From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Añganyāsa literally means ‘placing on the limbs’.
Ritualistic worship has evolved into a well-developed science. Before starting the worship of the deity, all articles used in the process are to be purified, not only physically but also ceremonially.
Nyāsa is such an act in this process, and means the ‘placing’ of gods or holy words or letters on certain parts of the body. Aṅganyāsa is an aspect of this nyāsa. Also called ‘Saḍaṅganyāsa’ (ṣaṭ = six, aṅga = limb), it involves the ceremonial purification and protection of :
- Hṛdaya - Heart
- Sīr - Head
- Śikhā - Tuft
- Kavaca - Armour indicated by touching the shoulders with the hands crossed
- Netratraya - Three eyes, including the middle of the eyebrows
- Karatala - Palm of the hand
The process is sometimes extended to more parts of the body like the feet, navel and so on.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore