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The word "Punyaaham" means sacred or blessed day (Punyam Aha:). Sacred day or blessed time is said to be an important factor for the success of any "Karmam". In Manthram 2-21-6 of Rig Vedam, "Sudinathivamanhaam" or Punyaaham is also included among the sacred things to be received while praying to Indran. The Punyaaham ritual includes Manthram to the effect that gods will be pleased and will support blessings by pious Brahmanans who are themselves pleased through such rituals. Through blessed times (Punyaaham), the mind and body get cleansed and awakened, and through the power of the mind, all Karmams achieve success. In Punyaaham, prayers for purification are repeated several times. Moreover, this ritual is said to be a highly effective Karmam leading to the attainment of aura of action (Karmachaithanyam), purity of words, long life, happiness and fertility as a result of the blessings of more than ten gods/ godesses.


Sun, the son of time (Kaalam), is indeed the most appropriate god to be prayed for a blessed day, which ensures success of "karmam" after tiding over bad times. Undoubtedly, it is the Sun god who has to be propitiated during Punyaaham. But the ritual begins and ends with prayers to Varunan. This contradiction has been clarified by Sankaraacharyar by explaining that the 533rd name in Vishnu Sahasranaamam equates Suryan with Varunan which has been accepted by Saayana also. Reference to Prajaapathi in the punyaaha manthram is also explained through ch 533 of "Saanthi Parvam" of the Mahaabharatham epic where Sooryan is depicted as one of the Prajaapathis, while Varunan is not. The Sun god is confirmed as the deity ruling over Punyaaham. The undeniable place of Sun god is further reinforced through the symbolic acts of raising the hands to the sky to bring Sun god down to the earth as well as the dropping of bright gold into holy water (Theertham), and certain manthrams.

The Punyaaha manthram is in fact an integrated form of selected Manthrams from Thaithireeya Samhitha and Thaithireeya Brahmanam. The "Naandeemukham Punyaaham" is performed prior to most of the important rituals for improving sanctity of the Karmam. "Sudhha Punyaaham" is done for eliminating "Asudhhi" (impurity or pollution), while "Ara Punyaaham" (half-punyaaham) is a brief or shortened version of "Sudhha Punyaaham"..

| Article No:8.4 | Last update of this article:14th July 2002 |
Article prepared by K.D.Nambudripad.

Ref: "Punyaaham" by Dr. Chekkrakal Krishnan Namboothiri, YogakshemaSabha Publications, Gayathry, Tali, Kozhikode - 673 002, Jan. 1997 edition.

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