From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Grāvastut literally means ‘one who praises the stone used for crushing the soma stalks’.

Vedic sacrifices are of several varieties. Somayāgas, the sacrifices in which the soma juice has to be offered as oblation, are an important type among them.

The soma juice has to be extracted by using stone crushers called ‘grāvan’ specially meant for this purpose. The crushing or pressing[1] takes place three times a day. They are:

  1. Prātas-savana
  2. Mādhyandinasavana
  3. Tṛtīya-savana

The grāvastut is a priest who is an assistant of the hotṛ priest. During the mādhyandina-savana; he enters the havirdhānamaṇṭapa,[2] and wears a special turban. Then he recites the grāvastotra.[3] He is entitled for a share in the soma juice.


  1. The procedure of crushing the soma stalk is called ‘savana’.
  2. Havirdhānamaṇṭapa is a shed housing the two carts loaded with soma stalks.
  3. Āśvalāyana Srautasutra 5.12.9-25
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore