Virajāhoma

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Virajahoma, VirajAhoma, Virajaahoma


Virajāhoma literally means ‘homa to become free from impurities’.

When a person decides to take sanyāsadīkṣā, embrace monastic life with certain vows, he has to perform some rites and ceremonies. One of the most important of these is the Virajāhoma.

It is a lengthy ritual. It comprises offering forty oblations in a duly consecrated fire with fuel sticks, cooked rice and ghee. The mantras recited during those oblations are the ones given in the Mahānārāyana Upaniṣād.[1] A typical format of the mantras is like this:
‘May my five prāṇas be purified, may I be light or illumination, free from rajas and from evil, svāhā!’

This is repeated a number of times to include several items such as:

  • Five senses
  • Mind
  • Intellect
  • Seed
  • Thought
  • Constituents of the body
  • Several limbs of the body
  • Five guṇas of the elements
  • Five kośas or sheaths
  • Etc.


References

  1. Mahānārāyana Upaniṣād sections 65 and 66
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore