TOP ====UNDERSTANDING HINDUISM=======
HAVAN- AGNI HOTRA- YAGNA- HOMA-
SACRED FIRE CEREMONY
Agni (fire) is the deity that represents all
the other deities. Agni is said to be the mouth of the gods. Agni is known as the
messenger of the gods. Whatever man has to say to the gods, to the higher powers, he
conveys it through Agni. All the gods are fed through Agni. Agni is the link with the
Supreme Lord of all the worlds. Agnihotra or Havan is a primary and fundamental rite
during the performance of which oblations to the Supreme are offered in the consecrated
"The deities are said to have Agni for their mouth"
"Agni is Vishnu. Entering all creatures,
Yajnas link human beings with the
"The great elements starting from Space
to Earth are grosser than the former ones. Of these five SPACE and AIR are formless and
cannot be comprehended by eyes. The WATER and EARTH are grosser in that order and have
form and shape. The element FIRE is formless when unmanifest and attains form while
manifested. It is therefore a bridge (link) between the manifest world and the unmanifest
world. Therefore fire is the conveyor of all the offerings to the formless manifestation
of Pitris and gods and other deities. It is fire who accepts the offerings of forms from
the world of mortals and conveys it to the world."
"By pouring libations on the sacred fire, sin is
I am the kratu (a kind of Vedic sacrifice), I
am Yajna, I am the offering (food) to the manes; I am the medicinal herb and all the
plants; I am the mantra; I am also the ghee or the melted butter; I am the fire; I am the
It is unto Krishna (the Supreme Lord) that
the sacrificial priests pour their libations. It is unto Him that people dedicate diverse
kinds of food. He is the soul of the deities and human beings, and Pitris. It is He who is
the Sacrifice performed by those persons that are conversant with the rituals of
The sacred fire waits for libations to be pourd
From The Mahabharata, Aswamadha Parva
"Restraining the senses and the mind, the objects of those senses and the mind should be poured as libations on the sacred fire of the Soul that is within the body."
THE AACHMAN MANTRA(sipping of water) and the
A small quantity of water is sipped with each of the three mantras. This is mantra snaan, ceremoniously cleansing or purifying within. Touching externally for external purification.
" By this oblation may my mind, speech,
sight, hearing, taste,smell, seed, intellect, intention and aim become purified. May my
seven bodily ingredients - outer and inner skin, flesh, blood, fat, marrow, sinew and
bone- become purified. By this oblation may the qualities of sound , touch, sight, taste
and smell, residing in the five elements constituting my body become purified."
"Whatever is thought of by the mind,
whatever is uttered by speech, whatever is heard by the ear, whatever is seen by the eye,
whatever is touched by the (sense of) touch, whatever is smelt by the nose, constitute
oblations of ghee(clarified butter) which should all , after restraining the senses with
the mind numbering the sixth, be poured into that fire of high merits which burns within
the body, viz. the Soul."[Note: Restraining the senses and the mind, the
objects of those senses and the mind should be poured as libations on the sacred fire of
the Soul that is within the body.]
Whatever sinful deeds have been committed by
me, all that and myself I offer as an oblation into the Self-luminous Truth (the Soul),
the source of immortality. May the day efface completely whatever sin I have committed on
this day by thought, word, hands, feet, stomach, and the procreative organ. " --
Mahanarayanopanisad section 33-1.
From the Bhagavad Gita, Ch.4, Verses 24 , 25
Brahman is the oblation; Brahman is the ghee
(melted butter); by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman; Brahman
verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in action. 24
Some Yogis perform to the gods alone; while
others (who have realised the Self offer the Self as sacrifice by the Self in the
fire of Brahman alone. 25
Superior is wisdom-sacrifice to the sacrifice
with objects. All actions in their entirety culminate in knowledge.
From the Bhagavad Gita, Ch.5, Verse 29:
He who knows Me as the enjoyer of sacrifices and
The essential idea of sacrifice is the pouring out
The following text is from The
Mahabharata, Santi Parva
The Creator (Brahma), having in the beginning
With this do you nourish the gods and may those gods nourish you; thus nourishing one another, you shall attain to the highest good. (11)
The gods, nourished by the sacrifice, will give you the desired objects. So, he who enjoys the objects given by the gods without offering in return to them, is verily a thief. (12)
The righteous who eat the remnants of the sacrifice are freed from all sins; but those sinful ones who cook food only for their own sake verily eat sin. (13)
From food come forth beings; from rain food is produced; from sacrifice arises rain and sacrifice is born of action. (14)
Know thou that action comes from Brahma and Brahma comes from the Imperishable. Therefore, the all pervading Brahma ever rests in sacrifice. (15)
He who does not follow here the wheel thus
set revolving, who is of sinful life, rejoicing in the senses, he lives in vain, O
"All deeds other than those performed in
a spirit of yagna
In the Aitreya Brahmana Lord Yagna-Narayana Himself explains the meaning of sacrifice:
"What are you doing in the name of yagna? You kill an animal and offer it to the Divine? And in this yagna you propose to kill a human being?... Now when you perform, do not kill poor animals but burn away your own selfish, foolish and cruel animal instincts in the holy fire. And remember, fire does burn, fire can burn anything, but at the same time fire brings light in the darkness. Darkness is ignorance and light is knowledge. Let your ignorance disappear in the light of your knowledge. Use your strength and riches for the well being of the world. That will be real yagna."
