By Swami Harshananda
Āśvayuji literally means ‘that which is performed on the āśvayuji day’.
The full-moon day of the month of Āśvayuja or Āśvina (September-October) is called ‘āśvayuji’. A gṛihya rite (rites mentioned in the gṛhyasutras, one of the seven pākayajñas) conducted by a householder on this day is also called by this name.
In this rite, a person adorns the house, bathes and then put on clean or white garments. The householder offers cooked food to Paśupati (Śiva). He also offers an oblation of clarified butter to the Aśvins, the twin deities.
The rite is sometimes called ‘Pṛṣātaka,’ and is performed for obtaining general prosperity. Tying of amulets of herbs on the arms is also recommended in this rite.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore