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Dasahotarah In Vedic Rituals

The "Dasahotarah" is a significant aspect of Vedic rituals, particularly in the context of Agnyadheya or Agnyadhana, which were primary rites in the Vedic era for kindling the sacred Vedic fires like the garhapatya. These fires were essential and symbolized various aspects of the cosmos and human existence.

The term "Dasahotarah" refers to a set of ten sentences or mantras derived from the Taittiriya Aranyaka (3.1). These mantras play a crucial role in the ritual of kindling the fire. They are recited when the upper arani (a wooden stick used for generating fire by friction) is placed on the lower one before churning, as part of the process of igniting the sacred fire.

Each of the ten short sentences within the Dasahotarah identifies different parts of the human body with various elements connected to the sacrifice. These connections serve to symbolize the intricate relationship between the microcosm of the human body and the macrocosm of the sacrificial ritual and the universe as a whole.

For example, "om cittih sruk" associates the mind (cittih) with the ladle (sruk), symbolizing the mental aspect of the sacrifice. Similarly, "cittam ajyam" links the mind (cittam) with the offering of clarified butter (ajyam), representing the mental offering or intent behind the ritual act.

Overall, the Dasahotarah underscores the deep symbolic significance of Vedic rituals, emphasizing the interconnectedness of the human being with the cosmic order and the importance of intention and mindfulness in sacrificial practices.