Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Pujavidhi included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Pūjāvidhi

Chapter 155 of Agni Purāṇa states the various acts of worship that should be done daily and they are the acts of worship observed by all brahmacārins during the time of Manusmṛti.

You should rise up at Brāhmamuhūrta. Finish your excretory routine sitting facing north during daytime and facing south during night time. If it is at dusk or dawn it should be done as during day time. It should never be done in public roads, water or grass. Wash with sand after your excretions and then wash your teeth. After that take your bath. Baths are of six kinds: Nityasnāna, Naimittikasnāna, Kāmyasnāna, Kriyāṅgasnāna, Malakarṣaṇasnāna and Kriyāsnāna. Any religious act done without a bath is of no use. Therefore you should bathe early. Well-water is good for bathing, water from a fountain is better, water of a lake is much better, river-water is still better and water of a tīrtha is still better. The water of the river Gaṅgā is the best.

After washing after excretions you should enter into the waters and wash again and then wash your body. While washing you should recite the following mantras "Hiraṇyavarṇaḥ, Śanno devīḥ, āpo hi ṣṭhā and idamāpaḥ." You should submerge yourself in the waters and recite the mantras there under the water. You should also recite Aghamarṣaṇa sūkta or the Ṛk named Drupada. Gāyatrī should be chanted specially. After the Japa you should rub dry with a cloth your head and body and then offer water to the devas and manes. Then you should worship with water reciting Puruṣasūkta.

You should give way to anybody carrying a load, a pregnant woman and preceptors. Never look at the Sun at the time of rising or setting. Never look at the reflection of the moon in waters. Never look at a nude woman. Do not peep into a well. Never trample over clothes and sacred ashes. Never enter the bedroom or the treasure room of another man. Those who rub mud blocks against mud block, cut their teeth or bite their nails will perish. Never enter a house through any other opening than its proper gate. Never interrupt when others are talking. Never use the clothes of another man. Tell everybody 'Bhadram' 'Bhadram' (well well). Never speak to displease anybody. Never walk on the shadow of an individual. Do not pass through the space between two respectable persons sitting and talking. Do not look at falling stars. Never mention the name of another river while in a river. Do not scratch your body with both your hands. Never cross a river before offering water to the devas and manes. Do not throw your excretions into the waters. Never bathe naked. After bath you should pray to gods for your welfare. Never take out a garland from your body by yourself. Avoid dust from the hooves of donkeys sticking to your body. Never laugh at low-caste people, nor live with them nor live in their places. Never live in a place where there are no rivers, doctors or a king. Nor live in a place ruled by barbarous people or a woman or by a number of people together. Never talk with women during their period of menses. If you have talked with them think of Viṣṇu. Never laugh, sneeze or yawn without covering your mouth. Wise man should hide the disgrace to one superior to himself and protect the words of the superior or his own. Never encourage too much activity of the senses nor should you check the pressure of excretions. Do not belittle even the smallest of ailments or the smallest of enemies. If you walk through public roads you should wash yourself. Never walk bearing water or fire. Do not hiss in the presence of respectable and virtuous people. Do not place one leg over the other leg. Never speak directly or indirectly things which are unpleasant to others. Avoid contempt of Vedas, Kings, sages, science and devas. Do not be jealous of women nor do place confidence in them. Always listen to virtuous talks, be devoted to the gods and observe righteous acts daily. On your birthday worship the moon, gods and brahmins. Never take an oil bath on the fourth (caturthī), sixth (ṣaṣṭhī) and eighth (aṣṭamī) days of lunar fortnight. Throw away your excretions far away from home. Never be unfriendly with venerable and noble people.

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