[Advaita-l] Shirovrata

Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Mon Aug 25 11:29:45 CDT 2014


This is in Devi Bhaagavata -


Sirovrata is applying ashes to the forehead. It was by Sirovrata that
and the Devas became the Gods they are. Why, the Trimurti have have
Sirovrata. The vrata of ashes is called Sirovrata in the first part of the
Veda. Elsewhere, it is also called Sivavrata, Pasupatavrata, and by other
The Sirovrata, marking the brow with holy ash, and making the intelligence
is a ritual that burns up sin, turns a whole forest of sins to ashes.
 The Atharva Sruti says, Fire is ash, water is ash, earth and air are ash,
akasa is ash and so is all the unmanifest universe. This mantra is repeated
as the body is
ash and so is all the unmanifest universe. This mantra is repeated as the
body is
smeared with holy ash, during the three sandhya pujas. The Lord hides
within the
ash, so every Saiva wears them as a blessed adornment, and benediction. The
ashes are from a pure Virajagni. Ashes from other, common fires are lesser,
both their blessedness and their power. The time of the Viraja
fire-sacrifice is on the full moon night of Chitra nakshatra.
the full moon night of Chitra nakshatra.
 The Brahmana marks his brow with the curved tripundra of holy bhasma. The
first line of every Tripundra is Brahma, the second is Vishnu, and the
highest line is Mahadeva. The forehead, where the bhasma is laid is the
seat of
Isvara. Brahma dwells in the head, the ears are where the Aswini Devas sit,
Ganesha in the neck. Only Brahmans must use the tripundra with a mantra,
other castes and the uninitiated wear bhasma on their foreheads, not on all
body, and they do so without a mantra.

On Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 11:49 AM, Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Animesh, here is a question for you.  As you know one of the principal
> upanishads, the munDakopaniShad belongs to the Atharvaveda. Shankaracharya
> explains (bhashya on 3.2.10) that this was was taught and learned by the
> shrotriyas who made agnihotra into ekAR^iShi agni and followed the
> shirovrata.  He describes this as yathA AtharvaNAnA vedavrata prasiddham
> "the well known veda vrata of the followers of Atharvaveda." Apparently
> this shirovrata involved "carrying a fire on one head" and presumably
> shaving ones head.  (The literal meaning of Mundaka is one whose head is
> shaved.)  What else can you tell us about this shirovrata?
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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