The Agni Purana

by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596

This page describes Worship regarding Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha which is chapter 25 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.

Chapter 25 - Worship regarding Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha

[Full title: The formulae and mode of worship relating to Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha]

Nārada said:

1. I shall now describe to you the characteristics of the adorable formulae related to Vāsudeva and others. Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha (are the four forms).

2. (The words) salutations to the lord (are said) at first along with the mystical letters a, ā, am, aḥ. (Then) beginning with the syllable ‘Om’ (and) ending with (the word) salutations and then (the words) salutations to Nārāyaṇa (are uttered).

3. Oṃ, salutations to the eternal Brahmā, Om, salutations to Viṣṇu, Om, Kṣaum, Om, salutations to the Lord Narasiṃha (are uttered).

4-6. Oṃ, bhūḥ[1], salutations to lord Varāha. The lords of men having the colour of japā (flower) (red), brown, yellow, blue, black, red, the colour of a cloud, fire, honey, (and) tawny, (are) the nine lords of vowels (and) mystical letters. The heart and the different limbs are resolved in order along with their respective names being well divided by those proficient in the tantras (branch of literature dealing with the magical and mystical worship of different deities). The characteristics of those mystical letters which are consonants are different.

7. They are divided by long vowels ending with (the word) ‘salutation’. The limbs situated in between yoked with short (vowels) are described as minor limbs.

8. The mystic syllable situated at the end of the last letter of the name which is divided is excellent. The principal and minor limbs (are composed)of long and short vowels inorder.

9-10. This is the method (of use) of consonants for arrangement in the heart (and) other (limbs). One has to repeat according to his accomplishment (the mystic formula) divided into the mystic basic syllable and their ending names (along with) the names of limbs, after having resolved the yoked twelve (limbs) beginning with the heart etc.

11. The heart, head, tuft, armour, eye, weapons (are) the six limbs of the mystic basic syllables of the basic (mystic formula) constituting twelve parts.

12. One should then assign in order to (the limbs)—the heart, head, tuft, hands, eyes, belly, back, arms, thighs, knees, shank, (and) feet, (the following syllables and gods).

13. (The letters) kam, ṭam, pam, śam are for Vainateya[2]. (The letters) kham, ṭham, pham, ṣam (are) for the brother of mace-bearer (Kṛṣṇa). (The letters) gam, ḍam, vam, sam (form) the mystic formula for the nourishment. Gham, ḍham, bham, ham salutations to Śrī (Goddess of wealth).

14. (One has to worship) Pāñcajanya[3], (with the mystic letters) vam, śam, mam, kṣam. (The mystic letters) cham, tam, pam (are for the worship of) Kaustubha (gem worn by Viṣṇu on his head), jam, kham, vam for the Sudarśana (the disc in the hands of Viṣṇu), sam, vam, dam, cam, lam for Śrīvatsa (the mark on the chest of Viṣṇu).

15. Om, dham, vam salutations to the garland of wild flowers (worn by Viṣṇu) and to the great Ananta.[4] The limbs are set forth with the words of the mystic formula consisting of words without the mystic letters.

16. Along with the names ending with the caste (names), the heart and other (limbs) (are set forth). The praṇava (letter Om) (is repeated) five times. Then the heart and other (limbs) are mentioned five times.

1 7. With the praṇava (one should adore) the heart first. (With the word) ‘for the supreme’, the head (and) the tuft and with one’s name, the armour (are adored). The end of the name would be (to worship) the weapon.

18. Om, the supreme weapon is the first. (Then) one’s own name ending in the fourth case (is to be said). Then (the word) ‘salutations’ (comes) at the end. This consists of one to twenty-six parts.

19. One should worship prakṛti (nature) at the tips of the little and other fingers of the arms in (one’s) body. (That one) consisting of prakṛti (nature) is the second form of the supreme being consisting of puruṣa (soul).

20-21. Om (salutation) to the supreme being, the foremost or the first soul. The air and the sun (are his) two forms. The fire the third form having been assigned to pervade hands and the body, wind and the sun in the fingers of hand, this is embodied in the three parts in the two arms, left and the other arm, in the heart, in the body forming the fourth state.

22. The Ṛgveda (is made) to pervade hand. The Yajus (Yajurveda) is assigned to fingers. The form of Atharva (is assigned) to two palms. Thus (assignments are made) in (different limbs) head, heart, upto the feet.

23. As before having assigned the extensive sky to his arm and body, wind and other (elements), to fingers, head, heart, generative organ and the feet.

24. The wind, fire, water, earth (and sky or ether) are spoken as his five forms. The mind, ear, skin, eye, tongue (and) nose are said to be the six forms.

25-28. The extensive mind is assigned from the thumb onwards to the head, mouth, generative organ and the organ of excretion. The prime form is said to be consisting of compassion. It is known as the jīva (life) (which is) all pervasive. The seven (words), earth, ether, heaven, mahas, jana, tapa and satya[5] are assigned duly to hands and the body beginning with thumb. The Lord of the world, the seventh one and existing in the palm (is taken) gradually to the body, head, forehead, mouth, heart, generative organ and feet. This is said to be the Agniṣṭoma.[6] (Next follows the description of) the Vājapeya[7] (and) the Ṣoḍaśī[8] rites.

29-32. Atirātra[9] and Aptoryāma[10] (rites will also be described). The soul of the sacrifice which has seven forms extending to the intellect, ego, mind, sound, touch, colour, taste, smell, comprehension, should be assigned duly to the fingers and the body. A person has to assign it to the teeth, palms, head, forehead, face, heart, navel, the generative organ and the feet. These are remembered as the eight Vyūhas (parts). The life which consists of nine parts—life, intellect, ego, mind, sound, quality, wind, colour, and taste, is assigned to two thumbs. They (are placed) in order on the left hand by means of the forefinger and other fingers.

33. Indra remains pervading the ten (limbs) consisting of body, head, forehead, mouth, heart, navel, the generative organ, two knees and feet.

34-35. The fire (is assigned) to two thumbs. Mind consisting of eleven parts—ear, skin, eye, tongue, smell, speech, hand, foot, anus is assigned to head, forehead, face, heart, navel, the generative organ, two knees and feet with the forefinger.

36. The mind is made to pervade the male organ. The two thumbs (are made to pervade) the ear. Commencing with the fore-finger in order, the eight fingers (are assigned). The (two fingers) left over are assigned to palm.

37. The head, forehead, month, heart, navel (are assigned) in order to generative organ, two thighs, shanks, ankles and feet.

38-39. Viṣṇu, Madhuhara (killer of the demon Madhu), Trivikrama, Vāmana, Śrīdhara, Hṛṣīkeśa, Padmanābha, Dāmodara, Keśava, Nārāyaṇa, Mādhava, Govinda (are the names of Viṣṇu). Viṣṇu is made to pervade.

40. The thumb (and other fingers), palms, feet, two knees, waist are assigned to head, crown of head, waist, knees. and feet.

41-43. There are twelve, twenty-five or twenty-six parts—the supreme being, intellect, ego, mind, thinking, touch, taste, colour, smell, ears, skin, eyes, tongue, nose, speech, hand, feet,. anus, generative organ, earth, water, light, wind and sky. The pervasive Supreme Being is assigned and then in the thumbs and other fingers.

44-46. The remnant are assigned in the palm, head, or forehead and then face, heart, navel, generative organ, thigh, knee, and feet are assigned to feet, knee, thing, generative organ, heart and head in order. A wise man has to meditate upon the great soul of the Supreme Being in these twenty-six things as before and then the nature has to be worshipped in a circular (altar). The heart and other (limbs) have to be worshipped in the east, south, west and north.

47. As before the weapons (of Viṣṇu, Vainateya (the vehicle bird of Viṣṇu) (are adored) in the corners of south-east etc. (One should adore) the guardian deities of the quarters also. In (the worship of) three parts, the fire (will be) at the centre.

48. The directions east etc. are decorated with the strength, abode and kingdom.

49-50. The omnipresent form (of Viṣṇu), endowed with all parts and the five constituents Garuḍa etc. as well as Indra and others, should be adored (by one) for conquering kingdoms and for firmness of all (objects). One may get all desires (fulfilled). Viṣvaksena (an epithet of Viṣṇu) is worshipped by (his) name, the mystic letter being placed in the ether.

Footnotes and references:


The mystical syllable representing the earth.


Garuḍa, the eagle vehicle of Viṣṇu; born to Vinatā and sage Kaśyapa.


The name of the conch of Kṛṣṇa.


Without end; may denote Lord Viṣṇu as well as Śeṣa Nāga.


The seven worlds earth etc. are situated one above the other successively.


A sacrificial rite lasting for several days in spring forming part of the Jyotiṣṭoma, a soma sacrifice.


One of the soma sacrifices performed by kings or by a brahmin aspiring for higher position.


A rite forming part of the soma sacrifice.


An optional part of the Jyotiṣṭoma sacrifice.


A particular way of offering the soma sacrifice.

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