The Agni Purana

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

This page describes Appeasing rites for portents (utpata-shanti) which is chapter 263 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 263 - Appeasing rites for portents (utpāta-śānti)

Puṣkara said:

1. The śrīsūkta of each Veda is known to be capable of increasing fortune. The fifteen hymns (beginning with) hiraṇyavarṇāṃ hariṇīṃ[1] (are considered to be conferring) fortune.

2. The four hymns ratheṣvakṣeṣu vṛṣabha[2] in the Yajur (Veda) (are said to confer) fortune. The Sāma hymns srāvantīyaṃ[3] is the śrīsūkta in the Sāmaveda.

3. In the same way, (the hymn) śriyaṃ dhātamayi dhehi[4] in the Atharvaveda is said (to be conferring fortune). One who repeats the śrīsūkta with devotion and offers oblation gets fortune.

4. One will get fortune by offering oblations of lotuses, bilva (leaves), clarified butter and sesamum. The puruṣasūkta[5] is the same for each one of the Vedas. It gives everything.

5. If libation of water is presented with (the recitation of) each one of the hymns, it will make one free from sin. One will destroy his sins by offering flowers to Viṣṇu with each one (of the hymns) after bathing.

6. One would get all the pleasures by giving away a fruit with each one (of the hymns) after bathing. By the repetition of the Puruṣasūkta major and minor sins are destroyed.

7. One gets everything by repeating the kṛcchra (hymns) and offering oblations (with them) after becoming clean by bathing. Three other appeasing (hymns) besides the eighteen appeasing (hymns) are excellent.

8-10. Amṛtā, abhayā and saumyā destory all the calamities. Amṛtā (is governed) by all the gods. Abhayā (is governed) by Brahmā and Saumyā by all gods. Any one (of them will) confer all the pleasures. O Foremost among Bhṛgus! The wristlet with the Varuṇa (hymn) is to be prepared for the abhayā appeasement. Similarly śatakāṇḍa is (for the wristlet) for amṛtā and conch for saumyā. In order to accomplish (the desired results) the respective hymns of the deities should be used for the wristlets.

11-13. These are capable of destroying the calamities relating to the heavens, atmosphere and earth. Listen to me! (I shall describe) the supernatural events relating to the heavens, atmosphere and the earth. You learn from me that (the phenomena) relating to the heavens are caused by the ruling asterisms of the day. (Those) of the sky are the fall of a meteor, scorching glow in the directions, the halo around the sun or moon, (the appearance of) fairy towns and rains. (The phenomena) relating to the earth are the extraordinary events affecting the movable and immovable things and earthquake.

14. The portent will not bear any fruit if it rains within seven days. A portent without any appeasement within three years is very dangerous.

15-16a. The images of gods will dance, shake, glow, shout, weep, perspire and laugh. (These are portents.) The changes in the images can be pacified by worshipping (Lord) Prajāpati (Brahmā) and offering oblations.

16b-17. When there is blaze in a country without fire, with loud noise and without fuel that burns, that country will be tormented by kings. O Son of Bhṛgu! The change in the fire is appeased with the hymns of Fire (god).

18. When the trees bear fruit out of season, ooze out milk and blood, one should do the appeasing rite for the portents after worshipping (Lord) Śiva.

19-20a. Both excessive rains and draught are considered to give rise to famine. Rain occurring consecutively for three days out of season is known (to be a portent) of danger. The change in (the pattern of) rain is nullified by the worship of Parjanya (Rain god), Moon and Sun.

20b-21. If rivers recede from the cities or come near them, if they flow gushing forth or get dried up, then the Varuṇa hymn should be recited as also in the case of deterioration in the (state of) the reservoirs.

22-23a. The women may deliver prematurely or may not deliver at the appropriate time. They may deliver children with deformities or deliver twins etc. One should worship the women and brahmins in the case of such deviations in the delivery (as above).

23b-25a. If a mare or she-elephant or cow gives birth to twins or to deformed younger or to ones different from the species, it will die within six months. In the case of deformed youngs there will be danger from hostile forces. The recitation and oblation as well as worship of brahmins should be done (in such cases).

25b-26a. If vehicles run without being yoked (to steeds), if (vehicles) yoked (to steeds) do not run, or trumpet sounds (are heard) in the sky, then it forebodes great impending danger.

26b-30a. If wild animals and birds enter village and those of village enter forest; land (animals) enter water and water (animals) enter land, vixens howl at the threshold of a palace, cocks crow at pradoṣa (the time preceding the night fall); vixens howl at the residence or at the rising Sun; dove enters the house, carnivorous birds stoop down on the head; bees make sweet (sound); crows mate in sight; strong arches of palace, garden, door-ways, corridor and mansions fall without an obvious cause, it forebodes evil. (It forebodes) the death of the king.

30b-31. If the quarters are filled by dust or smoke, if (the country is) under the influence of the descending node, if spots in the moon and sun are visible, or if the stars and planets are not to be seen, it also indicates fear.

32. Where the fire does not glow, the waterpots ooze, there is the fear of death and witchcraft as the result of the portents. The portent is appeased by the worship of brahmins and gods, recitation of hymns and offer of oblations.

Footnotes and references:


ṚV. Kh. 5.87.1a.


Vidh. 65.7.


Cf. śrāyanta iva, Vaj. Sam. 33.41a.


Āp. Śr. 6.20.2.


ṚV. 10.90.1a.

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