Yajurveda is practical Manual containing many measures to get rid of sins. It says the chief measure is through worship which is form a sacrifice, Yajna.. For any worship purity and suddhi is required. This Veda gives mantras and suktas to fulfill that end.Usually the mantras addressed to Apo devatas:, Agni , Sarasvati, Varuna and others serve for the purpose of suddhi. Suddhi is a putatva and brings eligibility to the worshipper. In this strain, the bath is regarded as the measure for bahya suddhi and later antah suddhi. Among several mantras that yajurveda and the literature that followed it, contains the Agahmarshana Sukta which is important. It occurs in the Mahanarayana Upanishda that belongs to Krishna Yajurveda. Among Upanishads, this Upanishad has acclaimed a noble place as it covers many topics f common interest and utility. It adds to the religious distinction. It is contribution for many other things regarding the spiritualization.
This paper discusses the Aghamarshana sukta. The text and the paraphrase of the meaning of the tex are included in the paper. There are comments and suggestions. It is pointed that the water, devata , the durva grass and the mruttika add to the bath.They are divine and possess magical powers too. It is through them spiritual purification is attained. The same is elaborated in detail.
AGHAMARSHANA SUKTA OF YAJURVEDA
Aghamarshana sukta is found in the Taittiriya Aranyaka of KrishnaYajurveda. It is a part of the Mahanarayana Upanishad which is one of the most important Upanishads. The Sukta is also called malapakarshana sukta meaning a hymn to remove the sin, dirt, and different doshas from us. Its recitation has a magical effect. Its upasana is a gain and comfort. The word agha means sin, Dirt etc and the word marshana means removing or expiating the same and so the compound put together means’ removal of sins and doshas accrued to the individual both externally and internally.
This sukta is employed for recitation at the time of bath or in a place in contact with water in want for cleansing and sanctification of one’s own self. This sukta is also called as Varuna Sukta, a hymn addressed to Lord Varuna the guardian of Night and the king of waters. HERE EVEN THE FOLLOWERS OF Varunas are also included.(varunai namah)This sukta is highly magical and atharvanic because of the expressions and prayers contained in the sukta. There are some typical verbs and utterences requesting Varuna and his associates like Indra, Agni to remove sin and make the body physically pure. The expression.’ panina avamarsatu(may he wipe out doshas with his hand) Here there is the atharvanic sense and the water is the tool of varuna with which he contacts and touches us. The meaning is that’ may he remove the dirt with his hand’. Such several atharvanic expressions in this sukta and relevant other suktas of Veda shall help to this effect. We might recite the whole sukta or mantras to our convenience while at bath right in the morning.
The main deity remembered and prayers submitted are the Lord Varuna. He is the king of Waters. He is the guardian of night (sins and other doshas of beings). He stays in waters and gives room for purity and sanctity. He is a doshapaharakah. He is a practical deity interested in helping the people devoted to him. He is associated with other deities and they are friendly and supporting. A good coordination and cooperative functioning is excuted by the deity for the promotion of the world and social orders. He is prme deity to whom prayers are submitted while wanting cleansing of the body and attain the spirituality needed for the use of the body.
Here under the text and discussion are represented.
Now the Text and paraphrase of the sukta:
1 Hiranya srungam varunam prapadye tirtham me dehi yacitah.
yanmaya bhuktam asadhunam papebhyasca pratigrahah.
(I seek shelter in Varuna. Oh Varuna! Please give me sanctity as I implore for the water I use for bath and make it a sacred healing and medicinal water). Please remove all my sins (dirt) and such of those (infectious substances on my person). I enjoyed which are not admissible (asadhu) to the health of my person. Also that’ you count into the count and destroy the sin and turn me pure.)
2 Yanme manasa vacaa karmanaa va dushkrutam krutam
tanna indro varunao brihaspath savitaaca punantu punah punah,
- Namognaye apsumate nama indraya namo varunaya
namo varunyai namodbhyah.Yadapam kruram
yada amedhyam yadasantam tadapa gacchatat
Salutations to Agni, the child of Waters (apam garbhah), Indra, Varuna,Varunis.and Waters. Whatever inauspicious, alarming, infectious, may all that get away from me. Also the deities Indra, Varuna,Bruhaspati,Savita, remove my duscarita, bad conduct committed either by speech or through action and behavior. These deities are requested to cleanse and remove all contaminations visibly and invisibly contained in the water kept for use of bath or other purposes of cleansing.this mantra could be purificatory mantras.
- atyasanadatipanat yacca ugrat pratigrahat
- anno varuno raja paninahyavamarsatu
May Varuna the king relieve me with his hand all that sin accrued owing to over drinking, overeating and from receiving gifts, not permitted for being accepted
5 soham apaapo virajo nirmukto mukta kilbishah
nakasya prishtham aruhya gacchet brahma salokatam
That I thus got cleansed, I would become free from sin and dust (fallies) and unpopularity. May I after climbing the heights of the heaven, reach the brahmaloka and be a resident there at. Here the terms virajah, nirmukta and mukta kilbishah draw our special attention. Viraja means free from mistakes and misshapes.Also those sins sticking to body from the level of outer skin and going upto the bone level of the body. Nirmukta means wholly relieved of the sins residue less and the word’ mukta kilbishah ‘refers to the removal of impediments and obstructions to grow famous in right manner. Actually kilbisha as the Veda commentator Mahidhara says it is a kirtibhedakam papam.