In the Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section
Wine, fish, honey, meat, alcohol, and
preparations of rice and sesame seeds, have been introduced by knaves. The use of these in
sacrifices is not laid down in the Vedas. The hankering after these arises from pride,
error of judgment, and cupidity. They that are true Brahmanas realise the presence of
Vishnu in every sacrifice. His worship, it has been laid down, should be made with
agreeable Payasa. The leaves and flowers of such trees as has been indicated in the Vedas,
whatever act is regarded as worthy and whatever else is held as pure (by persons of pure
heart and cleansed natures and those eminent for knowledge and holiness), are all worthy
of being offered to the Supreme Deity and not unworthy of His acceptance.
From The Mahabharata, Aswamedha Parva,
So long as man identifies himself with his
body, he is always trying to take, to absorb, because the body continues only by such
taking and absorbing. When he identifies himself as the Self (Atman) he is always trying
to give, to pour out, because the joy of the Self is in the forthpouring. On the Pravritti
marg he takes; on the Nivrtti marg he gives.
Ghee or clarified butter (or, the cow from
which it is produced) is regarded as the very root of sacrifice.
From The Bhagavad Gita
The sacrifice which is offered seeking a reward and for ostentation, know thou that to be a Rajasic yajna.
They declare that sacrifice to be Tamasic
which is contrary
FIELD OF ENERGY AROUND HAVAN KUND
Agnihotra is generally known as the havan or
Agnihotra is a gift to humanity from the ancient Vedic traditions to the present age.
A tremendous field of energy is created around the havan kund (the pyramid shaped metal container). A magnetic type field is created which neutralises negative energy or vibrations and reinforces positive energy or vibrations. This extends to the persons who perform the agnihotra ceremony. The positive influence penetrates the physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual planes. Subtle energies are created by the rhythmical chanting of the Vedic mantras during the havan ceremony which spread the purifying as well as healing energies far and wide beyond the horizons.
Plants placed in a room where vibrations of agnihotra ceremony are maintained, such plants receive nutrition from agnihotra atmosphere and seem to be happy and grow well. They seem to thrive better than those plants not under the agnihotra sphere of influence. Just as agnihotra gives nourishment to plants, it provides the same for human life and also for animal life.
Many people on all continents belonging to
The agnihotra ash is the basic substance used
for the preparation of all agnihotra medicines, for external as well as for internal use.
"No libations can be poured into sacrificial fire without uttering MANTRAS" The Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section CCCXLIII
"None of these, viz., a maiden, a
youthful woman, a person
"The Sudra has no competence for
performing a sacrifice."
"The Vedas declare that sacrifices cannot be performed by an unmarried man" The Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section CCLXIII
"The deities do not accept the libations (poured upon the fire) on the occasion of Sraddhas and the rites in their honour or on the occasion of those rites that are performable on ordinary lunar days or on the especially sacred days of the full moon and the new moon, if they behold a woman in her season of impurity." The Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Sec.CXXVII
"They that are conversant with the scriptures say that
The ultimate Dakshina:
James Newton Powell, a graduate in religious
studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, is the author
Modern metaphysicians are rediscovering the
According to the rishis (seers) the mantras are the living body of the luminous inner truth of which they sing, a truth which does not reveal itself to the busy conceptual mind as readily as to the more receptive inner audience of unbounded awareness unfolded through meditation.There are four different levels of languages describing four domains of Vedic experience.
1. Language of communication or everyday
speech. The gross physical level of articulate speech (Vaikhari).
Speech reveals herself only to the seer, the one she loves.
Speech is born of tapas (austerity) and
throughout the Vedic literature is related to Agni (fire). Mystics of all ages have
discovered the relationship between the repetition of sound and an inner fire, and these
take the mind to profound depths and eventually spiritual illumination. The rhythmically
formulated word, with its tendency towards rhyme, its alliteration, assonance and other
types of repetition make it an instrument of power. The sound of such words is often of
greater importance than their meaning, which has often been lost. Intoned speech becomes
experienced as inner light.
The function of the Vedic mantras is to
reveal their own inner being.
