Importance of Agnihotra
in the context of spiritual practice
This article will provide information on various topics such as the importance of Agnihotra in the context of spiritual practice, importance of Agni, definition of Agnihotra, promoter of Agnihotra, importance of Agnihotra and its benefits.
By offering oblations amidst recitation of mantras in the fire of Agnihotra performed as nitya-naimittik-karma (Day-to-day and occasional karma), corresponding karma of oblations is offered with bhav in the benevolent presence of Deities Prajapati, Indra, Agni and Surya. Agni being the form of Tej, it embraces the individual’s gross wishes and desires in itself and therefore through the spiritual practice of Agnihotra, the individual’s gross and subtle body gets purified. Over the period of time with the help of Agni, the individual gets lost in the gross form of the Deities and eventually loses its body-awareness, i.e. its dissolution in the miniscule part of Supreme God which encompasses the entire universe happens. The Agnihotra Yadnya is free from any restrictions.
1. Importance of Agni
A. Manifest form of all Deities
Agni is the manifest form of all Deities.
B. Agni means a Rutvij invoking Shakti (Divine Energy)
The Vedas have termed Agni as ‘Divya (Divine) Hota’. Hota means a Rutvij invoking the Shakti. When the fire is kindled at the place of Agnihotra during sunrise and sunset, and we deeply contemplate and invoke God with oblations in our hand, Agni brings Shakti and keeps it present at that time (स देवाँ एह वक्ष्यति). While performing Agnihotra during both these auspicious times, our Deity of worship remains manifest in front of us in the house or at the place of worship. Therefore, the environment of great purity and sanctity is created at that place during Agnihotra.
C. Agni represents the ‘mouth’ of the Deities
The Vedas have addressed Agni as the ‘mouth of Shakti’ or ‘Havya-vahan’ (Carrier of oblations). You may worship God in any form. You may be a devotee of Deity Shiva or Shrivishnu. You may worship Shri Ganesh, Sun Deity, Goddess Matru-Shakti, Shriram or Deity Hanuman; however, if you wish to offer oblations to any or all of these Deities, it has to be offered only through Agni – ‘Mouth of Deities’. Just as when any edible item needs to be consumed, it can be done only through the mouth, similarly, havirbhag (Share of oblation) that is to be offered to any Deity must be offered in the Agni only.
D. Usefulness of effects of sadhana
being performed in the presence of Agni
- Any act performed in the presence of Agni bestows the result of complete Chaitanya on the individual without any hindrance.
- When the individual starts worshipping the Divine Principle in the presence of Agni, only then the act gets transformed into sadhana in the true sense.
2. Definition of Agnihotra
Agnihotra is a form of vrat (Vowed religious observance) performed by invoking Tej (Absolute Fire Principle) to attract the Chaitanya of manifest sagun (Manifest) form and nirgun (Unmanifest) in its Principle form.
Agnihotra is a Divine worship performed by offering oblations in the Agni.
3. Promoter of Agnihotra
Satyadharmapraneta Param Sadguru Shri Gajanan Maharaj (of Shivapuri, Akkalkot, Maharashtra), has given new life to the ancient Agni-upasana (Worship of Fire) as narrated in the Vedas in the form of Agnihotra. Any individual can very easily practice it in today’s modern life.
4. Importance of Agnihotra
Agni generated from Agnihotra disintegrates Raja-Tama particles and lingers for a long time in the atmosphere. Therefore, practicing this process regularly creates a protective sheath around an individual up to a radius of 10 feet. This sheath is very sensitive to the contact of anything that is related to Tej. The sheath looks reddish in the subtle.
When Tej associated with virtuous objects comes in contact with the sheath, the reddish Tej particles of the sheath absorb this Tej and further strengthens the sheath.
Since the Raja-Tama-predominant Tej particles strike a very harsh note, this protective sheath senses their approach much in advance. Then this sheath, as a reflex action, emits multiple Tej ripples from within with tremendous force and destroys the harsh sound as also the Tej particles that produce these sound waves. As a result, the Tej in these destructive waves becomes powerless to strike. Since the striking destructive energy rings emitting from an atom bomb are already destroyed by the sheath, the bomb becomes incapable of spreading radiation. Therefore, even if the bomb is dropped, the loss of life is avoided to some extent. In the event of detonation of the bomb, the rapidly flowing Raja-Tama-predominant waves in the form of Tej emitted by the bomb strike against this subtler sheath of Agni present in the atmosphere and disintegrate within this sheath. Thus, their subtle effect is also destroyed instantly, and the atmosphere becomes free from the danger of further toxic pollution.
Agnihotra is the remedy advised by Paratpar Guru Dr. Athavale (Founder of Sanatan Sanstha) to save the lives of seekers as well as average people.
Paratpar Guru Dr. Athavale has advised seekers and average people that even in the absence of regular sadhana, the remedy of Agnihotra can bestow on them the fruits of having performed samashti sadhana while remaining at home. This means that they will obtain the same merit by saving the lives of many people.
5. Benefits of Agnihotra
There are various sects, languages, religions and spiritual groups in the world who perform Agnihotra. They have experienced various benefits, some of which are listed ahead.
A. An environment that bestows Chaitanya
and is replete with medicinal qualities is created.
B. Growth of more nutritious and delicious crops
Due to Agnihotra, plants receive nutrition from the atmosphere and become contented. The Vibhuti (Sacred ash) obtained from Agnihotra also has an exceptional effect on the growth of crops and vegetables. As a result, grains, fruits, flowers and vegetables are more nutritious and delicious.
C Nourishment of all life forms
Agnihotra nourishes mankind and all life forms in the same way as it nourishes plants.
