Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 135 (of Vol 2) Dated 23 July 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 135 (of Vol 2) Dated 23 July 2008

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti peetam, over a period of some sixty years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of last century. These have been published in Tamil by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each, as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding from the middle of page number 939, of volume 2, of the Tamil original, as a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 134 of 21 July 2008.)

51. The seven Bhagha Yagna-s I spoke about, those, the Upanayanam conducted in the house and Srardham are all done with this Oupaasana Agni only. From the Father’s Oupaasana Agni the fire is generated for the Son’s Vivaham and that becomes the Son’s life long Oupaasana Agni. Thus the Agni goes on continuously with out a break, from Father to Son, generation to generation! Taking an individual man and his family as the center, these activities in which Oupaasana Agni is used, namely seven Bhagha Yagna-s, Upanayanam and Srardham; these are all known as ‘Gruhya Karma-s’. Though one family centric, these mantra-s too have a salubrious effect on the atmosphere and all life forms. Instead of being too elaborate, these are small scale Karma-s.

52. Gruhya Sutra-s describe these Karma-s in detail. These Sutra-s are of the Smruti (or remembered) and so these Karma-s are also known as Smarta Karma-s. Instead of being Gruhya Karmas, those which are concerned with elaborate procedures of conduct of Yagna-s for the welfare of the society at large, directly based on the Sruti, the Veda-s, are known as Srouta Karma-s and the Sutra-s which describe these are known as Srouta Sutra-s. As I said earlier that we should not assess and evaluate as to which is more important and which is less so; between Gruhya and Srouta Karma-s! As per Sanatana Dharma both are equally important, like the two eyes in a face.

53. During Vivaham, the Oupaasana Agni is divided in to two. For this there is a function known as, ‘Agni Aadaanam’. Amongst these two, one becomes the Gruhya/Smarta Agni meant for Gruhya Karya-s and one becomes Srouta Agni for Srouta Karya-s. Both have to be taken care of with fervour and devotion.

54. Amongst them, it is the Gruhya Agni, which becomes Oupaasana Agni in which Oupaasanam is done everyday. It remains in one Kundam and so known as ‘Eka Agni’. In Apstamba Sutram’ all the Gruhya Karma-s are grouped under one one chapter known as, ‘Ekaagni Kaandam’. All the Sastra rules that I am talking about are all, as per ‘Aapastamba Sutram’ only, because the followers of that Sutra are a majority in South India, the Krishna Yajurvedi-s.. The minority Rik Vedist-s follow ‘Aswalayana Sutram’ and Sama Vedist-s follow ‘Kopila Sutram’. In those two Sutra-s, there will be some differences in the procedures and Mantra-s, only in the Gruhya Karma-s. But there will be no difference in the ‘Srouta Karma-s’. Sroutam is common for all.

55. For Srouta Karma-s, the Sroutagni in kept in three Kundam-s. So it is known as ‘Tretagni’. The part of Apastamba Sutra that describes the Srouta Karma-s, is known as ‘Tretagni Kaandam’. The person who is maintaining the Sroutagni like this, is also referred to as the ‘Tretagni’, like a professional title. If he is maintaining both Srouta and Gruhya Agni-s, is referred as ‘Aahitagni’. Similarly for people who have done many such Ygna-s get titles such as, ‘Yajwaa’, ‘Deekshitar’, ‘Mahi’ and so on. These titles later become family surnames. Amongst Soma Yaga-s, the special one is Vajapeyam. The one who has done this is called Vajpayee. Yagam or Yagnam, Kratu, Magam, Savanam, Ishti, Sthomam, Samsthai are all names for these Karma-s, with some differences in the mantra-s and procedures. They are all about Srouta Karma-s, referred in Tamil literatures as ‘Muththee’ and ‘Muththee Ombudal’!

56. ‘Muththee’ in Tamil refers to the three fires. One is Garhapathyam belonging to the house owner or Gruhapati. Sroutaagni should be burning in this Kundam and is never to be extinguished or permitted to die. This Kundam meaning ‘fire-point’ is round in shape. No Homam is done into this directly. From this fire another Kundam is lit, which is known as ‘Dakshina Agni’. This is a Kundam of Half a circle. Fire from this is used for the Pinda Pitru Karma done every New Moon day (This Karyam is not part of Srardham which is Gruhyam.) Some Devata Karyam is also done from this fire. The third is the ‘Aahavaneeyam’. This Kundam is placed in the Eastern direction. The fire in this is initiated from the Garhapathyam fire. In North India , one would often hear references being made to ‘Havan’, for all types of Yagna-s. The word ‘Havan’ derives from this word ‘Aahavaneeyam’ only. This Kundam is of the Squire shape. All types Yagna-s done for propitiation of all Devata-s, is done by taking the fire from this, to the place where the Yagna is being conducted.

57. As Oupaasanam is done twice a day as part of what is Gruhyam, amongst Srouta Karma-s, the twice a day job is Agni Hotram. Agni Hotram and the earlier mentioned Agni Aadaanam, are the first two of the seven Havir-Yagna-s. Those who do Agni-hotram every day are known as Agnihotri-s. Now-a-days, thinking it to be a very subtle humour, people make fun of calling, those who smoke cigarettes as Agni Hotri-s and those who go to the Race course as Ashwa Medhi-s! This is being crassly crude!

58. For conduct of Marriages the Vasanta Ritu, (approximately 15 April to 15 June,) in the Chtra and Visaka months, is considered the most suitable for many reasons including, Oupaasana Siddhi and Agni-Hotra Siddhi. If by chance ever the Agni-Hotra fire is extinguished, you can start by a simple function known as, ‘Punar Aadanam’, literally re-kindling. Similarly, the Oupaasana Agni too could be re-started by Agni-Sandaanam, with the necessary mantra-s.

59. I am saying all this for the reason that, some of you may not be ready to start these activities now, on the grounds that you have not done this since your marriages. But I am saying that these can be re-started newly now! Oupaasanam is done with ‘Akshadai’ and Agni-Hotram is done with milk, and ghee.

(To be continued.)



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