Saturday, 22nd September 2018

Achamanam

WHAT?

Achamanam means sipping drops of water thrice with mantras which purifies you to do all your religious rights and duties.   

 Manusmriti 2.61 says :

 शौच ईप्सु: सर्वदा आचमॆद् एकन्तॆ प्राग्-उदन्ग्-मुख:  ||

 "shoucha Ipsu: sarvadA aachamEd ekantE praag-udang-mukha:"

 One who seeks purity should always perform Achamanam quitely facing East or North.

 

WHO?

One who has received the sacred thread by performing the Upanayana samskArA should do Achamanam.

WHY?

Achamanam is done for external purification as well as for inner purification.

 

WHEN?

When should we do Achamanam? And How many times?

  • Once after brushing your teeth, twice after relieving your bladder and thrice after cleaning your bowels.
  • Once before bath and twice after bath. Same for drinking water/liquids and eating hard foods.
  • Twice before and after eating meals.
  • Twice before all religious duties and rites (nitya karma) like japa, havan/homa, sandhya prayers, archana, giving charity and receiving charity(dAnA) and once after all these.      

HOW

YAgyavalkya smRiti, Chapter 1, verses 18 and 19

1. अन्तर्जानु: शुचौ देशे उपविष्ट उदङ्मुख: ।

    प्राग्वा ब्राह्मेण तीर्थेन द्विजो नित्यमुपस्पृशेत् ॥

A dvija should daily rinse his mouth (Achamanam) in a clean place; facing east or north; sitting and placing his hands between the two knee joints. (like in kukkutAsanam).  He should sip water through the brahma-teertha part of his hands.

 

2. कनिष्ठादेशिन्यङ्गुष्ठमूलान्यग्रं करस्य च 

    प्रजापतिपितृब्रह्मदेवतीर्थान्यनुक्रमात् 

The base of the little finger is called prajApati teertha or Rushi teertha.   The base central tip of the palm is called the brahma teertha, between the base of the forefinger and the thumb is called the pitRu teertha and the four finger tips are called deva teertha.

 

3. त्रि: प्राश्यापो द्विरुन्मृज्य खान्यद्भि:समुपस्पृशेत्.

After drinking water thrice from the brahma teertham, one should wipe his lips with his thumb twice.  Kindly click on "My Achamanam" to view your personalised procedure.
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WHERE?

Achamanam is done before karmAs like sandhyAvandanam, parishEchanam,etc.  So it depends on where you are doing these karmAs.

  • Achamanam in rivers : In this case one can do Achamanam in standing posture but the left hand should touch the water. If you want to sit and do, then the right leg should be on the bank of the river and the left leg in the water. The left hand should touch the water while you do Achamanam. 
 

EXCEPTIONS?

  •  
  • 1. Achamanam need not be done before or after consuming prasAd, fruits, honey, leaves like tulsi, sugar cane, aromatic herbs like ilaichi, lavang, kesar and sesame (til).
  •  
  • 2. Achamanam is not done with sea water or rain water.

DHARMA SPEAKS?

  1. No time to do yoga?...Do Achamanam..The kukkutAsanA strengthens your joints and            back. 
  2. It also strengthens the abdominal walls and helps digestion.
  3. Most importantly it is a wonderful mind focus exercise.
  4. Sipping water in this posture after uttering the Lords’names will  purify you externally and internally.

MY ACHAMANAM

 

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यदक्षरपदभ्रष्टं मात्राहीनं तु यद् भवॆत्। तत्सर्वं क्षम्यतां दॆव नारायण नमॊस्तुतॆ॥   विसर्गबिन्दुमात्राणि पदपादाक्षराणि च। न्यूनानि चातिरिक्तानि क्षमस्व परमॆश्वर॥ अपराध सहस्राणि क्रियन्तॆ हर्निशं मया। तानि सर्वाणी मॆ दॆव क्षमस्व पुरुषॊत्तम॥

Prostrations to thee, Lord NaaraayaNaa, Please forgive me for all those defects in the letters, words or phonetics that I have uttered. Oh!ParamEshwaraa, please forgive me for all those defects in using the visarga (:), the bindu (.) or intonation of words, phrases or alphabets. Oh! PuruShOttamaa, I have committed thousands of sins day and night. Please forgive me for all that.