The Agni Purana

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

This page describes Mode of installation of the fire (agni-sthapana) which is chapter 75 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 75 - Mode of installation of the fire (agni-sthāpana)

The God said:

1. (The worshipper) should enter another room unseen with the vessel containing water for offering in his hand and should look to the arrangements of the materials essential in the performance of a sacrifice, as it were, with a divine eyesight.

2. He should look at the sacrificial pit with his face turned. towards the north. The sprinkling and beating the water with the kuśa should be done by (repeating) the mantra of the weapon and the consecration should be done with the mantra of the armour.

3. The digging out (a piece of earth), filling and levelling with the sword should be done with (the mantra of) the armour and bathing and division into parts (should be done) with the mantra of the arrow.

4. The (rites of) cleansing, anointing, fixing the crescent. form, investiture of the sacred thread and worship (should be done) always by the mantra of the armour.

5. Three lines should be drawn in the north and one below them (should be drawn) so as to face the east. Whatever defects, in them may be made good by touching them with the kuśa and the astramantra of Śiva.

6. A quadrilateral figure should be. drawn with the kuśa by the mantras of vajrīkaraṇa (establishing.firmly) and hṛd. The vessel for the rosaries should be laid with (the mantra of) the armour. The seat should be laid with the hṛd mantra.

7-8. The Goddess of speech along with the God should be invoked therein and worshipped. The consecrated fire brought from a holy place and placed in a pure receptacle, after leaving aside its parts presided over by the demons and purified by the divine look etc., the three fires audārya, aindava and bhauta should be made into one.

9-10. Oṃ hūṃ (salutations) to god of fire. (The deity) should be established with the principal mantra of the fire. The fire which has been invoked with the vedic hymns and made immortal by showing the dhenumudrā (formation with the fingers representing a cow), and protected by mantras of weapons should be covered by the armour. It should be worshipped by waving over the pit thrice and circumambulation.

11. Having meditated upon (the fire) as an element of Lord Śiva, (the worshipper) should contemplate it as lying dormant in the womb of Goddess of speech and cast by the Lord of speech.

12. The worshipper should have his knees resting on the ground and put the fire in his front with the hṛd mantra. Then the seeds of fire in the vicinity should be gathered at the centre.

13. The collection of clothes, purification and offering of water for rinsing the mouth (should be done) with the hṛd (mantra). Having worshipped the dormant fire [i.e., garbha-agni], it should be protected by (the recitation of) the mantra of the shaft.

14. The embryo fire should be contemplated as tied around the wrist of the goddess as a bracelet. The fire should be worshipped with the sadyojāta (mantra) for the impregnation.

15. Three oblations to the fire should then be offered with (hṛdayamantra. For the puṃsavana (rite) (for the determination of the sex of the foetus) (generally performed) in the third month it should be worshipped on the left side.

16. Three oblations containing drops of water should be offered with the head. The sīmantonnayana (rite) (parting of the hair on the head) (performed) in the sixth month should be done after having worshipped the fire.

17. Three oblations should be offered into the fire, after having determined the formation of its face and body by one who wants to restore or open up the face.

18. As before the jātakarma (the purificatory rite on the birth of a child) and ṛtukarma (the rite after the first menses) (usually performed) in the tenth month should be performed by kindling the fire with darbha etc. (Mental) bathing (should be done) to remove tḥe impurities of the pregnancy.

19. After having mentally contemplated the golden bracelet of the goddess one should worship with the hṛd (mantra). He should sprinkle with water consecrated by the mantra of the weapon for the immediate removal of impurities after the birth of a child.

20. The pitcher outside the receptacle for the sacred fire should be touched with the weapon (mantra) and (water) should be sprinkled over with the (mantra) of the armour. The ends of the kuśa which form the boundary (of the sacrificial pit) and placed on the north and east (should be washed with water) with (the mantra of) the weapon.

21. The periphery of a circle around (the fire) should be determined with the kuśa, previously consecrated with the weapon and hṛd mantra and then the cushions inscribed within it should be spread out by (reciting) the weapon mantra.

22. Five sacrificial sticks dipped in clarified butter should be offered into the fire with the repetition of the principal mantra. Brahmā, Śaṅkara, Viṣṇu and Ananta should be worshipped with the hṛd (mantra).

23. The gods located in the periphery (of that circle) should be worshipped in turn with unbroken rice. The gods Indra to Īśāna who are directly facing the fire and are having their places inside the circle should be worshipped in their own regions with the hṛd (mantra) “Protect this child (fire) by removing all obstacles, that might befall it.”

24-28. One should then make them hear this command of Śiva. He should then take the sacrificial spoon and the ladle, heat them on the fire and touch them with the base, middle and tips of the darbha with face downwards. In the place touched by the kuśa the three principles relating to the soul, knowledge and Śiva should be located duly with the sounds hāṃ, hrīṃ, hūṃ and saṃ. Having located the goddess in the sacrificial spoon and Śambhu (Śiva) in the sacrificial ladle with the hṛdaya mantra, their necks being girdled with three strings (of thread) and worshipped with flowers etc., kuśas should be placed on them and they should be placed on the right side.

29-32. Having gathered the clarified butter of the cow that has been purified by looking at it and after having contemplated one’s own Brahma form and carrying that clarified butter, one should wave it over the pit and move it round and round in the south-east. Again having contemplated the Viṣṇu form, one should hold the clarified butter and carry it towards the northeast, it should be offered to Viṣṇu (into the fire) with the tips of the kuśa and with the mantra of the head ending with svāhā. Similarly, one should conceive the form of Rudra (Śiva) as a point in one’s own navel and meditate. One should sprinkle water over that with two kuśas of the length of a span and held with the ring finger and thumb.

33. Water should be sprinkled over the fire in front (of the worshipper) (with the two kuśas) held (as above) accompanied by the mantra of the weapon. Similarly, the worshipper should again sprinkle water (over the fire) in front of him with the hṛd (mantra).

34. The burnt ashes of darbha collected with the hṛd (mantra) should be purified by striking with the implements and with the other lighted darbha it should be taken out and lighted.

35-36. The darbha burnt by the mantra of the weapon should again be thrown into the fire. Having put the knotted darbha of the length of a span in the clarified butter, one should contemplate the two for nights, the three arteries iḍā etc. in the clarified butter and offer the clarified butter divided into three parts as oblation unto fire with the sacrificial ladle in order with (the syllable) sva and . The remaining part of the clarified butter should also be offered to the fire successively.

37. Oṃ hāṃ oblation to god Agni. Oṃ hāṃ oblation to god Soma. Oṃ hāṃ oblation to the gods Agni and Soma. (The above oblations should be offered into the fire) for the purpose of opening (as it were) the three eyes of the fire god in his face.

38. The fourth oblation should be offered with the sacrificial ladle filled with clarified butter. Oṃ hāṃ oblation to firegod for the offering of a right sacrifice. After having consecrated in the six parts of one’s body, (the fire god) should be invoked with the dhenumudrā (posture with the fingers representing a cow).

39. Having covered it with the armour, the clarified butter should be protected by the mantra of the shaft. The clarified butter should be purified by sprinkling water and offering a drop of it into the fire along with the hṛd (mantra).

40. The rites of uniting the mouths of the fire should be performed as follows. Oṃ hāṃ oblations to Sadyojāta. Oṃ hāṃ oblations to Vāmadeva. Oṃ hāṃ oblations to Aghora. Oṃ haṃ oblations to Tatpuruṣa. Oṃ hāṃ oblations to Īśāna. Thus with oblations to one by one, one should do the union of the (different) faces.

41-42. Oṃ hāṃ oblations to Sadyojāta and Vāmadeva. Oṃ hāṃ oblations to Vāmadeva and Aghora. Oṃ hāṃ oblations to Aghora and Tatpuruṣa. Oṃ hāṃ oblations to Tatpuruṣa and Īśāna. Thus the union is done in order with the recitation of these mantras. With the flow of ghee from the sacrificial ladle taking it from the fire through the angular points such as northwest, south-west, and ending with north-east, one should unite the faces. Oṃ hāṃ oblations to Sadyojāta, Vāmadeva, Aghora, Tatpuruṣa and Īśāna. Thus its form and other faces should be contemplated in the face of one’s liking.

