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Utsarga In Hinduism

In Hinduism, Utsarga is making a gift or donation or suspending a religious practice. The term utsarga in common parlance is associated with the practice of creating or making a garden for public welfare. Dharmashastra texts and Puranas include this pious act of purta (constructing wells, tanks, temples, shelters, divine edifices and gardens) in welfare. Since they benefit the people, they bring merit to the donor. Among the many texts on utsarga, Utsarga Mayukha (or Jalsayara motsarga) forming the eighth part of the voluminous treatise Bhagavanta Bhaskara by Nilakantha, deals exclusively with this topic.

The term utsarga is also used to denote the suspension of Vedic study of one’s own school. Vedic study is revived after performing adhyanostsarjana (an expiatory rite) on the full moon day ruled by the asterism sravana, either in the month of Ashada (June –July) or in Shravana (July – August).

The term is also used to denote vrisotsarga (letting free a bull) during the obsequies performed for the dead. This act is glorified as enabling the departed self to shed the state of being a preta (ghost).

The term utsarga is also used in the sense of giving away something gained by illegitimate methods. In such a case, one has to relinquish the material gained by making an announcement that he is relinquishing the material and whoever desires it may take it.