by Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami
Savitri Caru Homa
This homa is performed on the fourth day after the Upanayanam rites by the acarya.
After having bathed, he should perform Agni Sthapana calling the fire “Samudbhava”. He should do the rites upto the Brahma Sthapana. Then facing East he should sit down and cook caru in the same fire.
The process (of making caru) is as follows: On the Western side of the fire he should place kusha with their tips facing East and on top of that he should place a mortar and pestle made of wood. He should also place a bamboo winnowing basket there and a bell-metal bowl with barley grains in it. He should purify all the items with water from a wooden spoon (prokshani). He should chant the following mantra:
om savitre tva yushtam nirvapami
Then he should take a portion of the barley from the bell-metal bowl and place it in the mortar without mantra. The rest of the barley should be divided into two portions. Then holding the pestle in his right hand, he should crush the grains in the mortar and then thresh them with the winnowing basket. Similarly, crush and thresh the other two portions of barley. After doing this thrice, he should wash the grains three times.
Keeping two pieces of kusha on the carusthali (the place where the pot of caru will be kept) with their tips facing North, he should put the washed grains in a pot and slowly add milk and water, a little at a time. Stirring it with a spoon in a clockwise direction, he should cook it on the fire (that he has installed) making sure that it doesn’t become burned or that the water evaporates completely. The spoon he uses for stirring should be made from khadir, palasha or udumbara wood with a flat face on both sides, half an inch thick and of a square shape.
When the caru is ready, he should add two spoons of ghee and keep it on the North side of the fire on top of the kusha. He should then add one more spoon of ghee.
He should then continue with Bhumi Japa and end with the Sruva Samskara. He should keep the ghee on top of kusha on the Western side of the fire, and then perform Udakanjali Seka and finish the Kushandika rites with the Virupaksha Japa.
He should begin the homa by offering ghee-soaked wood of pradesha length into the fire silently.
At the start of the Caru Homa, the Mahavyahrti Homa should not be chanted, but it should be done afterwards.
If the performer of the Caru Homa wishes to make the homa shorter, due to lack of grains, then he can put only one spoon of ghee into the caru and take one spoonful of caru from the carustali and offer it into the fire chanting:
om vishnave savitre svaha
According to Pravara Sankhyanusara, one should make three or five mekhalas. If one wants to get more benefit and there is enough barley grains, then those brahmanas who belong to Bhrigu gotra should put five spoons of ghee and others should put four into the North side of the fire pouring towards the east chanting:
om vishnave svaha
Then they should offer to the Southern side of the fire chanting.
om anantaya svaha
If the brahmacari belongs to the Bhrigu gotra then one should put one spoon of ghee in the barley grains and one spoon in the caru. Then one should take one spoon of caru and put it in with the barley, then put one spoon of ghee in the Eastern side of the carustali. Take another spoonful of caru and put it with the barley, then again put one spoon of ghee in the carustali on the Western side. Once again take some caru and put it with the barley then offer another spoon of ghee in the caru. Pour a spoonful of ghee onto the barley and offer to the fire chanting:
om vishnave savitre svaha
However, if the brahmacari belongs to another gotra, then one should not pour any ghee in the Western side of the carustali. Pour one spoon of ghee in the caru as explained before, and pour one spoon of ghee on the barley and offer to the fire with the same mantra.
Then the brahmacari from the Bhrigu gotra should pour two spoons of ghee on the barley and one spoon of ghee in the North side of the carustali and put some caru onto the barley. He should put two spoons of ghee on top of the barley and offer it in the North East side of the fire, chanting:
om svasti krite acyutaya svaha
Others from different gotras should put only one spoon of ghee on the barley. The rest of the ritual is the same.
After that, whatever ingrediants are left should be offered in the fire without mantra. Then he should perform Mahavyahrti Homa and offer wood into the fire silently.
He should perform Shatyayana Homa, Vamadevya Ganam and the other rites of Udicya Karma. The brahmacari should give dakshina to the acarya and to the initiated Vaishnava who officiated as the brahma who arranged the ceremony.
This ends the Savitri Caru Homa.