Submitted for the 2016 Liturgist Guild Yearbook. Written by Vedarion and Converted from PDF by Willow Birch
Bathe. Dress. Layout altar items and tools.
Light the candle and incense. Ring bell.
Pick up water with flower and sprinkle over head then in a circle around you and the altar while chanting the traditional vedic purification verse:
Om apavitrah pavitro vaa sarvaa vasthaM gato’pi vaa yah smaret pundariika-aksham
sah bhaaya-abhyantarah shuchih
Om – whether pure or impure in all places and paths
those who remember the infinite they are purified inside and out.
chant Shanti invocation from Brihad-aryanyaka Upanishad of Shukla Yajur Veda( 5.1.1):
purnam adah, purnam idam, purnaat purnam udachyate; purnasya purnam aadaaya purnam evavasisyate
That (origin of creation) is full. This (creation) is full. From fullness is fullness brought forth. Taking fullness from fullness, fullness still remains.
Om Shanti Shanti Shantih Om Peace, Peace, Peace.
To the strong Rudra bring we these our songs of praise, to him the Lord of Heros
with the matted locks… (offer incense)
O Rudra, harm us not — neither great or small …. Be gracious unto us, O God, and
bless us, and then guarantee us doubly-strong protection. (offer fire)
imā́ rudrāya taváse kapardíne kṣayád vīrāya prá bharāmahe matīḥ ….
mā́ naḥ mahāntam utá mā́ naḥ arbhakám ….
mr̥ḷā́ ca no ádhi ca brūhi devādhā ca naḥ śárma yacha dvibárhāḥ
(Rig Veda 1 :114: 1a, 7a & 10c) (offer water)
Honoring the Earth Mother
O Mother Earth! Be auspicious to us with thy snow-clad mountains and hills and woodlands!
giráyas te párvatā himávantó ‘raṇyaṃ te pr̥thivi syonám astu (Atharva Veda 12.1.11a)
Statement of Purpose:
“I have come here at the beginning of Spring to honor all the devas with Mother
Sarasvati, the inspirer of wisdom and granter of plenitude.
O Universal Gods hear my words together with Sarasvati possessed of munificence and spiritual inspiration!
vishve devaasah shrinavan vacaaMsi me sarasvatii saha dhiibhih puraMdhyaa (Rig Veda 10.65.13b)
Take at least a few minutes to entrance the Two Powers. Then say,
May mighty Heaven and Earth, most worthy of honor, be present here with light and gleaming splendour
mahii dyaavaaprithivii iha jyesthe rucaa bhavataaM shucayadbhir arkaih (Rig Veda 4.65.1a)
(offer flowers, incense, light and water)
Recreating the triad cosmos – Invoke cosmology – earth, air, heavens
-“Under my feet the earth stretches, surrounding me, broad and boundless, holding me.
-About my body the air envelopes me, mists and cloud, lightning and wind, the abode of celestial waters enfolds me.
Offer incense and water and flowers.
-High above me, luminous space, sun and stars and moon, form the heavens. Where the gods and spirits rest, drawing me ever up and onward.”
Chant: From earth’s high ridge to middle air I mounted, and from mid-air ascended up to heaven. From the height of heaven’s reach I came into the world of light.
pr̥ṣṭhāt pr̥thivyā́ ahám antárikṣam āruham antárikṣād dívam ā́ruham
divó nākasya pr̥ṣṭhāt svàr jyótir agām ahám
(Atharva Veda 4.14.3)
Opening the Gates
While chanting, wave ghee lamp in circles around the altar:
agnim ile purohitaM yajñasya devam ritvijam hotaaraM ratnadhaaatamam
I worship Agni, the priest, the god of the ritual, the vibrant cosmic order (rtam vijam), the giver of delight. (Rg Veda 1.1.1)
Open Gates – make gate opening gesture – say “Swaha!”
Inviting the Kindred
Offerings to each as called
Ancestors – Offering: water
May the Pitris protect me at this invocation of the devas! avantu maa pitaro devahuutau
(Rig Veda 6.52.4d)
Nature Spirits (Gandharva)1– Offering: incense
gandharva itthaa padamasya rakshati paati devaanaaM janimaanyad bhutah Gandharva verily protects the dwelling place; Wondrously guarding the generations of the Gods.
(Rig Veda IX.83.4a)
Gods – Offering: ghee lamp or candle
vishve devaasa aa gata shrunutaa ma imaM havam
O Devas – Hear this my invocation; come hither, O Universal Gods (Rig Veda 6.52.7a)
Call and offer to the Deity of the Occasion – Sarasvati
Offering – at the end of each couplet offer flower petals onto the altar om aiṁ sarasvatyai namaḥ
om namaste śāradā devī jñānaiśvarya pradāyani
nityānandamayī vāṇī pāhimāṁ bhakta rakṣaṇi
yā devī sarva bhuteṣu vidyā rūpeṇa saṁsthitā
namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namaḥ
Om! Aiṁ! I bow to Sarasvatī
Om! I bow to the goddess Śāradā
The granter of the power of knowledge
The goddess of Speech who is eternally blissful within O Protectress! Protect me your devotee!
