Srivaishnavam Practices Essence
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Essence of Srivaishnavam Practices - Abdapoorthi, Ayush Sooktha Homam

Aum, Sweet Om, The PraNava Mantra of Universe

 

Abda Poorthi, Ayush Homam

TRS Iyengar

The purpose, benefits that one gets by performing the Ayush Homam

 

Homam (also known as Havan in Hindi) is a religious ritual performed by Hindus in general and Brahmins in particular, to invoke the blessings of specific Gods and Goddesses. It begins with the performer known as Karta (devotee) invoking Agni (God of fire) and inviting him to carry the offerings into the fire, to the concerned deity. The Gods, pleased with the offerings grant the wishes of the devotees in the form of benefits like longevity, good health, wealth, success in business, ward off evils, get rid of enemity, gain prosperity, progeny etc., etl. In fact, the invoking of Fire God is (i.e. Agni) is traditionally considered as the carrier of our prayers and offerings to the concerned deity/devatha. It is said that since these devathas are so powerful, they are not easily reachable to the ordinary man. The Agni acts as an easy and approachable intermediary who can pass on our devotion and prayer to the devathas. The Agni along with his two brothers, takes our offerings to the Gods, through the powerful Vedic recitals of specific Mantra, given for each ritual.

 

The Ayush Homam is one such, performed on the completion of first year of birth Nakshatra (note - not as per birth date, but the day of constellation that falls on the same Indian Calender month in the following year of birth). Primarily to pray for longevity and prosperity of life  this Homam is performed.  Ayush = meaning age or tenure of life, and Homam, the invocation of the deity through a consecrated fire. Though it is usually performed on the First birthday (Star-wise) of the baby. it can even be performed anytime later during one’s lifetime.

After the purification of the place where the Ayush Homam is held, i.e. Graha Suddhi Punyahavachanam, the priests are invited to invoke the Lord Brahma, through their prayers. The recitals are at least with three such priests, chanting the Ayush Sooktham in unison. Then, the Lords of birth Nakshatra, Family Diety (Kula Devatha)  are invoked. Basically, this starts with the Kumbam known as Khalash and then the same is repeated again with the Holy Fire. This can be compared to the respect with which we treat our guests and ensure they feel special. Similarly, the God is also treated in a special way. The perform sits facing east, where the Agni Kundam is kept in front of him in the centre. 

The purpose of performing Aayush Homam is that, when a child is born, the possibilities of having the vibrations of previous birth and might identify the previous birth's contacts. To remove that from the present body, they apply certain herbal sticks, that will heat the body and mind, which will remove the poorva jenma karma, and make the child fit to live this generation. In The Holy fire they offer cooked rice, ghee made out of cow's milk and some samithu known as wooden sticks of smaller size. While offering these, they recite and chant the Ayush Sooktham for a minimum three times, that contain 8 stanzas.

Ayushya Homam is Dedicated to the Life God to enhance longevity - Ayush - i.e. life. Homam is explained by the sage Bodhayana in the Bodhayana sutras. According to Bodhayana, if a child is constantly ill, this Homam could be performed on a monthly basis till the child attains good health. But in general practice, this is performed only at the first year of birth only i.e. day of the star in which the child is born. This Homam is performed on the day the child completes one year of age. In case one is unable to perform it on this day, it can be done on the consecutive month. It may be done even on a monthly basis. By performing the Ayush Homam the evil effects caused by day of the fortnight (Thithi), day of the week (Vara) & the constellation (nakshatra -star) are eradicated. It bestows longevity, prosperity and good health. It is experienced that even some of the common ailments, which cannot be diagnosed through mainstream medicines, are cured by the performance of this Homam.

 

After the Homam, the child is given the remainder cooked rice as a Prasadam, added wtih sugar. Then, the child's head is tonsured to get rid of the dirts, that associated while in mother's womb. After giving bath, the ear piercing takes place to complete the function. The general sequences for this ritual is:

1. Changing Holy thread by the performer, (2) Purifying the Home (suddhi punyahavachanam), (3) Anugjam, (4) Sankalpam (5)  Vishwakshena Aradhanam (6) Ayurdevatha, Kula Devatha, Ishta Devatha & Nakshatra Devatha aavaahanam in the Kumbam (7) Archanam (8) Recitals of Ayush Sooktham and other Devatha Mantram  - Japam (9) Agni Avaahanam (10) Pradhana Ayush Homam - depending on the number of priests/Bruhaspati, the number can vary from 28 to 108 ahuthis. (11) Nakshatra Devatha, Purusha/Sri Sooktha Homam &  (12) Jayathi Homam. And finally the Maha Aseervatham - the blessings of Brahmins with Vedic recitals specific for the function, after offering their due sambavana/Dakshina.  Kula Devatha/Perumal/Thayar & Acharyan Sambavana. At The end of the function, Mangala Aarathi is taken.

 

The Ayush Homam is also performed during completion of the 60th, 80th & 100th year. Srivaishnavites perform Sri Sooktha, Purusha Sooktha & Sudarsana Homam ttogether with Ayush Homam. Shivites used perform, starting it Ganapathy & Navagraha pooja, then with Ganapathi Homam & Navagraha Homam. However, for both, after the Ayush Homam & Poorna Ahuthi, a sacrifice known as Jayathi Homam is performed at the end. The Jayathi Homam is, in fact, to be performed at the end of each auspicious Havan known as Homam; this is for all the sect of Brahmins.

 

List of Items required for Ayush Homam - List given in Tamil & English.

 

மஞ்சள்/Turmeric Roots & Powder

குங்குமம்/Kumkum

சந்தனம்/Sandalwood paste

கற்பூரம்/Camphor

ஊதுவத்தி/Incense sticks

வெற்றிலை - பாக்கு/Betel Leaves & betalnuts

பழங்கள்/Fruits

புஷ்பம் - கதம்பம்/Flowers

குழந்தைக்கு ஏற்ப சிறிய மாலை/small garland for the child

அக்னி குண்டம் அல்லது ஆறு செங்கல்/6 Bricks or AgniKundam for Holy fire

சாதம் 200-மில்லி/Cooked Rice 200 ml

நெய்/Ghee

வாழை இலை/Banana Leaves 4

கும்பம்/கலஸத்திற்கு ஒரு டவல் அல்லது வேஷ்டி உத்ரீயம்/A Towel or Dhoti for Khalas

மாவிலைக்கொத்து/Mango Bunch leaves

அனுக்ஞத்திற்கு சில்லரை தக்ஷிணை/Coins

அரிசி/Rice 1 Kg

தேங்காய்/Coconuts

சர்க்கரை/Sugar

சொம்பு, டம்ப்ளர், ஸ்தாலி, உத்திருணி, தாம்பாளம், ட்ரே, கலஸத்திற்கு குடம் அல்லது சொம்பு

/Water vessels, Tumbler, spoon, Trays & Plates etc.

(வரட்டி, சமிது, பூணல் இத்யாதிகளை வாத்தியார் கொண்டு வரலாம்)/

Cowdung cakes, Yagnjopaveetham, firesticks etc. can be brought by the Bruhaspathi himself.

 

Hope this article and the list help the visitors to plan their ward's Ayush Sooktha Homam in an arranged manner.

Recommended Gift Items for the child: Toys, Dress, Gold items of Chain/Ring etc, or still better a Gift Cheque to be deposited in a minor account for the child's future usage.

 

மாதா, பிதா, சிசு தீர்க்காயுஷ்யமஸ்து.

ஸுபமஸ்து.

 

(I am planning to publish the entire Ayushya Sooktha scripts soon. Please visit again to check)

Please sign in the Guestbook with your valuable comments, suggestions and criticism as well.

