The Agni Purana

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

This page describes The benefits of wearing the rosary beads which is chapter 325 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 325 - The benefits of wearing the rosary beads

[Full title: The benefits of wearing the rosary beads and the counting of the formulae with them]

The Lord said:

1-3. One should wear a garland of rosary beads even or uneven (in number) and firm. One may wear beads having single face, three or five faces or as available. Beads having two, four or six faces, unbroken and having sharp thorns are commendable. One should wear the four-faced (bead) on the right hand and the tuft etc. (By this) one not observing celibacy would become a celibate, and a person not observing religious ablution would get the vow fulfilled. Otherwise one should wear a golden ring after having worshipped with the formula of Śiva.

4-7a (They are divided into four) classes (gocaras): Śiva, Śikhā, Jyoti and Sāvitra. Gocara means the family. A person who has been initiated is to be known from that. The Prājāpatya, Mahīpāla, Kapota and Granthika (belong) to the Śiva (class of beads). The Kuṭilas, Vetālas, Padmas and Haṃsas (belong) to the Śikhā class (of beads). The Dhṛtarāṣṭras, Bakas, Kākas and Gopālas belong to (the class of beads) known as Jyoti. The Kuṭikas, Sāraṭhas, Guṭikās and Daṇḍins (belong) to the family of Sāvitrī. Thus there are four varieties in each one of these (classes).

7b-13. I shall describe the constituents of the formulae by which the formula would yield perfection. The formula should be written on the ground omitting the kūṭa and ṣaṇḍa (class of letters). The component letters of the formula should be separated (one by one) and the nasal sound should be added separately. (The letters) in the name of the votary should be separated. The letters (in the name) of the votary should be added at the beginning and end of the formula. (These letters) from the name (of the votary) should be reckoned as siddha. (successful), sādhya (capable of being accomplished), susiddha (successful easily) and ari (hostile). A formula having the siddha (letters) at the beginning and end would give hundred percent results immediately. (A formula having) susiddha (letters) at the beginning and end should be deemed (to have the same result) as the siddha (letters). (A votary) should avoid at a distance the ari (letters) at the beginning and end. The siddha and susiddha (formulae) should be used for (rites of) same nature and the ari and sādhya (should also be used) similarly. The presence of thousands of hostile (letters) in the middle would not be a defect in a formula having siddha (letters) at the beginning and end.

14-17a. In the well-known formulae such as māyā[1], prasāda[2] and praṇava[3], there are no divisions. The formula presided over by Brahmā (is known) as Brahmavidyā. Those known as vaiṣṇava (pertaining to Viṣṇu) are sacred to Viṣṇu. The formulae of Rudra are called Vīras. Those pertaining to Indra are dear to Īśvara. Those presided over by the serpents would make the serpents motionless. Those relating to the Yakṣas (a kind of semi-divine beings) are fond of ornaments. Those sacred to the Gandharvas are excessively (fond of) music etc. Those relating to the demons are dreadful. (The formulae) of the goblins are covered by filth. One should examine a formula and then impart (it).

l7b-20a. (There are) formulae beginning with one letter and ending with phaṭ upto those having fifty letters. The formula (known as) bālā consists of twenty letters. That (known as) Rudra consists of twenty-two (letters). The formulae having more than that number upto three hundred (letters) are known as vṛddha (expanded). The letters beginning with a and ending with ha represent the white and dark fortnights. Among the ten vowels omitting the anusvāra (nasal sound) and visarga (aspirated sound) the shorter (vowels) represent the phases of the white fortnight and the longer ones those of the dark fortnight.

20b-21. (The incantations) for peace etc. (should be practised) when (the Sun) has risen. Those for subjugation (should be done) when (the Sun) is on the move. The incantation for creating dissension (should be practised) when (the Sun) has completed the revolution at the twilight periods and those for stupefaction (done) at sunset. The spells for peace (should be practised) when (the wind) flows through the Iḍā (one of the arteries) and those for attracting (a person) (should be done) when (the wind flows) through the piṅgalā (one of the arteries).

22-23. (Charms) for destruction and driving away (and such other results) (should be practised) at the time of the equinox. The incantations are thus of five kinds. The principle of earth (remains) on the lower part of the lip, lustre above, water in between, ether on the sides, wind outside and the great lord pervading everywhere. One has to practise the spell for paralysing in the earth (principle), appeasement in water, subjugation etc. in (the principle of) light, (spell) for driving away (a man) in (the principle of) wind and the auspicious moment in (the principle of) ether.

Footnotes and references:


See p. 888 fn. 2.


The syllables haṃ, hauṃ.


The syllable Oṃ.

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