By Swami Harshananda
Paryagnikaraṇa literally means ‘moving the firebrand round the melted butter’.
Ājya or ghee is an important material used in Vedic sacrifices. After it is kept in the vessel known as ājyasthālī, it has to be ceremonially purified before being offered into the consecrated fire. This is done by moving an ulmuka or a firebrand three times round the ājya contained in that vessel placed over the fire. This particular act is called ‘paryagnikaraṇa’. The whole procedure is known as ‘ājyasanskāra’.
The ājya is said to acquire a special lustre by this purification process. The fire for the firebrand is drawn from the āhavanīya fire. The other objects for paryagnikaraṇa are:
- Yupa - sacrificial post
- Āhavanīya fire
- Cātvāla - a pit
- Śāmitra - a minor fire used in Vedic sacrifices
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math,