Sacred Texts  Esoteric  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Occult Science in India, by Louis Jacoilliot, [1919], at

p. 45



[Taken from the Agrouchada-Parikchai.]

After his marriage, the Brahmatchary left the class of neophytes, but he did not, however, enter that of the Grihastas, or heads of family, who had been admitted to the first degree of initiation. In order to do so, it was requisite, first, that he should have paid his ancestors’ debt by the birth of a son, who would perpetuate their race; second, that he should be deemed worthy, upon the report of his Guru, of taking this step.

Upon admission he might remain a simple Grihasta, or he might be attached to the service of a pagoda, in the capacity of a Pourohita; in either case, he was now a member of the great sacerdotal family, and during twenty years all the acts of his daily life would be instrumental in the preparation, both mentally and physically, by meditation, prayers, sacrifices, ablutions, and the strictest attention to personal cleanliness, for the superior transformation which was now the object of all his efforts.

According to the first part of the Agrouchada-Parikchai, . which we have already quoted, and which is called the Nittia-Carma, the following is an account of the innumerable corporeal and spiritual purifications which were enjoined upon him, and none of which could be neglected under the severest penalties.

They are divided in the original work in the following manner:

p. 46


The Grihasta should leave his mat every morning before sunrise, and his first words, upon leaving his bed, should he an invocation to Vischnou.

He should then address the great essence, whose number three is contained in one, as well as the superior spirits, saying, Brahma! Vischnou! Siva! and you, superior Genii of the seven planets, cause the day to appear.

The second name which he should pronounce, is that of the Guru under whom he has accomplished his novitiate. He should say:

O holy Guru, I offer you my adorations and I love you as a superior spirit who has already left the world. It is through your wise lessons that I have been able to avoid evil.

He should then pray to the superior Being, to descend into his heart, saying:

Brahma is now within me, and I shall enjoy the most perfect happiness.

He should then address Vischnou, saying:

O God, who art the purest of spirits, the principle of all things, the master of the world, and the fertilizer of nature, it is by thy orders that I have left my couch and have ventured among the shoals of life.

He should then ponder over the duties of the day, and the good works and meritorious actions which it is his duty to perform.

p. 47

He should remember, in order to be agreeable to the gods, that all his actions should be performed with fervor and piety, not negligently or perfunctorily.

Having set his mind upon the performance of every duty, the should then utter aloud the thousand names of Vischnou.

The Agrouchada gives the whole litany of Vischnou, which is actually composed of a thousand names. They commence as follows:

Hail to Vischnou!
Hail to Hary!
Hail to Narayana!
Hail to Covinda!
Hail to Kechva! etc.

The reader will gladly dispense with the rest.


The Regular Ablutions.

Taking in his hand a copper vessel, he should go to some isolated place, at least an arrow's flight from his dwelling, to perform his needs.

It is impossible for us to give these singular precepts in full. They are alike among all Eastern people. We read in Deuteronomy, chapter 23, verses 12 and 13. (Habebis locum extra castra ad quem egrediaris ad requisita naturæ, gerens paxillum in balteo; cumque sederis, fodies per circuitum, et egesta humo operies.)

In the choice of a suitable place he should avoid the ground of a temple and the banks of a river, or a tank, a well, a much-travelled road, or a sacred wood.

p. 48

He should not wear the pure cloth which he uses as a garment.

He should suspend the triple cord, which is a sign of his dignity, from his left ear.

He should stop in a place where he is sure of not being seen, and while he stays there he should not have in mind or sight, the gods, the Pitris, the ancestral shades, the sun, the moon, the seven planets, or fire, or a Brahmin, a temple, a statue of the divinity, or a woman.

He should maintain the profoundest silence.

He should chew nothing and have no burden upon his head.

Upon his departure, after washing his feet and hands in the water contained in a covered vessel, he should go to the banks of a river or tank to perform the ablution of his secret parts.

Having come to the banks of the river or tank where he proposes to purify himself, he should choose a suitable place, and a little fine sand which he should use in conjunction with the water to effect his purification.

He should know that there are several kinds of impure earths which he should not use, to wit: earth thrown up by ants, that from which the salt has been extracted, clay, the earth upon a high road, that which has been used for making lye, that which is found under a tree or in the

p. 49

grounds of a temple, or in a cemetery, or that which is found near holes made by rats.

