Dharma Shastra Prokshanam
By Jammalamadaka Suryanarayana
Sometimes transliterated as: Prōkṣaṇaṃ, prookshanam, prokshan, prookshan
In the Hindu Dharma many sacred sets of actions/ karma/ anuṣṭānaṃ are prescribed according to the age and needs of the seeker. Some of these were described directly in the Vedas while some came into existence because of the Purāṇas and some in the later stages. There are three types of karma as follows:
For each of the above mentioned type karma there is an anuṣṭānaṃ. In this there are some unique set of actions which are performed repeatedly. Like ācamanaṃ, prōkṣaṇaṃ, avōkṣaṇaṃ, abhyukṣaṇaṃ etc. All these terms prōkṣaṇaṃ, avōkṣaṇaṃ and abhyukṣaṇaṃ derive from the same root verb 'ukṣa sēcanē', which means to sprinkle water and has 'lyuṭ' as their suffix.
Uttānēna tu hastēna prōkṣaṇaṃ parikīrtitaṃ| yancatā avōkṣṇaṃ proktaṃ tiraścābhyukṣaṇaṃ smṛutaṃ||
When the root verb 'ukṣa sēcanē' is pronounced by using 'pra' as its prefix it means sprinkling water upwards. As stated before, water is sprinkled using the palm. Palm in this position should face the sky while sprinkling. This action is used to sprinkle water upon our head. This action tends to purify our upper body parts.
When the root verb 'ukṣa sēcanē' is pronounced by using 'ava' as its prefix it means sprinkling water downwards. Here the palm faces the earth while sprinkling. This action is used to sprinkle water on the place one does the karma/anuṣṭānaṃ.
When the root verb 'ukṣa sēcanē' is pronounced by using 'abhi' as its prefix it means sprinkling water side wards. Here the palm is horizontally moved to sprinkle water. This action is used to sprinkle water upon the articles we use in karma/anuṣṭānaṃ.