 

There are many persons asking me to give an invitation draft for the Ayush Homam function. It is not possible for me to give each and every single person's needs so I am giving hereunder the sketch from which one can get the cue. It is meant for Sri Ahobila mutt followers. However, the same can be used for all other sub-sect followers (Andavan Ashsram, Parakala Mutt, Thenkalai different Acharyan disciples)-   just simply changing the Thiruman/Sloka for their respective Acharyan / mutt. However, for Sashtiyabtha poorthi and other functions, the format changes and varies from the following script. You can change the following name of father of the child and can replace with grandparents names that also can be mentioned.

Draft Invitation model for Ayush Homam

ஸ்ரீமதே லக்ஷ்மீந்ருஸிம்ஹ பரப்ரம்மணே நம: 
ஸ்ரீமதே நிகமாந்த மஹாதேஸிகாய நம:
ஸ்ரீமதே ஆதிவண்சடகோப யதீந்த்ர மஹாதேஸிகாய நம:
ஸ்ரீமதே வேதாந்த தேஸிக யதீந்த்ர மஹாதேஸிகாய நம:
ஸ்ரீமதே லக்ஷ்மீந்ருஸிம்ஹ திவ்யபாதுகா ஸேவக ஸ்ரீவண்சடகோப ஸ்ரீநாராயண யதீந்த்ர மஹாதேஸிகாய நம:
ஸ்ரீமதே ஸ்ரீவண்சடகோப ஸ்ரீரங்கநாத யதீந்த்ர மஹாதேஸிகாய நம:

அப்தபூர்த்தி ஆயுஷ்ஹோம சுபமுஹூர்த்த பத்திரிகை.

ஸ்ரீமத் வேதமார்க்கப் ப்ரதிஷ்டாபனராய் எழுந்தருளியிருக்கும் ஸ்ரீ உ. வே. ______________________________________ஸ்வாமி ஸந்நிதியில் அடியேன் ______________________________ தாஸன் அநந்தமான தெண்டன் ஸமர்ப்பித்த விக்ஞாபனம். க்ஷேமம். உபயகுசலோபரி. 

இப்பவும் நாளது ஸ்வஸ்திஸ்ரீ ______________ ளூ ___________மீ____உ (__-__-____) _____________கிழமை __________திதியும், __________ யோகமும்___________கரணமும், _______________நக்ஷத்ரமும் கூடிய சுபயோக சுபதினத்தில் உதயாதி நாழிகை __ க்கு மேல் ___க்குள், (மணிக்கு மேல் __க்குள்) ________ லக்னத்தில்,

அடியேன் (குமாரன் சிரஞ்சீவி ) / (குமாரத்தி சௌபாக்யவதி) ___________________________க்கு




அப்தபூர்த்தி ஆயுஷ்ஹோமம் செய்வதாய், ஸ்ரீமத் அழகியசிங்கர்களின் அநுக்ரஹத்துடனும், பகவத் க்ருபையுடன் பெரியோர்களால் நிச்சயிக்கப்பட்டு, க்ஷ சுபமுஹூர்த்தம் (நெ. __ல் உள்ள _______________________- விலாஸம், ஹால், தெரு, ஊர் பெயர் முதலியன) நடக்கிறபடியால், தேவரீர் ஸஹகுடும்ப ஸமேதராய் எழுந்தருளியிருந்து, குழந்தையும் எங்களயும் ஆசீர்வதித்து அனுக்ரஹிக்கவேணுமாய் ப்ரார்த்திக்கிறேன்.



இடம்:                                               வாசிக தோஷ:                   வேணும் அநந்தமான தெண்டன் ஸமர்ப்பித்த விக்ஞாபனம்,

தேதி:                                                    க்ஷந்தவ்ய:                                                            தாஸன்,

(பட்டப்பெயர், குலம், ஊர், பெயர் முதலானவை) 

TRS Iyengar

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