By Swami Harshananda
Puṇyāhavācana literally means ‘declaring the day to be auspicious’.
It was a religious custom in olden days which is prevalent now also is that whenever an important religious rite was to be performed, to invite brāhmaṇas of erudition and pure character and take their blessings. Such an act was called ‘puṇyāhavācana’.
Examples of Puṇyāhavācana
For instance, a person intending to perform the marriage of his daughter, invites such brāhmaṇas on an auspicious day, honors them with gandha and tāmbula and declares his wish, with folded hands. The brāhmaṇas will respond with the words, ‘orii svasti,’ ‘om puṇyāham,’ and ‘om ṛddhyatām’. Each of these is to be repeated by them thrice. These phrases respectively mean:‘May it be auspicious!’ ‘May the day be auspicious!’ ‘May the rite progress well!’
Fruits of Puṇyāhavācana
This rite seems to have been observed with regards to the performance of most of the sanskāras or sacraments.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore