AN INTRODUCTION TO GAYATRI YAJNA SCIENCE
All activities of the entire cosmos revolve around the axis of Yajnas. Great Rishis of yore proclaim: Ayam Yajno Vishwasya Bhuvanasya Naabhihi (Atharva Veda 9/15/14). It means Yajnas are the central focus of this cosmos. The divine singer of Bhagwad Geeta i.e. Lord Krishna too says: Sahayajnaahaa prajaahaa purovaacha prajapatihi. Anaina prasavishvadhwamesha vostvishtakaamadhuka.(3/10). It means that at the beginning of this Kalpa (creation) Brahma after creating Yajnas, living beings etc advised them to propagate via the medium of Yajnas because these Yajnas will fulfill your material/spiritual needs. Yajnas are those extremely precious boons given to world humanity by Vedic Rishis of ancient India which is a foundation stone of material/spiritual bliss and maintaining a healthy ecosystem (especially today when world leaders are worried about environmental pollution and global warming).
Every word of the nectar like writings of HH Gurudeva Shriram Sharma Acharya throws light on the great foundation stones of Divine Culture viz. Yajnas and Science of Super Mantra Gayatri. He elucidates the miraculous results of divine energy emitted via Gayatri Mantra chanting and thus the vital energy of the Gayatri devotee becomes more potent by leaps and bounds. Our revered author-seer uprooted (symbolically and not literally) the erroneous concept of Yajnas which were based on mythological (Puranas) description and instead reinstated Super Mantra Gayatri Yajnas based on Vedic precepts. Such Gayatri Yajnas were hungrily imbibed by thousands of devotees since their resultant benefits were incredible to say the least. This we can emphatically say is a revolutionary endeavor of this era. It is even greater in stature when compared to the revolution of post Yogiraj Gorakhnaths times wherein thousands were obstructed from misusing Tantra spiritual practices including Tantra based Yajnas. (During Gorakhnathjis life time Tantra was used most appropriately but it was after the great sage shed his mortal coil that rampant misuse of Tantra by ignoramuses set in). Today thanks to our revered Yuga Rishiji in so many pious households Gayatri Yajnas are being performed regularly so that an optimum sacred environment sets in to usher in a radiant world future in the 21 st Century.
While giving us the true meaning of the sacred word Yajna our revered author says that our life should it self become a Yajna both internally and externally. While throwing light on Bhagwad Geetas verse viz. Yajnaarthaat karmanonyatra lokoyam karmabandhanaha he says a supremely great life involves executing actions based on the spirit of Yajnas. Other than these all actions bind us to this world and obstruct a living being from merging into God who is the cosmic being and eternal divine bliss manifest. The word Yajna cannot be limited to the uttering Swaahaa while carrying out fire sacrifices which offer sacred materials to the Yajna deity. Instead Yajna means purifying our personality from its very fount so that divinity oozes from the pore of mans entire being (this is true personality development). True worship of God encompasses respecting latent divine powers in the deep recesses of the soul and awakening them. Manu Smriti says: Mahaayajnaishcha braahmeeyam kriyatay tanuhu. It means a supreme Yajna is one wherein man living a life of divine virtues constantly perseveres to sanctify his body, mind and soul from their very roots.
Yajna is a high stature endeavor executed for supreme material and spiritual gains. First the inner world imbibes divinity and then after offering Prana to Apan and vice versa Samidha (wood fuel of fire sacrifice) in the form of ones life is offered in the Yajna called world welfare. Thus know for sure that this indeed is the elucidation of a true Yajna. If our sentimental arena exudes greatness and translates the same in external social, professional and other activities indeed it becomes a true Yajna. Our revered author by giving such an extraordinary meaning of a Yajna has actually echoed the root meaning of Yajnas as per Vedic injunctions. In the Sanskrit language the word Yajna emerges from its root Yaja which comnnotes worship of divinity, association with great saints, congregation of pious people and rendering the world powerful via international brotherhood and unity.
Amongst the 24 Avatars is included the Lord of Yajnas. Yajna is a worship icon in Indian culture and any action that does not include a Yajna basis cannot even be dreamt of. While describing the scientific aspect of Yajnas our revered author says it is a very important principle in keeping well managed all cosmic activities. Satiating divine elements means maintaining a healthy balance amongst all cosmic forces (material and spiritual) that manage this world. In todays modern day context you can say that Yajna is akin to a tax. Just as if you do not pay taxes governmental tax authorities can punish you so too if you do not show gratefulness to nature (for giving you free air, water, light etc without billing you!) by offering materials (Ahuti) in Yajnas nature shows her wrath in the form of natural calamities like earthquakes, famines, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis etc. Thus the scientific basis of averting natural calamities is Yajna.
GAYATRI YAJNAS: ITS UTILITY ASPECT AND DIRE NEED
Super Mantra Gayatri and Yajnas are like an inseparable couple. One is the mother of Indian culture and the other is the father of Indian spirituality. Both are mutually dependent on one another. Without executing a Yajna at the end of a Gayatri Mantra chanting program (Anushthaan) the latter remains incomplete. One portion of Japaor Mantra chanting is in the form of Havan or fire sacrifice. In ancient times when people were materially well off a tenth portion of Mantra chanting program was devoted to Yajna. But looking at todays circumstances a 100 th portion of the number of Mantras chanted is offered as Ahutis (sacred materials to the Yajna fire saying Swaahaa) to a Yajna. Without this an Anushthaan remain incomplete. A question may arise that what happens to those who are not materially very well off? The answer is that such individuals should chant extra Mantras amounting to a 10 th portion of the number chanted during an Anushthaan. For them this extra Mantra Japa is considered equivalent to performing a Yajna. By giving this option it is not as though Yana is being ignored but that its importance albeit indirectly has been highlighted. Again it should be noted that this arrangement is only for the poor strata of society.
A dialogue between Janak and Yajnavalkya regarding the non availability of Yajna materials took place. Janak insisted the problems of Yajna performance are many and Yajnavalkya kept giving solutions to those problems thus insisting that Yajnas were a very important aspect of Vedic culture. Janak asked: Suppose Yajna materials like Charu are not available what is to be done? The answer was: Conduct Yajnas using materials eaten by a person daily (rice, wheat, millet etc grains). Janak asked: Suppose there is no food what happens then? The answer is make-do with plants. Janak asked: Suppose there are no plants? The answer was that use only Samidha (wood based fuel) for the Yajna. Janak asked: Suppose fire itself is not available? The answer is that mentally execute a Yajna using the fire of faith in a meditative manner. This is the gist of the long conversation that had taken place.
From the above it becomes clear that along with Gayatri Mantra Japa conducting a Yajna is a must. Further in an Anushthaan both these are mutually conjoined. Gayatri Japa and 5-fold Yajna are imperative. We all know that conjoined to meditative methods are the Balivaishwa rites and it is nothing but a mini Yajna. During dire times this Balivaishwa rite became so miniscule that women after taking fire from their cooking pyre offered 5 small parts of a Roti (Indian wheat bread) to it while chanting the Gayatri Mantra. Thus it was taken to be a Yajna. Further those who worshipped Gayatri regularly too performed this miniscule Yajna. Before partaking food they would remove 5 small portions of food from their plates and offer it to a small bowl of fire. Even today here and there this tradition can be seen in India. Today Yuga Nirman Mission is trying to rejuvenate this tradion of miniscule Yajnas.
In ancient India great Rishi-Seers kept in mind at every step, wisdom, subtle viewpoint, utility and state of facts before embarking on any world welfare program. Despite giving due importance to Yajnas in religious activities they have kept many other precepts in mind too. They could never make any endeavor which had no great utility value. They have always gave due emphasis to the results and attainments while giving more importance to any sacred endeavor. Thus they gave Yajnas more importance amongst all spiritual endeavors keeping in mind their capacity to bestow world denizens both material and spiritual prosperity.
In Indian scripture one amongst many names of Almighty God is Yajna Purusha. Within the Shruti of Shatpath (Yajno vai Vishnu) Yajna is said to be synonymous with Lord Vishnu. In the preliminary portion of Rig-Vedas Yajnas are described as a guide, preceptor, Purohit, Guru etc. While calling those who sing Gods eulogies as Deva or divinity manifest this endeavors fruits are called Ratna or jewel. In Vedic literature so much information is given on Yajna science and its deep import that no other information can match it. In one Vedic verse it is said Agnay naya supathaa raayay. It means requesting earnestly this Super Divine Fire to take all creatures to the shores of divine greatness. The same meaning can be found in Gayatri Mantras portion of Dheeyo yo naha prachodayaata.
Within the normal lifestyle of mankind Yajnas are inseparably bound to their worship rites. Right from birth to death Shodasha Sanskaaras or the 16-fold rites have been prescribed by Indian scriptures. All these are synonymous with the concept of Yajnas. Without executing a yajna none of these 16 rites can be completed. The word Yajnopaveet (sacred thread ceremony) which is one of these 16 Sanskaaras comes from the word Yajna. Yajnopaveet is a combination of Gayatris sacred sentiments and Yajna rites. In Indian marriage ceremony the bride and groom circumambulate the Yajna pyre without which the marriage ceremony remains incomplete. It is only after circumambulation of the Yajna pyre (7 Pheraas) is executed that the couple is declared as married or husband/wife. The last Sanskaara is Antyeshti. The funeral pyre in its pure aspect is a big sized Yajna. A funeral pyre may be lit with proper or half proper rules yet so many rules of Yajna have to be observed. The Puraahuti called Kapaal Kriya is done offering Ghee Ahuti (clarified butter).
The annual Yajna in the form of the Holi Festival of colors yet pervades in some form or the other everywhere. When worship programs pf gods/goddesses are performed some form of a Yajna too is executed. In certain cases lighting of incense sticks or a flame lamp is taken to be a representation of a miniscule Yajna form. Overhere incense stick symbolizes the Yajna materials and the flame lamp as Ghee offered to the Yajna fire. Whenever auspicious activities are carried out some form of a Yajna too is performed. It maybe an actual Yajna or a representation of it by lighting incense sticks and flame lamp (Deepak) as mentioned above.
The point that needs cogitation is why have Yajnas been given a prime spot in Indian culture? As an answer to this we can surely say that the more one dives deep into the concept of Yajnas the more its mysteries unfold. It then becomes crystal clear that Yajnas have their basis in both science and divine wisdom. Al those principles that back both material and spiritual advancement are embedded in seed form within the concept of Yajnas. The very vital principles of peace and bliss both individually and universally manifest superbly through the medium of sacred Yajnas.
The deep import of Yajna connotes spirituality and also an act of generosity. According to Sanskrit language Yajna comes from its root Yaja which has 3 meanings viz. 1) divinity 2) congregation 3) charity. These 3 are divine streams which augment great qualities in both the individual and world at large. Divinity means a sacred character full of divine qualities. Congregation means unity, cooperation and world brotherhood. Charity means commitment to social well being and aiming to realize the dream of World united peacefully as a family. In other words it means creating A BEAUTIFUL BORDERLESS WORLD. Thus Yajna represents all these 3 streams of activities. It can also be called a flag that represents these various activities. The flaming red torch of Jnana Yajna (Wisdom) is also called the representative of this Yajna Fire. Thought Revolution and Ritambhara Prajna or Divine Intellect is the vital force of Super Mantra Gayatri. Within the Yajna movement devotees are given due inspiration to translate pious qualities into wholesome professional, social and other actions. The basis of progress lies in knowledge and actions. Pious actions are called penance and sacred wisdom is called Yoga. Even for material progress intense perseverance and education are emphasized upon. Within them one gets a glimpse of Gayatri and Yajna precepts.
The Spiritual Philosophy of lifes Yajna makes man great and full of glory. Along with the concept of cosmic consciousness (Almighty Lord for the layman) Vedas exhort us to partake Yajnaavashishta (sanctified remnants of Yajna offerings). He who eats without sharing with others is called a cheat and a thief. There are many Vedic Sooktas (verses) which say that demigods attained divinity through the medium of Yajnas. Over here world humanity is commanded to work for world welfare. In a nutshell we can say that Yajna philosophy motivates world humanity to imbibe a great character at the individual level and at the world level a sense of brotherhood and unity by working selflessly for its material and spiritual progress. This is that supreme path which will help us attain all round advancement both individually and cosmically.
While describing the subtle inspirations imbued in the iconic image of Yajnas a very appropriate teaching is given to individuals to maintain inner/external purity and this make the world potent both materially and spiritually. This teaching is so extraordinary that it is difficult to find its match in other sacred scriptures. The Fire of Yajna manifests so many special qualities as follows:
1) Always keep the head high-even if there is a problem never allow the head to droop down
2) We must treat everyone whom we come in contact with as our equals.
3) Whatever one procures or earns must not be hoarded but used for world peace and prosperity.
4) Never allow lack as far as heat and light is concerned to attack your very existence.
5) Always utilize your material and spiritual prowess for world well being.
According to the Rig-Veda Yagna Fire is a Purohit (priest) appointed by Almighty God and despite the speech remaining mute it inspires world denizens to aspire for all round progress and peace via its activities. If apt social education is imparted wherein first one understands the importance of the above 5 glories and then putting them into practice divinity can manifest in mankind and heaven like situation will manifest on Earth. Thus Satyuga or Golden Age that reigned in ancient times can return with greater vim and vigor for a long time span to come. The tricolor of Indias flag symbolizes the 3 principles on which Indias progress is based on. If only a wisdom and sacred sentimental based description of the 5 inspirations of Yajna Fire can be given they can easily be imbibed both by the individual and society at large for all round growth. For era Transformation to manifest in a full fledged manner along with a radiant world future these ideals must be etched firmly in the psyche of world humanity.
It is said that after performing Yajnas demigods attained divinity. It is also said that only via Yajnas can true Brahmin-hood manifest in animal-men. One third of the 6 endeavors executed by Brahmins have to be devoted to performing Yajnas and helping other laymen do so. From an indirect standpoint within these proclamations the grandeur of those precepts pertaining to purity and brilliance are pinpointed which are the foundation stones of the very life force of yajna and world peace/brotherhood. The entire cycle of individual and society, nature and creation circumambulates on the axis of the Wheel of Yajnas. It is the Yajna Philosophy of generous cooperation that creates situations of activeness, good management, advancement and joy/peace in every nook and corner of the world. The life of the human chariot works fine simply because all its parts (organs like heart, lungs etc) work in tandem. Ere these organs harbor narrow minded attitudes, selfishness, vanity and refuse to cooperate with one another our lifes journey will end on the spot. The Water Cycle of nature is crystal clear: Clouds get water from the ocean, earth from clouds, rivers from earth and ocean from flowing rivers. If even one leg of this cycle is obstructed know for sure that our planet Earth will sizzle like blazing infernos. In the Living Being Cycle, living beings devour plants. Plants in turn get their food from the feces and urine of living beings. Both are mutually related to one another. Plants exhale oxygen which is a life support for many creatures, especially human beings. In turn human beings exhale carbon dioxide gas which is inhaled for sustenance by the plant kingdom. The same magnanimous cooperation exists between animals and human beings. This is Yajna according to the Vedas and thus the Wheel of Creation/Time keeps rotating. By imbibing the true concept of Yajna man gets a golden opportunity to rise higher in life especially in comparison to other beings. But when this sacred ideal is ignored innumerous dire situations are witnessed the world over. When the sacred activities of Yajna are imbibed truly every problem will find its solution. Human welfare and Yajna ideals are 2 legs of one single tenet. Hence the author of Bhagwad Geeta says: Prajaapati created human beings and Yajnas simultaneously and proclaimed that if they worked for mutual welfare in tandem not one of them will lack joy, peace and a stress free life. This great tenet of world well being is called Yajna Philosophy. In order that the world is educated in this respect Agnihotra (fire sacrifice) in the form of an iconic solution has been revered as a leading religious/spiritual activity.
