By Swami Harshananda
When a new house is built, certain religious rites are performed before entering it. One of them is vāstuśānti or vāstuśamana. Rice and barley grains are put into a pot of water. A piece of gold is also deposited into it. The owner now goes round the house three times sprinkling this water on the house, repeating the śāntātīya hymn of the Ṛgveda. It is repeated three more times by pouring the water continuously, chanting three more mantras of the Ṛgveda. This is followed by a homa with ājya using the Rgvedic mantras ‘vāstoṣpate ’.
Preparing food and honoring the brāhmaṇas after feeding them is the last part of the ritual. Some authorities prescribe that this rite can be repeated every month or in every season or every year.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore