Manasara (English translation)

by Prasanna Kumar Acharya | 1933 | 201,051 words

This page describes “the sacrificial offerings (balikarma)” which is Chapter 8 of the Manasara (English translation): an encyclopedic work dealing with the science of Indian architecture and sculptures. The Manasara was originaly written in Sanskrit (in roughly 10,000 verses) and dates to the 5th century A.D. or earlier.

Chapter 8 - The Sacrificial offerings (balikarma)

1. The rules for sacrificial offerings [viz., balikarma] are now briefly stated in this science (of architecture).

2. The offerings should be made on the occasion of the planning of villages, etc.[1]

3-4. (At first) the ground should be cleansed and then the plots of gods should be marked either in the Maṇḍūka plan or in the Paramaśāyika plan.

5. Offerings should be made to Brahmā and other gods as well an to the Rākṣasas (demons).

6-7. The architect should fasti overnight and with pure body and cheerful mind, and putting on his best clothes should collect the requisites for the offerings.

8-11. In the morning of the following day the architect accompanied by a girl or putting the sacrificial things collected (overnight) on a plate in the hand of a courtesan wearing gold and other ornaments, and himself holding the same plate with his left hand, should ofier, reciting (proper) incantation, these things, by throwing them (severally) with his right hand.

12. Thereafter making a joint offering of all things (sakalī-karaṇa)[2] he should cause benediction to be pronounced.

13-15. Amidst all auspicious sounds, the offerings should be made to Brahmā and all gods in order by pronouncing their names separately with the mystic syllable om at the beginning and namaḥ in conclusion[3].

16. For temple purposes (i.e. on the occasion of building a temple) the ordinary offerings, and for village purposes the special offerings should be made.

17. Curdled milk and boiled rice: all these are known as ordinary offerings.

18-19. Then I shall describe the offerings to Brahmā and the other gods consisting, in addition, of unhusked grain (akṣata) incense (dhūpa) and lamps, which are known as special offerings as stated in the sacred scriptures.

20-21. One learned in the sacred scripture should make offerings to Brahmā consisting of a wreath of flowers, perfume, incense, milk, honey, clarified butter, milk-pudding and rice, together with parched (or fried) grain.

22-23. Thereafter should be offered delicious fruits to Āryaman; sesame, rice and curdled milk to Vivasvat, and the same with curdled milk to Mitra.

24. To Mahīdhara (i.e. Bhūdhara) should be given condensed milk (kaṣīra); this is known to be the offering to deities assignad to the interior plots.

25-27. The same (as those to Mahīdhara) are stated to be the offerings to Parjanya; ftowers and fresh butter should be given as offerings to Jayanta, flowers and cake to Mahendra, honey and perfumes to Bhāskara (i.e. Āditya), and honey to Satya.

28-29. Fresh butteer is said to be the offering to Bhṛśa; thereafter ofierings to Gagana (i.e, Antarikṣa) should consist of the turmeric powder, beans (Phaseolus radiatus), milt, clarified butter and the tagara plant.

30-32. Unadulterated condensed milk is the offering for Agni, similarly rice-pudding for Pūṣan, boiled rice for Vitatha, meat for Rākṣasa (i.e. Gṛhakṣata), and dried rice and cream for Antaka (i.e. Yama).

33. Aloe wood (aguru) and perfume should be the offerings for Gandharva.

34. Sea-fish are desired to be the offerings to Bhṛṅgarāja.

35-36. Curdled milk and boiled rice are stated to be the offerings

for Mṛśa, a lump of boiled sesame rice for Nairṛti (i.e. Pitṛ), and the (sesamum) grains for Dauvārika.

37-38. Thereafter sweetmeats are stated to be the offerings for Sugrīva, flowers and water for Puṣpadanta, and rice-pudding for Varuṇa.

89-40. Blood is the offering for Asura, grains of sesamum and rice for Śoṣa, dried fish is for Roga, and rice porridge with turmeric (seed) for Marut.

41-43. Parched grain is the offering for Nāga, and grains of rice for Mukhya, rice boiled with molasses for Bhallāṭa, and rice boiled with milk is for Śaśadhara (i.e. Soma), dried meat for Mṛga, and sweetmeats for the other deity (i.e. Aditi),

44. Sesamum grains, flowers and fruits should be given as offerings to Udita.

45-46. Thereafter milk, boiled rice, clarified butter, and fish of corn should be provided as the offerings to Savitra, and molassaes and water to Sāvitra.

47. All these should be the offerings to Indra, and the kidney bean (mudga) to Indrarāja.

48. Beans should be given as offering to Rudra, and meats to Rudrajaya.

49-50. Pure rice is stated to be the offering to Āpavatsa, and the seed of the white lotus (kumuda) to Āpavatsa.

50. The offerings given to (those assigned to) the outside are stated here (i.e. below).

51-52. The meat of goat, conch and also venison, mixed with blood are said to be given, as offerings to Pāparākṣasī.

53-54. The sesamum cake is desired to be the offering to Pūtanā, salt food to Vidāri, and grains of kidney bean (mudga) to Carakī.

55. In this way the deities should be worshipped for the safety of the village.

56-57. The deities beginning with Brahmā and ending in Āpava are placed in the plots assigned to the gods (in the interior). And all other gods should always be outside this part.

58-59. ‘May it please you for the protection of the village’, having pronounced this incantation, prayer should be made to these (Bali) gods.

60-61. In matter of sacrificial prayer, the architect should meditate on his own Śiva (i.e. special deity). Why this (should be done), in order to propitiate the gods as well as the evil genii and goblins.

62-64. If all details of the ground-plan be arranged without making these offerings, the site will be destroyed by the terrible demons; to avoid this defect, the sacrificial offerings must be made.

65-66. When these offerings are made by a builder in the village temple of Śiva (or other deity) there would be always prosperity, contentment, peace and welfare, and the devotion of the master (of the village).

Thus in the Mānasāra, the science of architecture, the eighth chapter, entitled: “The description of sacrificial offerings.”

Footnotes and references:


This includes all kinds of villages, towns, forts, commercial cities, as well as all kinds of temples and residential buildings:—

gṛhe gṛhe manuṣyāṇāṃ vibudhānāṃ tathaiva ca |
grāmakheṭapurādau cā (va) kārya syādvāstupūjanam ||

(Śilpa-ratna, VII, 39.)


Literally, gathering all tnings together which consist of eight kinds of grams such as sesamum, barley, rice, etc,, sandal paste, clarified butter, sugar and honey, etc.


In making offerings, it is the custom to address the deities with the formula om and conclude the ceremonies with namaḥ, e.g., om Gaṇeśāya namaḥ.

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