He should select a fine sandy earth, free from vegetable or animal detritus of any kind.

Having provided himself with suitable earth, he should approach the water without entering it and should fill his copper vessel. If he has no vessel, he should make a hole in the sand upon the banks of a river.

Taking a handful of earth saturated with water, he should rub and wash the unclean parts three times, and his other secret parts once.

Then, after cleaning and washing himself with plenty of water, he should rinse out his mouth with the pure liquid and should swallow three mouthfuls while uttering the name of Vischnou.

In cleaning his teeth he should use a small bit of wood taken from the outanga, rengou, neradou, visouga, outara, or revanou tree or from any lacteous or thorny bushes.

Upon cutting off a branch he should address the spirits of the woods as follows:

Spirit of the forest, I cut one of these little branches to clean my teeth. Grant me, by means of the act which I am about to accomplish, a long life, strength, honors, and understanding.

p. 50

Having terminated this invocation, he should cut a long stick from a palm tree, the end of which he should soften in his mouth, like a brush.

Sitting upon the edge of the water, with his face turned toward the East, he should rub all his teeth with the stick of wood and should rinse out his mouth three times with pure water.

It is not lawful for him to cleanse himself thus every day. He should abstain the sixth, eighth, ninth, eleventh, and fourteenth day of the new and full moon.

He should abstain on Tuesday of every week, and on the day presided over by the constellation beneath which he was born, as well as upon the day of the week and month corresponding to that of his birth.

He should abstain during eclipses, planetary conjunctions, equinoxes, solstices, and other inauspicious periods; upon the anniversary of his father's or mother's death he should understand that all this is absolutely forbidden.


Rules for General Ablutions.

Upon going to the river or tank of ablutions the Brahmin should change the water of the river or tank, by the power of the following invocation, into the sacred waters of the Ganges:


O Ganges, you were born from the bosom of Brahma, whence you descended upon the head of Siva and the

p. 51.

feet of Vischnou, and came down to earth to wipe out the sins of mankind, to purify them from their uncleanness, and to obtain happiness for them; you are the refuge and stay of all animated creatures that live on this earth. I have confidence in you; take back again your holy water from this river in which I am about to perform my ablutions; in this manner you will purify my soul and body.

He should think of the spirits who preside over the sacred rivers, which are seven in number—Ganges, Yamouna, Sindou, Godavery, Sarasvatty, Nerbouda, and Cavery.

Then entering the water he should direct his attention toward the Ganges, and imagine that he is really performing his ablutions in that river.

After bathing he should turn toward the sun, and taking some water in his hands three times, he should perform an oblation to that luminary three times, letting the water drip slowly from the end of his fingers.

He should then come out of the water, gird his loins with a pure cloth, put another upon his shoulders, and sit down with his face turned toward the East, and with his copper vessel full of water standing near him: he should then rub his forehead with ground sandal-wood and trace the red mark called Tiloky, according to the practice of his caste.

He should then hang from his neck three garlands of flowers of different colors prepared by his wife, and should finish by suspending from his neck a chaplet of the red seed called Boudrakchas.

p. 52

He should then think of Vischnou and should drink of the water contained in his vase three times in his honor. He should again perform three libations to the sun, pouring a little water upon the earth.

He should perform a similar libation in honor of the celestial Trimourti—Brahma, Vischnou, Siva; and of the superior spirits—Indra, Agny, Yama, Neiritia, Varouna, Vahivou, Couverd, and Isania.

To the air, to the ether, to the earth, to the pure fluid, Agasa, to the universal principle of force and life, and to all the Pitris and ancestral shades, uttering the names of all those which occur to his mind.

He should then arise and pay homage to Vischnou, reciting in his honor the prayers which are most agreeable to him.

Turning around slowly three times, he should pronounce the names of the divine Trinity, nine times at every revolution. Then uttering slowly the three names contained in the mysterious monosyllable—Brahma, Vischnou, Siva—he should make nine revolutions at each repetition thereof.

When he pronounces the mysterious monosyllable itself in a low tone, he should rapidly make nine revolutions and recite the following invocation to the sun:


O Sun! you are the eye of Brahma at day-break, the eye of Vischnou at noon, and that of Siva at evening.

p. 53

[paragraph continues] You are the diamond of the Infinite, the precious stone of the air, the king of day, the witness of all actions that take place in the universe. Your warmth fertilizes nature. You are the measure of time. You regulate days, nights, weeks, months, years, cycles, calpas, yuyas, seasons, and the time for ablutions and prayer. You are the lord of the nine planets. You remove all the impurities of the globe. You scatter darkness wherever you appear. In the space of sixty gahdias you survey from your chariot the whole of the great mountain of the north, which extends for ninety millions six hundred yodjomas. I offer you my adoration, as to the superior spirit which watches over the earth.

In honor of his tutelary star and of the spirit which animates it, he then turns around twelve times, twenty-four times, or if his strength enables him twenty-four times, forty-eight times. 1

In this manner he disciplines the body, increases his strength, and prepares himself for mysterious evocations. He then goes toward the tree, Assouata, and, after resting himself in its shade, he addresses to it the following invocation:


O Tree Assouata! 2 you are the king of the forests and the image and symbol of the gods. Your roots represent Brahma, your trunk Vischnou, and your branches Siva; thus you represent the Trimourti. All those who honor you in this world by performing the ceremony of

p. 54

imitation, by turning around you, and by celebrating your praises, obtain the knowledge of things in this world and a superior form in another.

He then revolves around the tree seven, fourteen, twenty-one, twenty-eight, thirty-five times and more, until his strength is exhausted, always increasing the number of revolutions by seven.

When he is rested he should engage, for a while, in devout meditation; he should then clothe himself with clean garments, and, after plucking a few flowers with which to offer sacrifices to the domestic spirits, he should return to the house, with his vessel full of water.


Acts after Ablutions.

Upon returning home the Grihasta performs the sacrifice to the fire and can then attend to his other duties.

At noon, after ordering his mid-day meal, he should return to the river for the purpose of repeating the sandya and of reciting the prayers which will be hereafter given in the ritual.

Then he should return home, and try to keep himself pure by carefully abstaining from touching or walking upon anything capable of contaminating him.

If he should come in contact with any person of an inferior caste, or should step upon any vegetable or animal

p. 55

detritus, upon any hair or bones, he should return to the river and repeat his ablutions.

He should be in a state of perfect purity in order to offer the sacrifice to the Pitris which it now becomes his office to perform.

After preparing himself for this important ceremony, he should thoughtfully enter the room in his house re- served for the domestic spirits which he is accustomed to evoke, and should engage in the ceremonies preparatory to evocation.

Evocation in the First Degree.

After darkening a part of the room he should deposit in that portion of it a vase full of water, a lamp, and some powdered sandal-wood, boiled rice, and incense.

Snapping his fingers together, and turning around upon his heels he should trace before the door the magic circles as taught him by the superior Guru, in order to prevent the entrance of any bad spirits from the outside and to confine within it any which have already penetrated to the sanctuary of the Pitris.

With earth, water, and fire, breathed upon three times, he should compose a new body for himself, and with a part of his, should form a body for the spirits which he intends to evoke for the sacrifice.

He should then compress the right nostril with his thumb and pronounce the monosyllable Djom! sixteen

p. 56

times. Breathing in strongly by his left nostril he should by degrees separate the particles of which his body is composed.

With the thumb and fore-finger he should then press both nostrils and pronounce the word Rom! six times. He should stop breathing and summon fire to his aid in order to disperse his body.

He should pronounce the word Lom! thirty-two times, when his soul will escape from his body, and his body will disappear and the soul of the spirits he has evoked will animate the new body he prepared for it.

His soul will then return to his body, the subtile parts of which will unite anew, after forming an aërial body for the spirits which he has evoked.

Pronouncing the sacred word Aum! three times and the magic syllable Djom! nine times, he should impose his hands above the lamp and throw a pinch of incense upon the flame, saying:

O sublime Pitri! O illustrious penitent narada! whom I have evoked and for whom I have formed a subtile body from the constituent particles of my own, are you present? Appear in the smoke of incense and take part in the sacrifice that I offer to the shades of my ancestors.

When he has received a suitable answer and the aërial body of the spirit evoked has appeared in the smoke of

p. 57

the incense, he should then proceed to perform the oblations and sacrifices as prescribed.

The sacrifices having been offered, he should hold converse with the souls of his ancestors concerning the mysteries of being and the transformations of the imperishable.

Having extinguished his lamp, in darkness and silence he should then listen to the conversation of the spirits with each other, and should be present at the manifestations by which they reveal their presence.

Lighting his lamp, he should then set at liberty the evil spirits confined in the magic circles, after which he should leave the asylum of the Pitris. It is lawful for him then to take his repast.

As soon as he has finished it, he should wash his hands, rinse his mouth twelve times, and eat nine leaves of basil, in order to facilitate his digestion.

He should distribute betel and cashew nuts to the poor whom he has invited to his table, and when they are gone he should engage for a time in the perusal of the sacred scriptures.

Having finished his reading, it is lawful for him to take some betel and to attend to his other business and to visit his friends, but he should be very careful, during every moment of his public life, never to covet the property or wife of another.

p. 58

At sunset, he should return to the river to perform the ceremony of ablution, the same as in the morning.

Upon returning to the house, he should again perform an oblation to the fire, and should recite the thousand names of the Hary-Smarana, or the litanies of Vischnou.

He should then repair to the temple to hear the lesson given by the superior Guru to the Grihastas and Pourohitas who have passed through the first degree of initiation.

He should never enter the temple empty handed. He should carry as a present either oii for the lamps, or cocoanuts, bananas, camphor, incense, or sandal-wood, which are used in the sacrifices. If he is poor, he should give a little betel.

Before entering the temple he should make a circuit of it three times, and perform before the door the Schaktanga, or prostration of the six limbs.

After hearing the lessons and taking part in the evocations of the Pitris, with the other members of his order, he should perform his devotions and return home, being careful to avoid any impurities, in order to take his evening repast, after which he should immediately lie down.

He should never pass the night in a place consecrated to the spirits. When travelling, he should be careful not to lie down in the shadow of a tree, or in a ploughed or moist field, or in places covered with ashes, or by the edge of a cemetery.

p. 59

Upon lying down he should offer his adoration to the divine Trimourti, and should recite the invocation to the spirit called Kalassa, which is agreeable to Siva.


May the spirit Bahirava preserve my head from accident, the spirit Bichava my forehead; the spirit Bouta-Carma my ears; the spirit Preta-Bahava my face; the spirit Bouta-Carta my thighs; the spirits Datys (who were endowed with immense strength) my shoulders; Kalapamy my hands; Chanta my chest; Ketrica my stomach; Pattou my generative organs; Katrapala my ribs; Kebraya my mouth; Chidda-Pattou my ankles, and the superior spirit Yama my whole body. May fire, which is the essence of the life of both gods and men, preserve me from all harm, wherever I may be. May the wives of these spirits watch over my children, my cows, my horses, and my elephants; may Vischnou watch over my native land.

May God, who sees all things, watch over my family and everything else, and also watch over me, when I am in any place which is not under the care of any divinity.

He should conclude by the invocation to Brahma, the lord of creatures.

Invocation to Brahma.

O Brahma! what is this mystery which is repeated every night after the labors of the day are over, and every one has returned from the fields, and the flocks are all in their folds, and the evening repast is over?

Behold, every one lies down upon his mat and closes his eyes, and the whole body ceases to exist, and is abandoned

p. 60

by the soul in order that it may hold converse with the soul of its ancestors.

Watch over it, O Brahma! when, forsaking the body, which is asleep, it floats hither and thither upon the waters, or wanders through the immensities of the heavens, or penetrates the dark and mysterious recesses of the valleys and forest of Hymavat.

O Brahma! God all-powerful, who commandest the storms, the God of light and darkness, let my soul not forget, after its wanderings, to return in the morning, to animate my body and remind me of thee.

He should then stretch himself upon his mat and go to sleep. Beneficent spirits will watch over his repose. (Agrouchada-Parikchai.)


53:1 This is undoubtedly the origin of the Bonzes and whirling dervishes.

53:2 All Brahmins plant them about their temples and dwelling-houses.

Next: Chapter VI. The First Degree of Initiation.—(Continued.)