Expiatory Rites in Keralite Tantra

by T. S. Syamkumar | 2017 | 59,416 words

This page relates ‘Expiatory Rites in Rauravottaragama’ of the study on Expiatory Rites in Sanskrit literature and ancient Indian religion and society, with special reference to Keralite Tantra. Further references to texts include those found in Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism as well as Dharmashastra literature. This study also investigates temple records and inscriptions of Kerala in order to demonstrate the connection between social life and expiatory rites and its evolution.

1.6. Expiatory Rites in Rauravottarāgama

Rauravottara is an Upāgama of Rauravāgama. The name of this Āgama can be seen in the list of twenty eight main Śaivāgmas. This text arranged in the form of a dialogue between sage Ruru and lord Śiva. This text deals with the division of the temples, ceremonies for the installation of the temple, installation of the deities Gaṇeśa, Dakṣiṇā-mūrti, Viṣṇu, Brahmā, Durgā etc. This Āgama also elucidates the installation of Cāmuṇḍā and Kālī. The Rauravottara describes the expiations related merely to the deity Reṇukā. In this section the expiatory rites are typically connected with festivals and related ceremonies. The causes of impurities are mainly the lapses and omissions in temple festivals. The expiations are due to the unavailability of vehicle in the festival, deficiency of materials in ceremonies, omission of Mantras, falling down of flagstaff, omission of Dvāra Pot, falling down of a pot, and omission of Bali. In such conditions Rauravottara suggests Diśāhoma, Śāntihoma, recitation of Reṇukāmantra, Astramantra, Gāyatrī of Reṇukā, Aṅgamantra, Śakti-mantra, Sūryamantra, Candramantra, Śāntimantra, gift of cow and Dāsī, Puṇyāha and Padahoma for the sanitization. As well Rauravottara frightens the offenders of the expiatory rites in the name of hell (Naraka), death of children, destruction of village, destruction of King, annihilation of virgins, destruction of plants, starvation, and fear of death.[1] As a result these concepts created strong dreads of fear of sin and led to create an immense anxiety about acts of expiation.

Footnotes and references:


See Rauravottarāgma, pp.126-131.

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