Yajna also encompasses material science. Yajnas contribute gigantically by purifying foul air and rendering it very fragrant. Thus mans very life support viz. air/oxygen is rendered clean and pollution free. Today air pollution has become a very big world problem and hence if the concept of Yajna is given due importance air pollution can be destroyed from its very roots.
Yajna Energy abounds with power to destroy bacteria and other germs that cause various diseases. We are quite sure such an easy, widespread and cheap method of healing has yet to be unearthed to date. Ancient spiritual texts are full of healing methods both as far as the mind and physical body are concerned. If only these pages are opened and referred to avidly not only bodily but psychological/psychiatric illnesses too can be tackled very efficiently. Amongst various healing methods the world over Yajna healing can get predominance simply because its healing herbs are administered with great ease in the human body via very subtle/pure air. Today medicines are administered using very gross mediums and hence they fail to penetrate very deeply into the various organs of the body. If todays world situation is analyzed very deeply what stands out that more than physical diseases it is vile mental taints like bad habits, addiction to drugs etc, criminal tendencies, unruliness, anger, erroneous thinking, hatred and a stressful life which gives more hardships to world humanity. Thus when Yajna Therapy will be presented in a very compact form to the entire world it will surely help overcome mental stress and bodily diseases in a big way.
The cosmic widespread influence of Yajna programs result in benefits like Parjanya especially in drought and famine conditions. The gross meaning of Parjanya is clouds and hence rains. But the subtle meaning is rain of Vital Force. In the ancient times of the Yajna Era heavy rains lashed out in all corners of the world. For this special Yajnas can be conducted pertaining to rain bearing cloud formation. Even today, many a time this Yajna technique has given wonderful results wherein it rained on otherwise parched and arid lands. And yet Parjanya should not be restricted to showering of rain water. Instead the deeper meaning is said to be the Vital Force Principle which via the medium of Yajnas is formed in space and via wind and clouds it gets showered as Vital Force rain water. This rain of Vital Force neo creates the inner personality of both animate and inanimate beings (an outstanding method of personality development). This Vital Force based Parjanya nourishes and makes more potent materials like plants, herbs, water, food, air, milk etc which are vital for mans sustenance. Their power augments manifold. With the result if any animal, bird, human being etc utilize these their radiance will surely go in the upward direction in an untold manner. This attainment doubtlessly will aid all round progress of the entire world.
More than purification of air it is more prudent to sanctify the worlds atmosphere. Pure air aids good health. The atmosphere influences every nook of our personality and hence in its development. In turn it gives a positively wholesome direction to our previously wayward thinking process. Thus a strong foundation of transformation of our actions (social, professional etc) is laid down. The Yuga Nirmaan Mission aims at sanctifying world psyche from its very grass roots. For this no doubt, activities of propaganda and creativity are required, writings and speeches on this subject are welcome but remember that these gross endeavors cannot fully influence and transform those sensitive layers of the human psyche. In fact the very flow of the subtle world will have to be reversed. The atmosphere definitely is influenced by winter, summer, rains etc and this in turn will transform world circumstances by leaps and bound. In the same way, if the measure of greatness inspiring elements augment a great deal in the subtle atmosphere it will be a tad easier to flow along with the general trends of the world. When it becomes windy the speed of a boat picks up a lot. A certain wholesome atmosphere needs to be created if a bright world future has to set in. This is where Gayatri Yajnas step in and take over the mantle of inducing, a conducive subtle atmosphere.
SUPER MANTRA GAYATRI AND YAJNAS MUTUALLY BENEFIT EACH OTHER
Yajna and Gayatri are inseparably bound to one another. The following verses eulogize the great import of Yajna and Yajna Purusha:
He who is worshipped via Yajnas, who is Yajna incarnate and Yajna manifest is none other than Lord Vishnu and I bow down to him.
Yajna satiates innumerable desires of humanity and also bestows them with heaven and salvation (Moksha). Those who renounce Yajnas are derided a great deal in Vedic scriptures:
Yajna help us in atoning for many sins and thus with a sacred mind we can attain the abode of Almighty God.
Taking cognizance of this great aspect of Yajnas our country India was known encourage them in a big way. Via Yajnas people got their desires fulfilled in their own way. Balivaishwa Yajnas are known to help people achieve a happy householders way of life faith in God, spirituality and mental purity. Vaajpeya Yajnas helped awaken the latent soul forces and intellectual/ethical consciousness of world humanity. Rajasuya Yajnas were executed so as to solve political and governance problems. Gayatri Yajnas are said to be a symbol of all these.
Great scholars accept the auspiciousness of Agnihotra performed with the help of apt Gayatri Mantra chanting on all occasions.
Yajna is the supreme most action of this world. Those who do not perform Yajnas lose their divine aura. Although it is true that nothing is greater than Agnihotra rites yet Gayatri reigns supreme amongst all Agnohotra methods.
In the Yajna Yaag Samhita we are advised to commence every auspicious program with a Gayatri Yajna.
In the Gaargeeya Samhita it is said: Who ever worships Primordial Divine Energy Gayatrivia Yajnas isactually worshipping Almighty God via the medium of gods/goddesses. Meaning, worshipping and performing Yajnas of the Vedic Mother Gayatri amounts to worshipping all gods/goddesses.
Gayatri Yajnas executed with the aim of fulfilling material desires too bears fruit immediately. Any individual who worships Gayatri for fulfilling any desire will actually witness it being fulfilled. And at the time of death he/she attains Gods supreme abode.
It was only after deeply realizing the great import of Gayatri Yajnas that they were encouraged and lauded worldwide. Whenever Yajnas were ignored dire circumstances were faced both individually and socially. Hence it is imperative that Gayatri Yajnas be performed again with a sound scientific basis. The tradition of Agnihotra must recommence in every household the world over. There was a time when this did happen in ancient India and hence it was a period of heavenly comforts and inner bliss too. Why is the world today so full of strife and stress? It is because we have ignored Yajnas at our own peril.
In laymans parlance Yajna is synonymous with charity, congregationalism and worship of Almighty God. The deeper meaning is contribution towards divine endeavors in a congregational manner. This is that meritorious deed which helps an animal-man to pole vault into a human god. Human glory is definitely rooted in this generous attitude of service to the world in a selfless manner. Just as the ore of gold sheds its dirt when exposed to fire so as to shine brightly so too when mankind imbibes the philosophy of Yajnas they climb the peak of greatness and thus march towards divinity.
Vedas are nothing but the Speech of Almighty God. Shruti is the process of hearing and conveying this timeless Divine Wisdom. When this hear and say was penned it was called Chanda (also poetic meter). Further when it is transformed into the divine power of Shabda Brahman and Naad Brahman it is called a Mantra. Vedic Richas are called Shriti and Chandas are called Mantras. They ooze with potent divine mysterious powers of knowledge and science. Amongst all Vedas it is said that at first Riga Veda manifested. The very first Mantra of riga Veda is AGNI MEEDAY PUROHITAM. In this Richa God is called Agni or Fire and with the grace of the fire of that Purohit everything can be attained which man so desires.
Since Almighty God is omnipresent He is in the absolute sense without name and form (Niraakaar). God can be experienced only as Sat-Chit-Anand ot Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. If we wish to see God at work it can be done via ones causal body as good will, subtle body as great thinking and gross body as wholesome actions. Or else by looking upon this world as a cosmic form of the Divine Lord one can contribute like a cog in the wheel to render the world advanced and progressive via selfless service, spiritual practices and Karma Yoga. And yet for the purpose of worship if an image is required other than fire none can depict Gods divine form. The very first Mantra of Riga Veda accepts Gods image for meditation and devotional purposes in the form of fire. Thus it says God is Divine Fire. Other synonymous terms include Brahman Tejas, Latent Light, Divine Light, Sacred Light etc.
Research scholars in the field of primordial worship methods in Indian Religious Culture have called it Fire worship. Aryans dwelling in Iran called themselves Parsis and yet their mode of worship is predominantly fire based. Their worship homes are called Fire Temples. In India the Jwalamukhi Temple situated in the state of Punjab is very famous wherein fire is worshipped. Eternally lit fires in the form of pyres were reinstated in the Ashramas or hermitages of great Rishis of yore. Within Vedic rituals devotees are commanded to light 5 eternal fires and regularly perform Yajnas in it. In mythological times although the 5 Yajnas were associated with ones daily worship duties but along with it food disbursement and other such activities were too attached to them.
What exactly is Agnihotra? It is using fire as an image of God and worshipping him. Agnihotra is performed during all wholesome endeavors, festivals and special auspicious rites/rituals. The festival of color called Holi is an annual congregational Yajna. In Sanskrit language Holi means the new food grains grown in a new harvest. Holi is fire sacrifice carried out using these new grains as sacred offering to the fire. It is a festival of joy and is observed as a congregational Yajna. Alas today that great tradition of Holi has taken a highly distorted appearance. People merely burn wooden sticks and erroneously satisfy them selves calling it Holi. And yet before this fire sacrifice a tradition that includes a worship rite and after the fire sacrifice the holy ashes are devotionally applied to the forehead which goes on to show that it is nothing but a meritorious tradition of the congregational annual Yajna. Indias festival of lights called Deepavali involves reinstating of God of fire. In other small big festivals a symbolic fire sacrifice called Havan is generally performed. Women of India remove flame from their stoves and offer little ghee, cloves, sweet meats and other food items to it. After this they circumambulate this fire pouring a little water alongside. Thus they perform a symbolic Agnihotra rite.
There exist 16 Sanskars or rites right from Punswan to Antyeshti wherein Havan has to be performed imperatively. In fact 2 of these rites predominate with Havan. Vows taken with fire as witness only are given due recognition and the bride and groom circumambulate it 4 or 7 times for the marriage rite to be recognized as completed. It is said that the Yajna fire binds the souls of the bride and groom inseparably akin to welding of 2 iron bars. A hindus body is cremated after death in a Yajna Fire called Chitaa. This in its pure form is called Antyeshti rite. Ghee and other materials are added to the fire and hence in a very gross manner it can be called Agnihotra. The Vaanaprashtha Sanskar is said to be completed only if Yajna rites are performed. The Yajnopaveet or thread ceremony rite is named after Yajna. Via sacred Yajna ritual a sacred thread is worn across the chest and is called Upanayan. The same holds true for other Sanskaras. Agnihotra is imperative for these too. In other religions too flame lamps, candles, incense, lanterns etc are lit and hence over here too fire is reinstated during their worship programs.
Even during spiritual practices Havan is most required. All the Paaths (reading scriptures etc), Mantra chanting and other rituals maybe either Vedic or Tantra based yet performing Havan in one form or the other is most required. Even in Gayatri devotional practices Havan is a must. Barring certain situations where the 10 th portion cannot be offered as Ahuti to the Havan yet a 100 th portion of it has to be performed without fail. Gayatri is our mother and Yajna is our father. When these 2 unite man is reborn spiritually and is called Dwija (twice born). Dwijas include Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. Dwija means to be born twice. Just as it is mans righteous duty to serve his biological parents who gave him/her birth so too it is the spiritual duty of a devotee to serve his/her spiritual mother Gayatri and spiritual father Yajna on a regular basis.
At every step in religious literature Yajnas are eulogized. Vedas predominate with information on Yajnas simply because Yajna is that science which bestows both material and spiritual bliss on world creatures. The Almighty Lord can always be appeased via Yajnas. Hence it is said (Bhagwad Geeta 3/10/11):
Brahmaji created Yajnas also when he created human beings. Human beings were told that via Yajnas they will progress in life and that it was a sure means to fulfill all their desires. Humans were asked to nurture demigods via Yajnas and in turn they would help human advancement. Thus when both performed their duties aptly both attained all round prosperity. Demigods nourished via Yajnas would in turn help human beings prosper by leaps and bounds.
There are so many sacred texts which vouchsafe the deep import of Yajnas. In ancient times gigantic Yajnas were executed for both material and spiritual gains. Demigods, demons, Rishis, kings and ordinary householders too performed many Yajnas. Demons always set about destroying Yajnas being performed by sages and saintly people because they were sure that the latter would prosper both materially and spiritually and this the demons could not tolerate. In the same way Yajnas of demons too were destroyed because otherwise they would attain more demonic powers to harass innocent laymen. In the epic Ramayana there is a description of a very large scale Yajna being performed by demons or Asuras which was finally destroyed by the saintly Hanumanji. This had to be done because assuming the Yajna succeeded demons would have become invincible.
King Dashrath performed the Putreshti Yajna and thus fathered 4 sons. King Nriga entered heaven by performing Yajnas and thus dethroned its King Indra. King Ashwapati performed a Yajna and thus fathered a son. King indra of heaven attained all that he possessed via Yajnas. Lord Rama too had performed the Ashwamedha Yajna. Shri Krishna advised the Pandavas to perform the Rajasuya Yajna wherein the Lord himself welcomed guests and looked after their requirements. Havan Yajnas are carried out for atonements of sins, minimizing effects of a dire destiny, fulfilling a lack, overcoming diseases, attaining auspiciousness, appeasing demigods, attaining a good harvest, downpour of nectar like rains, overcoming air pollution etc and doubtlessly Yajnas aid in the success of these endeavors.
Yajna is a very important science. The fuel used from various trees to light the Yajna fire is imbued with special qualities. For which disease which herb is used? All this has a strong scientific basis. When certain materials are united the resultant admixture possesses a special quality which when exposed to fire rises up in the atmosphere so as to detoxify and de-pollute it. Further when Vedic Mantras are chanted simultaneously the influence on the atmosphere is that much more potently positive. Thus not only is air pollution taken care of but that individuals nearby Yajnas benefit health wise both physically and mentally. How do we describe demigods? They are nothing but various subtle powers at work in the deep cave of subtle nature or Prakriti. What is the meaning of appeasing demigods? The answer is it is the establishment of a good wholesome rapport with these subtle forces of nature. This goal can be easily fulfilled via performing of Yajnas.
AN IMPERATIVE NEED TO INCLUDE AGNIHOTRA IN OUR DAILY LIVING
What does it signify when we say that by looking upon Fire as Purohit (religious preacher) worship and eulogize it? It means that one must imbibe idealistic inspirations embedded in the subtle aspect of fire. Te special aspects of fire are: 1) Fire is always manifesting heat and light. Thus fire inspires to heat up our perseverance and hard work and its light inspires to become brilliant and well known in a wholesome way. 2) The flame of fire always points in the upward direction. One may try to pin it down and yet it will elude you and continue its upward march. This inspires to ignore that pressure which tries to induce us to lead a demeaned life of eat drink and be merry. Whatever be the enticement and allurement we must pay no heed to it and instead march in the upward direction of glory and greatness. 3) Any object thrown into fire merges into fire. Our greatness too should be such that whoever contact us becomes great too. Thus a cascading effect of greatness can take place in the entire world. 4) Whenever anything is given to fire it will not hoard but instead after making it gaseous spreads it in all directions of the atmosphere. In the same way how much ever wealth we possess, talent we possess it must be used for world well being without any discrimination or bias. We must refrain from hoarding wealth and skills and instead our inner character should be synonymous with generosity which should translate as selfless activities for world welfare. 5) The remnants of fire are in the form of ash. Why is the ash of Yajna fire applied to the forehead? The answer is that the human being needs to remember that death is round the corner and hence must use this precious human life for wholesome and selfless tasks which not only uplift that person but that he/she contribute like a cog in the wheel towards world welfare activities. These 5 teachings come under the 5 fold Science of Fire or Panchagni Vidya. Thus man is exhorted to deeply understand these precepts and actually manifest them in his day to day dealings with the world. Thus mankind gets a golden chance to lead a Yajna way of life. He or she who imbibes great teachings while performing the symbolic rite of a Yajna in his/her day to day lifestyle attains divine bliss and self fulfillment for sure.
Yajnas are very sacred religious rites and also a great philosophy of life. Yana symbolizes sanctity and spirituality. Fir itself is pure and purifies anything that it contacts even if the object is impure. Fire does nothing for itself and that all its actions are selflessly executed for others benefits. The Yajna doer denies himself/herself ghee, sweet meats, grains etc so that he/she can perform a Yajna for everyones well being. Fire makes these materials gaseous in form so that when they enter the atmosphere all creatures inhale it and thus benefit both physically and mentally. In this manner the Yajna doer via Ahutis gives subtle food to all world creatures and thus acquires Punya or sacred merits. In comparison to food air is more precious. Once people inhale these Yajna fumes imbued with vital force attain bodily strength, good health and a long life span. In comparison to these sacred Yajna fumes the effect of eating healthy food is not very long lasting. Mediocre food can be endured for a certain time span but polluted air cause major problems almost immediately. Yajna involves rendering air very potent by imbuing it with strong vital force. This sacred potent air not only reaches a few people but that a large number of people greatly benefit from it. In comparison to feeding many people delicious food in a banquet potent Yajna fumes served to a larger number of people is indeed more beneficial and meritorious by leaps and bounds.
True Agnihotra (fire sacrifice ritual) means imbibing renunciation, self control, sense of service, good behavior, generosity, integrity, ethics, self creation etc. In a certain sense Agnihotra is a spiritual drama which on viewing avidly inspires people to imbibe the above listed virtues. Selfish activities are thus replaced by selfless endeavors for world peace and prosperity. There was a time in ancient eras when this Yajna tradition was fully in vogue and hence it was full of joy, advancement and well being of all in the true sense of the term. And yet later when this Yajna attitude was ignored society started moving in one direction which was downfall. Today the world over mankinds body is alive but inwardly he is like a dead corpse. Once in ancient times King Dashrath requested Vasishthaji to perform the Putreshti Yajna so as to sire children. But Vasishthaji humbly said he was not capable enough to do so and instead, sent King Dashrath to Rishi Shringi. It is not so important how scholarly the Yajna Purohit (priest) is because it is of greater significance how devotional and great he/she is from the character standpoint. Alas today this is just not witnessed virtually anywhere. So called priests are just running after Dkashina (fees offered to priests) and other gifts given to them. Thus the very aim of Yajna that involves sanctifying the psyche of devotees lies totally ignored and unheeded. In turn this is the very reason that despite so many Yajnas performed everywhere true fruits and results of Yajnas elude one and all.
Today it has almost become a rare wonder of the world to find Yajna doers and priests themselves first imbibe greatness and spiritual values in their day to day living and then perform Yajnas that inspire others to follow in their footsteps towards higher pinnacles of glory and divine grandeur. This unfortunately is greatly lacking in this world. In order to overcome this lack the following prayer is executed:
O Lord! Do please send us such a Guru/preceptor who teaches us the art of conducting mental Yajnas.
Until we learn to perform Yajnas mentally its real aim remains unfulfilled even if the Havan or fire ritual is executed. The supreme goal of a true Yajna is to surrender ones entire being at the hallowed feet of almighty God. It involves offering (Ahuti) ones mind, intellect, psyche, ego, 10 sense organs (5 of action and 5 of knowledge), 10 Pranas and all our inner wealth to Almighty God i.e. there should be total surrender. This sort of a Yajna has been discussed in the Upanishads as follows:
In this spiritual Yajna the Yajmaan is the soul, faith is the Yajmaans wife, Vedi is the heart, Shikhaa are the Vedas, Hotaa is ones speech, Udgaataa is the vital force, Ardhavyu are the 2 eyes, Brahmaa is the mind, Aagreedhra are the ears and Aahvaneeya is the mouth.
One such other description is as follows:
Speech is the Yajnas Hotaa, eyes are Ardhavyu, vital force is Udgaataa and mind is Brahmaa.
Brihadaaranyak Upanishad (3/1/3-6)
The Yajna Purusha is Almighty Lord himself. When like the wood fuel of Yajna fire we surrender our all to the Almighty Lord we become God himself just as materials added to fire merge into it and become fire itself. Yajna means imbibing divine light in our inner being by performing spiritual practices like self study, acting as per Gods commandments, listening to divine inspirations, renunciation and sacrifice, devotion or Bhakti etc. By experiencing the omnipresent Lord in every pore of the cosmos we can abstain from subtle lowly activities. Even the most daring criminal will not act criminally right in front of a police station. In the same way if a person experiences the Lords presence 24 X 7 in every nook and corner of the world he will not even think untowardly let alone act unwholesomely. This is because if in his very soul he experiences God staring at him how can he harbor tainted thinking which would definitely displease the Lord Almighty? Similarly if in every pore of the external world a person fells Gods presence very tangibly where will he find a secret place to execute criminal/illegal activities? Hence he who experiences Gods omnipresence both within and without will harbor goodwill to all object of the world without discriminating whether they are conscious or inert. So this means that a spiritual Yajna is supreme wherein by looking upon Yajna Purusha/Almighty God as all pervasive we imbibe cosmic consciousness in our entire being. Great Yogis are known to persevere intensely so that they can visualize Gods presence everywhere without exception both in their soul and in the external world of name and form. Great scriptures to agree with this saying that the all pervasive Lord eternally dwells in Yajnas:
The act of Havan is God, Havi is God, Havan is performed in fire who is God himself and God himself performs the Havan. In this manner when in the intellect of any person all actions become divine the person himself merges into God so as to become God incarnate.
Bhagwad Geeta (4/24)
I (Almighty God) am Kratu, I am Yajna, I am Swadhaa and I am Mantra/Ghee/fire/Havan
.Bhagwad Geeta (9/13)
Within the Bhagwad Geeta in order to give us the deep import of spiritual Yajnas the latter have been portioned into smaller categories. They are Daiva Yajna, Brahma Yajna, Atma Yajna, Tapa Yajna, Yoga Yajna, Swadhyaya Yajna, Jnana Yajna, Prana Yajna, Sanyama Yajna etc. It means that while walking on the path of God/self realization and soul advancement all those means utilized are Yajna manifest.
Dravya Yajna helps spread spiritual electric currents in subtle space and thus vile mental taints like hatred, sins, selfish desires, criminality, hard heartedness etc are destroyed. The cascading result seen will be in the form of many problems getting solved. Various problems like mental complexes, stress, fear, tension, worry, anxiety and dire possibilities can be warded off. In ancient times Kings, wealthy class, Rishis, Munis etc conducted gigantic Yajnas as a result the atmosphere in a very widespread area became sacred and pure. In addition national, international and social evils were rooted out completely. The laymen householders performed Yajnas on a smaller scale which helped solve their family and village problems in a big way. For widespread joy, peace, rains, wealth, sound health etc gigantic Yajnas were required. And yet small Yajnas carried out by laymen certainly helped solve their day to day problems maybe in a bit of a limited manner. If you compare the cost of conducting Yajnas know for sure that the benefits both material and spiritual are a thousand fold more and this is not an overstatement. Thus it is crystal clear that Yajnas can never put us into a loss but is a clear win-win situation.
Those who have enough resources should conduct large scale Yajnas. The mouth of fire is the mouth of God. Whatever is fed to fire indeed is divine food. Giving Ahutis in a Yajna means feeding almighty God himself. Since God feeds us all every day it is our duty as his beloved children to conduct worship without being stingy. Of course there are those who are not financially well off and hence they are advised to volunteer in gigantic Yajnas and serve it selflessly. Else individually they can manage small Havans with whatever materials they possess. One more option is for a group of individuals to contribute finances and materials and with this collected Yajna materials perform a big Yajna. In a gigantic Yajna people of less financial means can give their time, service and help in whatever way is possible and thus actively avail the benefits of Yajna.
Agnihotra that is required to be executed daily is very easy to do so. It is not expensive and hence even a lower middle class householder can perform it. Those whose finances are extremely low should perform a Yajna on every Sunday or on a full moon day or on a moonless night with whatever materials they possess. Even the dos and donts of these small Havans are not burdensome at all. In the book called Gayatri Yajna Vidhaan all this has been detailed. On its basis without taking help from a priest any Dwija can easily perform Havans. If a person is totally unaware of the dos and donts they should offer only Ghee Ahutis by saying Swaha every time a Gayatri Mantra is chanted. If in some form or the other the Yajna tradition flourishes it will be a great service to Indian culture. This seemingly small ritual will not only purify your household atmosphere but that the psyche of all family members will be rendered pure and taintless. Wherever Yajnas are performed regularly sin does not enter these households. Ghosts, ill fate, poverty and stress are totally rooted out. Agnihotra pleases demigods and they in turn shower us with both material and spiritual bliss.
Not from any standpoint can Yajnas incur losses of any kind. Ordinarily the wealth utilized to perform even small Yajnas is like depositing it in the banks managed by demigods. They in turn return this wealth to you with a very big percentage of interest at the most appropriate time when that person most requires it. More important and precious are those Havan performed as per scriptural injunctions and observing apt dos and donts. Such Yajnas can be compared to divine weapons (they induce creativity and never destruction). It is a sure shot method of attaining divine help. In ancient times Yajnas were known to shower its doer with desired fruits. Valiant warriors imbibed a lot of divine energy via Yajnas and thus became invincible. Yogis perform penance performing Yajnas too and thus attain Self/God Realization. Yajnas are fathers of all Ridhi-Sidhi i.e. material/divine forces. Vedas call Yajnas Kamadhuk i.e. one who fulfils mans needs and wards off various obstacles on our path of material/spiritual progress.
For Gayatri devotees Yajnas are imperative and hence they must continue this tradition in a big way. It is the prime duty of every Dwija to maintain a Yajna atmosphere of ones home and psyche in particular. An ordinary Homa too is quite beneficial. It purifies the atmosphere of ones home, overcomes diseases and the self is protected from dire invasions. Of course it also shows that if Yajnas performed with special aims following proper scriptural injunctions will be beneficial manifold times. Yajna is a science wherein a scientific admixture of the 5 elements (earth, water, fire, wind, space) manifests intense divine energy. This energy is conjoined to Dvi Murdhaa, Dvi Naasik, Sapt Hast, Dvi Mukha, Sapta Jihvaa, Uttar Mukh, Koti Dwaadash Moortyaa, Dvi Pancha Shatkalaa Yutam etc. In this statement of deep import it is indicated that the Murdhaa of Yajna fire is both material and spiritual. These areas can be made successful gigantically. The gross and subtle aspect of nature is the nose of Yajnas and one can gain mastery over it. All the 7 glories are the hands of Yajna fire and the Vaam and Dakshin Maarg are its 2 mouths. The 7 worlds are its tongue and all the special qualities of these worlds reside in the moth of Yajna fire. The mouth of Yajna fire harbors the magnetic center of the North Pole. The 52 Kalaas of Yajna are such that Ravan the demon became extremely powerful despite imbibing a very small number of these Kalaas. Hence imagine if all Kalaas manifest and are utilized wholesomely how powerful and terrific mankind can become akin to an inferno. Thus the greatness of Yajnas is limitless. Even a minor application manifests stupendous results. For Gayatri devotees Yajnas are like divine fathers and must be revered from the bottom of ones pure heart.
SUPER MANTRA GAYATRI AND YAJNAS ARE STOREHOUSES OF INFINTE/IMPERISHABLE GLORIES
The symbols of Indian Spiritual Philosophy are said to be Yajnas and the Mother of Vedic Spiritual Sciences viz. Gayatri. They are also called the parents of Indian Spiritual Wisdom and Science. Entire spirituality takes birth when they unite. When a father and mother unite a newborn babe takes birth in this world. This fact too is applicable totally to Gayatri tenets.
What is the meaning of Dwija? It means taking a second birth while yet alive. The thread ceremony or Yajnopaveet gives one a second birth. At that time he/she enters the arena of divine culture. In order that an animal-man gains entry into a divine species womb he/she must methodically worship Gayatri as mother and Yajna as fire with sacred devotion. This is true imbibing of divine culture.
Super Mantra of 9 words and 24 alphabets is truly a Guru Mantra or preceptor Mantra. After imbibing it in the truest sense of the term animal man dispels wards off tainted psychic imprints and instead imbibes divine culture. Man possesses 9 characteristics. They transform an animal man into a divine man. Those who imbibe them appropriately are called Dwijas. This matter does not end here. That religious imbibing of great qualities has to be done even in the form of a Yajna. Gayatri Yajna is the marriage between Wisdom and Action. In that in our day to day professional, social and other transactions both knowledge and science have to be imbibed. For every devotee of Indian Spirituality minimum one rosary of Gayatri Mantra chanting is a must. One rosary takes around 5 minutes of chanting. In todays fast paced lifestyle there are many who cannot chant this observing proper injunctions like first bathing, then meditating etc. Hence our scriptures compassionately allow such devotees to mentally chant Mantras for at least 5 minutes in a deeply meditative state of mind without bathing or following other dos and donts.
Scriptures ordain devotees to perform 5 Yajnas daily on the similar lines of regular Gayatri Mantra chanting. There are many who cannot daily offer 5 Ahutis of the 5 Yajnas while chanting Mantras akin to Sandhyaa Vandan. Such devotees are advised to offer 5 spoonfuls of food before eating it to Yajna Fire. Those who cannot do this even must offer the first Roti (Indian wheat bread) to a cow looking upon her as ones divine mother (Gomaataa). Growing a pigtail (Shikhaa) on the scalp and wearing the sacred thread (Yajnopaveet) on the chest is akin to installing Gayatri in the temple of our body. In the same way daily feeding a cow is a Brahma Yajna. Hence even such sacred actions are equivalent to offering 5 Ahutis of the Pancha Yajnas. Gayatris symbolic worship in the form of a Shikhaa or a Yajnopaveet and Yajnas symbolic worship in the form of feeding a cow daily is imperative for a devotee of Divine Culture.
If soul uplifting is our aim we are advised to perform high leveled Gayatri Meditation. Along with this on a daily basis one must execute Yajna activities. Gayatri Japa requires mental focus via Mantra Chanting whereas Agnihotra requires Yajna materials like Charu, fuel, Ghee etc. Those who cannot procure all these can perform Agnihotra utilizing only wooden sticks or Samidha to light the Yanja Fire. Its sacred mission is that despite a lack of material means Agnihotra must be performed via physical labor and available basic means. And thus we are exhorted not to ignore or abstain from Agnihotra at any cost.
Material Science deals with forces of matter and that obtained from its atoms after attacking them. Without this natures forces do not manifest. In the same way in order that soul forces manifest and augment it is imperative that Gayatri and Yajnas be utilized. These 2 Super Powers have been associated with traditions of worship and reading scriptures etc. There may appear differences as far as worship etc methods are concerned due to existence of varied sects and yet Gayatri and Yajna per se are universal in nature. Japa is an action associated with Gayatri. Spiritual energy is the Fire of Yajna. The more fuel is added to both the more intensity manifests and hence Gayatri chanting has many levels. Speeches are 4 in number viz. Vaikhari, Mahyamaa, Paraa and Pashyanti. They correspond to the speeches of man, Super Men, Rishis and Almighty God. With the help of which ever Gayatri practice is executed of a particular level that very stature of electrical energy will manifest. Four types of priests conduct Agnihotra viz. Hotaa, Acharya, Udgaataa and Ardhavyu. The type of Yajna Fire lit depends on the type of their inner personality and the Charu used and thus a particular type of divine endeavor is fulfilled. With respect to hearing Gayatri appears akin to Mantra chanting. Similarly the energy manifesting in Agnihotra makes any object lit in it hot equally. And yet their subtle influences vary as much as the ground and the sky up there.
If only Gayari Meditation is done with greater alertness and oneness of the soul our personality will develop more radiantly to that extent. On the one hand without doubt our personality develops brilliance when it imbibes good qualities, actions, character, ideals and greatness and yet Gayatri Meditation goes further than this. This is because Gayatri can reach the very deep layers of our psyche. Good qualities proliferate only when apt opportunities and situations are available. Lack of these creates mans downfall and many a times veers towards obstructions. Gayatri Meditation never allows this to take place. It goes into the deeper recesses of our psyche/soul. Thus bad qualities and bad company too does not hamper such a devotee. Great Rishis of yore time and again faced obstacles and attacks of demonic men and yet they remained ever so calm and serene. In order to transform society they did so living amidst vile people but they paid no heed to their bad influence. The reason is one wherein Gayatri Meditation reaches the very core of ones inner being and hence obstructions cannot veer them away from their spiritual goal.
For purification and development of ones personality so as to make it brilliant Gayatri Meditation is a sure shot avenue to do so. It is an easy natural method to increase our blood count via proper dietary methods and yet during emergencies blood donated by a pious donor is injected into the patients blood stream. We all know that high stature lifestyle augments purity and radiance in an individual but this can be achieved via special Gayatri Meditation techniques too. There are so many methods of Gayatri Purascharan which generate special potentials in the devotees personality. With this potential dire obstructions are overcome and special needs are fulfilled. So one the one hand it is a daily activity but on the other hand during dire times it proves extremely beneficial too.
In texts pertaining to spiritual practices Gayatri is called Brahmasstra or divine weapon. It can both, ward off attacks or create attacks. In the Vishwaamitra Kalpa of Gayatri Tantra Gayatris aim of attack is described. In the Lanka Kaanda of Ramayana Meghnaad attacked Lakshmana with this Brahmaastra and the latter was almost killed. As per Vaidya Sushenas advice Hanumaanji procured the Sanjeevani herb and with its help Lakshmanas life was restored. In the Indian epic Mahabhaarata too there are many descriptions wherein Brahmaastra has been used. Further methods have been depicted wherein dire attacks which could take ones very life were warded off.
Maharshi Vishwaamitra is the supreme seer (discoverer) of the Gayatri Super Mantra. He had mastered Gayatri Science from its very roots. He had asked Dashratha to send Lord Rama and Lakshmana to protect his Yajnas from demons. For a great time span Maharshi Vishwaamitra had taught the art of Balaa and Atibalaa in his hermitage. For this end Vasishthaji had given him due advice and encouragement. It was the result of preliminary experimentation that in their youth Lord Rama and Lakshmana could overcome vicious demons like Subaahoo, Maaricha, Taadakaa etc. Later there are many episodes where there were mediums that helped Rama as described in Lanka Kaanda of Ramayana. A direct war had taken place between Ram and Raavana but in its subtle aspect Maharshi Vishwaamitras divine energy was playing many roles in that terrible battle. Amazing incidences have been described like Hanumaanji uprooting a mountain, his burning Lanka city, entering Ashoka garden, remaining invisible in the eyes of venomous demons, crushing Surasaas ego etc. These mysterious acts were not Hanumaanjis personal feats but were powers attained subtly from Maharshi Vishwaamitrais Gayatri Meditation prowess.
Sacred texts give us a symbolic description of a pot being filled with Rishis blood from which later Seetaji the one who overcame demons was born. In actuality under the leadership of Maharshi Vishwaamitra other rishis had performed Gayatri Mahapurascharanas in a congregational manner. With this potent collective force the vile activities of terror generating demons was pounded to dust. The energy possessed by demons like Raavana, Ahiraavana, Meghnaad, Kumbhakarana etc was not ordinary at all. By itself it was not possible to overpower them as easily as they were. In this battle weapons could not show any miracles because it was soul force that depicted its glory.
In historical and mythological texts many descriptions are detailed wherein with the help of spiritual powers not only certain people overcame hardships but that with the help of miniscule means and in a short time frame they attained success. In fact there have been times when they helped attain victory in battles and wars that were extremely violent and terrible and thus such vile foes ran away tails between their legs.
Pondicheries (India) great sage of austerities Shri Aurobindo Ghosh was an extraordinary devotee of Gayatri during his times. In order that his motherland India escaped the clutches of imperialists he wished to perform a great feat. He had to combat that government (England) whose lands sun never set. Indias citizens were facing darkness for virtually 2000 years. Hence Shri Aurobindo Ghoshs desire was indeed asking for the impossible. For this many intellectuals of India had tried their hand and yet there was no light at the end of the dark tunnel. Any method utilized bred failure only. At that time the great sage Shri Aurobindo Ghosh performed gigantic austerities keeping a vow of silence (Mauna). Its results were stupendous for all to see. In those 20 years such super great souls took birth in India which awakened the laymans psyche and forced the imperialists to rethink its plan of permanently ruling over India. In world history one has witnessed the birth of great men/women time and again who were social reformers, political leaders, scientists etc but nowhere have so many been born together as seen during Indias freedom struggle. Just as in summer many violent cyclones erupt in the same way results of Yogi Aurobindo were seen when he performed Mauna austerities. None had before that even dreamt that one day the British imperialists will run away tail between legs. And yet this seemingly impossible task did become possible at the appropriate hour. Congress regained Indias independence. This can be said to be a great wonder of the world. Those who lived in the vicinity of Yogi Aurobindo know fully well that under his divine guidance Divine Mother and other great devotees performed intense Gayatri Meditation practices.
Within a well planned divine format Maharshi Ramana, Yogi Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Samarth Ramdas and many other great saintly personages had carried out high stature Gayatri Meditation practices. In its gross aspect many Yuga Rishis inspired Indian citizens to chant Super Mantra Gayatri. So many Munis and great thinkers call Gayatri not merely Mother of the Vedas but also Mother of the World, Mother of Divinity, Tarantaarini, Kamadhenu or wish fulfilling cow, nectar, touchstone, wish fulfilling tree etc. There are many methods of spiritual practices pertaining to Gayatris Yoga aspect that is divinity based and Tantra aspect which is demonic based. Hence Gayatri is called the Mother of Indian Culture. Over here it is wise to note Yajna is inseparably conjoined to Gayatri spiritual endeavor.
Gayatri is called a Shabda Baana or Word of Arrow. It is a divine weapon and its usage and results are extraordinary. In the same way within the realm of Agnihotra acts of lighting the give same results as far as sacred fire burning is concerned. Its form and touch harbor no special differences. And yet if analyzed minutely it becomes clear that subtly the difference is definitely enormous. The fire of hunger is a quality whereas fir of forest etc that convert into Yajna Fire have many categories. In its visible form Yajna Fire is of 3 type viz. Aahavaneeya, Dakshinaagni and Gaahrpatya. But within the spiritual realm they number 5 in all. In the Yama-Nachiketa dialogue of the Kathopanishad these 5 have been elucidated. There are thus 5 types of fire or Panchaagni. The 5 Pranaalis too are fires form. 5 Demigods too are fire manifest. In reality they are Divine Energy streams of the 5 Pranas or Vital Forces. In order to light them, fire or other fuel are not required. In the Bhagwad Geeta with reference to this God says that Yogis offer their Vital Force to the cosmic Prana which is called spiritual Havan.
Kundalini Super Power is called the Fire of Vital Force. Its ordinary heat energy is called life force. But when its 6 eddies in the form of 6 Chakras start moving speedily it takes the form of Ridhi-Sidhis. The intensity of this divine inferno is of various types. It is most certainly unlike the fire used in cooking or the heat experienced when the body gets high fever. The same holds true for Gayatris word based sensitivity. It cannot be found in men, birds, beasts, worms, musical instruments etc. It in fact emerges from a conscious sound vibration flow that is different from material objects and it merges into consciousness itself.
This is an extraordinary word flow of Gayatri. It is described in the form of Vital Force Fire. Those who deeply realize/experience this Supreme Light Gayatri and Supreme Energy Yajna Fire do not require anymore wisdom or knowledge. In order that not one human being be denied it every wise person should be asked to himself/herself perform Yajna and Gayatri chanting and encourage other laymen to follow suit. So what if it is in the form of an ordinary symbolic worship method.
Importance of Divine Tradition is dependent on that Spiritual Science which is the confluence of Gayatri and Yajna. The more one marches ahead on this sacred path the more one shall ooze with Divine Powers. In order that none lack this special grandeur and human glory scriptural seers ordain us to include Gayatri and Yajna in our day to day activities.
THE SPIRITUAL SCIENCE OF GAYATRI AND YAJNA
Soul purification is the supreme goal man should aspire for. On this basis personality development takes place wherein ones qualities, actions and inner nature become brilliant, full of integrity and skillful. It is the mental state that gives birth to external circumstances. To a minor extent obstacles or lack of them do influence external situations and yet its fount or root lies within i.e. in our psyche. Man is the author of his fate and on his/her own volition walks on the path of downfall or progress. Thus opportunities of downfall or advancement appear in mans life. Hence prosperity or stress/hardships too have their basis in it.
Amongst modes of self/soul purification meditation has its own prime spot. It straightaway directly influences our inner sentimental/sensitive arenas. As per ones leanings it influences the direction of ones sentiments, thoughts and imaginations. This results as actions in the world. This is hence the focal point of downfall or progress as may be the case. It can be influenced via spiritual practices and meditation. Positive or negative spiritual practices either makes us advanced or demeans us in life in an all round manner.
Amongst theistic communities there exists their kind of devotional and other methods. Traditionalists imbibe them when in contact with that particular type of atmosphere and yet deep thinkers face a problem wherein they wonder which one of the many methods are best suited for them. In order to overcome this dilemma they are required to utilize logic, proof and sound arguments and then decide for or against those precepts. Thus their question as to which one to adhere to, will be answered.
On its own the chief basis of devotion is faith. Faith helps conjoin special qualities and glories to ones soul arena. Faithless worship, rites, prayer etc is merely a superficial play. Out of superficial curiosity many people start spiritual endeavors but unfortunately they do not give any concrete results and in fact make them more atheistic in nature. Over here no error should be searched for in the mode of spiritual practices and instead find out whether faith exists or not? A devotee of true faith akin to Ramkrishna Paramhansa, saint Meerabai, Eklavya etc actually feel their icons image as oozing with Divine Energy and experiences it to be alive and kicking. As against this a man devoid of faith will actually mock images of God and his beloved saints. For sculptors who make idols the latter are meant just for selling purposes but for a devotee of faith I is a means to augment divine sentiments in the soul. Hence over here it is the power of faith and trust that is at work predominantly. In its absence idol worship is merely a superficial action. Despite this since man is a rational being he must deeply search for special qualities in various worship methods and must choose that which influences his psyche more intensely in a positive manner. Know for sure there is nothing amazing about this.
Super Mantra Gayatri exudes wondrous characteristics. Its alphabets are interwoven in such a manner that those who chant it (Japa) find their inner potential center manifesting Divine Light/Wisdom. This principle can be truly understood by making it undergo tests and trials. If on an experimental basis any person performs Gayatri Meditation he/she will truly realize that not even an iota of their time and labor have gone waste. In fact their experience will tell them that their inner brilliance manifests and that their sacred emotions are blooming forth fragrantly. The intellect now veers strongly towards ethics and integrity. Ones activities give a strong fragrance of idealism and sacredness. Further actions become more skillfully radiant. This fact can be witnessed via self introspection and scientific analysis. Those who harbor no faith in the Science of Spiritual Practices too can take aid of such analysis by devoting some time to it. A lot of time and labor is taken up in scientific research studies and laboratory experiments. If anyone so wishes he/she can take recourse to such studies of spirituality too. A massive majority have experienced positive feedback in this realm.
Hence what can one say if spiritual practices are conjoined to deep faith? It is like fragrance added to the already very precious ore of gold. The tree of spiritual practices grows gigantically if watered with the water of true faith and starts giving luscious fruits. Of course people of blind faith/belief who conduct such experimentation mentioned above will not fail totally. This is because their faith, spirituality and religiosity will move ahead albeit at a slower pace. From the standpoint of sound vibration based spiritual practices Gayatris Vaachak (chanting loudly), Upaanshu (whispering) and Maansika (mental) Japa too have their importance. Because of them the nervous and psychic system gets influenced in such a manner that unwanted elements are warded off and apt ones augment in a big way.
From the meaning standpoint Gayatri means worship of a divine intellect that gives us wisdom both materially and spiritually. If man realizes that it is important to augment this principle naturally he/she will yearn to transform his/her thought process sacredly and induce the intellect to be just and discerning. We should not allow our desires and yearnings to run helter-skelter and instead focus them on following ideals in our day to day living. If our intellect is conjoined to ethics and farsightedness we will become more cultured and refined deeply. Such individuals become great and execute great acts in the world for all to see. Gayatri Mantra directs us to walk in this extremely beneficial direction. If anybody does this his/her material and spiritual prosperity is a foregone conclusion.
Gayatri Mantra lays emphasis on thy and never I. The word Naha in this Mantra means all of us. Whatever is thought of, desired or acted upon should be not for selfish gains but bang opposite to it i.e. cosmic well being. Thus the basis of cosmic welfare and peace/brotherhood is laid down firmly. This truly is worship and reverence for world humanity and cosmic consciousness called God by the layman. Over here it is important to renounce personal selfish benefits and gains.
When one deeply reflects upon the meaning of the 24 alphabets of Gayatri elucidated by great seers it becomes crystal clear that the principles of true religiosity and social management have been detailed akin to the ocean being captured in a pot. It can be called the most important gist of the precepts put forth by all world religions without exception. On this basis Super Mantra Gayatri can be called a tiny but full of deep import scripture which describes human righteous duties in its truest sense. It can also be called a high leveled state of human faith in divinity.
India has many religious sects but none of them ignore or overlook Gayatri. In some cases it may be that Gayatri is not utilized but it is never ignored whole and sole. Under such circumstances keeping in mind Gayatri devotions descriptions and inspirations if we call it a universal mode of spiritual practice know for sure it is not an overstatement.
Within the realm of Gayatri super Science Almighty God has taken a females form. It is called Vedmaataa, Vishwamaataa and Devmaataa too. Their idols are given a womans form. From this it is proved that Indian Culture gives a lot of importance to womanhood and bestows greatness on it. Women are revered, their glory is accepted by one and all and that it is the fair gender that will take the world to great peaks of glory in the 21 st century. If this fact the world over is given a social application and great efforts are made for uplifting of women know for sure that Divine Era will manifest on this very Earth of ours. Satyuga or the Golden era will be ours for keeps.
The other leg of Gayatri is Yajna. Both together are called our mother and father respectively. The word Yajna connotes good merits, spiritual progress and performing feats for world welfare. The icon of this goal can be Agnihotra too and yet it is not limited to this end. Its meaning includes those elements too which sanctify and develop our personality. Very briefly Yajna means a meritorious deed.
Gayatri is said to be a symbol of sacred wisdom and Yajna that of sacred deeds. In practice Gayatri can be chanted (Japa) and Yajna can be performed via Agnihotra. And yet these 2 energy manifesting inspirations cannot be limited to this only. Those who cannot perform these rituals cannot be called opponents of Gayatri and Yajna. Further it can so happen that those who regularly do Japa and Agnihotra do so mechanically and thus are left high and dry as far as attaining divine grace and inspiration is concerned. We must always remember that along with our pious actions our sacred sentiments too should be inseparably conjoined. Actions can be called pious only if the thinking and emotions behind them too are of that high stature. Actions without wholesome sentiments are mere mechanical robot like physical actions. As a result the bodily parts move and certain materials change places. Hence true all round benefits do not accrue in such erroneous cases. So it is clear that the Spiritual Philosophy of Gayatri and Yajna must be reflected upon deeply and then be imbibed in ones thinking and external day to day activities.
Scriptural seers have spoken a great deal regarding Gayatris deep import and divine value. Many proclamations of theirs give due respect to Yajnas philosophy and its sacred science. If the truth behind this precept is to be known not only its ritual but spiritual philosophy too is required to be deeply imbibed within and without. Not only should it be understood but that by translating it into ones daily living the results should be for all to see. In ancient times such experimentation and applications took place for a great time span. One benefited from others experiences and such mutual inspiration created such an atmosphere which was called Satyuga or Golden Era of those times. In this manner even today we can manifest divinity in world beings and herald the Advent of Heaven on Earth in the 21 st century. The chariot of Indian Culture, marched ahead on 2 wheels. Hence if we say that they represented Gayatri and Yajna, know for sure it is certainly not an overstatement. Thus today too like ancient times those very benefits can accrue if only those applications are first imbibed individually so as to spread in the entire world without exception. The foundations of all round advancement are represented by sacred wisdom and meritorious deeds leading to world well being.
THE SUPER ENERGY FOUNTS OF WISDOM AND SCIENCE: GAYATRI AND YAJNAS
The preliminary task in order to awaken Indias (and later the worlds) latent soul is to re-establish wisdom and science. An individual or the country or the world can progress wholesomely only if wisdom and science are imbibed fully. When either of the two decline ones downfall is imminent. Wisdom means knowledge, intellect, discernment, rationality, good will, generosity and love for justice. Vijnana or subtle science means strength, capability, power of means, prosperity, quick success and balance both in the material and spiritual sense. Only then can tru advancement be achieved. In ancient times our motherland India was prosperous in both ways. Right from laymen to Kings and Rishis wisdom and science were abundant in all directions. Even royal princes were known to stay at Rishis hermitages/Ashramas to attain wisdom and the mysteries of both gross and subtle sciences. In ancient Indian history and mythology one finds mind boggling descriptions of divine weapons, divine vehicles and divine wealth/potentials. Rishis immersed themselves in spiritual pursuits for soul progress and yet they were masters of the Ashta Sidhi and Nava Nidhi (Divine Powers). In ancient times India in order to become wise worshipped divine wisdom and also worshipped material/spiritual sciences so as to become prosperous and wealthy. On the one hand Yogis o yore merged into God via devotional practices and on the other hand performed intense austerities so as to attain divine powers and potentials. It is beyond doubt that sacred sentiments help attain Almighty God and spiritual practices give us both material and spiritual prowess.
Todays knowledge depends on direct visibility, experiences and scientific machinery/technology. Via technology scientist are attaining material knowledge and powers/energies. This methodology is very expensive, requires tough labor, miniscule and unsteady. Today although a great deal of material knowledge has been attained thanks to great scholars, professors and researchers yet greatness of our psyche, generous character and self sacrifice for cosmic welfare eludes us totally. Todays so called wisdom has made mankind more selfish, unruly, spendthrift and vainly superficial/hypocritical. For sure scientifically we are progressing by leaps and bounds but when there is success a host of downfalls also come our way unasked. Chemical fertilizers are used to improve soil fertility and thus augment harvest yields but the side effects of such fertilizers are many and detrimental for human health. Factories and mills produce large quantities of materials (cloth, food items etc) but they enhance both air and noise pollution. Thus it is so dangerous for humans to dwell nearby such places. Scientists unanimously opine that within the next 100 years coal, oil, petrol and other mineral ores will virtually become naught and hence without fuel todays machinery and other technology will prove to be defunct and useless. As days go by technology used to generate electricity too will wither away and if more atomic energy is generated air pollution will augment manifold times.
In ancient times the basis of knowledge and science were different. Today just as every object is searched for in this inert world and atoms in the same way in ancient times every thing including objects, forces, energy etc was searched for in the spiritual arena. Today the foundation is materialism whereas in ancient times it was spiritual. This is a well known principle of modern science wherein all visible objects are gross in nature. In comparison to these the same materials in its subtle invisible form are moving in subtle space that measure infinite more times than its gross version. Take for example water. If you take into account 100 ton water on earths surface in comparison millions of tons in its invisible subtle form is moving in the atmosphere. Our thought and mental resolve too is an object. In this object a certain type of magnetic pull can manifest and with its aid we can attract required atoms of special materials of the subtle world towards ourselves. Latching on to this basic principle of subtle sciences great Rishis of yore saw that when the atoms of all objects of the world are present in our bodily and mental arena atoms of great utility value must be augmented and by attracting the same species of innumerable atoms towards oneself from the atmosphere why not fulfill the goal of attaining desired materials? These Rishis thus conducted research on the basis of this science and via specific spiritual practices awakened great and minor energies that lie latent in the human body and mind. As a result their ability to attract things became so potent that just as a crane catches fish from the depths of the ocean with the help of its long neck so too they caught various objects, potentials and energies of space.
Our ancient research on wisdom and science had their roots in Gayatri and Yajna because the latter are father and mother of Spiritual Sciences. Gayatri represents wisdom and Yajna represents science. The 24 letters of Super Mantra Gayatri encompasses teachings for uplifting of world humanity to peaks of glory. Apart from this these interwoven letters harbor mysterious sciences and their substratum. If these 24 letters are utilized as per scriptural injunctions latent extraordinary powers of the mind start awakening at the appropriate hour. Spiritual qualities too start speedily augmenting and the intellect becomes razor sharp and brilliant. Further such farsightedness is attained which helps solve innumerous lifes problems with relative ease.
The Science of Yajnas is verily important. The word power of Vedic Mantra chanting is offered to fire in Kundas (pyre) lit with special wood (Samidhaa), Havi/Charu (materials like grains etc). Thus the fire becomes extremely potent and certain types of waves, vibrations and radiations are emitted by it. These energy waves akin to radars can be sent to any nook and corner of the world. Just about any person can imbibe them and for certain special aims it can be made to manifest in the very deep recesses of Mother Nature. In order that rains, grains, milk, good health, our very life force etc augment on our planet Earth Yajnas can be the best mediums for its success. Energy emitted by Yajnas positive transform our emotions, thought process and external circumstances too. Thus there are innumerable benefits which confirm or premise that Yajnas ought to be performed in every nook and corner of the world albeit in a scientific manner. In Hindu Religion every festival, ritual, worship, rite, vow, Sanskar, devotional practice etc remains unfulfilled without a Yajna. A Hindu child is born in a delivery room which has an eternal flame lamp lit. Later when death approaches this fire helps light the funeral pyre for cremation of the dead body (Antyeshti Kriya). Yajnas were given immense importance by great Rishis of yore simply because not only were they means to attain material forces/powers but that by making mans body and psyche sacred, desireless and thought free he/she attained spiritual bliss and peace on an eternal basis.
If in todays times cultural transformation in an advanced manner is to take place we will have to take recourse to both wisdom and science. The seed Mantra of Indian Culture is Super Mantra Gayatri. On the basis of its power and sacred precepts our entire cast is molded. A true Hindus ideal is to exist radiantly like the brilliant fire. Our biological parents without doubt give us bodily wealth, educational resources, a roof over our head, love and affection. Similarly if we reinstate Mother Gayatri and Yajna Father in the very core of our psyche and worship them with devotion we can attain even more precious and highly beneficial means.
By converting a few materials of ours into a sacred gaseous state we are sort of performing charity because without any differences of I, mine, caste, religion, friend, foe etc everyone inhales it (unknowingly) so as to attain stupendous health, material and spiritual benefits. Thus it is akin to Brahmabhoja or Divine Banquet and thus a Yajnas expenses are miniscule when compared to the all pervasive gigantic benefits that accrue to one and all.
Yajnas are symbols of congregationalism or collectivity. Other modes of spiritual practices can be executed individually but Yajnas are divine programs where many people participate together in an atmosphere of camaraderie. Holi festivals and other Yajnas are always gigantic and congregational. Yajnas enhance sacred sentiments of unity, cooperation, commitment etc.
Every sacred task, auspicious occasion and festival is said to be complete only if at the end of it a Yajna is performed. Yajna is Indian Cultures father. Yajna is Indias ancient and most revered Vedic mode of worship. In order that the goal of religious oneness and that of sentiments too be attained it would be a multi faceted farsighted effort to conduct such Yajnas in a large scale congregational manner.
Gayatri is a Goddess of sacred intellect and Yajna is the God of sacred actions. The divine couple of Mother Gayatri and Yajna Father will prove successful and powerful from all standpoints if the goal is gigantic augmenting of sacred sentiments and wholesome world welfare activities. The method of performing Gayatri Yajnas is very simple, well accepted and attractive too. In order that the vile intellect of world humanity is sanctified, the energy and power of Goddess Super Mantra Gayatri is not only mind boggling but one without a second too.
In order that a congregation of people of cities, districts and villagers gather together gigantic Yajnas should be planned at many places so that everyone benefits both materially and spiritually. Rest assured if the method is erroneous they will prove not only to be costly but that precious time and labor will go down the drain so to speak. If on the other hand Yajnas are performed methodically as per Vedic injunctions not only are the expenses meager but that they are magnetic and highly beneficial for all without exception. In every Indian ritual, religious vow, sacred ceremonies and festivals Yajnas predominate. On understanding its mode and goal virtually all requirements of religious programs/rites stand fulfilled.
Independent Yajnas can be executed even for world well being/peace, awakening world human psyche and sanctification of the atmosphere. In fact this goal predominates when Yajnas are performed during festivals and auspicious occasions. Every Indian devotee and those dwelling the world over must become well versed with the concept and methodology of Yajnas.
Following are some important quotes and verses of various scriptures regarding Yajnas:
For such auspicious tasks very sacred areas are required because only when the purest unites with the purest do sacred fruits manifest
India is the purest of pure and hence Yajnas are ordained to be carried out in this sacred land.
MANU SMRITI (22/23)
Just as Yajnas are absolutely sacred and hence arrangements for sacred areas are made so too it is most required that the Yajna doer is pure both within and without. On the foundation stones of this science was constructed the Varna or caste system. The gist of this has been given by Lord Manu:
When everything is sacred it is imperative that the one directing the Yajna and the one offering Havi to the Yajna fire as per scriptural injunctions is sacred too. It is hence that Vedas are called most sacred.
. MANU SMRITI (1/31)
On such sacred scientific foundation stones are Yajna studies conducted by credible disciples in a sacred place under the tutelage of pious Acharyas or preceptors. This is why in other nations you do not find Vedpaathis (Vedic scholars) despite the fact that they try and construct their own awry interpretations of the same.
. MANU SMRITI (12/94)
Yajna is called Kaamadhukaha and hence all our desires get fulfilled. I remember those days when in Germany the Science of Telepathy unfolded. But alas they succeeded only within the periphery of 39 miles whereas in India via Yajnas we can mentally influence even the upper crust of the Moon.
Those eulogies which mankind finds to be superior even when compared to Pitrus (ancestors) help us retract our mind which goes to even Pitruloka (ancestral world).
.SHUKLA YAJURVEDA (3/43)
The act of prayer varies when the underlying desires vary and hence different Yajna methods exist for different requirements and goals. For self rule Vaajpeya Yajnas are conducted, for heaven Darshapaurna Maas Yajnas are conducted, for Saam Agni Jyotishtoma Yajnas are conducted, for siring a son Putreshti Yajnas are conducted and to overcome foes Shyena Yajnas are conducted. Yajna helps fulfill various desires and hence Prajaapati (creator) named it Kaamadhuka.
WHAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF YAJNA?
Yajna originates from the root word Yaja in Sanskrit language. It means worship of divinity, congregation and charity. Yajnas spiritual activity involves worship of divine powers of Almighty God, associating with God, devotion/meditation and whatever we call as mine erroneously should be humbly placed at the feet of God so as to self surrender. Yajna also means humbly serving hallowed saints and associating with them with the aim of helping in their sacred mission. From the social standpoint we can say respecting our elders, friendship with those of our cadre and selflessly serving those of the lower strata of society too is true Yajna. Thus Yajna also connotes devotion to God, augmenting of the truth principle and mutual love and cooperation. Of course in terms of Havan or fire sacrifice Yajna is very well known. Even via fire ritual the above mentioned 3 goals can be attained.
Following are some memorable quotes on Yajnas:
Yajna is the union of 3 sacred tasks viz. offering Havi to demigods, Vedic Mantra chanting and giving gifts/wealth to Ritwijas.
Yajna is when preceptors teach Vedas to pious disciples along with Anga and Upanga.
Yajna is that activity which pleases demigod Indra who in turn showers rain.
Yajna is that program which helps us easily attain heaven and other hallowed worlds.
Yajna is that program which leads to world welfare and well being.
Yajna is that program which uproots strife pertaining to natural calamities, physical body and the psyche.
Yajna is giving charity with the aim of eulogizing divinity via Vedic Mantra chanting.
WORSHIPPING DIVINITY (a few quotes):
Yajna means revering and worshipping divinity.
Yajna is that activity which honors demigods.
Yajna is that activity which worships demigods.
Yajna is that activity which worship and satiates demigods.
CONGREAGATIONAL ACTIVITIES (a few quotes):
Yajna is a program that congregates great people for spiritual, national and religious protection purposes.
Yajna is inviting a gathering of great, wise and Vedic scholarly people for world welfare.
Yajna is a gathering of relatives, friends etc in a cordial and reverent manner.
CHARITY (a few quotes):
Yajna is donation of wealth for a great purpose keeping in mind whether the place and hour of doing so is appropriate or not.
Yajna is that activity wherein wealth is donated with devotion/faith to appease demigods.
Yajna is the holy act of humble surrendering everything to Almighty God.
Yajna is satiating those who beg for alms. In this manner Yajna has 3 meanings: 1) worshipping Divine Powers 2) sacred congregational programs and 3) charity/donation.
In the very initial stages God first manifests himself as Divine Powers. These Divine Powers create, propagate and nurture this world. Via their worship they are appeased and via devotion these Divine powers manifest in the devotees psyche. Thus these powers proliferate and help greatly in the sacred task of world welfare.
Mans power and reach is extremely miniscule. At a gross level he/she cannot contact Divine Powers. If someone wishes to sit near the blazing sun, for sure that person will be burnt to ashes immediately on doing so. Agni, Indra, Varuna etc are all powers/energies. Since these energies cannot be contacted grossly spiritual seers unearthed a science for their manifestation. While chanting Vedic Mantras Ahutis are offered to the mouth of a sacrificial fire. This word power renders our sentiments and materials offered subtle which then reach the upper subtle worlds. Agni or fire is called Hutavaa (Yajna offerings are used as vehicles) and demigods are called Purohitas (priests). Mantra chanting awakens certain energies and fire transports our offerings (Aahutis) to demigods. This science was unfolded by great Indian Rishis with their subtle divine vision. Thus mankinds hardships were warded off and by contacting any Divine Power the door of prosperity was thrown wide open for world humanity.
Aahutis please demigods and in this manner they are honored too. They are eulogized. This is true worship. In return they give their powers to the devotee. Fire possesses qualities like heat, light and activity. The meaning of meditating on fire is advancement of these qualities and divine energies. Wind is feather weight, the power to reach heaven and augmenting of the vital force (Prana). Meditation on Maruta (wind god) results in control of the vital force, hearing of far off sounds, seeing of far off places etc. All demigods thus have various kinds of Divine Powers. When these qualities manifest in our psyche they do so by a divine magnetic attraction towards us. These Divine powers are called miracles and Sidhis. In reality mans contribution regarding this is negligible and it is these powers that create miraculous feats. It helps man contact demigods and this is the second leg of Yajna.
Based on the persons character, those times and situations when he/she is given donation and their needs are fulfilled, that too is a Yajna. It is a very difficult question to answer as to who deserves to e given help, charity and donations. Despite this revered Rishis have given us a solution wherein one must give our most valued materials to demigods because the latter never hoard anything. Instead whatever they are given is made subtly n-fold more potent and thus millions of people the world over without any restriction benefit from them. Thus whatever man cherishes most must be first offered to demigods and Almighty God himself. So it is clear that anything offered to demigods with devotion is returned to mankind that is manifold times more in measure. This is true Yajna. Under todays circumstances when the above 3 points are analyzed deeply the conclusions are as follows:
1) This world abounds with both divine and demonic powers. Hence mankind the world over must pursue those powers and worship them which inspire divinity, good will, justice and righteousness in our soul. We must have deep faith in such Divine powers and every step of ours should go in that direction only. We must gird up our loins in an alert manner to eradicate, fight and obstruct demonic powers and anti social elements. If out of helplessness one must live physically amidst vile elements yet mentally never ever accept or succumb to their wily nature. At least within in the psyche one must abhor such demonic forces and constantly pray to Almighty God to wrench your self free from its dangerous clutches along with necessary effort too. If we our selves imbibe demonic qualities and then execute worship rites know for sure it is very detrimental because it would become worship of demons (while worshipping and praying it is very essential that the mind leans towards sacred and wholesome qualities). Those having faith in Yajnas must totally stay away from demonic qualities and vile leanings both mentally and at the level of activities in ones day to day lives.
2) This world is full of hatred, communal tension, terrorism etc. Hence it is our prime duty not only to abstain from encouraging it but that strong efforts must be made to manifest world unity, selfless love, friendship, cooperation and congregations that induce world brotherhood (AIM: A BEAUTIFUL BORDERLESS WORLD). All earth denizens must generously help one another with a sense of oneness of soul. Today there is hatred and strife amongst various communities, religions, nations, regions etc. Instead of adding more strife it is imperative that all of us the world over help overcoming tension and resolve all difference of opinions amicably and aptly. Hindu religion ordains its followers both tolerance and sense of unity with others. It has so many cultures, thought flows, beliefs etc and ironically some of them are totally opposite to one another. And yet all of them exist peacefully and tolerantly. Despite some many isms, precepts, principles etc man can yet aspire to live in an atmosphere of good will, cooperation and tolerance. Instead of fighting for trivial matters we must think tolerantly and spread the message of divine love and peace in every corner of the globe. This world unity/brotherhood is an extremely important aspect of a true Yajna.
3) Whatever almighty god has given us is certainly not meant for our use only in a selfish manner. God gives us rivers, oceans, trees, flowers, natural resources, animals etc for the use of all creatures and hence is it appropriate that we being his children use things given to us selfishly? Selfish use is bang opposite to Yajna sacred sentiments. We must use our intellectual wealth, wisdom, finances, comforts etc with those who are less fortunate and help those of the higher strata of society in their gigantic endeavors of world welfare activities. Our needs must be kept minimal and labor hard to augment worldly, mental, bodily and soul forces. But the aim of this augmenting should be: Earn with 100 hands and donate with a thousand hands. We are all used to amassing so much wealth that after our demise our inheritors become unruly and indolent. Instead use as much of your earnings for world welfare/unity while you are alive and spread the message of great thinking, great character, good will and ever lasting peace.
A very important point to note is that donations and charity are being openly misused. Undeserving people in a wily manner live on freebies when they have not the slightest need of them. We must stop this and yet where the cause is genuine and people are truly deserving we must give up stinginess and donate our time, energy and finances as much as possible towards such sacred endeavors.
When we say donation and charity we mean utilizing our potential, brilliance, skills, wealth etc for world welfare and readying our minds for the same. It is this generosity based viewpoint that inspires mankind to renounce and sacrifice transient pleasures for attaining eternal divine spiritual bliss. This worlds existence itself is based on charity. From the individual (micro) to the cosmos (macro) this precept is at work. It is the reason why this world is balanced and well managed. If the concept of charity goes haywire even a fetus in its mothers womb will die and thus the wheel of procreation will come to a grinding halt. The existence of human and other beings is absolutely dependent on this. It is cooperation and renunciation that help individuals and the world progress both materially and spiritually. The proof of any one remaining alive is the fact that his/her mother has sacrificed a lot so as to nurture/nourish them. For 9 months in her pregnancy period the mother nourishes her fetus in the womb through her blood and umbilical cord. It is because of this supreme sacrifice a radiant wonderful child is born who later attains manhood and womanhood. The Yajna viewpoint is clearly seen in a father earning daily bread for his family and society too helping in the nurturing of every child in society. Not only in human beings but other creatures like plants, birds, animals too coexist in a sense of mutual cooperation which again is the Yajna concept. They mutually benefit one another. Great Rishis knew very well the secret of the importance of charity which advances all creatures and the world wholesomely. They inspired every subtle and powerful individual to utilize their radiant potentials and skills for the welfare of society. If the weak and downtrodden class of society are not given help from their well of brethren world mismanagement will set in without doubt. Such undesirable attitudes will crush human grandeur and glory to dust.
Yajna inspires mankind to renounce with zest their all for charity/sacrifice and thus herald world well being. The second leg is no less important. The word Sangatikarana means a sense of oneness. There is same sightedness and equality. There should be oneness of nature and soul. Yajna encourages world humanity to congregate with a sense of oneness of soul. One must have oneness with the cosmos since it is Almighty Gods manifestation and thus look upon every inanimate/animate being too as divinity incarnate. Ones individual consciousness (ego or I) should merge into cosmic consciousness (God). A wooden stick on entering a blazing fire takes up the form of fire. Ordinary ponds and small rivulets on entering the River Ganges become Ganges in nature. Almighty Lord oozes with divinity and supreme greatness. When one merges into God one becomes God manifest. This sort of merging induces total transformation of mans inner personality. In fact many a times even the external appearance/form changes. The merging of world humanity with world consciousness takes the form of generosity and supreme greatness. When we conjoin to cosmic consciousness the sentiments of Aatmavat sarva bhootayshoo (all beings are manifestations of my soul) and Vasudhaiva kutumbakam (the entire world is my family) manifest in full strength.
Ordinarily man identifies/associates himself with material objects. As a result the inert nature of objects seeps into his/her psyche and makes it very materialistic. Attachment to fleeting objects is like running after a mirage in a dessert. It is the cause of discontent and lack of satiation. Thus man never experiences consciousness qualities like divinity, nectarine bliss and timelessness. This is because our association especially at the psychic level is with inert material objects (TV, computer, cell phone, property, bank balance etc). Thus we lack eternal bliss and peace. Yajna inspires mankind to associate his/her consciousness with God or cosmic consciousness. God is the very root substratum-existence of all creatures without exception. If thus all creatures merge their individual ego with this divine existence, all divine qualities and grandeur of cosmic consciousness will manifest in ones soul. Yajna inspires us to tread this sacrosanct path that leads to eternal bliss and peace.
Associating/merging into divinity results in all creatures/humanity experiencing the infinite fount of their true sacred existence. This is that human basis whose inspiration makes man generous and magnanimous to a fault. If all creatures are manifestations of ones very soul where is the question of you are mine and you are not mine? At such times everyones sorrow will become ones own and we will be happy when others are happy. Man will then realize deeply, that only in world well being, exists the welfare of every individual. All forms of narrow minded, fanatic, fundamentalist and selfish beliefs will be pounded to naught. In true spirituality the attitude is yearning well being of each and every animate/inanimate being. Thus the dreams of world united peacefully as a family and creation of a beautiful borderless world can definitely be realized.
The 3 rd meaning of Yajna is worship of divinity. In its social aspect it means selfless service to the world. Worship of divinity means worshipping divine endeavors. For this the path of humble selfless service requires to be imbibed. It is via service that divinity manifests in society and that heaven like situations the world over pervades. Selfless service means utilizing our bodily and mental strength for overcoming strife and downfall that pervade in every nook and corner of the globe. This is the very spine of humanity and its values. A compassionate heart not only sheds silent tears on seeing others pain and anguish but that it actually makes efforts to ward them off. It is only then can we say that we have truly worshipped divinity. Divinitys worship encompasses the anguish of a compassionate heart when it encounters others pain and instantly works hard to help those in sorrow and strife. Selfless service to the world ensures that divine tasks are protected and are spread far and wide in the entire world. It is thus that activities of uplifting the downtrodden of the world proliferate.
The Yajna Philosophy of charity, oneness of soul and divinity worship makes mankind generous and large hearted in all aspects of life. Unlimited potentials flow in these 3 principles for mans material/spiritual advancement. In order to sow the seeds of supreme greatness in the psyche of world humanity and in order to intensify their faith all the above 3 play an extraordinary role. There is no difference of opinion with reference to the fact that these 3 precepts make mankind large hearted and magnanimous. For a short time span with reference to difference of opinion as far as theistic principles amongst various schools of philosophy can take place and this is no doubt witnessed on a few occasions. But this never occurs with reference to those eternal principles that reinstate human values, inculcate greatness in individuals and society and those that make one sacred in character. Yajna Philosophy beyond all disputes is the only philosophy which enfolds within it all those principles which augment progress in the lives of all individuals and the world at large. This Rishi tradition spanning over centuries that oozes with inspiration and sage advice if imbibed deeply can help world humanity reach pinnacles of progress, prosperity and peace.
In its pristine pure form the word Yajna is used for the concept of congregational goals and endeavors. Today because it is used in a lone manner people are not attracted to it much. In the Bhagwad Geeta this has been discussed very deeply and has been correctly conjoined to spiritual leanings. In Aptes Sanskrit to English dictionary Yajna is translated as to sacrifice. This can be utilized in the context of personality development too along with imbibing of supreme sacred sentiments. Yajna of Eye Donation, Yajna of Land Donation, Yajna of Knowledge Disbursement etc are used in the realm of spiritual aspirations. Its mission is service to the world and making this as a medium of soul purification. Ultimately this leads to Self/God Realization.
N.C. Bandhopadhyaya in his book Development of Hindu Polity and Political Theories while accepting the above observation gives necessary proof by quoting Rig-Vedas Richas (Mandal 2 to Mandal 9). A great western thinker A Barth in his book Religions of India opines that Yajna is but the nectarine relationship between human society and Mother Nature.
People light the symbol (fire) of Yajna and humanity invites fire in this sacred religious program.
While giving Mantra based proof, Yajnas have been described by A. Barth as an extraordinary experiment of society based cooperative endeavor. The truth too is this: Yajna endeavor involves rendering materials of utility gaseous so that when it spreads in all directions of the world countless creatures including mankind benefit tremendously. This it is micro merging into the macro.
Generally majority of Yajna methodologies are such wherein the help and cooperation of many individuals is required. Congregationalism and cooperation are the buzz word in it because for Yajnas to succeed pure water from holy rivers, pyre, dais construction and other tasks have to be executed which can be done only if many individuals volunteer to do so. Mantras have to be chanted, so many Aahutis have to be offered, circumambulations are executed and all this needs discipline and unison. Thus this philosophy makes man truly great. Along with the concept of Viraat Brahman or cosmic consciousness we are advised to par take Yajnaavashishta (sacred remnant Yajna food items or Prasaad). Anyone who eats food without first serving others is said to be a criminal. There are Vedic verses which say that demigods attained divinity via Yajnas. These observations exhort us to work for world well being like humble cogs in the wheel. Very briefly put Yajna Philosophy augments ones character individually and at the universal level it inspires one to contribute towards cosmic welfare. This is that supreme royal path which enhances all round progress of individuals and the world along with world peace and prosperity.
YAJNA IS THE BELOVED WORSHIP ICON OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY
The Spiritual Philosophy and action based goal of Spiritual sciences is related to Yajna methodology. In the Kathopanishad there is a dialogue between Yama and Nachiketa. In that 5 Pranaagnis (Fire of Vital Force) are described. These are totally separate from Agnihotra and are in fact is a thought flow that sanctifies ones Vital Force. Within Mimaansaa, Sutra text Braahmana and Aaranyakas the word Yajna is related to Yajna fire sacrifices. When we say Life Yajna it connotes rendering our thinking and character taintless and brilliant. Agnihotra connotes manifesting that energy which not only gives Ojas, Tejas, Varchas (divine light/aura) to the body, mind and soul respectively but that conducive situations get augmented in the external material world.
Yajna utilizes fire. Within this tradition scriptural scholars have made it clear that in this cosmos fire has many forms. They all are capably powerful in their specific endeavors. And yet Yajnaagni or Yajna Fire reigns supreme amongst them all. Although materially it lights up yet it is full of noble spiritual qualities and hence it is called Almighty God too. It is fire that is eulogized and worshipped and it makes the Yajna doer sacred and radiant, both within and without. Thus fire gives us very beneficial and wholesome results.
In the form of an ancient member of Indian Dev Mandal Fire God holds an important position in Vedic Samhitaas and Braahmana texts. The first Mantra of Rig-Veda commences with a eulogy in praise of Fire God. It is fire that is the chief priest of a Yajna because it is the reason why we see form, vision and light in this infinite cosmos. Its aura lights up the entire world. Its divine wisdom light, conscious energy and status of being the presiding deity is worshipped and meditated on. Thus mans life becomes prosperous, his soul advances and he attains the nectar of immortality.
Amongst demigods at first the most powerful amongst them i.e. Fire God manifested. Proof of this can be found in the Bhagwad Geeta, Vedas etc. Following is one such quote:
Lord Almighty said: O radiant King! I first created all the worlds via my divine form. For the benefit of all creatures I first manifested fire from my mouth.
Mahabharat-Ashwamedha Parva (19 th chapter)
In this 19 th chapter (Vaishnava Parava) it is said:
At first amongst all elements I first created fire and hence scholars/thinkes of Puraanas call it Agni or fire. Fire has 3 regions and 3 major forms viz. 1) sun in space 2) electricity in interstellar space and 3) ordinary fire on earth.
Majority of the Sooktas in Rig-Veda are devoted to eulogies of fire. In virtually all religions the ancient form of fire can be found. It is a Grihapati or head of the household and has a strong bond with all family members (Rig-Veda . 2/1/9 7/15/12 . 1/1/9 . 4/1/9). Fire wards off darkness, nocturnal creatures, black magic, demons and diseases (Rig-Veda . 3/5/1 . 194/5 . 8/43 . 32 10/88/22).
The Yajna aspect of fire is a gigantic step in the direction of advancement of human civilization. The vision of progress and energy creation lies in its realm. Yajna Fire dwells in Vedika (Rig-Veda 11/14/1). It becomes potent via wood, Soma juice and clarified butter (Rig-Veda 3/55/10..1/94/14). It is a bridge between human beings and demigods and is a messenger too (Rig-Veda .1. 26/9. 1/94 3. 1/59 . 3 1/59/1/7 . 2/1. 1/58/1.. 7/2/5. 1/17/4. 3 1/17. 10/2/1.. 1/124). The dive manifestation of fire too has been detailed in the Vedas (Rig-Veda.. 3/9/5.. 6/8/4). It is the priest of demigods. It is the King of Yajnas (Rig-Veda . 3/11/18 7/11 .. 4 2/8/3 8/43/24 etc).
Fire is inseparably conjoined to ethical values. It is same sighted in all directions. It has 100 or 1000 eyes and with its help notes every action of human beings (Braahmana, Rig-Veda .10/79/5). It has secret agents. It knows even the most secretive aspect of mans day to day dealings. It protects Rita or Truth (Rig-Veda..10/8/5). Fire is a witness of our sins and punishes the sinners (Rig-Veda 4/3/5-8 4/5/4-5). It also forgives our sins (Rig-Veda 9/7/03/7).
Fire has been compared both to Vrihaspati and Brihaspati. It creates Mantra, intellect and Brahman. This type of non duality has been depicted by the subtlest element. Vedic literature describes that form of fire which throws a great deal of light on the scientific and philosophical aspect of world management/propagation.
Vedas are said to be theroot source of Indian Spiritual Philosophy. They give us an understanding of the methodology of attaining faith, steadfastness and Prajna or Divine Intellect. Vedatrayee is none other than Tripadaa or 3-legged Gayatri. They connote Sata-Chit-Ananda or Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram and Jnana-Bhakti-Karma or Wisdom-Devotion-Actions. Despite Vedic wisdom being 3 fold focuses at one point due to the union of these 3 aspects and this focal point is Yajna. Very briefly put Vedas have been detailed so that Yajna Science can be understood and then preached to others fairly easily.
Vedas originate from the root word Vid which means an infinite vault of Divine Wisdom. The chief medium to attain wisdom mentioned in the Vedas is Yajna. It is Yajnas that help manifest Divine Wisdom in ones soul and to put it differently we can say that Vedic wisdom pervades every pore of a Yajna. It is Yajna Fire that gives us all energy, light and Divine Wisdom. We Indians look upon fire as divinity incarnate and hence worship it. We offer Aahutis to it and since it is Agni meelay purohitam or priests that carry our Aahutis to demigods we harbor faith that along with Aahutis demigods also receive our sacred sentiments and aspirations. In turn thus demigods bless mankind with a long life span, vital force, strength, intellect, wisdom and a rain of all round prosperity.
Any material that becomes gaseous also becomes n-fold more widespread which is accepted by modern scientists too. In an International Scientists meeting of 1966 A.D. held at California University scientists agreed that any material can be made oxidized by adding it to fire and thus can be spread manifold times in infinite space. Apart from this fire is said to be the king of all miracles and that scientists agree that deeper scientific research must be conducted on all aspects of the fire element.
A pertinent question asked is that if a gust of wind attacks fire the latter is doused. Hence how is it that fire burns in air itself? Why does it not burn in windless regions? The central/middle portion of fire is relatively less hot than fires surface/outer area. Why is this so? Even in the outer area the tip of the tongue of flames is believed to be the hottest area. Why? Why does the flame always point in the upward direction? So far all the information available regarding fire is extremely miniscule.
If an incense stick is lit its heat is of the temperature of 1500 Celsius. Fire manifesting from a mixture of fuel like coal and gas emits heat of 2000 Celsius. In the presence of atomic hydro-oxygen the temperature is between 3800 and 4000 Celsius. This mystery has yet not been unfolded by todays scientists. Just like electrons, protons and neutrons a lot of information has been unearthed regarding atoms of light called photons. And yet not much data is available with reference to the material and chemical aspects of fire flames. It is a new open and widespread area of research. It is hence that in innumerable scientific laboratories the world over, especially universities in England are conducting a lot of research on the flames of fire.
When we study the Vedic Richaas which are used in the demigod context it becomes clear no one apart from Indian seers and Philosophers have studied the fire element in such great detail. They not only delved deep into fires material and chemical nature but that they threw great light on its spiritual prowess and Divine Powers lying latent in their subtle nature. The seemingly ordinary fire of our material world was looked upon them as so extraordinary that great Rishis authored a separate Veda for it in the form of Yajurveda. It is because of fire that we creatures sustain our life force. Fire is responsible for the creation of creatures, strength and sperms. Light, aura and magnetic attraction seen on mankinds face is proof of fires presence there. When we die our corpse turns absolutely cold which again shows that while alive our body possessed fire element. All this goes only to show that great Indian Rishis had attained knowledge of the subtlemost form of fire element. Man materialists thinking fire worship to be useless look upon Indian devotees as frail in intellect. And yet they have failed to realize that it was the power of fire that aided Indias stupendous influence over the entire world in ancient eras. There was no nation on our globe which escaped the rule of Indian born Chakrawarti emperors (they ruled over the entire world). In future too know for sure that this demigods grace and spiritual philosophy will advance our potential to show the way to all round progress to entire world beings. In addition our glory and enterprise too will rule the roost so to speak.
Amongst the 5 great elements space, wind, fire, water and earth fire is at the 3 rd position. In the Shatpath Braahmana (6/7/4/3) it is said:
Fire was first born from Prana or wind (if thee is no wind fire cannot be lit). The light in fire is but the manifestation of vital force. Its second birth took place when Hiranyagarbha manifested (the sperm which merges with the females ovum is fire manifest). At the time of creation planet earth was a burning ball of fire which even historians agree with. In this Hiranyagarbha was reinstated a life unit in the form of Purusha (Purusha means an existence that knows, experiences, speaks, hears etc. everything). From this standpoint it is fire that manifests in mans body in the Purusha form. In the flame of fire the central/middle portion is called Jaataveda Agni and is the knower of all objects (A great scholar of Vedas Angling too has agreed that Jaataveda is the knower of beings). The 3 rd aspect is that from fire took birth Apo or water and just as each element is harbored by another element in the same way fire merged into water.
Rig-Veda (2/36/3) too agrees with the above verse as follows:
Water surrounded fire from all sides.
Mahaabhaarat (261/4) says:
Material water apart from having qualities like coolness, juice, wetness, fluidity, smoothness, serenity, taste etc can also boil.
The other form of Aapaha (water) is gas or subtle vital force. Aapaha is called Vidhaa too i.e. that which creates everything (Yajurveda 14/7). In the form of Prana gas or nebula is the underlying cause of world creation. Today Astronomy research scholars too agree with this. Aapaha was divine (Jaimini Braahmana 1/45). Prana is in reality a miraculous element and all the qualities of fire dwell in it.
In the above lines we have given the science of how the divine gaseous form of fire produces water. A more subtle science is found in Vedic Richaas. After unearthing and understanding it Indian spiritualists attained divine prowess in the form of vital force mastery, death at will, spreading good will to all via vital force, fire weapon usage, entering anothers body subtly, reading others minds etc. In the Kathopanishad there is a dialogue between Lord Yama and Nachiketa wherein the Panchaagni Vidya (Science of 5 fold fire) is detailed. This deals with the science of advancing ones fire in the form of vital force. Further Bhrigu Rishi too gave this science to Varuna or wind god. Prana Vidya is a science full of deep import which is more precious than all the worldly potentials put together.
Fire is divided into 3 aspects in Jaimini Braahmana viz. Bhoopati, Bhuvanapati and Bhootaanaam Patiha. Vishnu Purana dividesthese 3 into 15-25 sections and thus you get 45 types of fire. In the epic Mahaabhaarat (Shaanti Parva) while elucidating the 10 qualities of fire it is opined that with the advancement of fire element man can only then contact Spiritual Powers of high stature:
Ten qualities of fire manifest in the body i.e. 1) Durgarshataa 2) Jyoti 3) Taapa 4) Paaka 5) Prakaash 6) Shauch 7) Raag 8) Laghu 9) Taikshnya 10) Urdhwagaman. It means bodily strength, aura, body temperature, fire that digests food, wisdom and destruction of bodily dirt. Fire possesses magnetic pull and renders the body light and powerful. It is fire which uplifts mental powers and by conjoining them to Divine Powers the soul advances further.
These 10 qualities and various functions belong to the 5 Pranas and 5 Sub Pranas (vital force). Its advancement methodology is an entire science which utilizes techniques like Yajna, Pranaayaam, meditation, Vedic Mantra Chanting etc. Today alas people are forgetting all this and hence are losing out on attaining benefits of long life, energy, strength and divine aura by contacting Divine Powers. There was a natural method whereby one lived a life of self/sense control and as a result fire of the body advanced manifold times. But again this too is no longer in vogue. In this manner by antagonizing fire element the world over we are burning ourselves in the fire of hardships and strife. Hence if we wih to throw open wide the gates of physical, mental, intellectual, social and spiritual progress we must again take recourse to re-discovering that great fire element. It must be reinstated on top of the rung and we must imbibe the wisdom given to us by great Rishis of yore.
A little scientific data unearthed by modern scientists definitely proves the point made above. Today the flame of fire is said to be a chemical function and science says that chiefly it comprises of atmospheric oxygen. Any material that burns creates a reaction along with oxygen which in turn produces heat. Assuming that the chemical reaction with oxygen is haphazard or tortuous and that total oxidization has failed to occur, heat produced will be less. Now again assuming that oxidization is total carbon dioxide in the form of smoke is emitted. When great Indian Seers said pure fire emits water people mocked them. And yet todays science says that fire flames do emit water but that this water is in a gaseous state. In one edition of Hindi Digest of 1968 this observation has been accepted. On page 49 it is said Aapo vaa idam sarvamaapna vana which means Aapaha or water is all pervasive. In Taitariya Upanishad (5/2/1) fire is called priyatanu chanda i.e. fire is in the form of waves. Thus all doubts are dispelled wherein subtle fire element present in space i.e. nebulas in which by conjoining vital force fire as the mind one can attain knowledge of the movements of subtle worlds. At present, only within the realm of manifestation of material powers along with utility based changes is the fire element predominantly being made use of. Fire is used today right from cooking to melting ores in large industrial units. In contemporary times our machines and weapon technology uses oil, coal, steam, gun powder etc. The utility potential of fire is known only to human beings. In fact other creatures run far away from fire out of fear. For human progress amongst all means utilized fire holds a prime spot. Electricity too is a manifestation of fire. Energy that manifests from atomic explosion and radiation after all is but a form of fire element. It is in fact a special heat flow.
In fact in spiritual endeavors the use of fire is especially greater in measure. Within austerity based Yoga practices one does so in the vicinity of fire and with its help worship, meditation, rites etc are conducted. Yajnas chiefly worship fire element. In many scriptures fires predominant usage has been described in devotional, meditation and spiritual endeavors. These scriptures are 1) Nyaaya Darshana (4/1/62) 2) Manu Smriti (1/22) 3) Sidhanta Shiromani (Ganitaadhyaaya) Gopath Braahmana (1/4/24) 4) Geeta (4/22) 5) Rig-Veda (1/1/1) etc. Fire used in such pursuits is called Yajnaagni (Yajna Fire). Agnihotra is the methods of manifesting it and using it for various applications.
Until man unearthed fire he remained totally regressive. In comparison when man discovered this wonderful potential called fire he made great strides towards peaks of progress. The same can be said about divine fire without which soul progress remains a mere fleeting dream. Fires role in contacting Divine Energies and attaining its grace is extraordinary. Incense sticks, flame lamps, Dhoop etc are lit with the help of fire. In fact Yajna Fire is Lord Vishnu incarnate.
According to Rig-Veda (7/11/1) without fires aid we cannot attain blessings of demigods. According to Rig-Veda (7/1/7 and 7/11/1) and Atharva-Veda (5/12/2) fire is that medium which carries our prayers and offerings to demigods. According to Shatpath Braahmana (3/7/4/10), Shaankhaayana Braahmana (3/7) and epic Mahabharat (7/7/10) fire is a quality/characteristic of demigods. It is through this medium that demigods accept mankinds gifts and in turn they bless one and all.
Which is that vehicle that transports us to heaven? While answering this question our scriptures say: Yajna Fire. This has been detailed in Atharva Veda (118/4/2), Aitareya Braahmana (1/2/10), Shatpath Braahmana (12/4/7) etc.
Demigods pleased with mans sacred Yajna activities augment the latters joy and comforts. Man thus becomes great and progressive. This has been elucidated in Atharva (11/7/23 and 18/4/3) and Rig-Veda (10/64/2) and 11/1/10). A Gayatri devotee must perform Gayatri Yajnas too if he/she yearns to attain grace of Mother Gayatri and Savita Goddess Bharga or divine aura. For them such an easily available means has been created whereby there is no problem or hardship for a devotee to perform spiritual practices.
