[Advaita-l] pAni agni - A rigvedic practice

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 03:32:17 CDT 2015

Sri Bhaskar,

When we were doing the adhyayana of Achhidram, my guru Sri Ramaganesa
GhanapATigal referenced a portion of the Taittariya BrAhmaNa which
refers to the Agni being in the right palm of a BrAhmaNa.  He too mentioned
in this context that Rig Vedis tend to offer sacrifices in the right palm
of Brahmins, but we didn't go into details of which sacrifices would
specifically qualify for this. But I believe the below addresses your first
question - does fire rest in the palm of only rig vedis? I think, no its
for all brAhmANa-s.

This is the relevant portion from Achhidram

यद्यजाम् न विन्देत्।
ब्राह्मण्स्य दक्षिणे हस्ते होतव्यम्।
एष वा अग्निर्वैश्वानर:।
अग्नावेवास्याग्निहोत्रम् हुतम् भवति॥

The translation from PE Dumont (Proceedings, American Philosophical Society
(vol. 105, no. 1, 1961) -

"If the Adhvaryu (acting for the Sacrificer) should not find a she-goat, he
should offer the oblation on the right hand of a Brahmana. Verily this one,
the Brahmana, is Agni Vaishvanara. (Consequently, when the oblation is
offered on the right hand of a Brahmana), it is on the fire, indeed, (as it
is prescribed,) that his agnihotra (i.e the agnihotra of the Sacrificer) is

I hope other more knowledgeable members can answer your other questions.


On Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 7:09 AM, Bhaskar YR via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> It is not relating to advaita vedAnta  of shankara but relating to the
> 'dharma/karma jignAsa.
> I was talking to Sri Anand Hudli prabhuji about 'agni' in the palm of
> Rigvedi-s in Face Book and asked for some clarification.  It seems he is
> busy, hence I am posing this question to the group.  Any pointers with
> reference would be helpful.
> In Rigveda AshvalAyana, the existing practice is that they don't do any
> hOma kArya during the shraddha because of the belief that they have the
> agni in palm hence they will do only pANi hOma.  Sri Ananda Hudli prabhuji
> said that since the right hand of a brAhmaNa has agni in the normal case he
> will do the pANi hOma.  I again asked him the clarification whether 'agni
> in hand' is applicable to every brAhmaNa or only rigvedi brAhmaNa??  And
> whether pANi homa practice is observed only in shrAddhAdi karma or in all
> vaidika karma??  Since I have attended somany Rigveda prayOga as well as a
> ritvik (sva-shAkha is yajurveda, Apasthambha) I saw this practice only in
> shrAddha karma.  In all other vaidika shanti and samskAra karma-s rigvedi-s
> would do agni pratishtApana with the formalities of AshvalAyana agnimukha
> prayOga and name the agni differently for different purposes.  For example
> during choula hOma (during upanayana) the agni is called 'sabhya',
> 'samuddhava' for upanayana pradhAna hOma.  Likewise, for samAvartana,
> vivAha vihita hOma-s we do the pratishtApana of agni with different names.
> My questions is why this pAni hOma practice existing in only shrAddha
> karma  and need more detail on this pAni agni.
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar
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