Friday, July 31, 2009


PART 4 Samskaras (Duties)

EGO ( I )


1.Who is a true devotee ?

2.Essential Knowledge


4.Varnashrama Dharma



7.Samaskaras – 3 Main


1 Who Is A True Devotee

One who feels other sufferings as his own
One who serves those who are afflicted and one who has no deceit
One who bows before everyone, despises none, is steady in word, body and mind
One whose outlook is always dispassionate
One who has left all desires
One who sees a mother in another man’s wife (all women)
One who never speaks an untruth
one who never touches another’s wealth.
One who is not overpowered by ignorance
One whose mind knows stern detachment
One who has experienced ectasy in the worship of Rama
One who destroys evil thoughts
One who is humble in speech and deeds
One who considers his body itself as abode of the Lord
One who has no avarice; he knows no fraud
One who follows sastras as command of GOD
One who has outgrown desires and anger.

4.2 Essential Knowledge

1. Vedas Purusha Suktham
2. Dharma Manu Smriti
3. Ithihasa Bhagavat Gita
4. Puranas Vishnu Puranam
5. Slokas Vishnu Sahasra Namam

4.3 4 Purusharthas

Lead a life following the following 4 principles :

1.Dharma - performing duties and responsibilities laid down by Sastras

2.Artha - To earn wealth in a just way ( for HIS worship )

3.Kama - To avoid sensual pleasures in life and direct them towards worshipping God

4.Moksha - Final goal is liberation from cycle of births & deaths.

4.4 Varna shrama Dharma (Division of Society)

4.4.1 Varnas – Division of work for the welfare of the entire community . It is not a distinction based on birth but by vocation. An individual practices each of the above four functions at different stages of his life :

1.Brahmana study of Vedas,scriptures etc.,contemplate on them and perform
rituals. It connotes the function of counseling.
Counselors, Priests, Teachers, Scientists, Philosophers perform the role of a
Brahmana. Also, at old age, a person by his knowledge, experience and maturity acts as a counselor.
2.Kshatriya rule over kingdom,ensure protection and prosperity of subjects.
Kings, Judges, Legislators, Warriors perform the role of a Kshatriya . Also, one in the later half of manhood performs this function in respect of one’s family and society.
3.Vaishya deal with needs of society such as agriculture, trade, banking, management etc. and earns wealth.
Industrialsts , Traders who organise and direct factories, trade, resources etc. are
Vaishyas by their vocation. Also, one in the beginning of adulthood falls in this
Category as one’s main job is to earn wealth.
4.Sudhra (Labour) deal with services needed by society.
Artisans, Labour , as also youth whose duty is to learn and perform services to his
Family, Guru and elders fall in this category.

4.4.2 Asramas (Stages in Life)

The four stages of an individual as he ages is called Ashrama

1.Brahmacharya -Youth (student life), also one who does not marry
2.Grihastha - Householder (family life)
3.Vanaprastha - Old age (secluded life (in Forests) as a samsari (spouse))
4.Sanyasa - After youth (religious life as a monk)

4.5 Rituals

1.To purify and conquer the physical body and energy body around it .

2.To bring to one’s aid superior intelligence (similar to Rishis & Devas).

3.Improve the atmosphere around one to enable one to concentrate the mind
1)for leading a healthy and happy life and 2) to realise GOD liberation
Moksha). .

The rituals are facilated by :

1. Sound (Vibrations or Bio-Energy) in the form of Mantras

2. Postures and Gestures control the pranas and bio-energy

3 Agni (fire) is an important aspect of all rituals, wherein herbs are consigned to it.The smoke carries the beneficial effect to the body and the surroungings

4.Objects / accessories such as beads, flowers facilitate the rituals

4.6 Karmas (Actions)

Sastras prescribe 3 types of Karmas for every individual. They are to be performed
For HIS pleasure, as HIS servant without expectation of any fruits (attitude of Satvika Tyaga – sacrifice)

1. Nitya Karma (daily routines) such as bath, Sandhyavandanam, Japam etc.

2.Naimittika Karma (periodic routines) such as Tarpanam, Sradha etc.

