|5 ‘Grahastya Dharma’ (Virtues of Married Life)|
Sumantu Muni enlightened the King Shataanik about the importance of Agnihotra ( Fire-pit), ‘Vratas’(formal Pujas with Vows), ‘Upavasas’(fastings), ‘Niyamas’ (Self-control measures), Daanas (charities), Deva ‘Stutis’(hymns of extolling) and Bhakti (Devotion) in the households of human beings, especially of Brahmanas.
(Vratopavasa niyamai naanaa daanaistatha Nripa!
Devaadayo bhavantyeva preetaasteshaam na samshayah/
viseshaadupavasena tithaih kila Maheepathey
prretaa Devaadayastheshaam bhavanti Kurunandana/
It was the confirmed view of the Muni that a Brahmana household which had no Agnihotra was as bad as that of a home with a dead body. A home of a Brahmana Grihasta is incomplete without formally performing ‘Pancha Yagnas’viz. Brahma Yagna, Pitru Yagna, Deva Yagna, Bhuta Yagna and Atithi Yana; these Yagnas are to be executed to ward off the ‘doshas’ or defects in each and every home arising out of ‘Jeeva-himsa’ being commited at five places viz. ‘okhli’ or mortar cum pounder; ‘chakki’ or grinder of corn into flour; ‘chulha’ or cooking stove; ‘Jhaadu’or sweeper of floor; and water-pipe! Brahma Yagna denotes Veda- Adhyana (recitation) and Adhyapana (instruction); Pitru Yagna is to satisfy Pitras by ‘Tarpanas’ or water-based oblations, Shraddha Karmas etc.; Deva Yagna is dedicated to Devas by way of ‘Havana karyas’or offerings of classified butter / ghee in Agnihotra so as to forward throug that medium to designated Devas through appropriate Mantras; Bhuta Yagnas as offerings to Balivaishva Deva; and Atithi Yagna or welcoming and hosting guests in the house holds. These regulations or Yagnas ward off the defects in a household.
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