yajur upakarma

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Fri Aug 15 10:56:23 CDT 1997

Ravi wrote:

>members to write the significance and the importance of the yajur

I can tell the little I know.

There are various things as part of the yajur upAkarma. There is the one
ritual for purification of all sins committed which is called the
sa.nkalpaM. Then there is the kANda R^ishhi tarpaNam. This is done to
please the R^ishhi-s who were the seers of the mantra-s. Actually this
tarpaNam is a part of the brahma yaGYam which is a nitya karma for both
brahmachAri-s and householders. In this, tarpanam for the R^ishhi-s is
done twice with each mantra eg, prajApatiM kANDa R^ishhiM tarpayAmi etc.
But in the yajurupAkarma it's done thrice with each mantra. I have no
idea why!

gAyatrI japam is of course the japam of the most important mantra for
1008 times. Actually the devI bhAgavataM says that doing 1008 gayathri-s
daily is uttamam, 108 is madhyamam, 32 is adhamam and anything less like
12 or 18 is adhamAdhamam. In real life most people don't do 1008 even on
upAkarma day :-).

The kamokAR^ishhith japam is also done. One interpretation is that the
desire and anger are manifestations of the particular beings and they
are appeased so that we are not afflicted by them. However, the
mahAnArAyaNa upanishhad says:

kamokAR^ishhIt.h kAmakkaroti nAhaM karomi kAmakkartA nAhaM kartA
kAmakkArayitA nAhaM kArayitA eshha te kAma kAmAya svAhA |

"I" am not the one who acts, the R^ishhi kAma acts, "I" am not the doer,
kAma is the doer etc.

There is a similar mantra with kAma replaced by manyu.

Basically, the self is without activity and is the substratum. The
desires etc which seem to occur is not of the self and so on. This
should be kept in mind while doing the japa. I have seen two versions of
the mantra, namely kAmokAR^ishhIt.h manyurakar^ishhIn.h and also
kAmokAR^ishhIt.h manyurakAR^ishhIn namonamaH.

Also note that this does not mean that we can do whatever we please and
attribute it to kAma :-). The aham is the Atman and not the ego.

>Also one of my friends wrote to me that we should do the upakarma on
>17th in the U.S. and not on 18th based on the nakshatram (star).
>Can someone throw more light on this issue?

As far as this goes, I generally do it on the same day as in India. I
follow the dictum of thiruGYAnasampanthar to saint appar, "aDiyArkku
nALum illai, kOLum illai" [for the servants (of siva) there is neither a
(good) day nor a (good) star (all are good)] :-).


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