Difference between revisions of "Atirātra"

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Vedic sacrifices were the most common aspects of practical religion in the early days of civilization. Among them, one variety called Somayāga is said to have seven ‘sarīsthās’ or forms. They are :
 
Vedic sacrifices were the most common aspects of practical religion in the early days of civilization. Among them, one variety called Somayāga is said to have seven ‘sarīsthās’ or forms. They are :
# Agniṣṭoma
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# [[Agniṣṭoma]]
 
# Atyagniṣṭoma
 
# Atyagniṣṭoma
 
# Ukthya
 
# Ukthya
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# Aptoryāma
 
# Aptoryāma
  
Atirātra, the sixth in this series, derives its name from the fact that its performance extends beyond a day and a night. It is said to be a modification of Agniṣṭoma. Since it is mentioned in the Rgveda<ref>Rgveda 7.103.7</ref> it can be inferred as a very ancient sacrifice. These are some of the essential features of this sacrifice :
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Atirātra, the sixth in this series, derives its name from the fact that its performance extends beyond a day and a night. It is said to be a modification of [[Agniṣṭoma]]. Since it is mentioned in the [[Rgveda]]<ref>[[Rgveda]] 7.103.7</ref> it can be inferred as a very ancient sacrifice. These are some of the essential features of this sacrifice :
 
* The chanting of 29 stotras and 29 śastras (the additional ones being recited in the night in four rounds)
 
* The chanting of 29 stotras and 29 śastras (the additional ones being recited in the night in four rounds)
 
* Offering of six oblations in the night
 
* Offering of six oblations in the night
* Chanting of the long Āśvinaśastra (comprising 1000 verses) at dawn
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* Chanting of the long Āśvinaś[[astra]] (comprising 1000 verses) at dawn
 
* Sacrificing an ewe to Sarasvati on the day of pressing the soma juice
 
* Sacrificing an ewe to Sarasvati on the day of pressing the soma juice
* Offering of puroḍāśa cakes in potsherds to the twin Aśvins
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* Offering of puroḍāśa cakes in potsherds to the twin [[Aśvins]]
  
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
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* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram [[Krishna]] Math, Bangalore

Revision as of 16:00, 6 December 2015

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Atiratra, AtirAtra, Atiraatra


Atirātra literally means ‘that which extends beyond a night’.

Vedic sacrifices were the most common aspects of practical religion in the early days of civilization. Among them, one variety called Somayāga is said to have seven ‘sarīsthās’ or forms. They are :

  1. Agniṣṭoma
  2. Atyagniṣṭoma
  3. Ukthya
  4. Soḍaśin
  5. Vājapeya
  6. Atirātra
  7. Aptoryāma

Atirātra, the sixth in this series, derives its name from the fact that its performance extends beyond a day and a night. It is said to be a modification of Agniṣṭoma. Since it is mentioned in the Rgveda[1] it can be inferred as a very ancient sacrifice. These are some of the essential features of this sacrifice :

  • The chanting of 29 stotras and 29 śastras (the additional ones being recited in the night in four rounds)
  • Offering of six oblations in the night
  • Chanting of the long Āśvinaśastra (comprising 1000 verses) at dawn
  • Sacrificing an ewe to Sarasvati on the day of pressing the soma juice
  • Offering of puroḍāśa cakes in potsherds to the twin Aśvins


References

  1. Rgveda 7.103.7
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore