[Advaita-l] 16 upacAras
sri parasukhananda nadha
sriparasukhanandanadha at rediffmail.com
Tue Oct 17 02:31:52 CDT 2006
>From :-- SrIparasuKAnandanAtha
date :-- October 17, 2006
Subject :-- ShODaSOpacara pUjA
In my opinion, we must have
some understanding, why we should do any upacArAs in the name of any god or
deity.Otherwise it would be meaningless and, waste of time and energy too. Neither
any deity needs any upacArA nor this drop of water reaches that far off
distance. It can`t be different from the
children`s play with his toys. Actions
and speeches without any meaning will become some mad man`s guestures. I wish to present you the way of my
understanding while performing each of the upacAra.
I dont say, all these are authentic and bear
only this meaning. These are some guidelines for the devotees, by which
they will be
able to formulate their own interpretation.
For any god or deity, we perform sixteen types of services (ShODaSOpacAras),
viz., 1.dhyAm, 2.asanam, 3.pAdyam,
4.arGyam, 5.AcamanIyam, 6.snAnam, 7.vastram, 8.yag~nopavItam
9.gandham 10. puShpam 11.dhUpam 12.dIpam 13.naivEdyam
14.tambUlam 15.nIrajanam and 16.mantrapuShpam. The
meaning, how I interpret for myself is narrated hereunder.
1. dhyAnam and AvAhanam :-- We meditate upon the
deity which in reality has no form nor any name for it.. But we wish it should
some form as we imagine it to be, and we
also apply a name for it also. It is a
kind of monistic dualism. We know it is none else
our own self. But we want to see it in a
form and in a name according to our needs and fancies, while being in gr^ihastha
meditating upon your own self which is
glowing like a flame of light, bring it out through your left nostril into some
hand, put it on the idol you worship every day.
The idol after acquiring your own life force (which is the most dearest
becoming your most beloved and divine, worthy of receiving any services from
you. You are simultaneously visualizing
prANaSakti both in your heart region (hr~idayam) and also out side of
you. In this way you are practicing to
see your own self
of the universe. antar bahisca tat
sarvam vyApya nArayaNah sthitah
2. Asanam :-- You are collecting all your senses
and blending them into one concentration with a feeling of aham brahmAsmi to install your
deity in it.
3. pAdyam :-- This is to wash the dirt on the
feet of the deity. The dirt is nothing
but the feeling of difference with god. If
we wash this
difference, the deity and your self will become one and the same. dEvO BhUtwA
dEvam yajEt, You should not worship any
without yourself becoming that god.
4. arGhyam :-- Water used for washing hands. It is washing out the past karmas (deeds), and
reaching the state of pUrNa Ananda
bliss) having no wishes or desires, desist of every thing in mind.
5. Acamanam :-- This is an act of purification
of body and soul. It is bestowing the divine experience into your mortal soul
knowledge of SivOham. you are
experiencing your own soul as the self existent and uninterrupted illumination.
6. snAnam :--
This is to create nectarine stream from your brahma randhra, and make it
flow into all of your 72 thousand nAdis, You should
forget that you are meditating upon your own self which itself is the ananta
kAla swarUpa paramAtma.
7. vastram :-- Enveloped with absolute bliss
after the experience of the flash of the cid rUpa paramAnanda Sakti.
8. yag~nOpavItam :-- Visualizing the 24 tattwas
having three knots (grandhis) within yourself.
9. Gandham :-- Perception of aroma of the sat. The presiding seat of the olfactory senses is
buddhi (the intellect). By offering
gandham (sanda paste) you are mitigating the viShaya jaData (obtuseness in
10. puSpam :-- It is just wrapping up and
concealing the image of the idol only to realize that that form is not your
target of devotion.
flower is belonging to AkASa tattwam, Sabda tanmAtra prakr^itikam, The
intellect is the presiding place for auditory senses.
god actually requires the flowers bloomed in the sky, not in the plants. (try
to understand it please)
11. dhUpam :-- This is used as a drying agent. We have to scorch up the muddy moisture of
our intellect, otherwise
called avidya. dhUpam is sparSa tanmAtra prakr^itikam (touch
sense), The presiding place of this also is intellect.
12. dIpam :-- cakSuradhyAtmam draShtavyam
adhiBhUtam Adityas tatrAdhi daivatam.
does not need any artificial light. It
is only for us to see god who resides inside of us and not out side.
viewer is yourself, object is god and the insight (antar dr^iSti) is Aditya the
divinity is the target.
have to see inside of you to see god. Then
only you can become divine.
13. naivEdyam :-- There are six places in the
tongue to recognize the six kinds of tastes.
All of these six tastes
shelter in the intellect only. Our life
style also is multitudinous. But every
thing of it has to be merged
in one object. We have to submit every
thing of us for the god`s enjoyment. (ShadrasOpEtam BhOjanam).
14. tAmbUlam :-- The leaf, nut and the lime
chewed together creates a new red colour.
avasthA traya BhAva
aBhAva sAkShi caitanyam.. Meditating
upon turIya avastha. That is jIvanmukta avastha.
15. NIrAjanam :-- The camphor when lit, it is
consumed till the last entirety without leaving any residue. This is
nirbija avastha. Within the fifteen moon phases, there is also
another phase which is concealed inside all of them.
its name is AmA. It doesnt
have any sequences of growth or decay. This
is the candra kala which has received
the award of honours by the lord paramEswara, by implanting it on the
top of his own head.
The luminescence of it is indescribable.
We have to prostrate and surrender before that durAdharsha.
16. mantrapuShpam :-- Your hr^idayam itself is
the punDarIka puShpam. punDarIkam
Reflect deeply on that puNDarIkAkSha with that puNDarIka puShpam.
Then you are performing pradakShiNa namaskAram with an intention of
visualizing yourself as the consistence of
own body as well as the whole universe of fourteen worlds as the virAt purusha
this exhilarating bliss of felicity you are offering the rAjOpacArAs and
devOpacAras, after submitting your
of praNa Sakti and saying, I am you and
you are I
AnandO brahma, aKaNDaika rasOsmyaham
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