punyAhavAchana rite is one of the most important and commonly performed of all Hindu ceremonies. It is done as a prelude to every important samskAra (sacrament) and yagya . After periods of impurity (death & birth) the ceremony is done as the principle rite. The two elements involved in the ceremony are :-
1. ) Purification ( shuddhI )
2.) Generating auspiciousness ( svastIvAchana )
Purification here has nothing to do with cleanliness as understood in an hygienic sense but rather freedom from psycho-spiritual contamination. The dynamic of the ceremony is based on the belief that those (priests, sages, monks etc) who are dedicated to truth and spiritual illumination develop a psychic power to transform others through speech — whatever truth-speakers say will come true. So the process is for the host yajamAna to formally request invited Brahmins to say nice things ( svastIvAchanaM ) and to bless the family by chanting Vedic verses. Usually on all auspicious occasions such as birth, initiations, marriages etc. the punyAhavAchan is preceded by ganpatI pujA and on inauspicious occasions (those pertaining to death) it is done alone. In case of sAma veda , mantrAs are sung.
All of the punyAha vAchana sAmagAnas come from purvArchika section.
1.) kumbha pratishTha sAma
Two sAma-yonI riks ( sAmaveda samhitA rik 321
and 449. ) .
The first two sAma are known as brahma or r^ita sAma and the third is known as sAntanike sAma.
This all are sung during kumbha pratishTha .
2.) punyAhavAchana japa mantra
This have seven sAma-yonI riks ( sAmaveda samhitA rik
500, 350, 91, 274, 321, 565 and 169) .
The names for the seven sAma used in japa are:
1) tarantasya sAma
2) SuddhASuddhIyE sAma
3) bArhaspatya sAma
4) IndrasyAbhayaN^kara sAma
5) brahma sAma
6) arka pushpa sAma
7) vAmadEvyam sAma
1) sAma upAkarma prayoga
( tamiz )
2) sAmaveda punyAhavAchana ( Sanskrit + english )