Introduction: Aghamarshana Suktam is a jewel of Mantras appearing in Rig Veda, it forms part of Maha Narayana Upanishad and recited during consecration ceremonies, Varuna Japam, ablutions, while taking bath. It is also recited in daily ritual after Varuna is invoked into the holy pot. Reciting this Vedic hymn while taking bath brings immense Punyam, removes sin committed by knowingly or unknowingly accepting gifts from those who have sinned. A dedicated decent lifestyle, self-discipline, righteous path were given utmost importance in Vedic period. Cruelty and Sins were taboo and the society was well structured based on ethics. Filthy tendencies were brushed aside by people. Gifts showered by sinned people were not accepted. There is a clear cut reference to such an incident in Chandokyopanishad; "The King calls five Veda Vidhwans and declare : "There is no thief, no miser, no drunkard, no unwise man, no adulterator in my country" - therefore, I request you to accept my gifts and contributions" This denotes that a gift accepted from wrong or immoral person was considered a great sin and remedial measures were sought to expiate the wrongdoing. This hymn is named after Aghamarshana Rishi.
Of the rivers mentioned in this Hymn, only Ganga and Yamuna exist in India, Saraswathi believed to be running under the earth and other remaining rivers flows now in Pakistan.
AGHAMARSHANA SUKTAM - [English Translation by Shri.P.R.Ramachander]
I take refuge in Varuna, who is of golden lustre or who has a golden diadem. O Varuna, being entreated by me, grant me the saving grace. For I have enjoyed what belongs to bad people and accepted gift from sinners. May Indra, Varuna, Brihaspati and Savita completely destroy that sins committed by me and my people in thought, word and act. Salutations to fire hidden in water. Salutation to Indra. Salutation to Varuna. Salutation to Varuni, the consort of Varuna. Salutation to the deities of waters. (Through the power of this mantra). let all that is injurious, impure and troublesome in water be destroyed.
May the King Varuna efface by his hand whatever sin I have incurred by unlawful eating, unlawful drinking and accepting gifts from an unlawful person. Thus being sinless, stainless and unbound by evil and bondage, may I ascend to the happy heaven and enjoy equality of status with Brahman. May the sin-effacing Varuna who dwells in other sources of water like rivers, tanks and wells also purify us. O Ganga, O Yamuna, O Sarasvati, O Sutudri, O Marudvrudha, O Arjeekeeya, come together and listen to this hymn of mine along with Parushni, Asikni, Vithasta and Sushomaya. From the all-illuminating Supreme, by His resolve, the right and the true were generated. From Him night and day were generated. And from Him again was generated the sea with different waters.
Then, after the creation of the vast ocean the year was generated. Afterwards the ruler of the world of sentient and non-sentient beings who made day and night ordained sun and moon, sky and earth and the atmosphere and blissful heaven, just as they were in the previous cycles of creation. May the sin-effacing Varuna, the deity presiding over the waters, purify the taint of sin that attaches to the beings dwelling on the earth, in the atmospheric region and in the space between the earth and heaven and also connected with us (the performers of religious work). May the Vasus purify us. May Varuna purify us. May Aghamarshana, the sage called by that name, purify us. He, Varuna, is the protector of the world that was and also the world that exists at present between the past and the future worlds. He grants to the doers of meritorious deeds the worlds which they deserve and to the sinful the world of death called Hiranmaya. Again Varuna who is the support of heaven and earth, having become the sun is wholesome and attractive. Being such, blissful in nature, thou O Varuna, grant us thy favours and purify us.
That Supreme Light which projected Itself as the universe like a soaked seed which sprouts (or that Supreme Light which shines as the substratum of the liquid element) Ė I am that Supreme Light. I am that supreme light of Brahman which shines as the inmost essence of all that exists. In reality I am the same infinite Brahman even when I am experiencing myself as a finite self owing to Ignorance. Now by the onset of knowledge I am really that Brahman which is my eternal nature. Therefore I realise this identity by making myself, the finite self, an oblation into the fire of the infinite Brahman which I am always. May this oblation be well made. He who is a transgressor of the scriptural conduct, a recreant, a thief, a feticide or an outrager of his preceptorís honour is released from his sins; for Varuna, the regent of waters and effacer of sins (absolves them from sins by the repetition of this mantra). I am the ground of sins. Therefore you cause me to weep. Wise men say (donít make me weep, but favour me by destroying my sins). The Supreme represented as the ocean has over flown to the whole creation. He has created at first creatures according to the deserts of their various past deeds. He is the ruler of the universe and the munificent giver of gifts to the devotees. He dwells together with Uma (His power giving spiritual illumination) in the hearts of devotees which are holier than other parts of their body (the seat of the Divine) and therefore superior and elevated like a peak and affording protection. The Jiva who is his abode grows to be infinite. He is the Lord who delights the individual souls by guiding according to their deeds and conferring on them fruits of their actions.
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