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[sv-rituals] Re: vadhUdharmacandrikA

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Sat Mar 09 2002 - 20:34:02 PST

     
Sri Ute wrote:
     
     Dear Bhaktas, at present I am reading a text called VadhUdharmacandrikA, "the
     moonlight of female duties" 

Dear Ute,

Your post is very interesting. How did you come upon this text?
What is its date and who is its author? I don't know of any
woman, even in the most traditional of families, who performs
all these rituals as the text states. Specifically, you ask:

     1) the term pancakAla is not used but the day is woman's
     structured according to this concept (abhigamana, upAdAna,
     ijyA, adhyayana, yoga). Is the application of the rituals 
     subsumed as pancakAla on women unusual or is it common?

The Vaishnava woman is supposed to participate and cooperate with
her husband in all aspects of his dharma.  Hence during each
kAla in the panca-kAla-prakriya she is to do her duty as her
husband does his, both in the service of Bhagavan.  Whenever
the husband is incapable of doing his part, or falls short, the
wife is supposed to pick up where he left off (and vice versa,
presumably!) But no doubt in the texts the husband's dharma is
presumed to be primary and the wife's dharma supportive.
     
     2) are these pancakAlas followed today by many Srivaishnavas?

A very small percentage of men follow this prakriya as prescribed
by the texts. But it does exist in very traditional circles, and
is definitely practiced by strict vaidikas in grihastha and
sannyasa ashramas.

These grihasthas would not be able to perform their dharma
without their wives' support, so women also do follow this
in a sense. But they are perhaps not consciously doing it
as panca-kAla prakriya.  Certainly I not know of any who
utter the sankalpa, etc., while bathing.  What many are 
taught to do during their initiation ceremony is to recite
the names 'achyuta ananta govinda' while bathing and to do
their mantra-japas. Many still follow this practice.
     
     3) one is supposed to utter the "haryashtaka" before actually
     getting up in the morning. What is "haryashtaka"?

The Hari Ashtaka is attributed by Prahlada and is about the 
greatness of the two syllables 'ha' and 'ri'. It begins 
'harir harati pApAni' (Hari removes all sins). This has been 
described in an article with original text by Sri V. Sadagopan. 
Please see:

   http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/nov2000/0151.html

     5) the woman is supposed to meditate on the SrIkRSNacaramam,
     SrIrAmacaramam, SItAcaramam, VarAhacaramam, SudarSanacaramam and
     PAncajanyacaramam. What is the source of these Caramams and 
     what is the significance of meditating on these Slokas?

These are sacred slokas taken as mantras because they are given
by the guru during initiation.  I will list the ones with which
I am familiar:

  Sri Krishna Charamam -- Gita 18.66
  Sri Rama Charamam -- From Yuddha Kanda beginning with
     "sakRd eva prapannAya" (Taking refuge in Me once...)
     Sri Rama offering protection to Vibhishana
  Varaha Charamam -- From Varaha Purana (not in extant
     editions) assuring that the Lord will take care
     of the jIva

I am not familiar with the others. The significance of all
these slokas is that the Lord offers protection to those
who take refuge in Him. Each sloka declares this truth in
different ways.

     6) afterwards, she should do agnisamrakSana (or agnirakSana, also
     devAgniSuSrUSA). What kind of ritual action does this term
     signify? "protection of the fire"?

The householder is required to maintain the sacred fire at all
times. This is why aupAsana hOma is a requirement for vaidikas
to perform.  Now, these days, when the husband is absent at work
the wife must perform these duties in place of the husband.
As explained to me by my acharya Sri Rangapriya Swami, in many
villages the women would do the religious duty of caring for
the fire and offering rice in the fire as deva-yajna. This must
be what this means.

     
     7) after nivedana she should, at the time of vaiSvadeva, perform
     agniparicaryA - what does this mean?

This is answered in the previous paragraph. A handful of rice
should be offered to the fire saying 'devebhyaH svahA' at
minimum.  
     
     8) does the term sAtvikatyAga signify a specific ritual action or
     is it an inner attitude?

It is an inner attitude.  The external formula is recited to
reinforce the inner attitude. One must be filled with the idea
that Bhagavan is operating through you and for His own purposes.
The sentence uttered that repeats this idea is 'sAttvika tyAga'.
It is said at the beginning and the end of the ritual, but
the importance lies in the meditation on its meaning more than
the recitation itself.

I hope I have clarified. This is as much as I know!

With regards,
Mani


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