From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Patnīśālā literally means ‘a shed for the wife’.

Vedic sacrifices involved the construction of large and temporary sheds meant for various purposes. One such shed with the bamboo beams protruding towards the east was called ‘prācīnavarnśa’. In this shed a small part was set apart and screened off where the patnī or the wife of the yajamāna[1] was supposed to stay during the performance of the pravargya, a minor rite in a somayāga, which she was not supposed to see. Hence it is named accordingly.


  1. Yajamāna means the sacrificer.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore