Reciting the vEdAs is called “brahma yagyam ब्रह्मयज्ञम् “. There are five daily sacrifices called “pancha mahAyagyam” which a householder has to perform. “brahma yagyam” is one of them. Reciting of the vEdAs is also called “shRuti japa: श्रुति जप :” (kAtyAyana smRuti 8.4)
Taittireeya AraNyakA , Prashna 2, AnuvAka 10 says:
पञ्च॒ वा ए॒ते म॑हाय॒ज्ञास्स॑त॒ति प्रता॑यन्ते सत॒ति सन्ति॑ष्ठन्तॆ दॆवय॒ज्ञ: पि॑तृय॒ज्ञॊ भू॑तय॒ज्ञॊ म॑नुष्यय॒ज्ञॊ ब्र॑ह्मय॒ज्ञ इति॒ यद॒ग्नौ जु॒हॊत्य॒पि स॒मिध॒न्तद्दॆ॑वय॒ज्ञस्सन्ति॑ष्ठतॆ॒ यत्पि॒तृभ्य॑स्स्व॒धा क॒रॊत्यप्य॒पस्तत्पि॑तृय॒ज्ञस्सन्ति॑ष्ठतॆ॒ यद्भू॒तॆभ्यॊ॑ बलिँहरति तद्भूत यज्ञ सन्तिष्ठते यद्ब्राह्मणॆभ्यो अन्नम् ददाति तन्म॑नुष्ययज्ञम् सन्ति॑ष्ठते यत्स्वा॓ध्या॒यमधी॒॑यतैका॑मप्यृ॒चं यजु॒स्साम॑ वा॒ तद्ब्रह॑म्य॒ज्ञस्सन्ति॑ष्ठतॆ॒॥
There are 5 mahAyagyAs a house holder should perform. They are 1. dEva yagyam 2. pitRu yagyam 3. bhoota yagyam 4. Manushya yagyam and 5. Brahma yagyam. Deva yagya consists in doing hOmA for the dEvAs by kindling the fire with samid. pitRu yagyam consists in offering oblations to pitRus by saying the word swadhA. Bhoota yagyam consists in offering food to animals and birds and offering bali. Manushya yagyam consists in offering food (annam) to brahmaNas (guests). Brahma yagyam consists in reciting the Rug, yaju: and the sAmA verses which one has learnt. This recitation is called (swAdhyAyam).
ManusmRuti 3.72 says :
Teaching the vEdas is brahma yagyam.
So teaching the holy vEdAs and reciting the vEdAs both are considered to be “brahma yagyam”.
ManusmRuti 3.74 also says:
जपोऽहुतो हुतॊ हॊम: प्रहुतॊ भौतिको बलि: ।
ब्राह्मं हुतं द्विजाग्र्यार्चा प्राशितम् पितृतर्पणम् ॥
The brahma yagyam or muttering of the vedic texts (japam) is called “ahutam अहुतं “
The dEva yagyam or oblations to Deities in fire is called ” hutam हुतं “.
The bhoota yagyam or offerings to the animals is called ” prahutam प्रहुतम् “.
The food offfered to the dvijAs is called ” brAhma hutam ब्राह्म हुतं ” .
The offerings in the daily pitru tarpaNam to pitRus is called ” prAshitam प्राशितं “.
1.All dvijAs both brahmachArees (bachelors) and gRuhastas (householders) who have been initiated with the gAyatree mantra during the upanayanam, should do “brahma yagyam” by reciting the vEdAs daily.
2.Those who are qualified to teach the vEdAs can teach students. That is also brahma yagyam
Manusmriti 3.68 to 3.81
पञ्च सूना गृहस्थस्य चुल्ली पॆषाण्युपस्कर: |
कण्डनी चॊदकुम्भश्च बध्यते यास्तु वाहयन् ||
pancha soonaa gRuhasthasya chullee pEShANyupaskara: !
kaNDanee chOdakumbhashcha badhyate yaastu vaahayan !!!
An householder has five places in his house where living organisms are destroyed.
They are 1. the fire 2. grinding stone 3. broom stick 4. the pestle and mortar 5. the water pitcher (pot).
तासां क्रमेण सर्वासां निष्कृत्यर्थं महर्षिभि:
पञ्च क्लुप्ता महायज्ञा: प्रत्यहं गृहमेधिनाम् !
taasaaM krameNa sarvaasaaM niShkRutyarthaM maharShibhi:
pancha kluptaa mahaayagyaa: pratyahaM gRuhamedhinAm !!
The mahaRushis have ordained that an householder should perform 5 sacrifices (pancha mahaa yagya) for the expiation of the sin committed by him in each of these five places.
अध्यापनं ब्रह्मयज्ञ: पितृयज्ञस्तु तर्पणम् |
हॊमॊ दैवॊ बलिर्भौतॊ नृयज्ञोऽतिथिपूजनम् ||
The five sacrifices are 1. Brahma yagyam ( teaching/studying the vEdAs), 2. pitRu yagyam (offering libations of water to pitRus through tarpaNam/shrAdddh) 3. dEva yagyam (offerings to the Deities) 4. Bhoota yagyam (offerings to animals/birds) 5. Nru yagyam (offering food to guests (atithis))
Here we are discussing 1. Brahma yagyam.
ऋषय: पितरॊ दॆवा भूतान्यतिथयस्तथा |
आशासते कुटुम्बिभ्यस्तॆभ्य कार्यं विजानता ||
The Rushis, manes, dEvAs, animals and guests look upon the householder for their maintenance. Hence a wise/learned householder should discharge his duties towards them properly.
स्वाध्यायेन अर्चयेत् ऋषीन्, हॊमैर् देवान् यथा विधि |
पितॄन् श्राद्धैश्च नृन् अन्नैर् भूतानि बलिकर्मणा ||
The Rushis should be satisfied with vEdic recitation, the Deities with the oblations in the fire, the manes with the offerings in the shrAddh, the guests with food and the animals with bali karmA, offerings for them.
Sage vyAsa, Chapter 3.9 and 3.10
तिष्ठन् स्थित्वा तु गायत्रीं तत: स्वाध्यायमारभेत् |
ऋचाञ्च यजुषां साम्नामथर्वाङ्गीरसामपि ||
इतिहासपुराणानां वेदोपनिषदां द्विज:|
शक्त्या सम्यक् पठेन्नित्यमल्पमप्या समापनात् ||
Having recited the gAyatree, a dvijA must do svAdhyAyam of the vEdAs. He must according to his might read a portion of the Rug, yajur and the sAman vedAs. After that, he must read the itihAsAs, purAnAs and the upaniShads according to his might. This, he should do everyday.
स यज्ञदानतपसामखिलं फलमाप्नुयात् |
तस्मादहरहर्वेदं द्विजोऽधीयीत वाग्यत: ||
A twice born acquires all the fruits of this world which can be acquired by sacrifice (yagya यज्ञ ), charity (dAna दान) and austerity (tapas तपस ). Hence he should read the vEdAs daily in a quiet and restrained manner.
Sage kAtyAyana talks about the fruits of Brahma-yagyam and Brahma-dAnam performed by a “Vipra” . A vipra is a brAhmaNa learned in the vEdAs. Chapter 14, “ब्रह्मयज्ञविधिवर्णनम् “.
८. न ब्रह्मयज्ञादधिकोऽस्ति यज्ञो न तत् प्रदानात् परमस्ति दानम् ।
सर्वे तदन्ता: क्रतव: सदाना नान्तो दृष्ट: कैश्चिदस्य द्विकस्य ॥
There is no sacrifice superior to a Brahmayagya; there is no gift superior to the gift of teaching the vEdAs. All other gifts and sacrifices have limited fruits but no one has seen the end of the above two.
९. ऋच: पठन् मधुपय: कुल्याभिस्तर्पयेत् सुरान्।
घृतामृतौघकुल्याभिर्यजूष्यपि पठन् सदा ॥
By reciting the verses of the Rug vEdA daily, one gratifies the celestials (gods/Deities/Rushis) with streams of honey and milk. By reciting the verses of the Yajur vEdA daily, one gratifies them with streams of ghee (clarified butter) and ambrosia (divine drink/beverage).
