Yajna and its importance
Yajna is a feeling, a selfless action
contributor- Shri Madan Rahejha Ji
Definition of Yajna:
1: Respect of the learned
2: Proper use of physical sciences
3: To impart knowledge and good deeds
4: To perform Agnihotra by which all creatures are benefited through the process of
purification of air,rain, medicines etc.
“Yajna: Beginning from Agnihotra (the fire-ritual) unto Ashvamedha (the house-ritual), or the material transaction and physical science that are used for the welfare for the universe is called ‘Yajna’. (Aryoddeshyaratnamala –47)
Yajna can be pronounced as Yajna or Yagya. There are many more words for “Yajna” in the Vedic literature such as: Yajnah, Venah, Adhvah, Meghah, Vidathah,Narthah,Savanam, Hotrah, Ishtihi, Devataata, Makhah, Vishnuhu, Indrah,Prajapatihi, and Dharmah. (Nighantu: 3/1)
In the four Vedas the term “Yajna” has been described 1184 times, in Rig-Veda 580 times, in Yajur-Veda 243 times, in Sama-Veda 63 times and in Atharva-Veda the word ‘Yajna’ has come 298 times.
It is said “Yajyo Vai Shreshthatamam Karmah” (Shatpath Brahmana: 22.214.171.124) which means the Yajna Karma is the best Karma.
According to Vedic theories and ancient tradition, Yajna is a sacred ritual to be performed by all humans, irrespective of caste, creed, color, sects, beliefs &sc.Now-a-days it is performed in different forms in almost all religions,sections and communities all over the world. Burning of candles in Christian Churches, lamps in Hindu Mandir, Lobaan, Agarbattis, incense etc.in many sacred places &sc. in religious congregations clearly shows the continuation of Yajna ritual.All these rituals are performed with the intention of achieving happiness through health, wealth, peace, strength, fame and protection from natural calamities, diseases, and all unforeseen events. All desires are fulfilled with “Yajna” hence the Vedas and other A’rsha Granthas lay emphasis on Yajna.
The word Yajna is derived from the root ‘Yaj’ which means to add or to communion. It is clear that the Yajna communions the self with the Supreme Soul God. Yajna is said to be the combination of three things i.e. Dev-Pooja,Sangati-Karan and Daan.
1: Dev-Pooja—means worship of Chetan (living) and insensate (Jada) deities.Devas or Devatas are those who possess divine & noble virtues
such as God,virtuous noble persons and Mother Nature. There are two types of devas, 1-living deities and 2- Jada or insensate e.g. Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether.In other words Dev-Pooja is to respect elders [Father, Mother,Teachers, Learned persons guests etc., to obey and respect them
accordingly.], to learn from them,and to perform Agnihotra (fire rituals) to make pollution free atmosphere. In short to adopt the attributes of living devatas and make insensate deities healthy & pure is called “Dev-Pooja”.The greatest Deva or Mahaadeva is ONLY GOD
to whom worship (communion) is due.
2: Sangati-Karan is to have company of virtuous people as well as mixing or joining two or more useful object & beings etc. Moreover to
make friendship and love with the same age group, by this there will be no enmity.
3: Daan* i.e. Charity means making sacrifice for the good of others without self-interest. This is the best solution to get rid of the
greatest evil of man i.e. ego. “Daan” is a must for all humans because it is the gateway towards God’s kingdom. The learned can give charity of knowledge and education, the brave and strong can give charity of fearlessness to weak persons, and the wealthy can sacrifice money for the poor people and for any good cause. The rest can sacrifice their services to the needy people i.e. to help and give protection to younger ones. To give them shelter and look after them. To give them proper knowledge and guide them in the right direction.
*Daan and Donor: Yajna is the greatest and best action/deed/work in the world.
It is an important and essential duty of the Yajmaanas to give Dakshina to Purohit or Brahma who performs Yajna, as a token of respect. But it’s
misunderstood by many of the Yajmaanas that they have to give money, as alms/charity to Brahma is not correct. Brahma’s main role in the Yajna is to watch and give advice for correction if anything goes wrong in the proceedings of the Yajna.
“Brahamaa Tvo Vadati Jaatavidyam” (Rigveda: 10.71.11) according to this Rigveda Mantra: There are four names of the persons who look after the essential duties of performing the ritual related to Yajna. They are Hotaa, Udgaataa, Brahama,and Adharvyu.If any one of them is missing means the Yajna is not perfect or complete. As stated earlier it is the essential duty and responsibility of the Yajmaanas to give donation (in cash or kind) to these four virtuous persons.This donation or contribution is called “Dakshina” not “Daan”. Daan and Dakshina both have their different meanings. Daan is to be given to younger, weak and poor one whereas Dakshina is offering to some respected, elderly, virtuous,suitable and worthy persons. In short Daan and Dakshina should be given to Su-Paatras i.e. worthy and respectable recipient and not to Ku-Paatras i.e.
incapable and undeserving recipient.). There is no use in giving out donations if the intention is to simply gain popularity, it will not add up to any good or virtuous deed. Donation (alms or charity) is given away willingly and cannot be demanded. In case of National Calamities and
&sc.Government and other organizations can ask for donation from the public which is acceptable, but to demand donation in the name of performing Yajna, is undeserving for the Brahman. It’s an insult to Yajna and Yajmaanas.
The Vedas teaches: – “He, who demands more gets a little and he who demands nothing gets more.” (Rig-Veda: 4-32-17)
“There are three kinds of donors –Best, middle and lowest. The best donor is he who takes time, place, and worthiness of the recipient into consideration before he gives charity and does it for the purpose of furthering the cause of enlightenment, righteousness and public good. The donor of middle kind is one who gives charity for the love of fame or some other selfish gain. Whilst the donor of the lowest kind is one who does not do anything for his own good or for that of others, but simply wastes his money on prostitutes, makes no distinction between a worthy and an unworthy recipient and gives alms to all like the shopkeeper in the proverb who sold all kinds of food-stuffs at the rate of nine stones a rupee, inflicts sufferings on the good and the righteous to benefit himself. In other words, he who honors those about whom he makes himself sure,
after a thorough inquiry, that they are good, learned and righteous men is the best kind of donor, whilst he, who may or may not care to inquire whether a person is a worthy recipient or not but bestows gifts for gaining public applause, is the middle kind of donor; but he who grants blindly
without making an inquiry into the worthiness or unworthiness of recipient is indeed the lowest kind of donor.” (Light of Truth: Chapter # 11)
Naturally one question must have arisen in the minds of our learned and inquisitive readers that “How to distinguish between a worthy recipient
and an unworthy recipient?” Mahrishi Dayanand Saraswati says:
“Whosoever is deceitful, hypocritical, selfish, sensual, Lustful,wrathful,avaricious and subject to infatuation, injures others, is greedy
untruthful and devoid of learning, associates with bad people, is lazy,repeatedly begs for alms from the same donor, compels a person to give alms by sitting at his door and causing him annoyance, does not take a refusal and keeps on begging, is never contented, reviles, curses or abuses those who do not give him anything in charity, turns into an enemy of one who has refused him alms once, though he has always helped him before, is a wolf in sheep’s skin, misleads others and cheats them, pleads poverty even when he has plenty, serves his selfish purpose by coaxing and cajoling others, is engaged in begging day and night, when invited to a dinner stimulates his appetite by the use of intoxicants such as cannabis Indica and eats in excess at the expense of others, and then gets intoxicated and neglects his duties, opposes the path of righteousness and follows that of unrighteousness to gain his selfish ends,teaches his disciples to respect and serve him alone, never other good and learned men who are worthy of respect, opposes the dissemination of light and knowledge, brings about discord in one’s relationship towards his wife and
husband, father, mother, children, friends, king and fellow subjects by teaching falsely that all these relations are unreal and the world is also an illusion,is an unworthy recipient.
