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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sunasiriya, ZunAsiriya, shunaasiriya

Śunāsiriya literally means ‘guide of plough’.

Origin of Śunāsiriya

Śunāsiriya is the last of the four Vedic sacrifices grouped under the cāturmāsyas. It is referred to even in the Ṛgveda.[1] The word Sunā-sīra may refer to any of the following deities:

  1. Vāyu and Surya
  2. Surya and Indra
  3. Indra and two forms of Agni

Rituals of Śunāsiriya

Offering havis[2] in this sacrifice is considered as very important. It consists of puroḍāśa[3] cakes in twelve mud plates and also milk. This sacrifice can be performed at any time during the year. There is no uttaravedi.[4] The fire is not produced by araṇis. Attaining wealth and success in life are the twin purposes of performing this sacrifice.


  1. Ṛgveda 4.57.5 and 8
  2. Havis means special oblations.
  3. Puroḍāśa means rice.
  4. Uttarvedi means high alter erected in the east.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore