Sadyah-śauca

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sadyah-sauca, Sadyah-Zauca, Sadyah-shauca


Sadyah-śauca literally means ‘purification on the same day’.

Meaning of Sadyah-śauca

The smṛtis and dharmaśāstras[1] prescribe aśauca or ceremonial impurity that accrues to a person due to birth or death or other occurrences in a family. This is of ten kinds. Though such an impurity may extend from three to ten days, there are exceptions wherein the aśauca may be ended just by sunset or sunrise or even by a bath. Such a purification is called sadyah-sauca. The word ‘sadyah’ means ‘the same day’.

Rules for Sadyah-śauca

Sadyah-śauca is permitted in the following cases:

  • Priests chosen for a sacrifice
  • One who has taken dīkṣā[2] for a Vedic sacrifice
  • Those who are engaged in giving gifts especially at charity houses
  • Craftsmen engaged in important work that cannot be stopped
  • During natural disturbances or natural calamities
  • Etc.

There is no aśauca for the ascetics under any circumstances.


References

  1. They are the secondary scriptures dealing with the general code of conduct including daily routine.
  2. Dīkṣā means initiation.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore