Invariably, many people enter the blog with a question (google search) of purascharana. We will see in this blog what it is and how it is done.
Purascharana means pura charati iti, that means, that which is performed before or prior. Before the deity or prior to the mantra siddhi. We will come to the q what is mantra siddhi later. Now, what should be done before or prior to complete a purascharana.
Purascharana means repeating a mantra for a particular number of times and for a period of time. This is the first and important part of the purascharana. There are five parts / limbs to a purascharana, 1. Mantra japa (repetition of mantra) 2. Homa (fire obulation using the mantra) 3. Tarapana (water obulation using mantra) 4. Marjana (ritualistic sprinkling of water) and 5. Bhojana (feeding of Brahmins / Sadhus).
Japa – repeating the mantra for a specified number of times. This is normally n Lakh times, where n stands for the number of characters / alphabets in the mantra. If the mantra is a very big one, than, it is also accepted as 1 lakh repetition. And, at the beginning of the japa everyday, the puja should be performed to the mantra deity or the yantra for the particular mantra.
Homa – after performing the reqired number of japa. The Homa should be performed using the same mantra adding a “swaha” to it. And the number of times the homa should be performed is 1 / 10th of the Japa. Likewise, the later stages in the purascharana is 1 / 10th of the former stage. The obulation material or the material for the offering in the fire is generally Ghee (clarified butter), but sometimes, may vary according to the purpose of the pursacharana.
Tarpana – water mixed with milk or jiggery etc. is used to perform tarpana. In this, the water is taken in a spoon and it will be poured through the palm, leaving the thumb. This too should be done using the mantra and a “tarpayami” added to it.
Marjana – the water is taken in a bowl and a small piece of ginger it tied to the tip of it, through which the water is sprinkled on oneself or the yantra. The sprinkling should be done using the mantra suffixed with a “marjayami” to it.
Bhojana – number equal to 1 / 10th of the number of marjana should be fed, as the last part of the purascharana.
This completes one round of purascharana. In kali age to attain mantra siddhi one should perform four purascharana using a mantra. Manra siddhi generally means attainment of the complete control of the mantra, for using it in a way desired. But, for a sadhaka, it means the blessing of the deity. It could be felt by the peace one gains after the purascharana.
If for some reason, one is not able to perform the above other limbs, than it can be substituted with four times japa (four times of the 1 / 10th of the previous limb).