vandana, Meditation and worship.
5. Smruthyartha Sara:
In the Homa performed in the Oupasana fire, the head of the family is the chief performer. Suppose due to some reasons he is not able to do it, then his wife or, daughter, priest, disciple, teacher, brother, nephew or son in law can do Homa instead of him. If the wife and daughter happen to do it, then they should not do parishechana (sprinkling water all round fire) but only Homa.
A married householder should be with fire;iIf he does not have it, he is termed as debased or sinner.
The food offered by householder who does not have Oupasana fire, will not be eaten by wise people. He would be called Vithaapakan (He who cooks without reason).
If we do not perform Oupasana for one year, then he should give in charity 6o measures of rice and three measures of ghee and restart the Oupasana fire.
All the intended material for Homa, when you do not perform it for a long period should be given in charity to a Brahmin and then the fire lit again.
Homa should not be stopped because of untouchability due to birth as well as death, weakness, eating of meals in the Sradha or going out of town. The Homa should be got done by others.
XXIV. Homa Kala
(Time of Homa)
The time when in the evening rays of Sun are on the top of a tree (Athi Vruksha Soorya) and the time when the sun's start to light up the sky (Avissorya kala) are most suitable for Homa.
2. Graha parisishta:
In the evening Homa should be performed before the sun sets and in the morning before Sun rises.
For the people who do Homa, the Sanghava kala following sun rise and three hours and 36 minutes after Sun set is the Agnihothra time (Time to worship fire). After that is the Gownava kala. If you happen to do agnihothra then, you should do redemptive ritual for delay and do Agnihothra.
After completing the Sandhya Vandana, lit the Oupasana fire, using fuel such as the cow dung cake and after flames raise, we have to perform the Oupasana Homa. If the man performing does not get material for Homa, the offering of the morning can be extended up to evening. Similarly the evening offering can be extended till next day morning. If the entire month's Stalipaka is left out, it can be carried out till Amavasya (new moon). Similarly the Darsa Sthalipaka can be carried out till Pournamasya (full moon). By doing this you do not have the sin of being late. But understand that is the Gowna period and the proper period is Prathama.
The morning Oupasana can be done up to evening and the evening Oupasana can be done up to morning.
XXV. Homarha Samidha
(Holy sticks suitable for Homa)
Palasa, Khadeera (Karumkali) Aswatha (Peepul tree) Shamyu (Vanni), Bharaja (athi-fig) sticks and grasses like Apamarga (Nayuruvi) Arka (Yerukku), Dhoorva (Arugam pul) and Dhurbha can be used for Homa.
(Since I do not know the English equivalents of these plants, I am reproducing the Tamil equivalents from the book)
All the sticks (samith) should be covered with bark, straight, soft and similar looking. The length of ten or twelve inches is ideal. They should be slightly wet, dry, properly cut, as thick as the index finger, not split, without branches and without insect attack.
The Samith (stick), Pavithra and Veda should be the length of the thumb. Idhma should be double that, Paridhi thrice that length. (these are for Vedic rituals). In the domestic rituals Idhma should be the size of the thumb and Paridhi twice that.
The names of trees which should not be used as fuel are listed. Kovidha Ravi (Malai Agathi), Bheethaka (Thanee), Kapitha (Vilaa), Aamalaka (gooseberry), Raja Vruksha (Konnai), Shakadhruma (palai), Neepa (kadambu), Nimbha (neem tree), Karanja (Pongamia-punugu), Thilaka (mullilavu silk cotton), Shalmali (naruvili), Sleshma should not be used for Homa. Using dried sticks of Thulasi (Ocimum) would give great strength to us.
The sticks which are offered in the fire should be sprinkled with water (prokshana) before putting them in the fire.
XXVI. Homa Dravyani
(Materials for Homa)
There are three types of offerings to the fire. They are Krutha (refined), Kruthakrutha (partially refined) and Akrutha (raw).
Cooked rice and rice flour are examples of Krutham,, rice, barley etc examples of kruthakrutham, and Paddy is an example of Akrutham
He who desires cows should offer milk in Homa and similarly he who wants to satiate his senses should do Homa with curds, he who wants increase in friends and relatives with gruel, he who likes to have food with cooked rice, he who wants power with uncooked rice,, he who wants fame with meat, he who wants knowledge of Brahman with Soma juice, and he who wants power with aajyam (ghee).
