Our Sacred Home: Blessings for a Hindu House

Vedic verses on the mystical rites of house consecration.

Excerpted from Hinduism Today with permission.

The building of a house, or even any transaction concerning it, is not just a matter of masonry or of business. It is a liturgical act, in which human lives as well as the powers above and below are involved. A house is not real estate, but a human dwelling place, the prolongation, in a sense, of a Man's body; it is the first extension of Man's real world. It is no wonder that even up to our own times the human habitat has been the last bastion to succumb to the desacralizing process. In almost all human traditions there have been innumerable blessings and spells, enchantments and magic practices concerned with houses. The Atharva Veda is full of this and special attention is paid to the purification of a house from all evil forces. A house is not only shelter for the body; it is shelter for the whole world also, for in the house sacrifice will often be performed. In fact the word shala meant, first of all, the sacrificial building, and then came to signify a home, once sacrifice began to be performed regularly in people's homes. Because sacrifice is the center of the house and of Man's family life, the house is said to be built by brahman, liturgical action and sacred word, to be designed by the kavi, the poet or wise man, and to be the abode of rita, cosmic order.



O Pillars of this House of countless treasures, O buttresses and crossbeams, we loosen your bonds!

What is bound in you who contain all riches, those fetters and knots, with a powerful word I unloose, like Brhaspati breaking open the cavern.

We unite the bonds of your beams and clasps, of your thatch and your sides, O House of all riches.

We loosen the bonds of the clamps and bundles, of all that encircles and binds the Lady of the House.

These hanging loops,which are tied for enjoyment within you, we loosen. May the Lady of the House, when established within her, be gracious toward us!

Receptacle of oblation and hall of Agni, abode and domain of the wives are you. You, Goddess House, are the seat of the Gods.

By Holy Word we unfasten the extended thousand-eyed net which rests upon the central beam, well-placed and well-fastened.

May the one who receives you as a gift, O House, queen among dwellings, and the one who built you both enjoy long life and reach ripe old age!

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