Purṇapātra

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Purnapatra, PurNapAtra, Purnapaatra


purṇapātra (‘a vessel which is full’)

In Vedic sacrifices like Darśapurṇa-māsa, it refers to a vessel, full of water, from which the priest adhvaryu pours water into the joined hands of the wife (of the yajamāna or the sacrificer) who is holding the yoktra (cord of muñja grass used as a belt) in them. A mantra from the Taittiriya Samhitā (1.1.10.2) has to be chanted at that time.

At the end of a homa performed as per the tantras (Śāktāgamas) a purṇapātra has to be gifted. This is called ‘pṅrṇa-pātradāna’. It consists of keeping in a plate all the ingredients needed for a full meal—like uncooked rice, gram, ghee, oil, salt, fruits and sweets along with a coin as dakṣiṇā or cash-gift—and give it to a brāhmaṇa after the homa.

As a substitute for such a purṇapātra, one can offer a vessel of sufficient quantity of rice (enough for a single meal), some fruits and a coin.

Before giving it away, it has to be sanctified with appropriate mantras.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

OLD CONTENT

purṇapātra (‘a vessel which is full’) In Vedic sacrifices like Darśapurṇa- māsa, it refers to a vessel, full of water, from which the priest adhvaryu pours water into the joined hands of the wife (of the yajamāna or the sacrificer) who is holding the yoktra (cord of muñja grass used as a belt) in them. A mantra from the Taittiriya Samhitā (1.1.10.2) has to be chanted at that time. At the end of a homa performed as per the tantras (Śāktāgamas) a purṇapātra has to be gifted. This is called ‘pṅrṇa- pātradāna’. It consists of keeping in a plate all the ingredients needed for a full meal—like uncooked rice, gram, ghee, oil, salt, fruits and sweets along with a coin as dakṣiṇā or cash-gift—and give it to a brāhmaṇa after the homa. As a substitute for such a purṇapātra, one can offer a vessel of sufficient quantity of rice (enough for a single meal), some fruits and a coin. Before giving it away, it has to be sanctified with appropriate mantras.