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Aadhaanam is the last of the Shodasakriyas (Click here to know Shodasakriyas), only after which a namboothiri becomes eligible to perform Srouthakarmams like Yaagam. After this day-and-a-half ritual, the yajamaanan will be titled as Adithiripad (Colloquially, Adeeri) and his wife (Pathni) as Pathanaadi. Most of those of Sukapuram Namboothiri Graamam (Click here to get the Sukapuram Illam list) usually begin performing Aadhaanam only a day before their Somayaagam.

Since a ritual called 'Aahavaneeyam Viharikkal', part of Aadhaanam, must be performed at the dawn on an auspicious star (Karthika / Rohini / Punartham / Makam / Uthram) during the 'Velutha Paksham' (the fortnight between new moon and full moon) in spring (Vasantham, April-May), the start of Aadhaanam would be on the previous day (Click here to know more about Auspicious timing of Aadhaanam). It begins with the 'Varikkal' (commissioning) of 'Rakshaapurushan' (guardian) at about 9 AM. Any veteran yaagam-expert is eligible for this post.

Thereafter the yajamaanan performs 'Praayaschitham' and 'Naandeemukham' followed by the symbolic hair-cut (Kshauram), first by the would-be-Adhwaryu and then by the barber, in the Mahavedi, outside the saala. Adhwaryu then performs the 'boudhaayaneeya snaanam', a type of traditional bathing with manthras, of the yajamaanan.

Aadhaanam requires only four Rithwiks namely Adhwaryu, Hothan, Brahman and Prasthothan. After they are commissioned, the collection of materials ('Sambhaaram') necessary for Aadhaanam is done to the accompaniment of chanting of several manthrams.

When the yajamaanan comes to perform Aadhaanam, he brings with him the fire ('Oupaasanaagni') that has used during his marriage ceremony and saved ever since, and deposits it in the fire-place at the north-east corner of the saala for Aadhaanam. Saala for Aadhaanam is the proposed Sadass for Somayaagam, if performed one after another. On the evening of the first day of Aadhaanam, a minor Ishti (Homam) called 'Brahmoudanam' is performed in this fire, and then a portion of this fire is temporarily transferred to another fire-place named 'Gaarhapathyam' and the Oupaasanaagni is extinguished. The agni (fire) needed for the rest of the Aadhaanam has to be made through the grinding of 'Arani', which is done on the first day at about 7 PM. The process of making fire would take anywhere between fifteen minutes to five or more hours. All these are supported by chanting of several manthrams.

On the second day, rituals start at about 5 AM. The Homakundam called 'Anuaahaaryam' is purified through trampling by the hooves of a horse, and three Agnis (fire places) called 'Gaarhapathyam', 'Anuaahaaryam' and 'Aahavaneeyam', are made to the accompaniment of chanting of Saamam Sthuthies by Udgaathan.

Then, and after Adhwaryu's Chamatha Homam ('Vratha Samidha') and Koosmaandi Homam, the yajamaanan performs a Homam called 'Agnihothram Veli'. This Homam is thereafter to be performed everyday in the morning and evening till his or his wife's death, whichever is earlier.

At dawn of the second day, after a ritual called 'Aahavaneeyam Viharikkal', he performs Upasthhaanams too. It is after this that the most important part of Aadhaanam, the Isthis called 'Paavamaanam', 'Supaayam' and 'Adithi' are performed. These three Isthis together normally take more than four hours and ends the Aadhaanam by around noon. The yajamaanan is now eligible to perform 'Srouthakarmams', which is constituted of any kind of yaagam.

If the yajamaanan decides to perform yaagam (Agnishtomam, for Namboothiris) immediately after Aadhaanam, he can start it now.

| Article No:4.10.1 | Last update of this article:20th May 2003 |
Article prepared by P. Vinod Bhattathiripad with inputs from Vaidikan Thekkad Neelakantan Namboodiri

English translation: K. D. Nambudripad, Koodalloor Mana.

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