By Swami Harshananda
Hiṇkāra literally means ‘the sound hiṃ’.
Uttering the word ‘hiṃ’ marked the opening of the sāman in some sacrifices. It was repeated thrice by the hotṛ priest. Sometimes, the udgātṛ priest did it, but he replaced ‘hiṃ’ by ‘hūm ā’ twice. When ‘hiṃ’ was repeated thrice, followed by ‘bhūr bhuvas suvarom’ it was called ‘abhihiṇkāra’.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore