The Agni Purana

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

This page describes Propitiatory rite for the Planets (grahayajna) which is chapter 167 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 167 - Propitiatory rite for the Planets (grahayajña)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Fire-god said:

1. I shall again describe (the mode of performing) the propitiation of the planets [i.e., grahayajña] for the sake of prosperity, peace and success. The propitiation of planets [i.e., grahayajña] is of three kinds—oblations ten thousand times, lakh times and crore times.

2-7. After having invoked planets in a circle at the north-east of the fire-pit with the sacred syllables, Jupiter (should be located) at the north (of that circle), Mercury at the northeast, Venus at the east, Moon at the south-east, Mars at the south and the Sun in the middle. Saturn (should be located) at the west, Rāhu, the ascending node at the south-west and Ketu, the descending node at the north-west. Īśa (lord Śiva), Umā, Guha, Viṣṇu, Brahmā, Indra, Yama (god of death), Kālaka and Citragupta[1] are the presiding deities (of the places where the planets have been located). The fire, water, earth, Hari (lord Viṣṇu), Indra, the presiding deity of the east, Prajeśa (the lord of men), Serpent (god) and Brahmā are the subordinate deities respectively. Gaṇeśa, Durgā (the consort of Śiva), wind, sky and Aśvinī gods (are also the gods). They should be worshipped with their respective basic vedic syllables. The twigs of arka, palāśa, khadira, apāmārga, pippala, udumbara, śamī, dūrvā and kuśa should duly be offered in the fire mixed with honey, clarified butter and curd one hundred and eight times.

8. After having filled one, eight and four pitchers, the final oblation (should be made). Then the vasordhārā[2] should be offered and the fees paid.

9-10. The sacrificer should be anointed with (the waters of) the four (pitchers) along with sacred syllables. (The following benediction should be made)—“May the celestials—Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśvara, Vāsudeva, Jagannātha, lord Saṅkaṛṣaṇa Pradyumna and Aniruddha be for your victory.”

11-13. May Indra, Fire-god, Yama, Nairṛta, Varuṇa, Pavana (wind), Kubera (lord of wealth), Śiva, Śeṣa (the lord of serpents) along with Brahmā and the gods of the directions always protect you all. May the (divine) mothers, the chaste wives Kīrti, Lakṣmī, Dhṛti, Medhā, Puṣṭi, Śraddhā, Kriyā, Mati, Buddhi, Lajjā, Vapus, Śānti, Tuṣṭi and Kānti who have gathered here anoint you.

14. The planets Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rāhu and Ketu, who have been appeased, anoint you.

15-18. May the celestials, demons, gandharvas, yakṣas, rākṣasas, serpents, sages, Manus, cows, the divine mothers, the wives of gods, trees, serpents, progeny of Diti, heavenly nymphs, attendant gods, weapons, scriptures, kings, vehicles, herbs, gems, the constituents of time, rivers, oceans, mountains, holy waters (places), clouds and the west-flowing rivers all these anoint you for the attainment of all desires. After having adorned, one should then give gold, cow, food, earth etc.

19. O Rohiṇī! The Tawny-coloured! You are to be worshipped by all gods and hence you are made up of all holy spots and gods. Hence you give me tranquillity.

20. O Conch! You are the meritorious among all merits, auspicious among all auspiciousness. You are borne by lord Viṣṇu always. Hence (you) give me tranquillity.

21. O Righteousness! You make the universe rejoice in the form of the bull. You are the location of eight forms.[3] Hence you give me tranquillity.

22. O Golden embryo of the Fire god or Sun that is lying imbedded inside the golden egg! You give me appeasement that yields limitless meritorious fruits.

23. The pair of yellow cloth is the favourite of lord Vāsudeva. Hence lord Viṣṇu (would be pleased) by making a gift of the same. Hence give me tranquillity.

24. You are lord Viṣṇu in the form of Fish from which the nectar has come. You have the moon and the sun as the vehicle always. Hence you get me tranquillity.

25. O Cow of the colour of (lord) Keśava (Viṣṇu), on account of the fact that you are the entire earth that always removes the sin, you give me tranquillity.

26. (O Iron) On account of (the fact that) all deeds as well as weapons such as the plough are always subject to your control, you get me tranquillity.

27. On account of (the fact that) you are always the origin of fire and remain as a constituent of all sacrifices, you get me tranquillity.

28. Because the fourteen worlds remain in the limbs of the cow, let me have good in this world as well as in the next.

29. On account of the fact that the beds of Keśava and Śiva are not empty let my bed also be not empty in every birth being given (now).

30. Just as the celestials are established in all gems so also let the celestials get me tranquillity by my gift of gems.

31. Just as the other gifts are not equal to one-sixteenth (of the merit) of making a gift of land, may I have peace by the gift of the land.

32-41. (The performance of) sacrifice (to appease) the planets with ten thousand oblations with the payment of the fee (secures) victory in battle. At the time of marriage, festivities, sacrifices, rites for the installation and for the fulfilment of desires, it is said (that one should do) the two—the oblations a lakh times and crore times. In the (oblation) ten thousand times a pit of one cubit length and another pit having a girdle and hole (should be made ready) at (the exact spot for building) the house and pavilion. (There should be) four sacrificial priests. In the (oblation for a) lakh times there may be the self alone. These are ten times meritorious. (The pit may be a square of) four cubits or two cubits (long). Here Tārkṣya (the bird vehicle of lord Viṣṇu) should be worshipped more. (He should be addressed as) “You are the vehicle of highly adorable god and your body is composed of the sound of Sāman (melodies). You are always the remover of things. Hence you get me tranquillity. As before the sacrificial pit should be sanctified and the oblation lakh times performed. The vasordhārā[4] should be given then. (Then) bed, ornaments and other things should be offered (as gift). There may be ten or eight sacrificial priests in the performance of oblations lakh times. (By the performance of this) one would get sons, food, kingdom, conquest, enjoyment and liberation. One who performs oblation a crore times after making different gifts, would kill his enemy as a result of it. The sacrificial pit (may be a square) of four or eight cubits and there may be twelve sacrificial priests. (There may be) twenty-five or sixteen (priests) and four (?)[5] on a cloth at the entrance. One who does oblation crore times gets the desired things and reaches the world of lord Viṣṇu. The oblation (may be done) with the sacred syllables of planets, or the gāyatrī or those of Viṣṇu, or those addressed to the fire god or those of Śiva or the well-known vedic (hymns). One gets the benefit of (doing) aśvamedha (sacrifice) by (making oblations with) sesamum, barley, ghee and grains.

42-44. (In the oblations intended) to cause enmity or sorcery the sacrificial pit should be a triangular one. The twigs (should be offered) with the left hand together with bones of the eagle and fire by (those) who contemplate evil for their enemy and who have red dress and untied hair. “Let the person who hates have enemies. Huṃ phaṭ”. This is the (sacred syllable). The image (of the enemy) made of flour should be cut with a knife and the enemy should be killed. Or one ball of rice should be offered. One who does so would go to heaven.

Footnotes and references:


An inmate of the world of Yama recording the vices and virtues of mankind.


A profuse oblation of ghee offered in the fire through a long bamboo or plough.


Relating to Śiva, being the five elements, sun, moon and the sacrificer.


See p. 468 fn. 1.


The text is cryptic, The exact significance is not known.

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