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Ankurarpana – Offering Sprouts In Hinduism

In Hinduism, Ankurarpana literally means offering of sprouts. Ankura is a sprout and arpana means ‘offering’. Known as Mangalankuram or Ankurarpanam, this offering is common in the worship of deities such as Shiva, Vishnu and Shakti and in certain domestic rituals such as marriage. The seeds are to be sown in clay held in small earthen vessels called palika. Sometimes golden, silver, or copper vessels are also used. Sowing of the seed is to be done in the night, nine, seven, five, three or a day in advance. There can be eight or four such small vessels. A big pitcher is filled with water in which the presence of Chandra, the moon god and Rohini is invoked it is kept in the middle. Water from the pitcher is used from sprinkling in the smaller vessels containing the seeds.

From the viewpoint of the growth of the universe, ankura (sprout) has a special significance. All the vowels are considered as seeds and all the consonants are regarded as yoni. From their joining, sprouts of padas (words) are born and are offered to the vanmaya purusha. This purusha of lingual-sprout-sacrifice is regarded as the basis of intellectual communication.

On Vijayadasami (the tenth day of Dussehra) these sprouts are offered to God. The preceptor offers these for the advancement of the yajamana (host). It gives the message of victory and symbolizes further growth.