43. Having worshipped the fire in the north-east and offering three oblations with the mantra of the weapon, (the worshipper) with his entire soul should contemplate—“O Fire-God! you are the divine essence of Śiva.”

44. Having worshipped the parents with the hṛd (mantra) and left them aside, the final oblation which concludes the rite should be offered as laid down with the principal mantra ending with vauṣaṭ.

45. Then one should worship the resplendent, Supreme God attended upon by the attendants and retinue, after having invoked him in the lotus of his heart as before. He should offer waters of oblation to Śiva after having requested his permission.

46. Having established a union among the god of the sacrificial fire, god Śiva and his soul situated in his arteries, (the worshipper) should offer oblations with the principal mantra befitting one’s capacity and using one-tenth of mantras as a. supplement.

47. A kārṣika (a particular weight) of the clarified butter, milk and honey and a śukti (twice that of kārṣika) of the curd and a handful of sweet porridge (should be) offered.

48-49. The worshipper should offer as deemed fit the oblation with all the eatables, a handful of fried grains, three pieces of roots and an equal number of fruits. Five halfmouthfuls of cooked rice, bits of sugarcane of the length of a span and stems of sacrificial creepers measuring two fingers in length should be offered into the fire.

50. The oblations of flowers and leaves should be according to their own measure. The sacrificial twigs should measure ten fingers in length. The camphor, sandal, saffron, musk and an ointment made of camphor, aggallochum and kakkola in equal parts (should also be offered).

51. (The worshipper) should make an oblation of the kalāya (a leguminous seed) and guggulu (a fragrant (gum-resin) of the size of the kernel of the jujube fruit and eight parts of the roots as laid down.

52. The oblation should thus be completed with the (principal mantra) brahmabīja (oṃ) with sacrificial ladles filled with clarified butter holding the ladle in such a way as to have its cup part downwards.

53-56. Having placed a flower at the head of the spoon and then holding it first with the left hand and then with the right band and (showing) the mudrā denoting the conch he should stand up half erect with feet evenly placed and eyes fixed upon the end of the ladle and holding the base of ladle pressed against his navel. Then one should rouse up the stream of his pure consciousness through the suṣumnā (nerve centre below the spiral chord) and carry it to the base of his left breast vigilantly and tell the principal mantra ending with the vauṣaṭ in a low tone. The -clarified butter should be offered having a flow of the measure of the barley.

57. Water for rinsing the mouth, sandal, betals etc. should be offered. (The worshipper) should meditate in his greatness with devotion and then offer salutation.

58-59. After having worshipped the fire well with (the mantra of) the weapon ending with phaṭ and showing the saṃhāra mudrā (the posture of the fingers conveying destruction) and uttering "Pardon me", the gods who reside in the periphery (of the mystic circle) should be placed in the lotus of the heart with extreme devotion with the hṛd mantra after taking a breath.

60. All the edibles (got ready for the worship) should be taken and kept in two circular diagrams. Offerings should be -done both inside and outside in the vicinity of sacrificial pit in the south-east.

61. Oṃ hāṃ oblations to Rudras in the east and in the same way to the mothers in the south. Hāṃ, oblations to the gaṇas on the west. This offering is for them.

62. And hāṃ to the yakṣas on the north, hāṃ to the planets on the north-east, hāṃ to the asuras on the south-east, hāṃ oblations to the rākṣasas in the south-west.

63. And hāṃ to the nāgas on the north-west, and to the stars at the centre. Hāṃ oblations to the constellations in the south-east, and then to the Viśve (Viśvedevas) in the south-west.

64-65. It is said that the offering for the guardian of the ground is inside and outside in the west. (Oblations should be made) to Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirṛti, Varuṇa, Vāyu, Kubera and Īśāna in the east etc. outside in the second maṇḍala. Salutations to Brahmā on the north-east.

66. Oblations to Viṣṇu in the south-west. The offerings for the crows etc. (should be) outside. The mantras for the two offerings in one’s soul should be by the saṃhāramudrā (posture with fingers indicating destruction).

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