The Vedic mantras possess the impulses or
tendencies which constitute the knowledge of these 'objects'. Thus there is a close
relationship between sound and form. This knowledge is on the level of pulsating
consciousness. The Veda is a supreme example of a type of poetry in which the life of the
symbol corresponds so intimately with the truth it clothes that it is indeed the living
form of that truth. There are, residing within the language of the Veda, a hierarchy of
potencies, indwelling powers of speech which inspire by means of sound and a
AGNI (sacred fire)
Agni created in the beginning, kindled in
Yajna is the envoy of Earth, the guest of men, effulgent and the mouth of Gods. O Agni,
eternal, Gods praise and sing for joy at thy coming, as parents do at the birth of a
Samveda, book two, chapter one:
We choose Agni, the envoy, the skilled
performer of the holy rite and instrumental in producing various things. We invoke Agni,
the Lord of subjects, the giver of all objects and much beloved. O adorable God, bring the
Gods hither. Thou art revealed to those who perform Yajna.
Samveda, book six, chapters one & two:
O well kindled Agni, thou bringest the Gods
to him, who offers oblations and gifts to thee. I ever worship thee as thou art giver of
Let us chant a Vedic verse to Agni, to him who bears from afar! The eternal Agni preserves the life of charitably disposed men. May that most blissful Agni guard our wealth and family, and keep us safe from grief and sin.
Samveda, Book nine, chapter one:
O Agni, eternal, radiant, gift of dawn, give thou this day ample wealth to him who rises early in the morning to pay oblations to the Gods. Thou art indeed the envoy of Gods, their beloved offering-bearer and carrier of holy rites. Thou grant us manly strength and high fame.
From The Mahabharata, Aswamedha Parva,
More About AGNI
Agni has got seven flames. The seven flames of the fire are mentioned in the Mundakopanisad: The Black, Fierce, Mind-swift, Smoke-coloured, Scintillating, Bright, All-shining- these are the seven moving tongues of fire.
Agni is called Jatveda i.e. omnicient. He is the witness of the worlds, a priest and guest of all creatures. He drives away demons and evil spirits. Agni destroys sins.
In the Isavasyopanisad Agni is described as the witness of all deeds of the people and the destroyer of all sins.
Agni is the son of Anila i.e.wind. His wife is Swaha and his son is Skanda. Agni is described as the lord of gold.
Agni is one of the most important deities of the Vedas. Nearly two hundred hymns are addressed to Agni. Agni is the deity associated with sacrifice. Hence Agni occupies an important place in the Brahmanas. In the Upanisads too he is mentioned with reverence.
In the Grhya Sutras, Agni is the witness of
all sacraments. Agni is the chief witness of sacraments such as the marriage of Hindus.
An excessive Muscular growth in my right arm, was operated (excision) and biopsy done at Mennakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, Madurai, on 16th July, 1999. ( In medical terms it is known as Lipoma in right arm.) The stitches were removed on 26th July, 1999 at the same hospital. The Doctor who removed the stitches told that a part of the wound ( about 2cm in length) has not healed, therefore he applied medicine did dressing, and advised me to show to a Doctor after reaching Ahmedabad.
I reached Ahmedabad on 31st July, 1999. I showed the operation wound to Dr. Mahesh B. Shah, Ahmedabad,on 2nd August, 1999. After examining its condition he dressed it after applying medicine. He advised me to get dressing done on alternate days at his clinic. When I went for the 9th dressing on 18th August, 99, Dr. Shah told that the wound is not healing as per expectations, and told that this is known as 'Non-healing ulcer' in Medical parlance. He therefore suggested that he may refer me to a General Surgeon, (as this is a post-surgery wound). However, I told him that I may intimate my decision later.
On 19.8.1999 morning I contacted Sri.
From 24th August, my wife applied only the Agnihotra ashes, as medicine and dressed-up the wound, after we read some literature about such treatment. On 25th August morning as blood was coming out of the wound, we thought that the wound was not healing. I therefore went to the clinic of Dr. Mahesh B. Shah. He examined the wound very carefully and informed me that 30% of the wound had healed, and that the blood will come from any wound. Therefore, the Doctor advised me to continue the same treatment. We were pleased to hear this expert opinion of the Doctor. The Doctor inquired as to what was being applied to the wound. I told him about Agnihotra and its ashes.
We continued applying the Agnihotra ashes only, and my wife did the dressing as usual. I was careful to avoid wetting the wound during my bath. On 30.8.99 dressing was not done as I had gone to Junagadh for official works.
On 31st August evening I went to the clinic of Dr. Shah. He examined the wound very carefully and told me that only a pin-head size of the wound has to heal. He advised me to apply the Agnihotra ashes even without dressing. He again inquired about Agnihotra. I told him briefly and gave a Gujarathi pamphlet on Agnihotra.
From 1st to 4th September we applied the Agnihotra ashes daily and did not cover the wound ( No dressing). On 5th September, 1999 I and my wife could observe that the wound has healed completely. Therefore, from 5th September I washed the operated part of my right arm with water during bath. I showed to Dr. Mahesh B. Shah, and he also confirmed the complete healing of my post-operation wound, and issued a certificate about my applying the Agnihotra ashes for this treatment.
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