Daily Homa with milk would give good results. It is mentioned as one which leads to strength.
He who does Homa with the milk of a black cow, would be able to break open the sun and reach perennial state of Brahmam.
The same material which was used in the evening for Homa should be used next morning also.
4. Smruthyarth sara:
The rice of Red paddy, ragi, neevara, white paddy, wheat and barley are suitable for Homa. The germ of barley, Priyanku, Neevara, Paddy, wheat, and samba paddy and Barley can be also used as such for Homa offering. Similarly gingelly (sesame) also can be used for Homa. The Homa article which is liquid should be taken by a ladle and offered o the fire. All solids should be taken by hand and offered to the fire.
Milk, curd, gruel, ghee, cooked rice, rice, Soma, meat, oil and water are suitable for Agnihothra (Fire offering). Similar to Agnihothra, even in case of the Oupasana fire, Homa can be lit without chanting of mantra but spraying (prokshana) three times. But we should not offer meat in Oupasana fire.
In case of Agnihothra the most important is milk. If this is not available we can offer either paddy or barley as Homa offering. We can also offer medicinal herbs. But we should not use black gram, wild beans, ragi and Nai thinai (English equivalent not known). One measure (Padi) of grain is sufficient for 64 offerings. In case of gingelly half measure and in case of Ghee quarter measure is sufficient.
100 numbers of paddy or barley is one offering. In case of cooked rice, it is double the quantity, which would be same size as egg of a pea hen. The equivalent of a hen's egg is called Pinda. Avadhana is equal to the size of one phalange of thumb and Swishtakruth is bigger than that and is equal to four phalanges of the thumb. Oupasana Homa has to be done by the tip of the fingers; It is written that it should be done by the northern side of the fingers. With the open palm, holding the offering (havis) by the folded thumb and the four fingers, Homa should be done silently. Smrithi says that fire should not me made to burn by use of cloth, leaf, hand, chaff, mouth, stick and fan. It should be made to burn by a pipe, grass and stick by blowing by the mouth, You should also blow directly by the mouth,. It is told that the fire should be made to burn by the face. Homa should be done in the fire raised by dried sticks, which does not have smoke and where the fire is of small size.
The embers of the fire join with the thin ashes giving out blue flame. Performing Homa at such a time is equivalent to Performing Homa to the Brahmam. The fire sacrifice should be done according to the Grihya Suthras applicable to our family.
If you talk when you are taking bath, Varuna will steal your beauty. If you talk while doing Homa, Agni will steal your wealth. If you talk while eating you would be attacked by God of death. So these three actions should be performed silently.
The oupasanagni (oupasana fire) should always kept alive. If the fire gets out due to some reason, it can be started again by churning wood or borrowing fire from the fire in the home of a householder.
Even if fire is alive, if Homa is not done for 4 days, it becomes ordinary fire.
If the fire goes out or if Homa is not performed twice or if the couple goes out of the home together, the fire becomes ordinary fire. That is, it is not suitable for Homa.
If the oupasana fire becomes ordinary fire, for 12 days we can do Homa after redemptive fire offering. But after 12 days, the fire has to be relit.
If the oupasana fire is put out, for three days we should do Homa chanting the Rik "Ayase Agnaye", then for six days chanting the Rik "Thanthumathi" and from 7th to 12th day by chanting the Rik "Manojjyothi". After that only it becomes the sacred fire. But in several clans this procedure is not followed. You have to do it according to the practice of the family. If the oupasana fire goes out it can be lit in wooden sticks, in oneself and in sticks of the banyan tree (samith). The self raising of fire should be done by oneself. The other two can be got done by Rithviks (Vedic Pundits)
The benefit (punya) of maintaining Oupasana fire is equal to giving away the entire world as well as the Golden mountain of Meru in charity.
The Homa done in fire reaches the Sun God. From Sun we get rain. From rain the earth produces food. And people are happy because of that. So the man who does Homa religiously is taking care of this world.