While he who leads a chaste life keeps his senses under thorough control,studies and teaches the Vedas and the Vedic books; is gentle, truthful, loves to promote public good, is of active habits,generous, helps to disseminate knowledge and righteousness, is virtuous,keeps an even mind, is not influenced by praise or censure, is fearless, full of courage and hope, is a yogi, is enlightened, acts in accordance with the laws of nature, the teachings of the Vedas and Nature, attributes and characteristics of God, preaches truth justly,without favour or fear;examines scholars of the Vedas and other Shastras,flatters none, answers questions to the satisfaction of his questioners, loves other like his own-self, is free from ignorance, obstinacy, prejudice and conceit, and regards the censure of the world as nectar and public praise as poison; even when compelled to beg for alms in time of emergency and is refused does not feel hurt nor speaks ill of him who did not give him alms and leaves that place at once; is contented with whatever one gives him through love, is friendly towards the happy, kind of those who are in trouble, pleased with the righteous and indifferent towards the sinful, in other words free from inordinate love or malice. He is truthful in word, deed and thought,free from hypocrisy, jealously and malevolence is a man of high ideals, is highly virtuous and altogether free from any vice. He is devoted to the promotion of public good with all his heart and with all his soul, even sacrifices his life for the happiness of others, and is possessed of such other excellent qualities, is verily a worthy recipient. But in time of famine and want all living creatures can be considered as entitled to get food, water, clothes, medicines and other necessaries of life. (Mahrishi Dayanand Saraswati : “Light Of truth” Chapter # 11)
Yajna: It is a system of three kinds:
1: Naityika Yajna: These are Brahma Yajna (Sandhya), Deva Yajna (Agnihotra),Pitri Yajna, Atithi Yajna and Balivaishwadev Yajna. These are obligatory and are to be performed everyday.
Every household should compulsorily perform them. They are also called “Dainik Agnihotra”.
2: Naimittika Yajna: The Yajnas are performed to advert natural calamities such as excess of rain and drought etc.
3: Kaamya Yajna: The Yajna is performed for the fulfillment of certain desires,such as Putriyeshti Yajna (The Yajna is performed to get the putra means quality bearing offsprings).
In fact Yajna (Yajna) is not merely a ritual, but it is a complete way of life.The spirit of rising over and above self interest to make voluntary sacrifice for the good of the human masses and of all animate beings, and to obtain individual well being through the good and well being of all. This tendency develops co-operation and avoids confrontation of capitalism. This way of life will always encourage and result in acts of Dharma
only.There are hundreds of mantras in The Vedas, which describe performing of Yajna,which is the best deed for man on earth. The Yajur Veda
is full of mantras about Yajna i.e. what, when, why and how to perform Yajna.“The Yajur Veda is the Veda of Karma-kaanda” i.e. what are essential duties of a noble man and what actions are to be avoided by man, all these things are described in the Yajur Veda.
Deva-Pooja, Sangati-Karan and Daan balance the life of a man. Homa or Agnihotra (fire rituals which is performed daily) is the materialistic symbol of Yajna,which purifies the environment,hence health is improved. Whatever substances are put in the fire (fire of Yajna) maximizes the attributes of that Substance and the air spreads it in to the atmosphere. There are many advantages of Agnihotra. Yajna is beneficial for all living-beings, because whatever is put inthe holy fire (Yajna), the fire returns the same in manifold to the air, air returns it to the clouds which also does the same thing i.e. clouds give it back to the earth by way of rain. What man had scarified in fire, the same is returned to him in manifold by way of Yajna. Yajna also controls pollution.Food,vegetables, herbal is enriched and purified, hence performance of “Yajna” is essential and the best deed for man in the world.
Yajna is good for all, by performing “Homa” the society is benefited and enjoys a pleasant life [Of course we also are the members of society]. All living beings gain from Yajna. Pain, sorrows, unhappiness, miseries, all kind of diseases and tensions are gone by performing the best deed for man i.e. “Yajna”.Yajna or Havan* is to purify the atmosphere and the mind of the performer and those who join in it. It serves to elevate the human mind by enabling it to bless,praise and adore the divine giver of life and happiness.
[*Havan can be defined as Agnihotra or Homa that are performed daily as religious ritual. Of course! It is Deva-Pooja. Yajna is the combination of Deva-Pooja,Sangati-Karan and Daan. Offering oblations in the ritual fire with chanting of the Vedic mantra is Havan (Agnihotra or Homa) not Yajna. When Sangati-Karan and Daan is there, then only it is called Yajna.]
The fire in the Yajna means a lot too. If valuables are burned then the fire symbolizes human welfare. Havan-Samagri and other odoriferous
ingredients along with Pure Ghee are burned then the fire disseminates the essential oils in the atmosphere when these scents are inhaled, the fumes seek the tissues of the body, which is beneficial to the body. The central and overall meaning of the Yajna involves sacrifice and cooperation with others to achieve desired goals.The spirit for sacrifice and sharing is at the core of Yajna.Yajna (Homa or Agnihotra) –it is a worship of Jada deities’ i.e. insensate objects or dead inert matters so in that way nature’s balance is maintained. By this method of scarification we also earn to give and donate. Recitation of all mantras of Agnihotra ends in “Idam Na Mama”, which means, “It is not mine”. In this way egoism does not develop in the mind of man who performs Yajna, hence attributes of individuality (Ahankara) is perished.
All living beings gain from the Yajna. Pain, sorrows, unhappiness, miseries, all kind of diseases and tensions are gone by performing the best deed for man i.e.”Yajna”. Yajna or Havan is to purify the atmosphere and the mind of the performer and those who join in it. It serves to elevate the human mind by enabling it to bless, praise and adore the divine giver of life and happiness.
The Veda says: -”He who desires a blissful life (heavenly atmosphere) must perform Yajna”.
The Yajna is as old (ancient) as the Vedas. The Rigveda is the first Veda, in which the very first mantra says: —
“Agni Meede Purohitam Yajnasya Devamritvijam,Hotaaram Ratna Dhaatamam.” (Rigveda 1-1-1-1)
In this very first mantra of the Veda it is clearly described the words “Yajna”,”Purohit”, “Ritvij” and “Hotaa”, hence it clear that Yajna is to be
performed in the guidance of Purohit – Ritvij – Hotaa, hence Yajna are as ancient as the Veda itself.
“Aram Krinvantu vedim Samagnimindhataam Purah” (Rigveda: 1-170-4)
Means it is a commandment of the Supreme Soul that “Decorate the Yajna-Vedi i.e. your places where Yajna is performed, and do lit the sacred fire in it and raise it.
“Aa Vakshi Devaam Iha Vipra Yakshi Cha” (Rigveda 2-36-4) Means –O learned man!Invite the Gods and perform Yajna i.e. sacred fire.
“Juhota Pra Cha Tishthata” (Rigveda 1-15-9) Means it is a God’s order to perform Yajna and develop.
“Pra Yajnamanmaa Vrijanam Tiraate” (Rigveda 7-61-4) Means performing sacred Yajna solves all problems of life.
“One’s intellect is purified with the Yajna” (Rigveda 3-32-12)
There are many mantras in the four Vedas related to Yajna, which inspire to perform holy and sacred Yajna, in return of which
all actions are done properly and purely.
“Rricham Tvah Poshamaaste Pupushvaan Gaayatram Tvo Gaayati Shakvareeshu,
Brahmaa Tvo Vadati Jaatavidyam Yajnasa Maatram Vi Mimeeta U Twaaha” (Rigveda:10-71-11)
In this mantra, there are four names of the persons who look after the essential duties of performing the ritual related to Yajna. They are Hotaa, Udgaataa,Brahama, and Adharvyu whose duties are as follows: –to correct the pronunciations of the holy mantras, –to sing mantras accordingly, to watch and advice for corrected proceedings of the Yajna and to construct the appropriate position of the Vedi where Yajna is to be performed, respectively. Yajna is scientific and essential duty of man to perform.
The importance of sacrificial life in the material, psychological and spiritual aspect has been clearly elaborated. The Yajna (Sacrifice) is looked on generally as some actions limited to offerings made in the sacred fire. But Yajna is a very wide term that encompasses all good actions including prayers,associations, donations and the basic essentials of a systematical life.
Physical aspect of Yajna:We ponder over the ideals, hidden in the basic sacrificial performance of Yajna.
The welfare of all prominently does manifest as its primary aim, because the materials such as clarified butter and herbs etc. which a person offers in fire in a Yajna are not his own individual good only. They are not congenial to him only but it is for the welfare of all and that his own welfare is desired through this common welfare. As mentioned by Lord Krishna in the Geeta (Chapter # 3 –Couplets from 9 to 15) “Yajna purifies air, which in turn causes rains,purifies all vegetation and herbs, and finally produces cereals that bestow longevity of life.
If all citizens perform Yajna daily, as was prevalent in the Vedic age, this statement will not be an airy imagination but will again become a reality, as it was then. Today, the vexation and intricate problems of the atmospheric pollution are endangering human existence on earth. This serious challenge can be best controlled and eradicated, along with other means by the device of Yajna also and the congenial changes can be brought about by further discovering the materials for oblations more suited to our present needs.
Psychological aspects of Yajna:
The benefits cannot be limited only to the Yajmaanas (Persons offering oblation)
0n the plea that he has incurred all expenditure on it. The benefits will be for all animate beings when Yajna through oblations is
performed, since the whole atmosphere is affected, extending the benefits to all beings, including the person performing the Yajna, and all those who breath the air purified by the Yajna, will be benefited equally. But on the contrary, if the Yajmaanas want to restrict the benefits only to themselves or to their friends and family members only, it will not be possible to do so. He will have to seek his benefits of all. Further the Vedic axiom teaches that we should always see each other with friendly eyes and fearlessness, as is provided in the following Vedic verse:
“Abhayam Naktam Abhayam Divaa Nah Sarvaa aashaa Mam Mitram Bhavantu.”(Atharvaveda: 19.15.6)
It means may all quarters be friendly for us so we may feel fearless throughout day and night. This will help in the development of an outlook of
brotherhood for all, with no enmity towards anyone. This outlook is the psychological aspect of Yajna.
The spiritual aspect of Yajna:
When fire is kindled during Yajna, the mantra recited five times along with five oblations means my soul is like fuel to God who enkindles to
enhance it and may He bestow upon us progeny, domestic animals, good intelligence, food grains etc. with all blessing of happy and prosperous
life. He also concludes thereby affirming that his oblations are for God alone. The Intelligent and not for himself.
Through aforesaid mantra the person performing Yajna-offering oblations in the ritual fire) implores God to enlighten his soul with His light. Just as the Samidhaa (wood) and the materials offered as oblations into fire by getting burnt in to the fire attain the properties of fire but still keep their identity, in the same way the individual soul maintains its individuality, though pervaded by God in the state of salvation. It has a separate identity full of light. This is the spiritual aspect of the Agnihotra (Yajna in fires).
The prayer is in the plural number, since its purpose is not to implore only for individuals benefit but it also implores the welfare of all by bestowing gifts of intelligence, animals, cereals, vitality energy and wealth.
This mantra of oblation and many other mantras recited while offering oblations end with words “Idam Na Mama” i.e. it is not for me or belongs to me (alone) but is dedicated to God (for the benefit of all).
Thus all the three aspects of Yajna namely physical, psychological and spiritual have been upheld to confirm the veracity of the ninth mandment.
Here it has been considered as to how the process and the progress of the community and the individual can be reconciled and attained. These two most perplexing concepts have been miraculously elucidated and elaborated by Swami Dayanand with his clairvoyance (divine foresight) in a conciliatory manner. He commands in this ninth principle that every man should strive for his advancement but he should not be satisfied only with his own progress but should simultaneously attempt for the common good as well. Believing that his progress is the progress of all, as he is also one individual included in the sum total of individuals which make up the society. The vast differences of the two problems of individuals and social progress have been harmonized. The success of the progress of the individual and the community as well as their welfare can only be achieved by the strict observance of this principle. All men should subordinate themselves in observing and following social rules beneficial to all and all should be independent in respect of every beneficial rule.
It is clear that “Yajna Karma” is the best deed in humans’ lives. It is described in the Brahmana:
“Yajyovai Shreshtatamam Karma” (Shatpath Brahman: 126.96.36.199)
i.e. Yajna Karma is the best deed in the world.
“Yajyohi Shreshtamam Karma” (Taittriya Brahman:188.8.131.52)
Means only Yajna is the best deed in human life.The ultimate aim of human life is to get rid of all pains and attain liberation.
Yajna is said to be the best ‘Nishkaam karma’.
Agnihotra–A wonder Weapon:
1: Agnihotra reduces nearly 77.5% pollution.
2: 16 % harmful bacteria are destroyed after a single Havan.
3: Yajna process can produce clouds causing rainfall.
4: Natural calamities are controlled by Yajna.
5: Many incurable diseases like epilepsy, leprosy,Cancer etc. and all types skin and Lung diseases (Specially to control the
inflammation and/or fungus of the skin) etc. can be cured with Yajna.
6: It has been observed that Agnihotra has been helpful in case of mentally under Developed children whose I.Q. level increased.
7: It is an important home therapy that can fight diseases and pollution and to increase agricultural production.
8: Daily performance of Yajna removes environment pollution, which affects human beings but also trees, plants and animals.
9: Yajna-Ash has power to destroy insects around the plants and trees & plants grow wonderfully well where its ash if thrown.
10: Yajna (Agnihotra or Havan) is a greatest medicine with unique value.Its ash is also used in the form of tablets, capsules, ointments, eye-drops etc.in the treatment of various diseases. Chronic wounds are healed with the application of Agnihotra ash.
11: Stomach disorders also cured by Agnihotra ash. Effect of this Holy Ash on skin diseases is just miraculous.
12: When sugar is burnt, it has the power to purify air. It destroys diseases like small pox, cholera, tuberculosis etc. By burning
raisin, the germs causing typhoid are destroyed in 30 minutes in its smoke and the germs causing other diseases in an hour or two.
13: When a Yajna is performed with cow’s Ghee and other purifying material like Samagri etc. it produces four kinds of gases viz. Ethylene Oxide, Propylene Oxide,Formyldhide and Beta Propyo Lactine. After pouring Ghee over fire,Estilyn is produced. This Estilyn is high temperature energy, which draws polluted air to itself and purifies it. The gases produced by burning cow’s Ghee can fight many diseases and remove mental tension.
Important: There is infinite list of the benefits from Yajna Viz. Environment Purification,Fitness, Longevity, Rain, Milk, Food, Health, Wealth, Energy,Comforts,Children, Vitality, Sinless, Good Character, Awareness,Non-enmity,Self-defensive, Fame, Enlightenment, Speaking-power, Peace of mind, Divine attributes etc (Rigveda: 3.25.2)
One thing is to be borne in mind that God-realisation or Emancipation is not possible only with Yajna rituals. God is attained by Yajna of the
self-realization i.e. meditation according ‘Patanjali’s Yoga.
Clarification of some doubts about Yajna:
Question: Is a person not performing Yajna guilty?
Answer: Yes, if man is responsible for causing pollution by excretion,respiration, decay of materials used by him, gases of vehicles
driven by him,smoke of factories run by him and foul smell produced by him,it is his duty to rectify the evil effect of these processes. Agnihotra is
the only way to do so.
Question: There are other scientific ways of purifying water, air, food products etc. What is then the importance of Yajna?
Answer: Many disinfectants, antiseptics and preservatives are used to purify and protect water, air, food products, etc., these days. However,
these materials are not successful in destroying all kinds of germs. They rather destroy the food value of these articles and cause many side effects. If one problem is solved, they create another.
Question: Some people say that the Yajna fire produces Carbon Dioxide, which is harmful for human beings. Is it correct?
Answer: If the Yajna vessel is properly constructed, pieces of wood from only the prescribes trees are picked up and required quantity of cow’s ghee and purifying materials are used, very little Carbon Dioxide gas is produced. The trees and plants in the Yajnashala area consume that deadly gas. As compared with Carbon Dioxide, the Yajna produces many other useful gases, which remove environmental pollution and create
healthy and pleasant smell all around.
It must be noted that the little Carbon Dioxide produced during the Yajna is not as harmful or poisonous as are the gases emitted by big works,
mills, factories, vehicles and railway engines. If we are putting up with the harmful gases of factories for our little gain, we can live with the little
Carbon dioxide produced during the Yajna for our bigger gain. It may be emphasized that the trees and plants consume this Carbon dioxide, while the poisonous gases from the factories cannot become food for the plants. It is therefore unfair and prejudicial to oppose Yajna due to this reason.
Question: How can the Yajna performed with a little ghee and purifying material put an end to large-scale dangerous environment pollution in villages and cities?
Answer: A single unit of powerful Yajna gas is capable of purifying a thousand units of polluted air emitted by vehicles, mills, factories etc. Moreover, it is the duty of everyone to remove the pollution spread by him. If in the world inhabited by 6,000 million people, 100 or 200 million families start practicing Yajna every day, this pollution can be brought under check.
Power gases produced by Yajna affect the trees, creepers and plants around such a way that they can withstand all future pollution.
It is scientific fact that powder is more powerful than solid substance, liquid is more powerful than powder and gas is more powerful than liquid. With just 10 grams of heeng powder mixed with ghee can give pleasant smell to one quintal of cooked pulse. A red chili put in fire affects thousands of persons. In the same way,the pleasant smelling gases produced during the Yajna are full of curative and healing powers capable of destroying pollution and creating sweet sensation.
Thirdly, big Yajna can be arranged at various places throughout the country at national level and the problem of environmental
pollution can be solved.
Question: In these days of rising prices, is it wise to destroy ghee and other useful materials by putting them in fire?
Answer: Nothing is destroyed but it is only transformed into another subtle form, when it is put in the fire. From solid or liquid state,
the material; is changed into gas. The consumption of 50 or 100 grams of ghee is beneficial only for a single person but the same amount benefits thousands of people, animals,birds and plants when it is transformed into gas. The smell of incense sticks remains in the house throughout the day.
Even in these days of rising prices, we eat costly food, wear costly clothes, and buy costly television sets, scooters or cars. Why should we stop
Yajna though we get numerous benefits from it?
Question: If the purpose of Yajna is to make environment fragrant, it can well be done with incense sticks, scents, flowers etc. What is the necessity of Yajna?
Answer: The purpose of Yajna is not merely to spread fragrance but also to destroy water and air pollution. With the incense sticks or flowers, we create only pleasant smell and that too for a limited place. By putting ghee and purifying the materials in fire during Yajna, we remove environmental pollution besides making the air fragrant.
Incense sticks or flowers are not capable of driving polluted air out of the house and letting the pure air in, which is an important function of
the Yajna. Thus incense sticks, etc. cannot be an alternative for Yajna.
Some Important Information & Rules and Regulations about Yajna Karma (The Sacred Holy Fire Ritual)
Any karma done with love, dedication and with the intention of helping others is said to be “Yajna”. The main purpose of performing Yajna-Karma or Agnihotra is for purification of surrounding atmosphere and also to purify the body, mind and soul hence it is regarded as the best karma or best deed in the world. Yajna is the only Karma from which the five basic elements e.g. earth, water, fire, air and ether are purified. Yajna is beneficial in health, wealth, self-confidence,and peaceful life, social co-operation and achieving world harmony
Yajna is not any show business, on the contrary, it is also performed with the aim of communion with God, but if it is done with the
intention of publicity and for monetary income, it is an insult to Yajna. It is the biggest sin to commercialize the Yajna Karma. Educated and religious persons should not patronise these type of “Showy and Commercialised” plays.One must know the rules and regulation i.e. code of conduct for performing the Yajna-Karma rituals. Some important rules and information collected from various books are as follows: -
The first action for Yajmaanas in Yajna-Karma is ‘Varan’ i.e. acceptation of the Purohit by applying sandalwood ‘Tilak’ on his forehead and offer him garland with respect. One has to obey his Purohit because in the yajna, he gives you guidance.
Eloquents about “Yajna” in Vedic literatures:
· “Yajyo Vai Shrashthatamam Karma” (Shatpath Brahmana:(184.108.40.206), which means Yajna, is the best deed that purifies water, air and
should be done with the intention of selflessness.
· “Swarg-Kaamo Yajet” (Tandaya Brahmana: 16.15.5) It is said that Yajna should be performed with the intention of attaining worldly pleasures.
· “Imam Yajnam Vitata Vishwakarmana” (Atharvaveda: 21.35.5) which mean Yajna is blessing of almighty God as this life is elevated by God (Yajna).
· “Ayam Yajyo Bhuvanasya Naabhihi” (Yajurveda: 23.62) i.e. Yajna (God) is the centre of this world because God creates, sustains and deluges the Universe for the benefit of all Jivas.
· “Yajyena Yajnamayajantata Devaha” (Yajurveda) which means all so-called virtuous deeds in this world are called ‘Yajna’.
· “Eijaanaha Swargam Yanti Lokam” (Atharvaveda: 10.4.2.) i.e. in this world, Yajna provides ‘Swarga Loka’ i.e. all pleasures to the
performers. Yajna Karma fulfills all desires. Hence he who performs Yajna is always satisfied.
· “Prancham Yajnam Pranayata Sakhayah” (Rigveda: 10.10.2) i.e. One must perform Yajna ritual while starting any new work.. It
is an important ordinance from God.
· “Juhota Pra Cha Tishthata”(Rigveda: 1.15.9) that is One who performs Yajna acquires fame and pleasures in his/her life. In other words it is advised to all –If you desire fame and pleasures in life do perform Yajna.
· “Panchjanamaya Hotram Jushadhwam”(Veda) i.e. it is an important duty of all men of four Varnas i.e. Brahman,Kshatri, Vaishya and Shudra including schedule tribe living in remote areas,to perform Yajna Karma.
· “Adam Krinivantum Vedim” (Rigveda: 1.170.4) which means that the Yajnashala (the place where Yajna is performed) is to be
beautified and well decorated.
· “Urdhvam Krinivantvadhwarasyaketum”(Rigveda: 3. 8. 8) which means that Yajna is the best deed hence it should not be performed with oblations of anything which contain animal flesh etc.It is called ‘Adhwara’ means there should be no killings of living beings. Flames of Yajna fire should be kept high.· Rigveda advises to all brave and enthusiastic persons to perform Yajna Karma for their own upliftment and to furnish their duties towards society and nation.
1: Timings for Yajna-Karma:
Morning Sandhya or Meditation should be done before sunrise in the “Brahm-Mahurt” i.e. between 3.30 and 6.00 A.M. and Yajna should
be performed after sunrise in the morning after Sandhya. Evening Yajna should be performed before sunset (Light of Truth: Chapter 3) and
evening Sandhya just after the Yajna is finished. It is clear that “Yajnas must be performed in sunlight because of their scientific values mentioned
earlier. It is the essential duty of man to do Sandhya (Meditation) and perform Yajna (Agnihotra) daily (The Sam-Veda: 82).
Some special ceremonial/ritual Yajna can/may be performed according to the instruction received from the Brahma/Purohit of Yajna.
All actions/deeds done with the true intention of helping others are called “Yajna” and Yajna-Karma-kaand (performance of Homa) is one of
the symbols of “Paropakaar” i.e. helping others. The main purpose of performing Yajna is to create healthy and pollution free environment that makes all animate beings healthy and pleasant and that is why Yajna is called the best Karma/deed in human life (The Yajurveda: 2.14). It is also the Dharma or duty of all learned and worthy humans to perform Yajna-Karma with respect, love and devotion.
“Yajyo Vai Shreshthattamam Karma” which means “Yajna is the best deed” (The Veda)
3: Recitation of Yajna-Mantras:
All mantras of Yajna should be from the Vedas only (Atharvaveda: 19-58-5) and they are compulsorily be recited by the Yajmaanas.
“Agnim Vardhantu No Girah” (Rigveda: 3.10.6), “Akran Karmam Karmakritah sah Vaacha Mayobhuva”–Yajurveda: 3.47).
In case if they are unable to recite them properly, then only the Yajna-mantras are recited by Purohit or Brahma of the Yajna and all Yajmaanas listen to them carefully and devotionally. If Yajmaanas and guests can recite the Yajna Mantras correctly, they must recite the same. Recitation of the Vedic Mantras should be done sweetly but not loudly because Yajna surroundings should be purely religious and dedicated with worship of God hence they are pronounced dedicatedly so that mind is controlled and stabilized. In this way dedication and love towards Yajna is created “Agnim Hinvantu No Dhiyah” (Rigveda:10.156.1).
This point is to be noted carefully that in the Vedic Sandhya (Meditation), the Mantras are recited in the mind but in Yajna Karma, they are recited verbally by the Yajmaanas, so that every one present in the gathering can listen. Chanting of the Vedic Mantras protects Vedas, mantras are remembered easily, and moreover one experiences the existence of God.
It is advisable to have open, clean and fixed place for performing Yajna Karma. This Yajna place is called the “Yajna-Shaala” that helps the Yajmaanas to maintain interest towards the noblest duty of performing Yajna-Karma. In meditation also, it is advised by our ancient Rishis to have a lonely airy place or a separate room for attaining inner peace and realisation of God.
5: Aasan or Sitting Positions:In big special Yajna (Brihad Parayan Yajna) the sitting positions of Hota*,Adhwaryu*, Udgaataa* and Brahma* are reserved.The sitting position of the Brahma or Purohit of Yajna is reserved in the South, facing the North and for the Hota or Yajmaanas
it is in the West facing the East. The sitting position of the Adharvyu is in the South, facing the North and position of the Udgaataa is reserved in the East facing the West. The Havan Kund is placed in the center. It should be noted that level position of Brahma’s Aasan should be slightly higher so that he can see the proceedings of Yajna properly. Yajmaanas‘ sitting position should not be higher than that fire position of Yajna. (Rigveda: 10-88-19) (Nirukta: 7-31). “A comfortable sitting position is called Aasan” (Yog Darshan: Sadhna Paad: Sutra 46)
“Yatra Brahamaa Pavamaanashchhandasyaam Vacham Vadan” (Rigveda: 9-113-6)
According to the Vedic literature & tradition, these four Brahman persons are called ‘Ritwik’ (singular) or ‘Ritwijans’ (plural). The person who has knowledge of the four Vedas and inspects the proceeding of Yajna proceedings is known as “Brahma”. In Yajna Karma, the Brahman person
who recites the mantras from the Rigveda is known as “Hotaa”. In the same way the person who recites the mantras from the Yajurveda is known as “Adharvyu” and lastly the person who sings the mantras from the Samaveda is known as “Udgaataa”.
[*“Rrichaam Tvah Poshamaaste Pupushvaan Gaayatram Tvo Gaayati Shakvareeshu,Brahmaa Tvo Vadati Jaatavidyam Yajnasya Maatraam Vi Mimeeta U Twaaha” (Rigveda:10-71-11)
This Rigveda mantra describes the names of four persons who look after the four essential duties and responsibilities of performing the Hole Fire-ritual i.e.Yajna. They are Brahma, Hotaa, Adharvyu and Udgaataa, whose duties are as follows:
1: Brahma: To inspect the sitting positions of the Yajmaanas and guide them the correct proceedings of the Yajna Karma (if they go wrong).
2: Hotaa: To listen & rectify if the Yajmaanas recite/pronounce the Vedic mantras wrongly.
3: Adharvyu: To construct the proper & appropriate position of the Yajna Shaala and Vedi where Yajna is to be performed.
4: Udgaataa: To recite or sing the mantras according to the four Vedas.The Yajna Karma is scientific and it’s an
essential duty of all human beings to perform it regularly and properly.]
6: Yajna-Dress:Brahma and/or Purohit should wear clean white clothes with a yellow shawl. The dress for the Yajmaana Dampati
(husband and wife performing Yajna) should have four* new, loose, clean and white silken or cotton clothes while performing Yajna (Sanskar Vidhi). Here intention is to wear good new clothes. Moreover if possible they should wear ‘Dhoti & Kurta’, which according to learned Brahmans, is said to be the most suitable dress for Yajna-Karma. (*Two for each husband and wife i.e.Dhoti, Kurta, and they should be convenient according to season.)
7: Right of Yajna Ritual:
The Yajmaanas and Brahma or Purohit must wear and adopt the “Yajyopaveeta” before performing Yajna-Karma and also it is their
Dharma (Duty) to maintain wearing the same even after the Yajna is over.Only Yajyopaveeta gives right of performing Yajna-Karma. On the other hand the Vedic-Dharma has granted full permission & right to all humans for performing “Sandhya” i.e. Meditation of God.
8: The Best Deed:Everyone including Purohit and Yajmaanas who is taking part in the Yajna proceedings must be clean and should have taken bath before performing or attending it because the Yajna-Karma, according to the Veda, is the best karma (“Shreshtamay Karmane”–Yajur Veda: 1-1). All learned Yajmaanas and their guests are advised not to look here and there or talk or whisper to anyone sitting next to them (Sanskar Vidhi) and not to give a smile or wish Namaskaar (salutation) to anyone during the proceeding of Yajna. They are supposed to be fully devoted
to God and concentrate on Yajna-karma/proceedings and/also meditating God’s original name “AUM” in their mind.
9: Essential Things for Yajna:
Utensils used in Yajna-Sanskaras should be made of gold, silver or copper metals or wood (Sanskar-Vidhi). In modern times utensils of brass or stainless steel can also be used. Usually the following utensils are used during Yajna.One deepak, three or four plates for keeping Homa offerings. Ghee pot with one or two long spoons (called Sruwa) for oblations. Four Aachaman pots with small spoons. One plate for keeping sweets etc., One small bowl for keeping cooked rice and One Kalash* (*Agni-Puraan: 94-6,7,64) i.e. big bowl for sprinkling water (Jal-Prasechan) and Dhoop packet and Agarbattis. Two napkins or tissue papers to wipe hands and lastly one pair of Yajyopaveeta.
10: Aachaman:It is an important act of the Brahma and Yajmaanas to take three sips of water called ‘Aachaman’ before the start of Yajna. It is advisable and allowed for Yajmaanas and Brahma of the Yajna to have ‘Aachaman’ (to take a few sips of water), if /whenever they feel
thirsty or lazy during the process of Yajna-karma.
11: The Eight Mantras of Worship:
In the beginning of all Sanskaras the eight Mantras of “Ishwar-Stuti-Prarthana-Upasana” along with their meanings should be
recited by a learned person or Purohit and on the other hand, all should listen to them carefully and think about them. (“Arya Satsang Gutka” the
Vedic prayer book authorised by Saarvadeshik Dharmaarth Sabha)
12: Recitation of “AUM”:
It is observed that many pundits and people recite “AUM” before all mantras,which is against the Shastras. It is not correct to
recite or repeat “AUM”before and/or in the end of each & every mantra of Sandhya or Prayers. It’sagainst the system of ‘Shastras’ and Vedic beliefs. One must follow the directions and rules given in the authorised Vedic prayer books. So, “AUM”should be pronounced or recited only once before the first mantra of different Karma, subject or chapter. Where there is difference of Karma, the recitation of ‘OM” is recited in the beginning of every Mantra. One can observe this system in “Panch-Maha-Yajna-Vidhi” one of the famous books written by Mahrishi Dayanand
Saraswati. Here are few verses from the Ashtaadhyaayee that prove these facts about recitation of ‘OM’: — “Omabhyaadaane” (Ashtaadhyaayee: 8/2/87) & “Pranavashtehe” (Ashtaadhyaayee: 8/2/89).
For detailed explanation on this subject, our inquisitive readers are requested to refer “Sandhyopaasana Vidhi”* and / or “Arya Satsang Gutka”*. (Also one can refer the book “Vedic Nitya Karma Vidhi” –Pt. Yudhishthir Meemansak)
[Important: *These small prayer books are composed by Mahrishi Dayanand Saraswati (in Vikram Samvat 1920 i.e. year 1860
AD.) on the basis of the Vedic information originally recollected and used by our ancient Rishis.] For more detailed information, interested &
inquisitive readers can refer the book of all Vedic rites & rituals –“Sanskar Vidhi” by Mahrishi Dayanand Saraswati]
13: Material for Oblations:
The Yajmaanas are suggested by A’rsha Granthas to offer all Aahutis (Oblations) of pure & hot Ghee (Yajur Veda: 17-55, 20-45 and
21-39) and Samagri. Samagri is a mixture that contains the rich properties of Fragrance, Energetic, Sweetish & curative things, made of different
herbs, dry fruits, dried flowers & leaves, sandal wood pieces, etc. for the benefits of all animate beings.
For detailed information, interested readers are requested to refer – “Rigvedadi-Bhashyabhumika”, “Rigveda Bhashya” and “Sanskar Vidhi” by Mahrishi Dayanand Saraswati).
Oblation of any fleshy things is restricted (not permitted) in the Yajna-Karma and that is why it is also known as “Adhwar” (Nirukta: 2.7) which means there is “No violence or killing’ of any type in Yajna. Therefore! Samidha & Samagri should be inspected carefully (free from insects) before putting into the holy fire.
[Rigveda: 1.1.8, Rigveda: 1.26.1, Rigveda: 1.44.13, Yajurveda: 1/1, 6/11, 13/43, 14/8, Atharvaveda: 4.24.3, 1.4.2, 5.12.2, 18.2.2, Manu: 3.16, &sc. There are many mantras in the Vedas that says “to protect all types of animals, don’t kill them”. No oblation of any flesh of any creature is allowed in Yajna ritual because Yajna is for the benefit of all. Brutal killing of animals for the sake of taste or oblation is the biggest sin.]
[It is said in the Yajurveda: 6/11 that “Yajmaanas should protect all animals”. Yajurveda: 1/1, 14/8, 36/22, 30/18 – Don’t kill any
living being, Rigveda: 8.101.15, Atharvaveda: 1.16.4, 19.31.5, 4.27.3, 6.140.2. There are many verses/quotations in all A’rsha Granthas that say the
same thing “Not to kill any living beings on the contrary you should love them and protect them.” Mahabharata: Shanti Parva: 265/9, 265/4-5, 263/6, 265/6, 337/4-5. Ashwalaayangrihasutra: 9/6-7]
14: Correct Timings for Oblations:Oblations of Pure Ghee and Samagri should be offered in Yajna-Kund only with the recitation of “Swaaha”, hence Yajmaanas are advised do not offer any oblation before or after the recitation of “Swaaha”. This is one of the codes of conduct of the Yajna-Karma that should be followed by all taking part in the Yajna. For this one should refer: – “Mantranaam ———————–asnarthtwaat”
(Meemaansa Darshan 12/3/25).
Also “Mantraantaihi Karmaadihi Saannipaatyo~Bhidhaanaat” (Kaatyaayan Shrout Sutra 1/35)
It is clearly mentioned that the “Kriya or Action should start only after the recitation of mantra is complete”.
Yajna Karma has to be performed with recitation of “Swaaha”. “Swaha Yajnam Krinotan” (Rigveda: 1.13.12)
15: Handling of the Samagri & Sruwa:The “Sruwa” or the long spoon used for offering oblation of Pure Hot Ghee in Yajna-Kund, is to be held by the thumb, middle and ring finger and oblation of ‘Samagri’ is also be offered in the same way. It is believed that the first finger represents egoism and the last tiny finger represents envy hence it is advisable to avoid the first and the last fingers to touch Samagri or Sruwa in Yajna.
16: Samidha:This point to be noted very carefully that all the “Samidha” (small thin wood pieces) used in Yajna, must be fully dried because wet Samidhaa creates smoke, which is very injurious to health (Sanskar-Vidhi). Homa should not be performed with charcoals. (*Yajurveda: 22/15 –Commentary by Mahrishi Dayanand Saraswati)
17: Safety Points During Fire Ritual:From the safety point of view, it is advised to all our learned Yajmaanas to mix a little quantity of Pure Ghee in the Samagri before the start of Yajna. Because, when the oblation of dry Samagri is performed to the Yajna-fire it creates flying sparks which can be harmful to Yajmaanas’ clothes and dangerous for the surroundings too.
18: Inquisitive Yajmaana:It is the duty of Yajmaanas to ask any question relating to Yajna-Kriya at the end, if they really want to know more about Yajna proceedings. All Yajna deeds are scientific so Yajmaanas have the right to know everything about it.
19: Swarga and Moksha:Yajna help Yajmaanas you to acquire all possible worldly pleasure (Swarga or Heaven) and not Emancipation. Performing good deeds with devotion, selflessness and renunciation attains emancipation.
20: Correct Pronunciation of Holy Mantras:It is very important for Yajmaanas and Purohit/Brahma to recite the Yajna-Mantras correctly with proper accent and rhythm, which gives peace of mind and realisation of God’s bliss. Incorrect pronunciation will reverse the whole meaning of the mantras.
21: Scarification of Donor:Oblation of Pure Ghee and Samagri should not be performed with miserly, but must be performed according to the size of the Yajna-Kund (Vessel of Yajna). Miser always remains miser and donor who give away willingly, always remains happy and prosperous in his/her life.
22: Meaning of Swaaha:There are many meanings of the word “Swaha”. Oblations of Pure ghee and/or Samagri should be offered in Yajna-fire while chanting the Vedic-Mantras ending with the word “Swaha” (Shatpath Brahman: 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168). Oblations offered are not considered complete without chanting “Swaha” (Shatpath Brahman: 22.214.171.124). The Rigveda mantra also describes the same feelings (Rigveda: 10.110.11).
“May deities take our oblations offered in the Yajna-fire with the chanting of Swaha” (Nirukta: 8.20).“Swaaha” is said to be the soul of Yajna. “Swaaha” means Sacrifice or Offering with dedication. It perishes egoism, selfness and pride. When joined with mentally, verbally and hysically, “Swaaha” makes life successful. Hence all Yajmaanas and guests present in Yajna proceeding (Agnihotra) should recite “Swaaha”, this shows that all members, present in the Yajna, are really involved in the Yajna-Karma. “Swaaha” has another meaning also that is to speak sweetly
and truly to everyone in the society.
23: Special Oblation of Repenting:It is very important to be remembered that “Swishtakrit Aahuti” is also called “Praayashchit Aahuti” or “ the Oblation of Repenting” should not be offered by sweets or any eatables things but Pure Ghee and Boiled Rice only without salt, particularly in Dev-Pooja. All Yajmaanas including the Purohit or Brahma of the Yajna must offer this oblation.
24: Yajna and Anchorites:In Yajna-Karma the Yajmaanas are the most important people, hence they should perform the Yajna-Karma with devotion and love. Otherwise unwilling performance of Yajna-Karma does not give proper pleasure. Manu Smriti: 2-97 says “It is useless to perform Yajna only for show”. Duty and intention of the Brahma, guide-person of the Yajna karma, should not be only to receive or collect huge
money from his Yajmaanas but to guide the correct Vedic proceedings of Yajna Karma, to his Yajmaanas.
· It is one of the opinions of all ancient and modern Rishis including Mahrishi Dayanand Saraswati (Sanskar Vidhi: Sanyaas Ashram)
that an anchorite (Sanyasi) is excused from all Karma-Kaanda i.e. religious rituals. He is not bound to perform any Yajna-Karma. In unavoidable conditions for example when a Purohit is not available and Yajna has to be performed immediately, at that time a Sanyasi can guide the Yajmaanas but even then he is not authorised to take part or be seated as the ‘Brahma’ or ‘Purohit’ of that Yajna Karma.Of course! For education purposes he can conduct classes for showing the correct techniques and procedures and give more information about Yajna-Karma
(fire-rituals) privately or openly, because his life itself is a Yajna i.e. selfless service.· The great sage Manu says, “An anchorite (Sanyasi) has
no responsibility to enkindle fires. (Manu: 6/6).The Vedic Dharma has excused an anchorite from doing any religious rituals i.e. “Karma-kaanda”. Yajna karma being a “Karma-kaanda” also indicates that an anchorite (Sanyasi) while entering into Sanyaas-ashram has already taken off his Yajyopaveeta, which means that in future he is freed from all Karma-kaanda. It is an important and essential duty of a true anchorite
(Sanyasi) to distribute Vedic knowledge to all sects of people in the society and not to enter in active public politics. As Sanyasi (an anchorite) is said to be in the state of Spirituality or the state of realisation of his own-self and God, where he enjoys God’s bliss, on the contrary he has already renounced all his worldly desires. All Yajnas are performed by to fulfill the desires of Yajmaanas.· Once Pt. Guru Dutt Vidyarthi asked a question to Swami Shraddhanand Saraswati (Founder of the World famous Gurukul Kangri Vishwa Vidyalaya –Haridwar) whether a Sanyasi could perform Yajna or no. Swami ji replied “A Sanyasi who is busy in servicing the Grihastha (householder) people day and night and entangled in worldly life, running after food and money, like householder ones, then he should perform Deva-Pooja and Havan. It is said that
‘Praanaayaam’ is an essential Yajna for an anchorite. It is said in the Shatpath Brahman (126.96.36.199) that Brahma, Hotaa, Adhwaryu, Udgaataa and Yajmaana walk towards the west while an anchorite walks towards the east.It is clear that duties of an anchorite are totally different from others. To become a Brahma, Hotaa, Adhwaryu, Udgaataa or Yajmaana of any Yajna, these are the rights of those persons, who have worn Yajyopaveeta; otherwise Yajna-Karma being non-systemised becomes fruitless. It is the right of well-educated Brahmins who have a family life and also who have completed the religious and spiritual education in Vedic Gurukulas (institution), to become ‘Brahma’ of any Yajna.
· Laatyaayan Shroutra Sutra also admits this theory that
“Sarvesham Yajyopaveetaodakaachamate Nitye Karmopayaataam” –1.2.4. This explains that a Brahma, Hotaa, Adhwaryu, Udgaataa or Yajmaana of any Yajna should adopt Yajyopaveeta and take Aachaman (three sips of water) before the start of a Yajna. How can these be applied to an anchorite (Sanyasi)? Is it possible?
· Of course! Brahma of Yajna is entitled to give oblation in the Yajna fire. (Gopatha Brahman) This mean that an anchorite has no right to
give oblation in Yajna fire hence it is proved that a Sanyasi cannot become a Purohit or Brahma of any Yajna.
