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In Shukla Yajurveda, the mantras of chapter 18 are used for Vasordhara. From Mahidhara's commentary, I can see that these mantras should be uttered while a continuous flow of ghee is poured on the sacrificial fire. In the Brahmanas, usually the detailed description of what exactly to be done and in which order and the explanation etc. are given.

My question is in Shatapatha Brahmana (the associated Brahman with the Shukla Yajurveda), where can I find the detailed description of Vasordhara? Please add the detailed procedure with primary references (which I guess, would be Satapatha Brahmana or Katyayana Srauta sutra (again associated with white Yajurveda).

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    Here are your Satapatha Brahmana verses, but I hesitate to add this as an answer because the instructions are not incredibly detailed.
    – CDR
    Nov 7, 2023 at 15:58
  • @CDR Please add it as an answer. It will be useful. Maybe the detailed description is found in the Katyayana srauta sutra, which someone else might find. Nov 8, 2023 at 4:04

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Satapatha Brahmana 9.3.2 offers instructions:

  1. Thereupon he [the Sacrificer] offers the Vasor dhārā. That whole Agni has now been completed, and he is here the Vasu (good one): to that Vasu, the gods offered this shower (dhārā), whence it is called 'Vasor dhārā;' and in like manner this (Sacrificer) offers to him this shower, and gratifies him thereby.

  2. And, again, as to why he offers the 'Vasor dhārā;'--this is his (Agni's) Abhisheka; for the gods, having now completed him wholly and entirely, showered upon him those wishes (or, objects of desire), this 'Vasor dhārā;' and in like manner does this (Sacrificer), now that he has completed him wholly and entirely, shower upon him those wishes, this 'Vasor dhārā.' With ghee taken in five ladlings, and an offering-ladle of udumbara wood (he offers): the significance of this has been explained.

  3. [He offers it] after offering the Vaiśvānara (cake)--for the Vaiśvānara is the head, and food is taken in from the head. (downwards); and, besides, it is from the head (downwards) that he who is anointed is anointed;--and after offering the Māruta (cakes), for the Mārutas are the vital airs, and through (the channels of) the vital airs food is eaten; and, besides, it is at (the openings of) the vital airs that he who is anointed is anointed.

  4. And, furthermore, (it is offered) upon the Araṇye'nūcya; for the Araṇye'nūcya is speech, and it is through (the channel of) speech that food is eaten; and, besides, it is with speech that he who is anointed is anointed. And everything here is wealth (vasu), for all these (cake-offerings) are (connected with special) wishes; and in order that this shower, be it of milk or of ghee, (may be) fraught with wealth, this oblation of ghee is thus offered for the beginning; and inasmuch as this shower is fraught with wealth, it is called 'shower of wealth.'

  5. He (as it were) says, 'This is mine, and that is mine;'--that is, 'Herewith I gratify thee, and therewith;--herewith I anoint thee, and therewith;' or, 'Give me this, and that!' And as soon as that shower reaches the fire, that prayer is fulfilled.

  6. Now the gods, having gratified him (Agni) by this food, or by these objects of desire, and having anointed him by this shower of wealth, solicited from him these objects of desire; and having received offering, and being gratified and anointed, he granted them these objects of desire; and in like manner this (Sacrificer), having gratified him by this food, and by these offerings of desire, and anointed him with this shower of wealth, now solicits from him these objects of desire; and having received offering, and being gratified and anointed, he (Agni) grants him these objects of desire. In order to avoid discontinuance, he each time embraces two wishes,--even as one would connect those living away from one another,--thinking, 'In this way shall they prosper by sacrifice!'

  7. The gods now spake, 'Through whom shall we receive these objects of desire? By our own self,' they said; for the sacrifice is the self of the gods, and so is the sacrifice that of the Sacrificer; and when he says, 'By the sacrifice they shall prosper!' he means to say, 'By my own self they shall prosper!'

  8. In twelve (things) he causes them to prosper, the year consists of twelve months, and Agni is the year: as great as Agni is, as great as is his measure, by so much food he thus gratifies him, and by so much food he thus consecrates him. In fourteen he causes them to prosper; in eight he causes them to prosper; in ten he causes them to prosper; in thirteen he causes them to prosper.

  9. He then offers the Ardhendra (libations);the ardhendras are everything here: he thus gratifies him (Agni) with everything, and with everything he thus consecrates him.

  10. He then offers (the libations relating to) the Grahas;--the grahas (cups of soma, offered to the deities), doubtless, are sacrifice: by sacrifice, by food, he thus gratifies him; and by sacrifice he thus consecrates him.

Skanda Purana 1.90 offers the significance:

72-73. O Hutāśana, the few Brāhmaṇas who reside here will offer Vasordhārā (continuous flow of Havis etc., into the fire) day and night for ever. They will propitiate you and you will get nourished. They too will be requitted with all desirable things when their wishes are realized.

74-75. O Anala (Fire-god), when Homa is being performed at the time of Saṅkrānti (transit of the Sun), those who offer Vasordhārā may be sneezing. The sins of such persons committed knowingly or unknowingly ever since their birth and until the death, will be destroyed.

  1. When you are satisfied all this will take place. Later on a well-known king named Śibi will be born in the land of Uśīnara.

  2. He will be endowed with perfect faith. He will be performing a Sattra lasting for twelve years. He will offer you Vasordhārā day and night through the mouth of a water-pot with continuous flow of the current.

  3. Thereby you will be fully satisfied and get completely nourished. You will be worshipped on the surface of the world by all the most excellent of those conversant with the Vedas.

  4. From now onwards, whatever holy rite may take place either Śāntika (contributory to peace) or Pauṣṭika (nourishing) should be accompanied by Vasordhārā. All those will cause great satisfaction unto you.

  5. The Vaiśvadevīya holy rite of the Brāhmaṇas will be futile if it is devoid of Vasordhārā.

  6. Since Yajña and other rites, the Śāntika, Pauṣṭika and Vaiśvadevīya become perfect and complete it is called Pūrṇāhuti.

  7. One who is endowed with faith and offers Vasordhārā shall entirely attain his desire mentally cherished.

Finally, Agni Purana says that it should be done during Graha worship.

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