6 .Yacapsu sa varunah sa punatv aghamarahanah.
(That Varuna seated within the waters and be remover of my sins in order to sanctify mephysically both internally and externally.Then comes the mantra
Prayer to Rivers, Divine.
7. Imam me gange yamune sarasvati sutudristomagum sacata
parushniya asakniyama rud vrdhe vitastayarjikiye srunuhya sushomaya.
(May the rivers by names Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Sutudri and Parukshni protect and santify me. May they grant us prosperity and enviable growth and luck. May they make me comfortable to us.).Then the mantra:
Prayer to the Mother Earth (Bhumi prarthana) wherein the waters stored and flow:
It is said while bath one should smear mud over the body and rubthe entirety of the limbs which would help to remove the dirt settled over the outer skin and the body becomes pure and shining. It is said the mud underneath of the a rivers like Ganges,Yamuna etc., is highly medicinal and hence healing. It is a cure for many ailements of the body. It is in other words called as Mud Bath scientifically recommended in the Ayurveda system of Medicine. Anybody who smears the mud and dips in the waters, he would be freed from pains and illness.Thd body gets lustre and brilliance. It is also a part of general treatment .Such earth, full of mud (mruttika) is being deified and praised. A prayer is submitted to Mruttika devata which is onceagain mother Earth onlyin the following stanza.
8. Asvakrante rathakrante vishnukrante vasundhara
sirasa dharayishyami rakshasvamam pade pade
(THIS IS PRAYER FOR VASUNDHARA (the mother Earth.)
Oh Earth! You are being trodden by horses’ chariots and lord MahaVishnu himself. I keep you on my head. Kindly protect me again and again. Here Asva also refers to Sri devi, ratha(car) refers to the vehicle used by the Lord Vishnu to give a sense of sanctity more to the mud of the earth. Earth is named as vasundhara since she bears, rather contains all gifts to sustain to beings the journey.)
9. Mrittike hana me paapam yanmaya dushkrutam kritam
mrittike brahma dattasi kasyapenabhi mantrita.
(Oh mud, please destroy my sins and that what ever bad I have committed. Oh Mrittika! you are given (created) by Brahma and the kashyapa prajapati has sanctified you. He filled the same earth upon the earth and made her plenty.)
10 Mrittike dehi me pushtim tvayi sarvam pratishthitam
tanme nirnuda mrittika taya hatena papena gacchami paramam gatim
(Oh Mud, please bestow on me health and prosperity. In you everything is established. When all powers are vested in you, please guide me and quell all my sins. When thus all my sins are destroyed by you I will get on into the highest world and the state of liberation and mukti.then the mantra referring to
It is in praise of Durva Grass. It could be the kind of brush to use to wash the dirt. But it is a Divinity again in the context of religious bath or such religious observance. Durva is a variety of grass which has the quality to cleanse when rubbed to the body with that. In bath durva serves like the brush and the mud, mruttika like the soap and of course water to cleanse both. So the bath ( snana) is a composite unit of water , mruttika and the Durva grass. Then only the bath is hygienic and complete according to our implication.
Durva also is deity and accordingly its mahat is enlisted hereunder as a part of sampling. In fact we have many mantras where these two are addressed and the benefits got enumerated in the Yajur veda .Durva is a nitya pavitra vastu.It has ability magically to sanctify other things too. ‘Atha suddhena pavitrena puta emi’ is one of the mantras of the YV to cite.
11. Kandatkandat prarohanti parushah parusah pari
evano dureve pratnu sahasrena satena ca ya satenapratanoshi sahasrena virohasi
tayahatena papena gacchami paramam gatim.
(This is a Prayer to DURVA GRASS which runs as follows..
Oh Durva grass! You as grow from branch to branch and knot to kno: also in multiple ways from hundreds to thousand branches, in the same manner you help us to grow in prosperity in thousand and hundred fold. In view of this I can attain liberation having thus my all sins washed off. When sins are cleared, the purusha becomes suddha . A suddha is eligible for Moksha rather freedom from rebirth.
Veda mantras in general focus on cleansing of sins and remain pure always making oneself eligible for divine activities. In such strain the Aghamarshan sukta and the mantras in it are the path finders to that end.
Thus in the Aghamarshana sukta there is the involvement of prayers for the Waters, the Mud and the durva grass. The deities related to these tools for bath are submitted with prayers implying description and abilities.
Hereby it is to be noted that in our Vedic life every event we do for ourselves is divine and the divinities stay along with us and help the being to cover the full healthy and active and purooseful life.
In the entire mantras of the Vedas which number to more than 15000 now available there is effort to make the being grow lucky long lived happy and prosperous and ultimately attain the paramartha. If to say in the words of Valmiki, we repeat.
Vedavedyae pare pumsi jate dasarathatmaje
vedah pracetasadacit sakshat ramayanatmana.
This is quoted to remember that the object and goal of life is to get on to the path of purity and enter into the better regions through the gate removed of obstacles. This sukta is a gateway unto the end meaning purity and liberation.It is so because the upasaka becomes a mukta kilbisha and it is primarily a status of eligibility for growth and peace.
DRC L PRABHAKAR
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