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Agnihotra Homa


Introduction

Today everyone is realising that all around us pollution is increasing alarmingly. Air, water, land and food have been severely affected by pollution. This has disturbed the balance in nature which, in turn, has resulted in ever increasing tensions and stresses on the human mind. Violence, fear, misery, anxiety and diseases are increasing. To avoid and overcome such evil effects of pollution a sure remedy is necessary. Only then will the increasing tensions and stresses be removed and man will be able to tread on the path to happiness.

Everybody wants to be happy and is struggling hard just to attain happiness. However, man's misconception or misinterpretation about the true meaning of happiness has diverted his efforts, energy and time in wasteful pursuits. Happiness, in fact, is an inner state of mind, an experience to be felt. How this can be achieved? The following information will help in understanding the method in its right perspective.

Alongwith Creation the Almighty Father revealed through the Vedas the Five Eternal Principles of life-style, a discipline, for the benefit of entire humanity. This is Five Fold Path (the Eternal Path), the Path to blissful happiness. These five principles are Yagnya (Agnihotra ) Daan, Tapa, Karma, and Swadhyaya. Vedas are the first and foremost authentic revelations made solely for the true benefit and welfare of humanity. Vedas are the store-house of eternal knowledge. The language of this first revelation, the Vedas, is Sanskrit, which in turn is the mother of all existing languages. It is through this language, Sanskrit, that the Almighty has revealed to the world the eternal wisdom, the light of knowledge for the illumination of the human mind.

The preachings of all Incarnations, Divine Messengers, Prophets, and Saints are based on the above Five Principles only. All have primarily stressed on the need to purify the mind. For purification of the mind it is necessary to purify the atmosphere first. Agnihotra purifies the atmosphere. The purification of the atmosphere purifies Prana, the life energy, and thus purified Prana purifies the mind. For a happy living purified mind is a necessity. Obviously, therefore, it is the duty of every human being to perform Agnihotra.

Agnihotra is a yagnya to be performed throughout your life, everyday if possible regularly at sunrise and sunset. It becomes a part of your life or rather life becomes purposeful and meaningful because of it. All other yagnyas are time-bound and are over after a particular or stipulated period. They are performed for achieving a certain purpose. Agnihotra is a very simple and easy method to conquer the evils of pollution and live happily. To perform it you need very little ingredients, a very short time and costwise it is very economical. The methodology is so simple that no formal educational background is necessary. Anybody who has the will and desire to lead life successfully and in a discipline way can adopt this practice immediately.

Now, what is Agnihotra? In short the answer is: Every day in the evening and morning at exactly sunset and sunrise oblations of a little quantity (two pinchfuls) of full, unbroken rice grains, with cows pure ghee duly applied to it, are to be offered, accompanied by chanting of mantras, in the fire specially prepared from cow-dung cakes for the purpose, in a pyramid shaped copper pot-two oblations (with mantras) at sunrise and two oblations (with mantras) at sunset are to be offered. There are a few specific but easily practicable regulations to be observed while performing daily Agnihotra. They are:-

  • DEFINITE TIMINGS: Oblations are to be offered in the specially prepared cow-dung cake fire exactly at the local sunset and sunrise timing. Performance of Agnihotra before and after these exact timings is of no consequences. Observation of exact sunrise and sunset timings is the most important condition for performing Agnihotra and thereby deriving full benefits from it.
  • POT TO BE USED OF A SPECIFIC SHAPE AND SIZE: Preferably this pot should be a copper. Clay pot can also be used. The most important aspect is the shape (and size) of this pot. Agnihotra copper pot in the West is now referred to as the Copper Pyramid. It is called so because of its shape
  • COW-DUNG CAKE FIRE: The fire for offering the oblations is to be prepared from dry cow-dung cakes. Cow-dung means dung of the cow family. Cow-dung is disinfectant and hence beneficial.
  • OFFERINGS (OBLATIONS): Use of clean, unbroken full rice grains and cow's pure ghee is prescribed. Only cow's pure ghee is required (for smearing the rice grains with it) for performing Agnihotra. No other pure ghee is allowed. Like definite timings this condition (use of cow's pure ghee) is also very important and necessary. It purifies the polluted atmosphere.
  • UTTERANCE OF THE MANTRAS: The pronunciation of the mantras should be clear and without haste. The vibrations created by the utterance of these mantras cause subtle effects in the atmosphere and on human mind. This results in experiencing a very pleasantly peaceful feeling.
  • KINDLING THE FIRE: While preparing the fire please carefully note that under any circumstances use of Kerosene Oil or Cooking Gas is strictly prohibited. Prepare the fire by using non-pollutant igniters like camphor, dry gugul or cotton wicks duly soaked in cow's pure ghee.
  • SMOKELESS FIRE: Fire should be properly kindled and it should be fully ablaze before or by Agnihotra time. Fully ablaze means it should be without smoke.

