(Last Updated on : 25/01/2014)
Lord Agni has described the Vedic rites and ceremonies respectively described in the Rig, Saman, Yajur, and Atharva Vedas, as narrated by Pushkara to Lord Rama
. In this particular adhyaya, Pushkara states that he would describe the religious-rites as described in each of the four Vedas. It has been said that the rites laid down in the Rig Veda
, a due performance whereof grants enjoyment of comforts in this world and salvation in the next. The Gayatri Mantra repeated by a man under waters, accompanied by a practice Pranayama
, as well as a Homa ceremony performed with the repetition of the Gayatri Mantra, brings about a fulfilment of all the heartfelt desires of the repeater or the perceptor. The Gayatri Mantra
repeated ten thousand times by a man who breaks his fast at night and bathes many times in the day, is said to destroy all his sins and impieties. The Pranava Mantra is held identical with the supreme Bramha, and a repetition of such a Mantra is sure to expiate a man of all sins.
It has been stated in the Agni Purana
that a Homa
ceremony performed by repeating the Maha Vyahriti Mantras and by offering three libations of clarified butter to the three Vedas, and three such libations to the gods constituting the Indian Trinity, and three such to the Fire-god, is sure to destroy all sins committed by a man in his successive incarnations in the seven regions. The seven Riks, known as the Great Rik Mantras are sacred to the god of Wind, and a man by reciting them mentally, becomes able to witness the realisation of all his heart-felt wishes. A man wishing to improve his memory should repeat the three Rik Mantras running as Sadasanyam. The nine Riks beginning as Anvyas Yannibha, etc. are possessed of the virtue of arresting death.
It has been further mentioned in the Purana that a man by reciting in solitude the Rik Mantra running as Shuna Shepham etc., is sure to enjoy the pleasures of unbroken health, whereas a sick man is sure to get rid of his ailment by repeating the same. A man bent on witnessing the realisation of all his wished for objects, should recite the sixteen Rik Mantras running as Mitram Rajnam Purandaram etc. A man by mentally reciting the Mantra running as Hiranya Stupam, etc., is sure to acquire an ascendancy over his enemies. It has been said that a man proceeding on a journey, is sure to safely reach the place of his destination, by mentally reciting, on the road, the Mantra running as "Ya te Pantha, etc." A similar result is obtained by worshipping every day, the god Ishana with the sixteen Roudri. A man by preparing sacrificial porridge every day in honour of the god Rudra
, is sure to enjoy unbroken peace for all the days of his life.
By offering libations of water every day, with the verse running as "Odityudantam," to the Sun-god, a man is sure to conquer all grief. Similarly by repeating, for seven consecutive nights, the half Rik running as "Dishantam", a man is sure to create animosities between a pair of fondly attached friends. An invalid wishing to get rid of all ailment, should mentally recite the Mantra running as "Prasannyosyottamam." The other half of the Rik may be repeated by sitting in any posture (Asanam) whatsoever. The Rik running as "Udayatayu, etc.," should be repeated at noon, whereas the Mantra running as "Dishantam," should not be repeated in the evening.
Similarly the Agni Purana narrates that a man by mentally reciting the Sukta running as "Na Yayas," etc., is sure to acquire a supremacy over his enemies, while a repetition of the "Ekadasha Suparna," crowns all the efforts of its repeater with success. A man by mentally reciting the Rik running as "Adhyatmika, etc.," is sure to attain salvation. A man who recites the Rik running as "Jatavedasa" is sure to have a safe journey on the road as well as a peaceful and undisturbed health on his return. The same Mantra, repeated on the break of dawn, neutralises the effects of all bad dreams dreamt in the previous night.
The great Purana states that the man who performs a Homa ceremony, by casting the stems of an Oudumvara tree dipped in clarified butter, into the sacrificial fire, is sure to break the trammels of death, and to live up to a good old age, free from grief and disease. A man having tied up the tuft of hair on his crown by repeating the Rik, "Nostoka, etc.," should worship the god Shambhu, with uplifted arms, whereby he would be invincible to attacks from all creatures. He should also worship the Sun-god at morning, noon, and evening, each day, in such a connection, by repeating the Rik running as "Chitram, etc." Similarly by repeating morn and noon each day, the Rik running as "Atha Svapria, etc.," with the stems of sacrificial trees in his palms, a man is sure to become the master of his wished for wealth.
Pushkara in Agni Purana discusses that the god of hearth (Vastu Devata) should be worshipped with the Mantra, running as Vastosyata, etc., and a Homa ceremony should be duly performed by offering libations of clarified butter on the fire with the same Mantra. After that, remunerations should be givers to the Bramhanas, and another Homa should be performed for the expiation of sin. The sacrificial fire should be bid adieu by easting in it bits of gold and oblations of boiled rice.
Blessings given by a Brahmana can never be barren, while a Homa ceremony performed with oblations of paddy, barley, white mustard, milk, curd, clarified butter, and the stems of a Kshira tree, is supposed to grant all sorts of boon. The Samidhas usually used in connection with a Homa ceremony, are Kantakini, Rajika, blood and poison. In an act of incantation performed according to the rules of Rig Veda, the oblations or libations to be cast into the sacrificial fire, should be composed of curd, Bhaiksha, fruits, edible roots, powdered barley and poison found in the hills.