Ānhika Prakaṇam

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

Ānhika prakaṇam is one of the content divisions which mostly deals with the works related to Dharma Śāstra. The word ‘anha’(अन्ह) means ‘day’ and ‘ānhika’ means anything related to day. In the context related to Dharma Śāstra, ‘ānhika’ means the duties or the procedures to be performed in day routine. It mostly deals with the process of routine chores like cleansing of tooth, excretion, how to bathe and so on. These procedures are classified in the varṇa system, making every method different for each and every varṇa at times, while some acts are common for all.

The whole idea behind expounding a comprehensive manual for all these acts is to establish the connection between every act that one performs daily and the principal puruṣārthas. Although these acts were performed in accordance with the manual prescribed by the texts, there purport was to achieve hygiene. But this is a consequential purpose and not the primary one.

All the texts related to Dharma Śāstra have the main purpose of binding 'artha' and 'kāma' with 'Dharma’ which eventually leads to mokṣa, the ultimate puruṣārtha. As the puruṣārthas like dharma and mokṣa are unperceivable by senses, the only evidence is texts/scriptures. Hence, Ānhika prakaṇam has a trivial vital role in Sanātana tradition.