|You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : August 1999|
From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Wed Aug 18 1999 - 15:08:24 PDT
Dear Bhaktas, Sri Sadagopan wrote rather elaborately yesterday about the procedure for observing "AvaNi aviTTam", more properly known as upAkarma. I already started writing this before I saw Sri Sadagopan's note, so I offer it as a supplement to his. I request correction of any errors. Thanks, Mani ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1999 yajur upAkarma procedure ----------------------------- (1) Do morning nityakarmas including sandhyAvandanam as one would do on any other day. (2) kAmo'kArshIt manyur akArshIt japam (a) Acamanam twice (b) prANAyAma (c) sankalpam, including sAttvika tyAgam: taishyAm paurNamAsyAm adhyAya-utsarjana-akaraNa-prAyaScitta-artham, ashTottara-sahasra (1008) [ashTottara-Sata (108)] sankhyayA "kAmo'kArshIt manyur akArshIt" mahAmantra-japam karishye. (e) Do japam of "kAmo'kArshIt manyur akArshIt" 1008 or 108 times as one has resolved. (f) Acamanam once, followed by sAttvika tyAgam (3) Perform mAdhyAhnikam, including mAdhyAhnika snAnam if one is accustomed. (4) Preparing for the upAkarma Seated facing east, wearing a pavitram if available, after Acamanam twice, prANAyama, and sankalpa, including sAttvika tyAgam: SrAvaNyAm paurNamAsyAm adhyAya-upAkarma karishye, tad angam kAndarshi-tarpaNam karishye, tad angam yajnopavIta-dhAraNam karishye, tad angam snAnam karishye. [ Brahmacharis add: tad angatayA maunji-ajina-daNDa-dhAraNAni karishye ] (a) Bathe once again (at least mAnasika snAnam) (b) Wear the new yajnopavItam (poonool-s) with appropriate mantras (c) Brahmacharis should recite mantras for the darbha belt (maunji), krishNajina (a piece of deer skin), and palAsa daNDa and if possible wear them (d) Acamanam (5) Nava kANDa Rshi tarpaNam (a) Acamanam twice (b) Facing east, walk knee-deep into a river or pool of fresh water if possible. Otherwise stand where you are (c) For each of the following, offer a mixture of (uncooked) rice, sesame seeds (eL), and water, as you say 'tarpayAmi'. Each line should be said three times. Preferably, someone should help by pouring the water as you release the rice and sesame, as this makes it easier. For the first seven, wear the yajnopavItam as a necklace (nivItam), cup both your hands together, having the yajnopavItam's brahma-mudi (knots) resting in your palms. The water should be released along with the sesame and rice off the tips of both hands. This is known as Rshi tIrtham. (i) prajApatim kANDarshim tarpayAmi (ii) sOmam kANDarshim tarpayAmi (iii) agnim kANDarshim tarpayAmi (iv) viSvAn devAn kANDarshim tarpayAmi (v) sAmhitIr devatA upanishadas tarpayAmi (vi) yajnikIr devatA upanishadas tarpayAmi (vii) vAruNIr devatA upanishadas tarpayAmi Now, still nivItam, the water mixture should be released towards you, off the palms away from the fingertips. Typically this is done by pointing the fingers straight up, keeping the sides of the hands together. This is known as brahma-tIrtham. (viii) brahmANaGM svayambhuvam tarpayAmi Now the water should be poured as deva-tIrtham. This is hard to describe, but when pouring, the hand should be in a grasping position. (ix) sadasaspatim tarpayAmi (x) See Note (f) below (e) Return to upavItam, i.e., your poonool in its normal position. Finish with Acamanam and sAttvika tyAgam. (6) Traditionally there is now a upAkarma homa, where the rishis and devatAs mentioned above are once again saluted using the sacred fire. The there is vedArambha, where the first four anuvAkas of the yajur veda samhita are taught to the sishyas. This is followed by jayAdi homam. These may not be available if one is away from one's elders and acharyas. At minimum, it is recommended that you recite one anuvAka from your veda on this day. The Purusha Sukta suffices, for example. [ It is often erroneously thought that upAkarma or AvaNi aviTTam is primarily the changing the yajnopavItam (poonool). This cannot be further from the truth. Changing the poonool happens very often, whenever a significant vedic karma is performed. UpAkarma, however, is a rededication of oneself to the study of one's Veda, along with a salutations to the rishis who perceived and revealed the Vedic mantras to the world. This is the significance of the nava-kANDarshi tarpaNam and the anuvAka recitation. ] (7) Next is bhagavad-ArAdhanam, as you would do on any normal day. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Notes: ----- (a) UpAkarma is a phalAhAram day -- no rice is to be eaten, and whatever is eaten (fruits, idlis, etc.) should be minimal. Please also remember that you are not supposed to eat anything until after bhagavad-ArAdhanam. (b) The mantram for the kAmo'kArshIt japam is "kAmo'kArshIt manyur akArshIt". It is not followed by "namo namaH". (c) Some people also change their yajnopavItam before the kAmo'kArshIt japam, in addition to the changing done for upAkarma itself. It should be remembered that the changing before upAkarma is the more important one, and if one only wants to change once, the upAkarma changing is preferred. The reason for this: the kAmo'kArshIt japam is done as an atonement, a prAyaScittam for *not* having done the traditional utsarjana sankalpa earlier in the year. The sankalpa for the japam says this explicitly ('adhyAya-utsarjana-akaraNa'). Just as upAkarma is the formal recommencement of Vedic studies, the utsarjana is a sankalpa done to formally halt study of the Vedas and commence study of grammar, prosody, pronounciation, astronomy, etymology, etc., all of which are helpful in *understanding* the Vedas. The year was therefore divided into two, one half for studying the Vedas, the other half for studying the VedAngas or Vedic accessories. The utsarjana has unfortunately fallen into disuse for quite a while, so what remains is the meagre prAyaScittam for not having done it. Therefore, the *important* yajnopavItam changing is for the upAkarma. (d) sankalpa details The following is said for any major sankalpa. The underlined parts change depending on the day and are specified below for upAkarma. After acharya vandanam and vishvaksena dhyAnam, hari om tat SrI govinda govinda govinda! asya SrI-bhagavato mahApurushasya vishNor AjnayA pravartamAnasya adya brahmaNe dvitIyaparArdhe SrI-Sveta-varAha-kalpe vaivasvata-manvantare kaliyuge prathamapAde jambudvIpe, bhAratavarshe, bharatakhaNDe, SakAbde, meror dakshiNe pArSve asmin vartamAnAnAm vyAvahArikANAm prabhavAdI shashTI samvatsarANAm madhye pramAthI nAma samvatsare ^^^^^^^^ dakshiNAyane, varsha Rtau, simha mAse, Sukla pakshe, ^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^^ paurNamAsyAm Subha-tithau, guru-vAsara-sravishTa-nakshatra yuktAyAm, ^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^ SrI-vishnu-yoga SrI-vishnu-karaNa Subha-yoga Subha-karaNa evam guNa-viSeshaNa viSishTAyAm, asyAm Subha-tithau, SrI-bhagavad-AjnayA [ SrIman-nArAyaNa-prItyartham OR bhagavat-kainkarya-rUpam OR bhagavat-prItyartham, depending on sampradAya ] followed by the sankalpa for the particular karma. (e) sAttvika tyAgam details sAttvika tyAgam means dedicating the act one is performing or has performed entirely to Bhagavan, and that Bhagavan is performing it through you entirely for Himself. It is said before and after performing the karma. In an abbreviated form, here it one version: Before doing the karma: bhagavAn eva svaniyAmya sva-Sesha-bhUtena mayA svasmai svaprItaye svayam eva <name of the act> kArayati. After doing the karma, say the same thing, except replace the last word "kArayati" with kAritavAn. (f) After the kANda-rishi tarpaNam, some people add: Rg-vedam tarpayAmi yajur-vedam tarpayAmi sAma-vedam tarpayAmi atharvaNa-vedam tarpayAmi itihAsam tarpayAmi purANam tarpayAmi kalpam tarpayAmi Some also now recommend pitR tarpaNam (prAcIna-vItam) for those whose fathers are no longer alive. (g) procedure for wearing the yajnopavitam (poonool) (1) Sit squatting (kukkuTTAsanam). Acamanam twice (2) prANAyAmam, wearing pavitram if available (3) sankalpam, with sAttvika tyAgam: Srauta-smArta-vihita-nitya-karma-anushThAna- yogyatA-siddhyartham yajnopavIta-dhAraNam karishye (4) Put one yajnopavItam on at a time. To do this, hold the yajnopavItam with both hands, with your right palm facing up over your head, and your left palm facing the ground. The top of the brahma-mudi (knot) should be on your right palm and should be facing right. Then say this mantra, while holding the sacred thread this way: yajnopavIta-dhAraNa-mantrasya brahmA Rshi: trishTup chanda: trayIvidyA devatA yajnopavIta dhAraNe viniyoga: yajnopavItam paramam pavitram, prajApater yat sahajam purastAt | Ayushyam ugryam pratimunca Subhram yajnopavItam balam astu teja: || Now wear the yajnopavItam. Acamanam once. If you are married, repeat this procedure for the second yajnopavItam, from the praNAyAmam and sankalpa to the mantra, and wear the thread. Acamanam. Then, after saying upavItam chinnantu jIrNam kaSmala-dUshitam | visRjAmi punar brahman varco dIrghAyur astu me || remove the old yajnopavItams and discard them under a tree or some other natural place. Don't throw them in the garbage! Acamanam again followed by sAttvika tyAgam.