· “Yajna is entitled or limited unto Brahmacharya, Grihastha and Vaanaprasth Ashramas.
Yajna does not have its existence in the Sanyaas ashram. Purohit is one who is a household. Any Brahmachari, Vaanprasthi and Sanyasi cannot perform Yajna Karma for others. It is the duty of a household Purohit to perform Yajna for others.
25: Yajna for Ladies:It is Non-Vedic and wrong tradition to offer oblation of “Balivaishwadev Yajna” in Yajna/Agnihotra because Balivaishwadev Yajna” is meant for the ladies to be performed in the kitchen of their houses after cooking food for their family. Oblation of this Yajna must be home cooked food (only rice) without salt and should be offered to the fire in the kitchen. This is the correct Vedic-Oblation
of “Balivaishwadev Yajna. This is the first part of this Yajna and the second part is to keep aside some portions of cooked food and give the same to needy persons and other creatures like animals, birds, ant’s etc.He/she is sinner who eats alone. (The Geeta: 3-13)
26: Timing for Daan & Dakshina:“Dakshina” (Offering with respect) must be given to Brahma and purohits before the completion of Yajna-Karma i.e. before ‘Purnaahuti’ i.e. the last oblation. (Meemansa Darshan) “Daan” means ‘Donation’ or charity of money & other thing etc. should be given to worthy needy recipients or to religious and/or educational societies.
27: Honor & Respect of Purohits & Brahman:At the start of Yajna, the Purohit and/or Brahma (Ritwijans) should be given full respect by offering them a fresh flower garland, coconut, clothes etc. It is a Non-Vedic tradition or ritual (because it is not mentioned anywhere in any
authoritative literature) to offer ‘Tilak’ (marking) with Kunku (Red colour powder usually used in religious ritual in India) and rice on forehead of Brahma/Purohit and Yajmaanas. It is the purohit’s turn to garland Yajmaanas.
28: Non-Vedic Tradition:The Brahma is an authority to watch and rectify the mistakes during the proceedings of Yajna. Usually Brahma or Purohit does not demand anything, but if they really demand money or other things instead of their duty of performing Yajna-Karma, it is Non-Vedic tradition.
29: Daan or Donation:The correct meaning of “Yajna” is the combination of Dev Pooja, Sangati–Karan and Daan. Usually to give something with the intention of help to others is called “Daan”, donation, or charity. But in the Yajna rituals, the meaning of ‘Daan” is not related to give alms to beggars etc. but the correct meaning of ‘Daan’ is –to renounce and sacrifice i.e. renunciation of bad habits, evils etc. It is an essential duty of every Yajmaana to offer/supply/give Knowledge, Money, Food, Clothes &sc. with his/her capacity to worthy recipients. Giving knowledge is said to be the best Daan in Vedic philosophy. Here in the context of Yajna, the term “Daan” is defined as –“Offering or sacrificing everything with renunciation to Supreme God”.
30: Dakshina:It is a most important and essential duty of all Yajmaanas and members present in the Yajna proceedings (Rig-Veda: 6-64-1,
2-12-21, 2-169-40 and 4-17-13.) (Yajur Veda: 26-2, 20-70) (Aitareya Brahman-6) to offer “Dakshina” to Sanyasi, Vaanprasthi, Brahma, Vedic
Purohit, and learned guest before Purnaahuti. This “Dakshina” must be given to them in their right hand with full respect and folded hands and offering “Namaskaar” by saying “Namaste ji”.(Rig-Veda: 3-39-6) Rig-Veda: 6-64-1, 2-12-21, 2-169-40, and 4-17-13.) (Yajur Veda: 26-2 and 20-70.) (Aitareya Brahman–6)
“All Yajnas from Agnihotra to Ashwamedha are said to be successful only when Dakshina is given”. (Atharvaveda: 19-19-6).
One more thing that the Yajurveda and Atharvaveda explain is that “the Yajmaanas who offer homemade clothes and gold as Dakshina
always lead on the path of truth and prosperity”. (Atharvaveda-Veda: 9-5-24 and Yajur-Veda: 7-45).
“The donor never becomes miser” (Yajur Veda: 7-46) Dakshina can be offered to any worthy recipient of anything like money, food, clothing, utensils, ornaments &sc. with full Shraddha and heartfelt respect. There is no question of quantity but quality must be excellent…
31: Panch-Maha-Yajna: One more important thing is to be remembered by all our learned readers that according to Vedic literature and A’rsha Granthas there are only “Panch-Maha-Yajna” (Manu Smriti: 3-70) or “Five Great Yajnas”. They are:
1: Brahm-Yajna: i.e. the Vedic-Sandhya and Study of the Vedic literatures; Vedic Sandhya is the part of Brahma-Yajna that includes Swadhyaaya
- study of scriptures, introspection and meditation.
2: Dev-Yajna: i.e. Agnihotra;
3: Pitri-Yajna: i.e. Service of living deities i.e. mother, father, teacher, Guru and elderly persons etc.;
4: Bhoot-Yajna: i.e. Balivaishwadev-Yajna i.e. to offer ten oblations of cooked rice (without salt) in kitchen fire; and lastly
5: Atithi-Yajna: (Rigveda: 10-117-6) i.e. service of learned unexpected guests. (Atithi i.e. Guests are those people, who travel to different places in
the service of humanity, come to the house of a family i.e. ‘Grihastha’ without prior information for shelter).
The benefit of this Panch-Maha-Yajnas is ‘Self-Upliftment’ (Manu Smriti: 2-18). For more detailed information and appreciation kindly refer
Atharvaveda-Veda: Kaanda: 15 and Sukta: 10 to 14)
N.B.: Now-a-days several Yajnas are performed in the name of “Maha-Yajnas” in many parts of India and abroad, with devotion and respect. Of-course, this is a very good sign that more and more people of this planet are adopting the Vedic theory and philosophy, and adoring the Vedic Dharma as religion of humanity. Religious people must know that“According to the Vedas there are Only Five Maha Yajnas” as mentioned
earlier.This point is to be noted by all that any other Yajnas or other festival rituals, which are not based on the Vedic theory and/or it’s beliefs, cannot be called “Maha-Yajna”. For example: Ganapati-Maha-Yajna, Vaishno-Devi-Maha-Yajna, Saraswati-Maha-Yajna, Vishwa Shanti Maha-Yajna etc.
It is also wrong to pronounce Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda or Atharvaveda-Paaraayan -Maha-Yajna including Gayatri-Maha-Yajna etc. These
‘Yajnas’ can be named as religious rituals that are performed in some auspicious occasions to beautify the surroundings and to fulfill some
Important: Anaapyam Shaarad Yajna: It is certainly an Excellent and the Rarest Yajna performed once a year on the first day of Navaratri Festival
(The first day of every winter season which is believed to be the first day of the creation of our Universe). This Special Shaarad Yajna is performed continuously day and night (non-stop) for twenty-four hours. Incredible Indeed! (Rigveda: 7-66-11)
In God’s words “This rearest Shaarad Yajna is beneficial for the mankind because it is the provider of peace of mind, health and wealth. Every
one should perform it and inspire others to do the same.” (Rigveda: 7-67-7)
om shanti shanti shanti