That goddess who within all beings resides as the form of knowledge
I bow to you, I bow to you
I bow to you, I bow to you, I bow to you
Offering – bow, offer water, wave light and incense, bow
Prayer of Sacrifice
Offer ghee lamp to all areas of altar
When thou art praised with words and decked with brightness, accept this song, the singer’s worship.
yác chasyáse dyúbhir aktó vácobhis táj juṣasva jaritúr ghóṣi mánma (Rig Veda 6.5.6)
Sacrifice Offerings to the Three Kindred
Mighty Kindred! O Pitris, Gandharvas and Devas! I offer this rite in your honor and ask that all mistakes or incompleteness be overlooked. I ask that this rite be received in the same love and honor in which it is given. Kindreds accept my sacrifice!”
Offer Water to the Pitris
Fathers who sit on sacred grass, come, help us: these offerings have we made for you; accept them.
bárhiṣadaḥ pitara ūty àrvāg imā vo havyā cakr̥mā juṣádhvam
tá ā́ gatāvasā śáṃtamenāthā naḥ śáṃ yór arapó dadhāta
Offer incense to the Nature Spirits
Accept in friendliness my hymn, and prosper him who offers gifts. práti sūktāni haryatam bʰávataṃ dāśúṣe máyaḥ
(Rig Veda 1.93.1c)
Offer light to the Devas
With Holy Thoughts and with munificence may all Gods, knowing the Law immortal, Manu’s Holy Ones, Boon-givers, favourers, finders of light, and Heaven, with gracious love accept my songs, my prayer, my hymn.
víśve devāḥ sahá dhībhíḥ púraṃdhyā mánor yájatrā amŕ̥tā r̥tajñāḥ
rātiṣāco abhiṣācaḥ svarvídaḥ svàr gíro bráhma sūktáṃ juṣerata
(Rig Veda 10.65.14)
Om! O Earth, Sky, Heaven!
I meditate upon the divine brilliance Of the exalted Lord of the Sun
May he enlighten our minds!
Om bhur bhuvah suvah tat savitur vareṇyaṃ bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yó naḥ pracodayāt
Make me your friend: show us some little mercy. mitrám kr̥ṇudhvam khálu mr̥ḷáta naḥ
(RV Hymn to dice: 10:34:14)
Cast Vedic dice three times and interpret the omen
Calling for the Blessing
Call for a gift in return for your gift
O Indra! Give us a share in the divine light and waters, purity, and reputation. sá tváṃ na indra sū́rye só apsv ànāgāstvá ā́ bʰaja jīvaśaṃsé
Blessings – Water.
“I request now that the spirits give to us their blessings. Offer to us as we offer to you, a gift for a gift. Honored Ones give us the Waters!”
Hallowing the Blessing – Acknowledge that the blessings are in the cup
Ye Visvedevas, who protect, reward, and cherish men, approach Your worshipper’s drink-offering.
ómāsaś carṣaṇīdhr̥to víśve devāsa ā gata dāśvāṃso dāśúṣaḥ sutám
(Rig Veda 1:3:7)
-“Behold the Waters of Life!” (drink)
Affirmation of the Blessings
O Lord of disciplined senses I drink of the twofold draught, the bright celestial mingled with the earthly.
ádhā niyutva ubháyasya naḥ piba śúciṃ sómaṃ gávāśiram
(Rig Veda 8:90:10
Workings (if any)
Thanking the Beings – IN REVERSE ORDER
“I have honored the gods, given sacrifice, received blessings in return, and now it is my turn again, this time to be grateful.
Visvadevas and Lord Indra, I thank you! Shri Indraaya Namah! Lord Savitri, I thank you! Shri Savitreh Namah!
Shri Sarasvati, I thank you! Shri Sarasvatyai Namah!
Shining Visvadevas, Nature Spirits and Pitris, I thank you!
Shri Visvedevebhyah Namah, Shri Gandharvebhyah Namah, Shri Pitribhyah Namah!
O Heaven and Earth, I thank you! Shri DyaavaaPrithiviibhyaam Namah! Lord Rudra for your protection, I thank you! Shri Rudraaya Namah!
Closing the Gates –
“Agni through you the gods have received my offerings. I thank you also, and ask now for you to shut the ways between the worlds here. Agni let the gates be closed!”
Shri Agnaye Namah! (offer fire and water)
Thanking the Earth Mother
“Prthivi, I thank you and once again honor your beauty and bounty.” Shri Prithivyai Namah!
Closing the Rite –
Om ! Bhadram Karnebhih: Shrinuyaama Devaah: Bhadram Pashyemaakshabhir Yajathraah: | Sthirairangai Stushtuvaagum Sastanoobhih:
Yashema Devahitham Yadhaayuh: | Svasti Na Indro Vriddha shravaah:
Svasti Nah Pooshaa Vishva Vedaah: | Svasti Nastaakshyo Arishtanemih:
Svasthi No Brihaspathir Dhadhaathu || Om ! Shaanti:, Shaanti:, Shaanti:. Om !
O’ Ye Gods ! May we hear with our ears only what is auspicious.
May we see with our eyes only what is auspicious. May we, who sing your praise,
Live our allotted span of life in perfect health and vigor. May Indra who is praised by the devotees,
vouchsafe to us safety and well being. May the all known Pushan grant us safety
May Garuda and Brihaspathi grant us well being.
-from Maandukya Upanishad of Atharva Veda
“The rite is ended.”
1 The term Gandharva has many meanings – it can refer to a particular class of nature spirits, to nature spirits generally, or even to the god Agni who is rather beyond and above most nature spirits – I use it here in the generic sense