Talk:Vedis and Yajñāyudhas

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

Vedis and Yajñāyudhas ‘Vedi’ means an altar. ‘Yajñāyudhas’ are the various implements used in sacrifices. The vedi is either an elevated or an excavated plot of ground strewn with the darbha grass, where sacrificial utensils and implements are placed. It is shaped within a rectangular area. The northern and the southern sides are concave.

File:Vedis and Yajñāyudhas.jpg

Vedi for the Agnihotra, , , Darśapumamāsa and Istis Acamana

  • Dotted lines indicate the samcāras of the Brahman etc.

Measurements and shape of a vedi vary according to the type of the rite to be performed, as described in the con¬cerned texts. The height of the sacrificer is the unit used to determine the various measurements. Associated with the vedi is cayana or agnicayana, the rite of piling the bricks for the fire-altar, in Somayāgas. The altar is built with five layers of bricks. It may have several shapes such as suparṇa (eagle), śyena (hawk) and droṇa (trough). The bricks used also may be of various shapes—triangular, oblong or square. The yajñāyudhas, instruments and implements used in Vedic sacrifices, are as many as 43. However, only a few, the major ones, more commonly needed, will be described here. 1. Agnihotrahavanī It is a big ladle made of vikaṅkata wood (Flacourtia sapida) used for pouring the oblation of milk into the gārhapatya fire.


2. Ajyasthalī

It is a vessel of bronze used for keeping ājya or ghee. 3. Anvāhāryasthāli It is a big metallic vessel used to cook food (enough for four persons) on the daksmāgni which is also called ‘anvāhārya- pacana’. The food is distributed among the priests after (anu = after) the main sacrifice is over. 4. Aranis The araṇis are two pieces of wood, used to produce fire by attrition. The top piece called ‘uttarārani’ shaped like a round pestle. The bottom piece has a pit into which the strained juice falls.


They are used in the Somayāgas. into which the top araṇi can loosely fit. Fire is produced by the process of

7. Dohana ID It is the vessel used for containing the milk during milking. 8. Drsad and Upala They are the lower and the upper grinding stones used to pound the grains for preparing the puroḍāśa (rice cake). Dṛṣad is flat and upala is cylindrical.

3. Camasa Camasas are deep wooden bowls, square in shape and have short handles. They are used for keeping the soma juice. 4. Daśāpavitra and Dronakalaśa The former is a small piece of cloth used as a fringed strainer, to strain the soma juice. The latter is the wooden vessel

9. Idapatra and Darupatra The iḍāpātra is an oblong vessel made of aśvattha wood. It is used to keep the remnant of havis after oblation. The dārupātra is similar to it and is utilised to keep puroḍāśa and caru (porridge). Some mark is made on the latter to distinguish it from the former. 10. Juhu and Upabhrt They are wooden spoons similar to the agnihotrahavaṇī, but smaller in size. 11. Kapālas They are small square-shaped troughs made of burnt clay, used to cook the puroḍāśa cakes. 12. Krsnājina It is a deer-skin. The dṛṣad and the upala (See item 8.) are placed on it before pounding the grains. 7. Madantl It is the vessel used to keep water and heat it for preparing the puroḍāśa cakes. 8. Musala It is the pounding pestle made of khadira wood {Acacia catechu). 9. Pranītā-pranayana It is the long rectangular wooden vessel (made of aśvattha) used by the adhvaryu priest to carry holy water. 10. Sandarhśa It is the pair of iron tongs used for various purposes. 11. Sānnāyya-tapanī They are two vessels of bronze used to heat the milk of morning and evening, mixed together. 12. Sphya It is a piece of khadira wood shaped like a sword. Its uses in sacrifices are many.

19. Sruk and Sruva

They are small-size wooden spoons used for offering ājya or clarified butter. 20. Surpa It is the winnowing basket, generally made of bamboo. 21. Ulukhala It is a wooden mortar (made of any sacrificial wood) used along with the musala (pestle) (See item 14.) for crushing the grains. 22. Yoktra It is a straw-rope made of the muñja grass used as a belt. 23. Yupa It is the octogonal wooden post to which the animal to be immolated, is tied.