Saturday, September 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 137 (of Vol 2) Dated 29 July 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 137 (of Vol 2) Dated 29 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 last para of page number 947, of volume 2, of the Tamil original, as a continuation of Deivathin Kural # 136 of 27 July 2008.)

71. The ‘Aagrahaayani’ Paaka Yagna is done in Margazhi Poornima. After that I said, the ‘Sarpa Bhali’started in the month of Sravan/Aavani, is completed after its observance on every Poornima for four months. It is interesting to note that, ‘Aagrahaayani’ stands for the first month of the Year. ‘Haayanam’ is the Year. ‘Aagra Haayani’ means the first month of the Year. This would mean that Margazhi / Mrugaseersham was the first month of the year, some time in the past. This occurs between 15 Dec and 15 Jan which also coincides with the start of the year as per the English calendar. Evidently they took it from us and in the mean time we have changed to a different system. Similarly, in the month of Chaitra, there is a Paaka Yagna known as ‘Chaitri’ and in ‘Aippasi’ known as ‘Aaswayuji’, both names deriving out of the names of these months.
72. Chaitri is done at a road-crossing, addressed towards, ‘Easaanan’ and so is called the ‘Easaana Bali’. Easanan is the name for Siva. Other Paaka Yagna-s are for other Devata-s, through whom it is Siva, who is propitiated. In Chaitri the Paaka Yagna is directly to Him. It is like paying one’s taxes most of the time through the lower bureaucracy and some times directly. The Kuruvai Rice will be harvested in the month of Aippasi. So using the first harvested rice for offering to Gods in ‘Aswayuji Yagna’, then only people partake it. Similarly, in Margazhi, Samba Rice is harvested. It is first offered to the deities in Aagrahaayani and then only human beings partake it. Thus there are seven Paaka Yagna-s.
73. Now let us see the Havir Yagna-s. These are more elaborate than the Paaka Yagnas but not as elaborate as the Soma Yagna-s. Whatever is offered as oblations in fire are known as ‘Havis’. In Tamil literature this is known as ‘Avi’. Specifically, Cow’s Ghee is known as ‘havis’. If the Yagna-s in which Soma Rasa Aahuti is given are considered separately as Soma Yagna-s and the small Gruhya Yagna-s are together considered as Paaka Yagna-s; the balance seven Srouta Yagna-s(amongst the forty Samskara-s), are all known as ‘Havir Yagna-s’, due to Havis being offered.
74. Earlier I had told you that the ‘Yajamanan’ could be from any of the three castes, for whom the Yagna is being conducted by the qualified Purohit-s. Amongst the Purohit-s, the Rik-Veda expert is the ’Hoda’; Yajur Veda expert is the ’Advaryu’; Sama Veda expert is the ’Udghata’; and Atharva Veda supervisor is Brhma. In Paaka Yagna-s, other than the Yajamanan, there is none of the other Ritwik-s. Without any help from anybody the Gruhasta is to do these Paaka Yagna-s in partnership with his wife.
75. In Havir Yagna-s other than the Yajamaanan, there are Hoda, Advaryu, Agneedran and Bruhma as part of the organization. Agneedran is in place of Udghata. In Soma Yagna-s, there is Sama Ganam involved and so Udghata is needed. In Havir Yagna-s, the Udghata is replaced by Agneedran since there is no singing of Sama Ganam in Havir Yagna-s. In Chatur Masyam and Pasu Bhandam, there are more number of Ritwik-s required. I will not go into the details of that here. I only touched up on some of the details so that you can have some idea of what has been part of our culture for thousands of years.
76. Amongst the Havir Yagna-s, I have already talked to you about Agniyadanam, Agnihotram and Darsa Poorna Masam. Agrayanam is an Ishti Havir Yagnam done in Aippasi month on full moon day. In this a cereal known as ‘Samai’, which looks like the small rounded grains of Mustard, is used for homam. Chatur Masyam is another Ishti Havir Yagnam done every four months, in Panguni/Phalgun, Aadi and Kartigai. This Yagnam is made up of a number of Ishti-s. The Renunciates in Sanyasa Ashrama normally stay in one place during the rainy season, so as to avoid stepping on ants and such insects, which proliferate in that period. This stay also has come to be called ‘Chatur Masyam’ but is not to be mis-construed with the one of the same name to be done by the Gruhasta the House Holder. From this starts those Havir Yagna-s that are done in the Yaga Salai that is, a place specially erected for this purpose.
77. Next is the ‘Niruda Pasu Bandam’, from which starts the animal sacrifice. Though the word ‘Bali’ is used, this is not a direct sacrifice. What is offered in fire of Yagna is Ahuti or Havis. What is placed outside the sand hill of the snake is ‘sarpa bali’. Some things are thrown around the house for birds, animals and insects; which are collectively known as bali. In Pancha Maha Yagna, certain things are offered in the fire with the corresponding mantra and that is known as homam.
78. Another thing that should be mentioned here. When offering these things with the necessary mantra-s, when offered to Devata-s, you say ‘Swaha’; when offered to Pithru-s, you say ‘Swada’; and for other life forms, you have to say, ‘Hanta’. This is like addressing the dignitaries with, ‘Your Honour or Your Highness and or Your Lordship!’ and so on.
79. ‘Pasu’ here means any animal and not specifically a cow, as per meaning of the word in Sanskrit. This is not ‘Bali’ but a part of the animal is offered in Homam. Pasu Bandam involves only one animal and not the slaughter of a whole lot of animals. The animal is tied to a stake, known as ‘Yoopa Stambam’.
80. In the next Havir Yagna known as, ‘Soutramani’, there is an occasion wherein some liquor is offered. There are some elements of the Deities who are fond of Liquor and for the sake of universal benefit, they are offered what is preferred by them. Though our country is enforcing ‘Prohibition’ quite vigorously, it relaxes the restrictions for foreign dignitaries, do they not? This is also like that only! Point to note here is that, instead of offering it in the ‘Aahavaneeyam’ agni, it is offered in the ‘Dakshinagni’. A little bit of the balance portion of the ‘Sura’, that is, the Liquor cleansed by the chanting of the mantra-s, is consumed by the participating Ritwik-s, as ‘Homa Sesham’. But to accuse them of indulging in eating meat and drinking liquor away to glory, is simply a despicable canard. (I have already spoken about this in my earlier talks on ‘Vedam’ under the heading, ‘Can we be cruel to Animals?’.
(To be continued.)



Post a Comment

<< Home