Expiatory Rites in Keralite Tantra

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

This page relates ‘Expiatory Rites in Prayogamanjari’ 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.

1.1. Expiatory Rites in Prayogamañjarī

Prayogamañjarī, composed between 10th and 11th century CE,[1] is an earlier treatise on Keralite Tantra authored by Ravi a member of Māṭharakula.[2] Īśānagurudeva (Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati) and Śaṅkara, the commentator of Tantrasamuccaya have authentically quoted the words of Prayogamañjarī. This text is also known as Śaivāgamasiddhāntasāra, the essence of the principles of Śaiva Āgamas. Prayogamañjarī is an Ekadevata Pratiṣṭhātantra manual, in which only the worship of Śiva and related subject is described.

The twenty-first Paṭala of Prayogamañjarī converses the expiatory rites. It elucidates only temple related expiations. The impurities and bad obstacles which adversely affect the temple worship and the expiations to be done for the removal of these are described in this text. The impurities like occurrences of birth, death, presence of urine and blood in the sanctum sanctorum or temple premises and entering of Caṇḍāla, lunatic person, dog and outcastes (Patitas) in the temple compound are the main causes of expiatory rites. And also the perspiration of Liṅga, presence of worm in sanctum sanctorum, chanting of trivial Mantras (Kṣudramantra) and heretic (Pāṣaṇḍa) hymns also demand expiation.[3]

Various types of expiatory rites are explained in Prayogamañjarī. Some of them are:

  1. Khanana,
  2. Haraṇa,
  3. Pūraṇa,
  4. Prokṣaṇa,
  5. Lepanaprāyaścitta,
  6. Śāntihoma,
  7. Astrayāga,
  8. Nandipūja,
  9. Astrahoma,
  10. Dakṣiṇā,
  11. Annadāna,
  12. Snapana,
  13. Puṇyāha,
  14. Kṣālana,
  15. Plāvana,
  16. Snāna,
  17. Mārjana,
  18. Dhārā,
  19. Avagāhana etc.[4]

Khanana (digging) is done for the expiation of occurrence of birth, death, presence of urine and blood in temple. In the part of Khanana, polluted soils are thrown away from the temple. The ritual of the removal of this soil is called Haraṇa. Dahana (burning with fire) is also a part of Khanana. After the performance of digging the polluted place, it is purified with burning fire. After the performance of Dahana, the polluted area is filled with the urine of cow, the water sanctified by washing the feet of Brahmin and Pañcagavya (the mixture of milk, ghee, curd, urine of cow and cow dung is called Pañcagavya) and also new soil from the river or soil under the Darbha grass. Prokṣaṇa is the sprinkling the polluted area with holy water like Pañcagavya by chanting the Mantra of Aghora. At the same time the Homa sacrifice is also performed with the chanting of Śivaśastramantra. Various types of Homa sacrifices are elucidated in Prayogamañjarī for purification. For this expiation, offering of thousand sticks of custard tree, Havis (cooked rice), ghee, thousand sticks of Apāmārga (a medicinal plant) and also sesame, Māṣa, Yava, Durva (a kind of grass) is done to the fire.[5] For averting the above described mistakes Prayogamañjarī recommends Abhiṣeka (anointment) of Liṅga using Pañcagavya, Kaṣāya and Gandhodaka.[6]

For purification, Prayogamañjarī also recommended the chanting of Mantras like:

  1. Vyomavyāpī,
  2. Mṛtyuñjaya,
  3. Kṣurika,
  4. Pañcabraman,
  5. Pāśupata,
  6. Rudramantra,
  7. Mantras of Śrīkaṇḍa and Aghora.[7]

For the avoidance of bad effect of mistakes and for prosperity, Prayogamañjarī suggests Lepanaprāyaścitta.[8] Mixture of materials like Candana, Karpūra, Kuṅkuma and Nāgakesara is used for Lepana (smearing the Linga).[9] Śāntihoma, Prasannapūja and giving Dakṣiṇā to the Guru are recommended for averting the bad effects of using trivial and heretic Mantras.[10] Astrayāga is suggested to be performed for all types of obstacles. It is said that Astrayāga is importantly exhorted in Śaivāgamas.[11]

If the Liṅga falls down during the Bali ritual or the spectacular procession, expiation is to be done. The smearing with cow dung water and saffron water to the Liṅga and the performance of Puṇyāha are the expiation. Then sacrificial Homa and Snapana are also to be performed.[12] Prayogamañjarī recommended Śāntihoma and Nandipūja for averting the bad effects of falling down of the flag post.[13] If the Kalaśa with the sanctified water breaks down, it has to be replaced with another pot and then a Homa sacrifice with the Astra Mantra is to be performed. After the Astrahoma, the Śāntihoma is to be performed with gifting a cow and giving of food (Annadāna).[14] Expiation for falling down and breaking of Liṅga is different from the expiation for portable Liṅga. Śāntihoma and Dakṣiṇā are considered as the main expiations. For the atonement of averting impurities, Prayogamañjarī recommends various valuable things to be gifted to the Guru. They are gold, Dāsī, brass vessel, cow and silver.[15]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

