Vedic hymns are mostly dedicated to Indra, Agni, and Varuna (and other gods in the Vedic pantheon) and the injunctions to use these hymns prescribed their use in fire sacrifices. Yet today these hymns are used widely outside the fire sacrifice context (as in temples) and are used to worship Ganesha, Skanda, Shiva, and other Puranic deities. I've always wondered which scriptures sanction the use of these vedic hymns outside of the originally prescribed context. What are the earliest such scriptures?

I understand this may be a sensitive question to some and may invite opinion-based answers that this stack frowns upon -- but this question has always loomed large for me, and I'm looking for "authoritative" (and ideally ancient) texts and authors who have weighed in on the matter.

  • 1
    Around the 11th & 12th centuries, texts like Brahmanasarvasva & Srividyarnava Tantra appeared which instructed the use of Vaidika mantras to worship Pauranika deities. This is not unorthodox because the root of this practice lay in the Matsya Purana (specifically in the chapter describing grahayajna). Already Shiva Purana describes using Shatatrudriya hyms in Shivapuja. Vishnusmrti also has a chapter detailing the application of Purusasukta & other Vaidika mantras in Vishnu worship. Prapanchasara Tantra described the use of Tryambakam yajamahe..., Jatavedase sunavam... & Gayatri for Shiva
    – অনু
    May 8 at 5:46
  • Durga & Gayatri worship. Hayasirshapancaratra describes the application of various Vaidika mantras in rites related to vastupuja, consecration of idol, consecration of temple & ritual ablution. In the Meru Tantra, there is a description of rudrabhisheka, application of Gananam tva... for Ganesha worship. The application of Srisukta for worshipping Lakshmi is also attested In Tantrika compendiums.
    – অনু
    May 8 at 5:48


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