By Swami Harshananda
Punarādheya literally means ‘re-installation of Vedic fires’.
During the Vedic and the epic periods, many dvijas used to establish the Vedic fires for regular oblations and special sacrifices. If the Vedic fires got extinguished due to certain contingencies like illness, loss of wealth, death of near and dear ones or harassment by enemies or even by accident, they could be rekindled or reinstated. This process was known as punarādheya or punarādhāna.
Process of Punarādheya
The procedure was essentially the same as for agnyādhāna, but with a few differences like feeding the fire with kuśa grass instead of samidh and offerings to Agni alone instead of Agni and Soma. In case both the gārhapatya and the āhavanīya fires had been extinguished punarādheya was considered a prāyaścitta or expiation for the sin also.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore