Thursday, March 21, 2013

Aupasana

Courtesy: Sri.V.Muralidharan
Aupasana homa is started on the evening of the marriage and is continued
for a lifetime. It is an ordained karma and duty of all Brahmins. Just 
because this has gone out of practice from most families, it does not 
mean it is not needed. Sastra has not changed. There are still many 
Brahmins who do Aupasana homa regularly. There are also several 
Agnihotris today who do Agnihotra regularly using 3 agnis. We have to 
search to locate them as they do not advertise themselves! It is not 
impossible to do it and even now those who have the time and will power 
can start it and continue it.

Some points on Aupasana agni homa:

1. It is started on the evening of the marriage and is done for 4 days after which Garba dana ceremony is done. It is done twice a day after morning and evening sandya vandana.

2. It should be continued for the lifetime and the same agni is used at the antyeshti also.
3. The Aupasan agni has to be alive (burning) all the time. If it goes out, a small vichinna homa can be performed and it can be restarted.

4. Wife is compulsorily necessary for its performance. Without wife 
being present in the house, Aupasana cannot be done. (even during 
rajaswala period of wife, husband can do it)

5. Wife can also do aupasana in the absence of the husband for up to 5 times (2 and half days). She chants very few mantras and puts rice two 
time in fire. Note: Wife can do aupasana without husband and not 
vice-versa! Beyond 5 times vichinna home is needed by the husband.

6. If the couple has to go to another place for a few days, then the 
Aupasana fire can be transferred to a samittu by a (samittaropana) 
mantra and only the samit needs to be taken to the new place where it 
can be ignited by ordinary fire and restart the Aupasana there.
7. If there is break in Aupasana for a long time, a simple homa 
called vichinna Aupasana homa is performed.Then Aupasana can be started 
from ordinary fire. This is what is done every time we perform shraddas 
in our house as oupasana has to be done before the shradda is started.
8. In cities the problem is to obtain simple materials like cowdung 
cake and rice thavidu (rice bran) and a well ventilated room to keep the aupasan agni which may emit a small amount of smoke.
9. Aupasana requires only about half a fistful of (raw) rice in two parts. No ghee or (cooked) anna is needed. It takes only 10 minutes to perform it. Getting the fire ready may take some more time.
10. This simple aupasana homa gives all benefits to the family of the 
person performing it. Agni is a very powerful God and gives benefits 
directly. Even if benefits are not desired, it gives a lot of spiritual 
peace and elevation.

11. Now a days even most of the sastrigals have stopped doing it. It 
does not mean that ordinary interested persons cannot start and continue to do it. We should know that these are secrets handed down by great Rishis and it is left to us to make use of such esoteric practices.
12. Many details and mantras can be found in the book "Homa Vidhana" by Anna and other books available in most religious book shops.