The actual procedure of performing Agnihotra is: Take two pinchful of clean, unbroken full rice grains on the left palm of your hand or preferably in a small copper plate meant for the purpose, apply sufficient cow's pure ghee to the rice so that all the grains are properly smeared with the ghee and uttering the mantras (given hereunder) at the definite timings, offer the two oblations, one after the other, in the properly lit cow-dung cakes smokeless fire.

In the evening, at the exact local time of sunset, while offering the two oblations (offering rice grains smeared with cow's ghee) the following mantras are to be uttered clearly and in a steady voice:

Similarly, in the morning, exactly at the local sunrise time, while offering the two oblations, the following mantras are to be uttered:

The oblations should be offered to the fire very attentively. After the offerings, concentrate on the fire. Sit as long as you feel comfortable. In these moments of complete concentration you will feel pleasantly relaxed, peaceful and vigorously happy. This state of mind remains so till the next Agnihotra time and, therefore, this morning/evening cycle should not be disturbed.

The oblations should be offered to the fire very attentively. After the offerings, concentrate on the fire. Sit as long as you feel comfortable. In these moments of complete concentration you will feel pleasantly relaxed, peaceful and vigorously happy. This state of mind remains so till the next Agnihotra time and, therefore, this morning/evening cycle should not be disturbed.

The actual utterance of the mantras will take about 15 to 17 seconds of your time. The offerings to get fully burnt will take another 1.1/2 to 2 minutes. Considering the time factor this practice requires only 2 to 3 minutes everyday in the morning and the same amount of time in the evening. This practice can be undertaken by the Head of the family or alternatively by any other male and female member of the family, one who can pronounce the mantras clearly and properly. At the exact time one person should offer the obligations to the fire uttering the mantras. All others should remain present at the place. If they want they too can chant the mantras alongwith the person offering the oblations.

The ingredients involved in this practice have medicinal properties. These properties get spread in the atmosphere of the house after Agnihotra is performed exactly synchronising the circadian rhythm corresponding to sunrise and sunset. This results in beneficial effects on the body, mind and wisdom of the members of the family. An atmosphere of tranquility, understanding and discipline develops in the house. The atmosphere is filled with healthy nutrients and its fragrance pleases the mind.

In this age of turmoil and difficult times Agnihotra works as an antidote, a practice that enables you to withstand and face the critical situations bravely. Considering this factor it is also suggested that Agnihotra should be performed publicly in a city, locality or any large public or private place where the local residents should attend while one person is performing the actual act of Agnihotra. The present times suggest that maximum number of people should participate in this holistic healing approach.

After the Agnihotra offerings are made do not disturb the fire in the pot. Let the fire cool down on its own. The cool Agnihotra ash remaining in the pot is very useful. It is used for preparing effective Homa Therapy medicines. It is also used as a fertilizer for plants and trees.

Some salient features

DEFINITE TIMINGS (Sunrise - Sunset)
We know that while the earth is rotating on its axis it is also revolving around the sun. For completing one full circle on its axis the earth takes a specific time. This specific time is called the 'rhythm of nature'. Revolving earth's half portion comes in front of the sun and the remaining half is going away from the sun. The place where the rays of the sun reach first that state is called ' sunrise' and the place where the last rays vanish that state is called 'sunset'. This activity of sunrise and sunset takes place once in every 24 hours.

The moment when changes are occurring in the nature exactly at sunrise and again at sunset is known as the 'rhythm of nature.' Sunrise and sunset is the smallest rhythmic cycle of nature. The others are occurring every Seven (Week), Fifteen (Fortnight), Thirty (Month), Sixty (Season), One hundred Eighty (Half-year) and Three Hundred & Sixty (Year) days duration. In Astrophysics the smallest rhythmic cycle of sunrise and sunset is known as 'infrsdium rhythms.' These transitional times (moments) are such that they cause sudden changes in the atmosphere which either leaves its good or bad effect on the life of planet earth. On the human mind, plant and animal life the resonance effect of these changes is immediate.

As an example it can be said that our every activity is governed by the influence of the week, season or year etc. We either remain physically and mentally healthy or weak during these rhythmic cycles of nature. The disease resistance power of the human body is also influenced by the changes occurring during these rhythmic cycles. So much so, the curative quality of the medicines is also governed by these cycles.

