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Anadhyayana – When Vedic Study Is Paused

Anadhyayana or anadhyaya, literally cessation of study, is an intermission of Vedic study, a vacation or a holiday. Vedic studies may be stopped n various grounds. There are two special occasions when the study of the Vedas is stopped –

  • When the student himself is impure
  • When the place is impure

Other occasions when the Vedic study is stopped are, when there is a strong wind, when lightning flashes, and when there is thunder. Then again, when there is non-seasonal rainfall, Vedic study should be stopped for three nights.

Vedas are not studied on the first, eighth, fourteenth and fifteenth day of the lunar month. It is stated that Vedic study on the eighth tithi would kill the teacher, on the fourteenth day the pupil and the fifteenth day the learning itself. Besides there is to be anadhyayana on the day of commencement of eras and manvantaras; the third day of the bright half of the month of Vaishakha, the seventh day of the bright half of Magha, the two equinoxes and the eleventh day of the bright half of the month of Ashadha or Kartika. Also, when for some reason, there is to be cessation of study extending over the three muhurtas at sunrise or sunset, the whole of that day is taken as anadhyayana.

Vedic study is suspended also on festive occasions and on days of national calamity, like when the king dies. Since Vedic study depended on memorizing, and that required close attention and concentration, all occasions when there could be a possibility of disturbance or distraction of the mind were observed as anadhyayana days.