१०.सामन्यपि पठन् सॊमघृतकुल्याभिरन्वहम् ।
मेद: कुल्याभिरपिच आथर्वाङ्गीरस: पठन् ॥
By reading the sAman (verses of the sAma vEdA) daily, one gratifies the celestials with streams of sOmA juice an ghee. By reading the atharva vEdA of sage Angeerasa, one gratifies them with streams of fat.
११.मांसक्षीरौदनमधुकुल्याभिस्तर्पयेत् पठन् ।
वाकोवाक्यं पुराणानि इतिहासानि चान्वहम् ॥
By reading the major and minor aphorisms of the PurANAs and itihAsAs, one gratifies the celestials with streams of meat, thickened milk, barely cakes and honey.
१२.ऋगादीनामन्यतममेतेषां शक्तितोऽन्वहम् ।
पठन् मध्वाज्यकुल्याभि: पितॄनपि च तर्पयेत् ॥
One who reads any of all these scriptures headed by the RuchAs (verses of the Rug vEdA), one gratifies the pitRus (departed manes) with streams of honey and ghee.
१३.ते तृप्तास्तर्पयन्त्येनं जीवन्तं प्रेतमेव च ।
कामचारि च भवति सर्वेषु सुरसद्मसु ॥
The celestials being gratified by the performer, inturn bless him whether alive or dead. He may move freely in all the celestial planes.
१४.गुर्वप्येनो न तं स्पृशेत् पङ्क्तिञ्चैव पुनाति स: ।
यं यं क्रतुञ्च पठति फलभाक् तस्य तस्य च ॥
Nothing big touches him and he becomes the purifier of his flock. He will reap the benefits of the sacrifices performed by him accordingly.
१५.वसुपूर्णा वसुमति त्रिर्दान फलमाप्नुयात् ।
ब्रह्मयज्ञादपि ब्रह्मदानमेवातिरिच्यते ॥
The performer of the brahma-yagyam (reciting vEdAs) and the brahma-dAnam (gifting the vEdAs by teaching) is blessed with the fruits of gifting the 3 riches.
(The 3 charities which are the most generous of all gifts namely :-
1. go-dAn गोदानम्, 2. bhoo-dAn भूदानम् and 3. brahma-dAn, ब्रह्मदानम्
ref:- vashiShTha smRuti – 1.29.20)
Brahma yagyam is a nitya karma and should be peformed daily in the morning after the sandhyOpAsanam/ sandhyAvandanam or after mAdhyAhnikam in the afternoon. It should not be performed after lunch.
Please click on the last tab “My brahma yagyam” for your personalised procedure.
dEva rushi pitru tarpaNam which is performed immediately after brahma yagyam is also attached in the file. The pitRu tarpaNam performed here is for the dEva swaroopi pitRus and not for the jeeva swaroopi pitRus. So even those whose parents are alive, should perform this pitRu tarpaNam after brahma yagyam.
1. It is a must that one must have learnt atleast some prashNams of your vEda shAkhA from a qualified priest/guru before you go on to do this karmA. The teaching of the vEdAs begin from first “upAkarmA” after upanayanam. One may contact one’s priest/guru and check his availability for this purpose.
2. If not, atleast try to learn the “purusha sooktam” so that it can be recited instead of the vEda prashnam.
VAdhoola smRuti 156 वाधूल स्मृति १५६ says:
ब्रह्मयज्ञ जपेत् सूक्तं पौरुषं चिन्तयन् हरिम् ।
स सर्वान् जपते वेदान् साङ्गोपाङ्गविधानत:॥
In the brahma yagyam, if one recites the ” purusha sooktam पुरुष सूक्तम् ” contemplating on Lord Hari, then he is deemed to have recited the entire vEdAs with all its divsions and sub-divisions.
3. If the above is also not feasible then atleast recite the gAyatri mantrA a thousand times.
Brahma yagyam need not be performed on days of “impurities i.e. Ashaucham” arising out of birth or death.