Friday, August 8, 2014

Avani Avittam - 10.08.2014

நம்மில் பலர் அயல் நாட்டில் உள்ளனர். வெளிநாட்டிலிருந்து கொண்டு ஹிந்து தர்மத்தைக் கடைபிடிப்பவர்கள், காயத்ரி மந்திரத்தின் மகிமையை உணர்ந்து, நம் வழக்கத்தில் உள்ள தர்மத்தைக் கடைபிடிக்கும் இந்த தலைமுறையில் உள்ளவர்கள் பலர் ஆவணி அவிட்டத்தை செவ்வனே செய்கின்றனர். நம் போன்றவர்கள் அவர்களுக்கு உறுதுணையாக இருப்போமே! வலையிலிருந்து கொய்த வாசனை மலர்கள் பின் வருமாறு.
Shukla Yajur Veda was brought to this world by the great Rishi Yagnavalkya who first prayed to Sri Gayatri Devi by doing severe penance amidst the Panchagni. Sri Gayatri Devi pleased by his penance guided Rishi Yagnavalkya to obtain it from Lord Surya Bhagavan
Gayatri is Vedamatha, the mother of all Vedas. A person totally devoted to Gayatri recitation can achieve great success in the path of self advancement. Gayatri inspires man towards righteous wisdom. An astral, conscious electric current flows constantly in a person who is able to establish a relationship with Gayatri as it influences his mind, intellect, heart and inner self. No sooner the divine light of Gayatri dawns on the intellectual field of a person, the darkness of evil thoughts, false convictions, degrading vices start dispelling. Gayatri undoubtedly and miraculously transforms the mental framework of a person to a systematic, healthy, righteous and balanced personality. The well developed mind produces thoughts leading to action resulting in happiness. His work becomes excellent and his well intentioned thoughts radiate happiness, contentment and peace!

Each limb of Gayatri has been distilled out from each Veda. It is said in Taittriya Brahamana of Yajur Veda “ The three fold knowledge was revealed: Rig to the heart of Agni; Yajur to the heart of Vayu and Sama to the heart of Aditya. Thus the All Pervading Lord revealed the three fold knowledge, the three worlds were thus illumined. The earth (Bhu Lok, Prithvi) by the Rig, the Antariksha (Bhuva Lok) by the Yajur and Dev Lok (Svah Lok) by the Sama Veda”.

Yajur Upaakarma Sankalmpam (Aavani Avittam).

10th August 2014
Upakarma (Avani Avittam) Purpose:  Upakarma (/upaakarma/) means beginning or "Arambham", i.e. to begin the study of the Veda (Veda Adhyayanam). For example, Yajur Upakarma means to begin the study of the Yajur Veda. Those belonging to the Yajur Veda observe the Upakarma in the month of Sravana (August-September), on the day of the full moon (paurnami). Why begin study of the Vedas on this particular day? This auspicious day also happens to be the day when Lord Narayana took the avatara as Lord Hayagreeva. Lord Hayagriva as we all know restored the Vedas to Brahma and also is the God of Knowledge.
 We saw that the "kAmo'karshIt manyur akArshIt" japam is done with a sense of contrition. Who else but Vasudeva can bear the burden of our acts of  OMISSIONS and commissions with regard to shastras? SAstramayena sthira pradIpena -- Daya Devi (compassion of the Lord personified) lights the lamp of shastras so that the jiva can find its way to its home in the Absolute.

After the kamo'karsheeth japam, we proceed to perform the Upakarma function. It is done after mAdhyAhnikam and bhagavad-ArAdhanam (ijyA). The main purpose of the Upakarma function is to offer prayers and express our gratitude to those rishis who gave us the Vedas -- the rishis through whom the Vedic mantras were revealed. These rishis are known as "kaanda rishis". There are different rishis for the different Vedas. We are expected to worship those rishis who belong to our shakha or branch of the Veda, one of Yajur, Rk, Samam etc. The Yajur Veda consists of 4 kaandams. These are known as
  1. prAjApatya kaaNDam
  2. saumya kaaNDam
  3. Agneya kaaNDam and
  4. vaishvadeva kaaNDam.
These kaandams are named after those rishis who first taught the Vedas, viz., Prajapati, Soma, Agni and Vishvadeva. Subsequently we also offer our prayers to the Upanishads saamhiti, yaajniki, and vaaruni, and finally to Svayambhu and Sadasaspati, through whom the Yajur Veda came down to us.
The sankalpam is mainly taken for performing the Upakarma Homam. Then we say tad angam snAnam karishye, tad angam yajnopavIta-dhAraNam karishye, tad angam kANDarshi tarpaNam karishye -- which implies that all other activities like snaanam, yajnopaveeta dhaaranam, tarpanam etc., are only performed as an 'angam' or subsidiary to the Upakarma Homam (which is the angi or primary).