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MahA samprOkshanam : why do we Homams ?: Part I

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Sun Apr 29 2001 - 19:11:02 PDT

Dear BhakthAs of Sri RanganAthA:

There are many events planned for the MahA SamprOkshaNam
for Lord RanganAthA Temple(May 23-27). There are Veda PaarAyanam ,
Prabhandha PaarAyanam , Nithya AarAdhanam , Thirumanjanam ,
AlankAram and Cultural events .

The Most important items during any Vaidhika KarmA
like PerumAL's MahA samprOkshaNam are Homams performed 
in consecrated YaagasAlai . After Agni prathishtai,
and Saanthi Homam , Nithya Homams and PoorNAhUthis are
performed daily for the consecration of the Temple as a place
sacred for the residence of the PerumAL and ThAyar at 
the different Sannidhis. 

On the second day (May 24),the Lord's eyes are 
ceremonially opened (NethrOnmeeLanam)and right after 
that Agni KunDa Homam is done to set in
motion the other Homams on the subsequent days.

Let us reflect on why we do Homams ( yaj~nams/Yaagams)
by taking as an example Purusha Sooktham , which describes 
the greatest of Yaagams done by SaadhyA DEvAs (Nithya Sooris)
and Rishis for the creation of the Cosmos through 
the invocation of the Parama Purushan , Sriman NaarAyanan .

Prior to study of the Purusha Sooktham as the primordial
Homam in a Yaagam called Sarvahuth Yaagam , let us study
the references to the mysteries of Yaj~nam and the Lord's 
role in it as a doer, helper and enjoyer of the fruits of
the Homam . The references are in Sri VishNu Sahasra Naamam
almost at the very end of the Sahasra Naamam ( Names 971-982).
Let us cover the brief meanings of these 12 Naamams relating
to Homams /Yaj~nams based on Professor A.SrinivAsa raghavn's
translation of Swamy PrAsara Bhattar's BhAshyam :

971: (PraNavam) Yaj~nya Nama:
 
The Lord is identified here as the Yaj~nam or Sacrifice.
He serves as the UpAyam for those , who do  not have 
the spiritual rigor/Tapas and yet wish to attain His sacred
feet . Through japa Yaj~nam , He Himself becomes the Yaj~nam.

972: (   "    ) Yaj~napathayE nama:

As the Lord of the Yaj~nam , He gives the Yaj~na 
phalan to those , who performed the Yaj~nam to please
Him. A Supreme example is Lord VaradarAjA , who appeared
before Chathur Mukha BrahmA to bless him with the fruits
of that Yaj~nam performed on Hasthigiri at Kaanchi.

973: (   "    ) YajvanE nama:

The Lord Himself becomes the performer of 
the Yaj~nam for the purification of those 
who are unable to observe the daily rites .
He says:"I Myself am doing without fail this 
type of Yaj~nA at both dawn and dusk of every day". 

974: (   "    ) Yaj~ngAya nama:

There are capable adhikAris , who perform these
Yaj~nams.Those Yaj~nams become auxilaries to the Yaj~nam 
that He does at dawn and dusk of every day. These
Yaj~nams become sEsham to the One performed by 
the Sarva Seshi, Bhagavaan Sriman NaarAyanan. 

975: (    "   ) Yaj~na-VAhanAya nama:

He assists those who perform the Homams by 
blessing them with sakthi , adhikAram , faith
and accessories to complete their Yaj~nams.

976: (    "   ) Yaj~nabhruthayE nama:

Even if the Homam is imperfectly performed 
and has deficencies (Vikalasam) as a result ,
out of His KaaruNyam , He rectifies it 
and blesses the performer of the Homam to
think of Him (KrishNAnusmaraNam) and reach 
thereby the final sacrificial offering stage 
known as PoorNAhUthi. 

977: (    "   ) Yaj~na-kruthayE nama:

He is the Creator of the Homam and Yaj~nam 
for the KshEmam of the Universe (Jagath Hitham).

978: (    "   ) Yaj~nE nama:

He is the YajamAnan (Master) for whom
all the Homams are done.

979: (    "   ) Yaj~na BhujE nama:

He is the ultimate enjoyer of all the sacred
offerings associated with the Homams & Yaj~nams.

980: (    "   ) Yaj~na SaadhanAya nama:

He stands as the gateway to Dhivya Jn~Anam that 
leads one to the performance of the Homams/Yaj~nams.

981: (    "   ) Yaj~nAntha-kruthE nama:

He provides the fruit of the Homams .
What is that Fruit ? Attainment of True
Knowledge about Him as ShAdguNya Sampoorna BhagavAN 
is that supreme fruit of the HOmam .

982: (    "   ) Yaj~na GuhyAya nama: 

He is the secret of the Homam and Yaj~nams.
Professor A.SrinivAsa Raaghavan's translation of
Swamy ParAsara Bhattar's commentary for  this
naamam is : " Though BhagavAn is not in wants 
(NirapEkshan) , He accepts the offerings (Havis
and PoorNAhUthi) made in a sacrifice (HOmam/Yaj~nam) 
as though He has long been expecting them and enjoys 
them. Thus , He feels satisfied and also satisfies 
those who perform the Homams to please Him.This is
understood by the wise and not by those , who have 
superficial knowledge about the injunctions , means and 
fruits of sacrifices . Hence , the name : " the secret
of the Yaj~nam/Homam".

Please come and witness the Homams for Prathishtai
of the Lord in His consecrated temple.These Homams
and the  ways of performing them to please the Lord
has been elaborated by Sages Sounakar, Aapasthampar
and BhOdhAyanar . The Rthviks will be performing
these  ancient Homams at the Temple in YaagasAlA 
with specially constructed Agni Kuntams .

In the next posting , adiyEn will cover the First
Homam/Yaj~nam known as the Sarvahuth Yaj~nam 
( all encompassing Yaj~nam of Yaj~nams) that
is described in Purusha Sooktham .This Yaj~nam 
created the four VedAs and the entire Naama-Roopa 
prapancham .In view of the importance of this
Aadhi Homam/Yaj~nam , Purusha Sooktham that 
describes it is housed in all the Four VedAs
with some variations( Rg Vedam : Tenth mandalam,
Nintieth Sooktham ; Sukla Yajur Veda VaajasanEya
Samhithai(31-1-16);KrishNa Yajur Vedam TaittirIya
AraNyakam(3-12-13); Saama Vedam (4-3) and Atharvana
Vedam (19-6-3).

Veda PurushAya nama:
Daasan , Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri SatakOpan  
  


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