3.Kamya Karma (rituals for fulfilling desires) – The highest form of Kamya Karma is performing the rituals for HIS sake (without any selfish desires).
(refer to Sradhas)

4.7 3 Samskaras

An individual has to undergo 3 main initiation process

1.Upanayanam (Brahma-upadesham) : initiates a child (at age of 7 years) to the
Gayatri Mantra and performance of Sandhyavandanam. It is a pre-requisite to
commence study of Vedas

2.Samasanam (Pancha Samskaram) initiates one to the three main mantras and makes one eligible to perform Aradhana (daily worship)

3.Saranagathi (Surrender/Bharanyasam) is the ultimate process of surrender to the
Supreme and obtain liberation (Moksha)
( refer to 16 purifying rites, 30 Dharmas, 40 Samskaras )

4.7. Brahma-upadesham

Upanayanam (Brahma-upadesham) : initiates a child (at age of 7 years) to the Gayatri Mantra and Performance of Sanayvandanam. It is a pre-requisite to commence study of Vedas Vamana (Vishnu born to Kashyap & Aditi) had HIS initiation as under
given by

1. Sun (Suryan) Gayatri Mantra
2. Brihaspathi Brahma Sutra (Sacred Thread)
3. Kashyapa Rishi Mekala (straw belt)
4. Bhu Devi Krishnarjeenam (deer skin)
5. Noon (Soman/Chandran) Danda (stick)
6. Sun (Adityan) Kaupeenam (langot)
7. Indran Chatra (Umbrella)
8. Brahma Kamandala (water pot)
9. Saptarishis Kusa (darbha grass)
10.Sarawathi Akshamala (bead string)
11.Kuberan Akshaya Patrika (bowl)
12.Parvati Devi Bhiksha (alms)

4.7.2 Pancha Samskaras (Samasrayanam)

1.Tapam : branding of Conch (Sankhu) and Disc (Chakra) on the shoulders,
symbolising that one is GOD’s property
2.Pundaram : 12 Namams (symbols) at different parts of the body to purify it
3.Dasyam (servant of GOD) one is renamed as * Ramunaja Dasan
4.Mantra : initation into the 3 mantras
5.Aradhana : initiation into daily worship

4.8 Duties

4.8.1 Homams

20 daily routines have been prescribed

1. Morning bath (Snanam)
2. Sandyavandhanam (Morning)
3. Astakshara Japam
4 .Brahma Yagya
5 .Aupasanam
6. Bath (Snanam)
7. Sandyavandanam (Afternoon)
8. Aradhanam
9. Vaisvedevam
10 Deva Yagnya
11 Pitru Yagnya
12 Bhuta Yagya
13 Manusa Yagya
14.Feeding guests (Adityam)
15.Meals (Bhojanam)
16.Swadhyayam ( study of Vedas etc.)
17.Patanam (Study of Ramayana and other Scriptures)
18.Sandyavandanam (Evening)
20.Meals (Bhojanam)

Pancha Maha Yagyas

1.Brahma Yagya (to Rishis) Study of Vedas
2.Pitru Yagya (to Forefathers) Sradha/Tarpanam
3.Deva Yagya (to Devas) Yagya/Homam – offerings to fire God
4.Bali/Bhuta Yagya (to Animals) food offerings to Crow, Dog etc.
5.Nru/Manushya Yagya (to Men) food offerings to guests

4.8 Daily Routines

1. Morning Worship (Abhigamanam)
2. Livelihood (materials for worship)(Upadanam)
3. Afternoon worship (Ijyai)
4. Study scriptures (Swadhyayam)
5. Sleep (Yogam)

4.8.3 Periodic Sacrifices

Prakrata (simple type) or Vaikrata (modified type)

1.Agnihotra daily offerings to fire

2.Darsapournima performed on full moon / new moon days

3.Chaturmasya performed every 4 months

4.Aswamedha (Horse) / Pasu (Cow) Yagya

5.Soma Yagya

Prepared by R. Jagannathan and R. Devanathan

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