See Sangamesan K.M., op.cit., p. 82-83; Sarma, S.A.S., “The Eclectic Paddhatis of Kerala”, p. 321; Unni, N.P., Introduction to Tantrasamuccaya, p. 23; Keralīyasaṃskṛtasāhitya-caritra, Vol. I, p. 200; Raman Nambutiri, E.V., Introduction to Tantrasamuccaya, Oriental Research Institute and Manuscripts Library, pp. 84-85. Here Sanderson asserted thus: “I am unable to accept the date tacitly assigned to Īśānaśiva on which this inference rests; the only firm evidence for Ravi’s date is that his Prayogamañjarī was known to Śaṅkaran Nampūtiri, who quotes it in his commentary on the Tantrasamuccya of his father and teacher Cennas Nārāyaṇan Nampūtiri, who tells us that he was born in Kali 4529 that is this AD 1427/8 (Tantrasamuccya, 12. 215.). It was composed, then, not later than fifteenth century. But it is not likely to have been written very close in time to Śaṅkaran Nampūtiri, since that the author also knows the Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati which also quotes Prayogamañjarī. The Prayogamañjarī reaches us with the commentary (Pradyota) by Trivikrama.” “The Śaiva Literature”, p. 29. fn. 105.

[2]:

For a detailed discussion of the birth place of Ravi, see Sangamesan, K.M., op.cit., pp.73-78.

[3]:

prāsādasthe mṛte vā rudhiravinihite mūtraviṣṭhādiduṣṭe prāsāde prāṅkaṇe vā'pyupahatibhirataḥ sūtikādyaiḥ praduṣṭe |
khātvā hastapramāṇaṃ kṣititalamabhitaḥ pāṃsumuddhṛtya dagdhvā gomūtrairviprapādapragalitasalilaiḥ pūrayet pañcagavyaiḥ || Prayogamañjarī
, 21.22.
caṇḍālonmattakādyaiśśvabhiradhamajanairdūṣite sparśanādyailiṃṅge svedaprayukte kṛminicayayute dhūmayukte vivarṇe |
kṣudrairmantraiḥ prayukte'pyabhicaraṇavidhau pūjane dīrghalupte viddhe pāṣaṇḍimantraiścalanavinihite tatra śāntiṃ vidadhyāt || Prayogamañjarī
, 21.34.

[4]:

Prayogamañjarī, 21.41, 45, 46 & 63.

[5]:

Prayogamañjarī, 21.23-32.

[6]:

Prayogamañjarī, 21.35.

[7]:

Prayogamañjarī, 21.36.

[8]:

lepanaṃ sarvadoṣaghnaṃ śrīkaraṃ puṣṭidaṃ param | Prayogamañjarī, 21.39.

[9]:

Prayogamañjarī, 21.38-41.

[10]:

Prayogamañjarī, 21.47-53.

[11]:

utpāteṣu vināyakāśrayavaśādanyeṣu vighneṣvapi
prāpteṣūgrarujādiṣu praśamanaṃ teṣāñca sampatkaram |
kuryāduttamamastrayāgamuditaṃ śaivāgameṣu sphuṭam
. || Prayogamañjarī, 21. 54. Also See, Prayogamañjarī, 21. 51-61.

It describes the root Mantra, visualization of Astra with Lokapāla-Astra, and Bhūtabali as the part of the Astrayāga. The Prayogamañjarī does not give the idea of Kalaśa worship for the Astrayāga. Indeed Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati referred the special ancillary Kalaśa worship (Īśānaśivagurudevapaddhati suggested that this pot should not be used to anoint on the idol) and smearing of incenses on the idol as part of Astrayāga. The details of Astrayāga also illustrates in Kiraṇāgama, 25.7. The Uttakāraṇāgama, 85 describes an Astrarāja Pratiṣṭa. The Somaśambhupaddhati elucidate an Astrābhiśeka (Vol. 3, p. 256) and Pañcāvaraṇastava gives an Astradhyāna (visualization of Astra).

[12]:

Prayogamañjarī, 21.63-72.

[13]:

dhvajasya patanaṃ yatra tatrasthapatanaṃ tathā |
śāntiṃ tatra prakṛrvīta nandimabhyarcya mantravid || Prayogamañjarī
, 21.75.

[14]:

Prayogamañjarī, 21.76-79.

[15]:

calite patite liṅge sūtre saṃyojya pūrvavat |
svāsthitaṃ sthapayitvā tu prāyaścittaṃ samācaret ||
liṅgaṃ pramādāccalitaṃ śivasya yāṃ yāṃ samāśritya diśañcatiṣṭhet |
śāntiñca tāntāṃ gurudakṣiṇāñca pratyekamevaṃ parikalpayecca ||
aindryāñca śāntiṃ vidadhīta puṃsā mātaṅganāthaṃ gurave pradadyāt |
śāntiṃ vidadhyāddhṛdayena cānale dadyātsuvarṇaṃ gurudakṣiṇāñca ||
yāmyāmaghoreṇa tathaiva śāntiṃ kuryāt pradadyānmahiṣīṃ gurośca |
śāntiṃ vidadhyācchikhayā nirṛtyāṃ cchāgañca dāsīṃ gurave pradadyāt ||
sadyena kuryādatha vāruṇīñca śāntiṃ pradadyādathamauktikañca |
śāntiṃ vidadhyādatha varmaṇā'nile dadyādguroḥ pittalabhājanañca ||
vāmena saumyāṃ vidadhīta śāntiṃ dadyācya dhenuṃ gurudakṣiṇāñca |
īśānadiksthāṃ vidadhīta śāntiṃ īśena raupyaṃ gurave pradadyāt || Prayogamañjarī
, 21.81-89.

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