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Avahana In Hinduism – Invitation For Gods And Goddess

Avahana, a significant ritualistic practice in Hinduism, plays a crucial role in various ceremonies and worship settings. Its essence lies in the act of inviting divine entities, such as gods, goddesses, or ancestral spirits, to participate in and receive offerings during sacred rituals.

Vedic Sacrifices: In the context of Vedic sacrifices, gods are invited to the yagashala, the sacrificial shed, to partake in the offerings made during the ritual. The invitation is extended through specific mantras, invoking the presence of these deities to bless and accept their share of the sacrificial offerings.

Shraddha or Obsequial Rites: Avahana is also a crucial element in Shraddha, the rites performed to honor and remember departed ancestors or pitrs. During these ceremonies, the manes or ancestral spirits are invited to come and receive the offerings presented by their descendants.

Consecration of Temple Images: Avahana is an integral part of the consecration process in a Hindu temple. When an image or idol of a deity is installed, practitioners invoke the divine presence to inhabit the image permanently. This ritual is aimed at inviting the deity to reside in its subtle form within the temple, where it becomes the focal point for worship and devotion.

Puja or Ritualistic Worship: Within the framework of puja, which involves elaborate rituals and worship practices, avahana holds a special place. It is considered one of the upacharas, or acts of service, offered to honor the deity. The mudra or hand pose performed during avahana is known as 'avahani-mudra,' signifying the formal invitation extended to the divine.

Overall, avahana represents a spiritual connection between the worshipper and the divine, symbolizing the earnest invitation for the gods, goddesses, or ancestral spirits to grace the sacred space with their presence. This practice emphasizes the belief in the accessibility of the divine and the importance of establishing a connection through ritualistic acts of reverence.