By Swami Harshananda
Saptārcis literally means ‘seven flames’.
In the śrāddha ceremonies, not only the Vedic but also the purāṇic mantras are recited at the appropriate places. The saptārcis mantra is such mantra in which the devatās (gods), pitṛs (manes), great yogins, the goddesses svadhā and svāhā are adored. It is to be recited thrice at the beginning and the end of śrāddha. It should also be recited at the time of offering piṇḍas. As a result, the pitṛs come quickly and the goblins are supposed to run away.
- Vāyupurāṇa 74.15, 16
- Bralimāndapurāṇa 3.11.17, 18
- Visnudharmottarapurāna 1.140.68
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore