The Vedic principle behind achamana


The principle behind achamanam is given in Shatapatha Brahmanam.

व्रतमुपैष्यन् । अन्तरेणाहवनीयञ्च गार्हपत्यञ्च प्राङ् तिष्ठन्नप उपस्पृशति  तद्यदप उपस्पृशत्यमेध्यो वै पुरुषो यदनृतं वदति तेन पूतिरन्तरतो मेध्या वा आपो मेध्यो भूत्वा व्रतमुपायानीति पवित्रं वा आपः पवित्रपूतो व्रतमुपायानीति तस्माद्वा अप उपस्पृशति

अमेध्यो वै पुरुषः – man is normally impure. 

Why impure? 

यदनृतं वदति -  because man tells lies.

Telling lies is built into man.

He may not be doing this purposefully.

We say so many things which we are not sure about.

According to the Vedas, what you have seen with your own eyes is truth.

The rest of it is likely to have errors or may be untrue.


Why purity is essential while doing rituals


While doing Vedic rituals, you are communicating with Devatas.

Devatas are always pure.

To communicate with them, you should also be pure.


How can purity be achieved?


By touching water, by drinking water.

अप उपस्पृशति – तेन पूतिरन्तरतः


मेध्या वा आपः  पवित्रं वा आपः

Water is always pure.

 Water is never impure.

By being with water, you also become pure.


Why is water pure?


Because, water is what remains after pralaya. 

When the illusion called the world, the untruth called the world is gone, water is what remains.

So there is no untruth is water.

Water is always pure.


Procedure of achamana


There are three types of achamana -


  • Based on Srouta sutra
  • Based on Grihya sutra
  • Based on Agamas


There are many variations in the procedure based on your Veda shakha, Grihya sutra, and regional customs.

But three steps are there in most of them -


  • Sipping water three times chanting mantras for internal purity.
  • Wiping the mouth twice.
  • Touching the organs of the body with a wet hand for external purity.


You can see some of these variations in the videos given below.



Video - Achamana Mantra - Madhwa 





Video - Achamana Mantra - Hindi 





Video - Achamana Mantra - Sanskrit 





Video - Achamana - Telugu 




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