By Swami Harshananda
Pārvaṇasthālīpāka literally means ‘cooking in a pot on parvan days’.
This is one of the minor rites that is classed among the pākayajñas. Its name is derived from the fact that it has to be performed on a ‘parvan’ day. It is the day specified by the holy books as sacred. On this day, the food is cooked in a vessel and offered into the fire.
A newly married person has to perform this rite on returning home after marriage. It starts on the first full-moon day. The wife has to husk the rice grains and cook it to prepare it for offering. The husband offers this cooked food into the fire, first to the deities of the Vedic Darśapurṇamāsa sacrifice and then to Agni-Sviṣtakṛt. The remnants are given to a brāhmaṇa as food. It has to be performed regularly on the new-moon and the full- moon days throughout life if initiated once. The couple has to fast either completely or partially on those days. It is done both by the āhitāgni, one who has kindled the Vedic fires and the anāhitāgni, one who has not kept the Vedic fires.
- Pāka means cooking and sthālī means vessel.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore