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Pushyasnana – Holy Bath On Pushya Nakshatra Day

Celestial forces, orchestrated by supernatural beings like goblins and ghosts, may disrupt the peace of humanity, but ancient Hindu sages discovered remedies to counteract and repel such disturbances. These remedies, collectively known as "shanti," include the sacred practice of Pushyasnana or Pushyabhisheka. Pushya is the eighth nakshatra or birth star in Hindu astrolgoy and is considered highly auspicious. The benefit of performing pushyasnana includes change of luck, peace and prosperity.

Brihaspati, the revered guru of the gods, is credited with performing this ritual, also referred to as "Brihaspataye Snana" or "Barhaspatya Snana," for Indra, the king of gods. Reserved for kings, whose well-being is paramount for the prosperity of their entire realm, Pushyasnana is deemed especially auspicious when performed on a day associated with the Pushya nakshatra, with the full-moon day being the most favorable.

In some accounts, Pushyasnana is described as a part of Lakshahoma.

Varahamihira's Brihat Samhita (6th century A.D.) and the Vishnudharmottara Purana (2.103) offer detailed insights into the ritual. The key steps involve selecting an auspicious date, choosing a suitable location surrounded by fragrant flora and swan-inhabited ponds, creating a mandala to organize ritual items, consecrating the fire with mantras, performing the homa (fire offerings), seating the king on a golden throne in the ritual area, purifying the king with ghee and holy water, the king taking a ceremonial bath, donning special garments, offering oblations for the king's welfare, honoring the participating priests, and symbolically freeing animals and prisoners, excluding those who have sought to harm or rebel against the king.