D. Environment created as a result of
Agnihotra has a positive effect on children
- Exceptional influence on the minds of children; it imprints good sanskars (Subconscious impressions) on them.
- Stubborn and bad-tempered children become sensible and calm.
- Children are able to concentrate on their studies very easily.
- The mentally retarded children respond well to their ongoing treatment.
E. Healing of psychological disorders and
gaining mental strength due to development
of strong willpower upon performing Agnihotra
It was experienced that by regularly practicing Agnihotra, attributes such as more contentment, positive outlook towards life, mental peace, self-confidence and increased productivity were imbibed and developed unmistakably among men and women of different social strata and age groups of the society. It has been observed that in the atmosphere created by Agnihotra, people addicted to alcohol and other harmful drugs are able to de-addict themselves due to the development of strong willpower in themselves.
F. Effects on the nervous system
The smoke emitting from the fire has a powerful effect on the brain and the nervous system.
G. Anti-bacterial effect
Some researchers have found that the medicinal environment created by Agnihotra prevents the growth of bacteria.
H. Creation of a protective sheath
We experience that a protective sheath gets created around us.
I. Agnihotra purifies the prana-shakti (Vital energy),
hence, the individual’s mind quickly becomes cheerful and
blissful, and meditation is easily possible in such an environment
The prana and mind are closely interconnected, as if they are two sides of the same coin. Due to Agnihotra, the mind of the individual in such an environment quickly experiences the desired effect of purification of prana-shakti. Thus, his mental stress reduces effortlessly and his mind becomes cheerful and blissful. In such an environment it becomes very easy to meditate, worship, contemplate and study.
6. Benefits at the levels of corresponding Deities,
when the karma of Agnihotra is performed as sadhana
1. Performing Agnihotra is an effective way of awakening the Principles of subtle Deities in the celestial-sphere, thereby attracting their waves towards the earth’s atmosphere.
2. Through the karma of Agnihotra, the Energy of Creation in the form of Prajapati is awakened. Therefore, the seeds that are related to the earth’s atmosphere and are capable of producing sattvik desires, are delivered at the right time and thus help in the creation of Sattva-predominant components. This means that since the benevolent waves of Prajapati are dispersed in the atmosphere, every object that breeds in the surrounding area creates components related to conception of the sattvik seed.
3. Many Deities remain connected with the earth’s atmosphere through this sheath of Tej and continue to function for the benefit of many devotees. Such a close proximity of Deities helps many individuals and other animate beings present in the respective earth’s atmosphere in their spiritual evolution.
4. The Divine sheath of Tej created in the atmosphere upon performing Agnihotra is like a radiant ball of transparent glass that cannot be penetrated even by the subtlemost destructive rays radiating as an aftermath of an atomic explosion. Consequently, the individual and the related atmosphere can remain protected from the destructive elements.
5. If we wish to save the entire country, and consequently the community and ourselves from the terrorism in the current adverse era of Kaliyug, when the rage of demoniacal energies is on the rise, we should promote Agnihotra sadhana which attracts the waves of the respective Deities from the universe to the earth by invoking Agni.
– ‘A Scholar’ from the subtle-world (Through the medium of Mrs Anjali Gadgil)
Agnihotra – A concrete solution to air pollution
Since past few days, people from Delhi have been distressed due to increasing air pollution. As the pollution level reached its highest limit, the health minister had to enforce an even-odd rule for taking vehicles on to the road. As per the report submitted by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting Research (SAFR India), the pollution level in the current year is the highest in last 5 years. Schools had to be kept closed due to the increased levels of pollution and as a last resort, people were advised not to get out of their home. The question as to why administration did not take any steps before the air pollution issue went out of control, also needs serious attention. Similar to Delhi, other parts of the country are also facing problems due to pollution.
After this event, discussions started happening on increasing pollution levels in Mumbai, Pune and other important cities in the country. As per the report submitted by SAFR India, Pune is the next most polluted city after Delhi. Mumbai is the commercial capital of India, however with respect to pollution, Pune has taken a seat ahead of Mumbai. As per experts, pollution has increased due to the drop in the temperature in Pune. Increased levels of pollution is causing people in Pune to suffer from cold, cough and respiratory problems. To add to these problems, the number of two wheelers in Pune is extremely high which is causing the pollution levels to increase further. Pune city which was once recognized for pure air and water, is now known as a polluted city. This is really big cause of concern.
Various ill-effects of pollution are taught in the school text books, however a concrete solution to fix the pollution issue is never adopted. Pollution is a major contributor in disturbing the balance of the earth and it also causes the balance of human mind and body to get disturbed. The physical disorders cause human beings to get drawn into mental depression and thereby the capability to imbibe any positive thoughts is also lost. Incorrect thoughts lead to incorrect actions which occur unknowingly. Various secrets regarding how human beings can derive happiness through positive thinking have been included in Vedas and Purans. For human being to be able to inculcate positive perspective in its mind, the surrounding environment should also be positive, clean and beautiful. Surroundings can be clean if the air is clean and in order to keep the air clean, performing Agnihotra regularly is the only mechanism.
As a result of performing Agnihotra, physical purification of air occurs and correspondingly, human mind also gets purified. Once mind gets purified, it automatically has impact on the person’s thinking and conduct and it results in the person becoming happy. It has been scientifically proven that due to the ingredients used in Agnihotra, the air pollution decreases. Various countries in the world have performed research in this respect and have adopted Agnihotra as a solution to decrease air pollution. This stresses the importance of Vedic traditions. Apart from incorporating physical methods of air purification, it is also important to perform spiritual practice and abide by Dharma. Understanding the importance of Hindu traditions, only when the government adopts some of the conducts as prescribed by Dharma, that the nation will truly progress.
– Miss Rutuja Shinde, Pune