An insane person is called 'lunatic.' 'Luna' is moon and the day-to-day changing phases of the moon have its impact and influence on the human mind. The insanity of the 'lunatic' reaches to its extreme high on full-moon days. In Mental Asylums the authorities have to face a tough time controlling the inmates on these peak days of the moon. In rainy season the digestive system is at its low due to cloudy weather. Also, those suffering from ulcer and asthma their disease becomes sore in this period. In short, mental weaknesses, the menstruation periods of women, high blood-pressure etc., the internal body functions, are subjected to a good or bad effect of these rhythmic cycles. According to modern science of Psychology these infradium or circadian rhythms influence the human body functions due to light-waves, electro-magnetic powers and atmospheric pressures.

The ancient Vedic medical science is based on these rhythmic cycles of nature. This ancient science recognized the importance of these rhythmic cycles and used it to advantage for the overall development of human body, mind and wisdom. The practice of Agnihotra is based on one such rhythmic of nature i.e. sunrise and sunset. This particular rhythm of nature has specific importance in the lives of humans.

At the transitional moments of sunrise and sunset tremendous activity is taking place in the nature. The sun, in fact, never rises or it never sets. The phenomena are experienced because the earth is revolving on its axis around the sun all the time. However, these two time bands cause rapid changes, such of consequence, in the environment. In the performance of Agnihotra these two timings are very important and hence strict observance of exact sunrise-sunset time is expected. At the time of exact sunrise, the place where the sum is said to have risen, the atmosphere of that area is tremendously activated (or charged) by electrical energies. Performance of Agnihotra exactly synchronising this momentarily activated period results in attracting a stream of vital life sustaining energies of the solar system towards the earth. Agnihotra attracts these energies and they get landed at the spot where Agnihotra was performed in the copper pyramid. Exactly at this time an 'aura energy field' gets created of its own around the plant life in the area. The vital life sustaining energies coming from the solar system get entangled in this 'aura energy field' through the medium of copper pyramid. As long as the flame is there in the copper pyramid this 'aura energy field' sustains around the plants. The resultant effect is the plant becomes disease free and happy. If you perform Agnihotra missing the definite Agnihotra timings you will not get the beneficial results of this Yagnya (Homa).

"At sunrise the many fires, electricities, ethers and more subtle energies emanating from the sun extend all the way to the earth and produce a flood effect at those coordinates where the sun is said to rise. It is awesome! The flood enlivens and purifies everything in its path destroying what is impure in its wake. This torrent of life sustaining energies causes all life to rejoice. At sunrise that music can be heard. The morning Agnihotra Mantra is the essence of that music. It is quintessential sound of that flood. At sunset the flood recedes." - (from Light Towards Divine Path).

At sunset time the growth of pathogenic bacteria is alarming and hence Agnihotra performed at this time has the bacteriostatic effect on the atmosphere. All such bacteria vanishes. Similarly, at this time changes take place in the severity of the showering cosmic energies. Full Moon and No-Moon days are similar such times when atmospheric changes take place.

Various showering electricities and allied energies from the space cause a very subtle effect on the Agnihotra performed at sunrise-sunset time. This transitional period of sunrise and sunset is the most important and essential factor in the purification process of the atmosphere. The effect of the performance of Agnihotra on the atmosphere is such that it (the atmosphere) gets a specific, certain direction, shape and is so vitally energised that it helps the mind to react with love. Similarly mind and Prana (life energy) keep on causing beneficial effect on each other. The state of happiness depends solely on the positive reaction of the mind.

Such is the mystery behind the nature's regular feature of the sunrise-sunset time band. Agnihotra is based on this rhythmic cycle, the circadian rhythm, and hence there cannot be any change in the definite timings in the performance of this practice. Observance of the correct Agnihotra timings is, therefore, the primary and most essential condition. There can be no compromise on this issue.

Agnihotra performed at the correct time activates the copper pyramid so that it constantly attracts a stream of solar energies throughout the day. Similarly, after the sunset Agnihotra the pot attracts all through the night lunar and other planetary energies. The inducement of these energies creates a beneficial, tranquil atmosphere in the house. The nutritious and healthy effect of these energies remains so in the house for 24 hours.

Sunrise-sunset timings for every city/town depend on the latitude and longitude of that area. The local almanac, if published in your city, also gives sunrise-sunset timings. Timings given in the almanacs of other cities will not be applicable to your city. There is also the alternative to obtain these timings from the local weather observatory. The local newspapers published from your city also indicate sunrise-sunset timings in their weather columns.

After knowing the correct Agnihotra Time-table of your place adjust your watch according to the standard national time so that you will not miss the very important exact moment of sunrise and sunset when oblations are to be offered. The National Broadcasting Services, All India Radio, before the morning and evening news, announces the Indian Standard Time with 'beep-beep' sounds. Be ready with your watch and adjust it correctly at the last 'beep' which is always longer then the others. This will signify the correct time