In the Shatpath Braahmana (9/10/14) it is said:
Yajna is the axis of our world. With its help the wheel of the cosmic activities moves.
The Philosophy of Yajnas is focused on the 3 fold confluence of generosity, purity and cooperation. These 3 precepts are such that make the world joyous, beautiful and progressive. Not only are stars, galaxies etc mutually bound by a force of attraction but that they mutually help and benefit one another. Atoms and cells of our body too perform their functions optimally on the basis of this very principle. Ecological principles are definitely at work as far as world creation, movements and its balanced apt management is concerned. It is the wheel of cooperation in the realms of nourishment of plants, animals etc, production of fertilizers from creatures bodies which help plants grow etc that the life of all creatures sustain. Ocean waters form clouds, clouds form rain, rain fill up rivers and rivers again flow into the ocean. This water cycle builds a bond between wind and earth and thus apt conditions for nourishment of creatures manifest. The wheel of life functions smoothly because the bodily organs mutually benefit one another. On the basis of society creation financial programs and other progressive activities function uninterruptedly. This Yajna tradition is the reason why both matter and consciousness function in a well managed manner. As a result the Yajna Principle is called the focal point of this infinite cosmos.
On the basis of whether an Anushthaan is individual or collective in nature small or big Mantras must be chanted along with it. Yajnas help us overcome various lacks and our sins too are atoned. Kilvish are sins that accrue vile carrying out vile mental and physical activities. In Ayurveda form of therapies Yajna is known to solve physical and mental ailments.
Our good health is protected when we contact demigods, cows, Brahmins, Gurus, senior citizens, Sidhas and also with the help of Yajna Fire.
.Charak Sootra (Sthaan 5/8)
In the Bhagwad Geeta (chapter 3 verses 10/11/12) and Yajna Bhvitaaha it is said:
Prajaapati created both humanity and Yajnas simultaneously and asked them to cooperate with one another for all round advancement. Demigods who become potent via Yajnas in turn bestow prosperity on human beings. Those who eat without first offering it to others (Yajna) is a criminal.
In the Naaraayanopanishad (79) it is said that via Yajna based radiations enemies can be destroyed. We should note that this destruction is not to kill someone but that enmity gets replaced by friendship. It is also said:
Yajna converts enmity into friendship and hence it is supreme in statre.
In the Shrimad Bhaagwat Mahaapurana (4/14s verse 18/19/20) it is said:
Yajna pleases Almighty God and this leads to world well being.
Via Yajna activities that Yajna Purusha Almighty God was worshipped. Even laymen by walking on this royal path can attain divinity and divine aura.
There is no sacred action in this world as pure as Agnihotra.
Mother Gayatri grace pours on those residents of towns, villages, cities etc who pleade Purusha via Yajna activities and thus their joy and peace become infinite.
Demigods pleased by Yajnas shower well being on mankind.
..Padma Purana (Srishti Khand 3/124)
Self/soul control too is Yajna. Brahman-Yajna means offering ones desire, aspiration, ego and yearning at the feet of Almighty God. This is also called surrender to the cosmic soul or God who is our very self. Our worldly desires should merge into great ideals and thus we can attain Divine Powers which have their roots in soul welfare, Gods grace and world faith. This self Ahuti (offering) is called Brahman-Yajna. Lord Manu calls such Yajnas the chief basis of manifestation of true Brahmin-hood. He says: A layman can attain Brahmin-hood by performing Yajnas and Super Yajnas. A Brahmin is not born in a particular sect or clan but that via Yajna activities he/she is molded into Brahmin-hood. Mercury is a well known chemical and its ordinary form is made extraordinarily nectarine via certain transformation methodology. In the same way anyone contacting a Yajna atmosphere not only makes his/her body and mind potent but that his/her soul too advances by leaps and bounds. Such a person becomes a true Brahmin. They used to be called omnipotent and after prostrating at their feet blessings were invoked. In turn their blessings were potent because they were the result of various intense spiritual practices executed by them. Amongst these spiritual practices Yajnas prime spot and importance was extraordinary.
In Brahmin tradition Yajna performing is most required. Brahmins have 6 activities to execute. They are called the three couples too viz. 1) studying wisdom-teaching it to others 2) giving charity-encouraging others to do so 3) performing Yajnas-directing others to do so. All these 3 are conjoined to Yajnas. Another interpretation is that one third of every Brahmins life is devoted to Yajnas. Just like Sandhyaa Vandan Agnihotra too is a regular/daily duty that must be performed. The most precious benefit of this is that one remains disease free, both mentally and physically. This in turn helps us contribute optimally to world welfare activities. Thus contact with Yajnas gives us such priceless dual gains. Keeping this fact in mind in order to attain high stature prowess spiritual practices must give Yajnas a prime spot.
Every Indian citizen knows that Yajnas ward off air pollution, it destroys poison in air inhaled and thus our health is protected aptly. With reference to good health Yajna Therapy wards off diseases and bodily/mental strength becomes more potent. No doubt other means can do this but the problem is that sacredness in them is totally amiss. Certain tonics etc made of flesh and alcohol also augment our strength but along with these their Tamasic (indolence/inertia) characteristics too enter the patients psyche. Thus the strength is not of high stature and one day gets utilized in vile lowly activities. And thus since our earnings too accrue from unwholesome activities our mind too will become tainted so as to make our life miserable to say the least. We cannot ignore the fact that to add strength both physical and mental is of prime importance and yet its true benefit accrues when its means to attain it is sacred and taintless. The medium of Yajnas subtle are very taintless and when such taintless potency accrues our activities and endeavors too will be of high stature without doubt.
For Brahmins this soul potency is most required. Instead of it being utilized for wallowing in material comforts it must be used for imbibing high stature thoughts and faith. Such a person is then worshipped akin to divinity. Not everyone can attain the true state of Brahmin-hood. This is because at every step in a Brahmins life he/she has to pass tests of inner greatness and glory. Even one minor glitch and you fall from the status of true Brahmin-hood. Hence Yajna activities are imperative for Brahmins since they remind him/her of imbibing true Brahmin characteristics. Association with anything helps imbibe those qualities. Associating with fire helps imbibe heat, radiant aura, high thinking and spiritual tenets via Lord Yajna. Those who after realizing this fact starts imbibing it they attain credentials to enter the portals of true Brahmin-hood. Yajna is a wholesome combination of sacred wisdom, sacred actions and good will towards all animate/inanimate beings.
This Life Yajna is an inspiration from the activities of Yajna Fire activities. We can move speedily towards divinity via the Yajna rituals mentioned thus far. Those Divine Powers can be attained which are associated with demigods.
YAJNA-SUPREME PHILOSOPHY OF THE ENTIRE WORLD
Philosophy is a thought flow that influences our faith and aspirations. On the basis of time, place and circumstances all philosophies the world over aim at attaining this goal. There may be differences as far as their form and functionality is concerned but their fundamental aim is singular. Thus every philosophy has one aim in mind viz. mans thinking be made idealistic and full of sacred principles. Such thought flows are given that urge man to walk on the path of supreme greatness. All theistic philosophies of the world definitely ordain their followers to achieve inner greatness and glory. How can mankind become great? How can he live a life of sacred ideals? This is the root goal of all world theistic philosophies and they manifest as per times and needs of world humanity. Philosophies of the world play an extraordinary role in dragging mankind to peaks of human glory and supreme greatness.
And despite all this a lot of disagreements and controversies rage amongst all world philosophies. Although the goal is clear enough yet the form is full of differences and so man experiences delusion and veers away from its true goal. Lack of clarity on the nature and form of philosophy steers man far away from its true aim. As against this Indian Rishis were special because they unfolded the most useful secrets that bring well being to world humanity. And these are definitely not difficult to imbibe. Yajna is its supreme example. Yajna Philosophy includes cosmic thinking, divine inspiration, faith transformation and reinstating of sacred ideals, on a sound footing. Thus Yajna is a very powerful instrument/medium. Its thought flow inspires and motivates mankind to become supremely great, of charitable disposition and magnanimous. In this small word Yajna all those philosophical principles are embedded which purify and make sacred our theistic leanings. If one so desires to search for a philosophy which is full of wisdom and without controversies most definitely it will be the age old Yajna Philosophy.
Yajna by itself is a very powerful and all round philosophy. Its facile and wisdom oriented inspirations makes mankind generous and magnanimous. No other philosophy has such powerful high stature precepts. Hence in Indian Culture Yajnas are given a prime slot. Yajna is called Indian Cultures father. Father means one who rears and nourishes us in an all round manner. Yajnas nurture and protect society like a beloved father. This is that chief substratum wherein society attains true progress and prosperity. Yajna Philosophy makes man and society at large great, pious and advanced. By itself it is all encompassing and oozes with unlimited potentials. If only Yajna inspirations manifest in our day to day transactions the strong foundation of eternal bliss and peace will be laid down.
It is quite possible that certain people will not have faith in the action or functional aspect of Yajnas. And yet its philosophy is so indomitable and inspirational that no difference of opinion can creep into it. It is so powerful that even an avowed atheist cannot denounce its inspirations and utility value. Of course it goes without saying that the action aspect of Yajna too is extremely potent and full of deep import. In the reinstating of faith reformation and sacred ideals Yajna methodology proves to be a potent spiritual endeavor. Psychiatrists and psychologists know too well that via gross images and examples people understand the subtle underlying principle with greater ease. In fact education, inspirations and speeches do not function as powerfully. Yajna process is a very powerful method of psychology based education. Through it an indirect but a permanent influence occurs. Thus sacred and desired psychic imprints get enhanced in a big way. If ones viewpoint remains unbiased every action aspect of Yajnas can give world humanity inspirations of great utility value. These are not some superficial acts. In fact it is a potent psychological method of establishing wholesome imprints in the human psyche.
Looking at the Yajna process differences of opinion may arise. Even if this aspect is ignored yet Yajnas philosophy gives useful inspirations to world humanity without exception. Scriptures give 3 meanings of the word Yajna: 1) charity 2) association with divinity/congregationalism 3) worship of divinity/service to world creatures. These 3 are three principles which form the substratum of material/spiritual advancement of the entire world. If these 3 basis of Yajnas are deeply imbibed the firm foundation of neo creation and progress can be laid down.
The one and only means of mans advancement are Yajnas. In the Atharvaveda (4/11/5) it is written:
He/she becomes Vishwajeet (gain world victory) who performs actions for world well being and that they manifest bliss breathing which all creatures become prosperous. It means whosoever surrenders his/her entire being for world prosperity gains victory over the world.
The above subject has been elucidated further in the Chandogya Upanishad. It says that man is Yajna incarnate and that he should make his life a Yajna. This is because apart from this path true advancement in an all encompassing manner can never be attained. All wise seers of the world proclaim man does not remain human if his life lacks spiritual good will to the world. Instead they are called demons and downfallen ones. And indeed why should they not be called thus? This is because life is created and functions on the basis of a Yajna attitude. Yajnas are actions rooted firmly in true knowledge and wisdom. The functioning of every particle of nature called inert by us all and all creatures of various species tell us that it is only a man of self realization who while giving importance to spiritual values in his daily transactions attains true name, fame, glory and material comforts of high stature. Man who is called that rare jewel-creation of God starts wallowing in a life of sheer selfish narrow minded pursuits will definitely stare at downfall and hardships in a very short time span. Thus it is well nigh an understatement to call such a person foolish and downright stupid.
A glimpse of the Yajna activity of inert nature is being penned in the following lines. Mother Earth becomes a support for all animate/inanimate beings and thus is spiritually very benevolent. She does not shed even one tear of anguish when we creatures dig her, drill her, pound her etc. Like our beloved mother she gives joy to one and all. Like a mothers affectionate lap, she gives joy to everyone without exception. Her generosity clearly indicates that her existence came into being for showering well being on all. It is her in born nature that makes her shower us with various fruits, vegetables, herbs etc in various seasons and innumerable materials like ores of silver, gold, copper etc. For protection of life on earth she has given us mountains, oceans, rivers, forests, palatial homes, caves etc. This is nothing but a mere fraction of her loving compassion towards all beings. In order that life in this world oozes with the fragrance of prosperity she never errs even for a moment. A mere hint should help us realize that the silent bit inspirational words of every pore of nature exhort us to work for the material/spiritual welfare of the world. Say who is unaware that tastes like sourness, bitterness, pungency etc are the admixture of earth and water? Who may we say does not require the nectar of water to remain alive and kicking? Who is that individual the world over who does not need the nectarine qualities of fire, wind, water etc? Not only does mankind benefit from all these gifts of nature but that he experiences untold satiation and bliss as a result.
Rig-Vedas the infinite vault of divine wisdom has elucidated the 4-fold means of all round advancement in the life of world humanity. Whether you are rich or poor, king or a subject, old or young, male or female right from an inanimate being to human beings all are equal inheritors of Almight Gods vault of both material and spiritual wealth. Each one according to their credentials and capacity can enjoy this wealth. When Almighty Lord manifested all these materials he never had any bias in his mind in the form of this is for the rich and that is for the poor. For God no one is high and no one is low in stature. Almighty God loves and blesses everybody without exception equally. Via high stature actions we attain joy else other lowly actions lead to nothing ut sheer agony and strife. All living beings enjoy Gods material gifts as per their understanding. Socially we say this land, river, trees, wisdom, family, propert etc are mine and thus our daily transactions are executed. And yet despite it belonging to us it is in fact a part and parcel of the Lords infinite storehouse of material/spiritual wealth. Charity is executed every moment and that too devoid of ego/selflessly. And hence we human beings must learn this teaching of leading a life of Yajna from nature and its creator Almighty God.
Despite this selfish mankind has rendered this world venomous and poisonous. Hence it is least amazing that when man produces various materials (houses, cars, fridges etc) he does not use it after sharing the same with others in society. But what is truly amazing is that even objects created by God (water, air, oxygen, land etc) are usurped by mankind selfishly saying this is mine and thus other creatures are left high and dry as far as their usage is concerned. Mankind is least bothered that it is hurting weak, ignorant and poor living beings by crushing their very existence to naught. Forget a charitable disposition mankind is spreading venomous thinking too in all directions encouraging nothing but selfish myopic gains. If a so called wealthy person wishes to build a palatial house he/she will not hesitate in destroying small huts of his/her poor and downtrodden brethren. Even for the sake of his titillated taste buds he/she experiences no qualms or compunctions in killing other creatures (fish, chicken, cow, goat etc). Simply in order to earn money by fair or foul means he can either kill people or instill fear in their psyche. He is least bothered that his criminal deeds are hurtling his country, society, community etc in the crater of downfall. This is because for him money is the be all and end all of life. Never mind if in the process others are hurt or even killed! Today since mankinds pursuits are sheer material in nature as days go by artificially needs are also created. Thus to fulfill these bloated needs he pursues selfishness which in the long run results in envy, hatred and stress. With the result spiritual values and an attitude of selfless service goes straight out of the window so to speak. That knowledge, wisdom, wealth meant for higher spiritual pursuits is misused in making others and himself envious, demeaned and harassed. In doing so, mankind does not harbor even a twinge of guilt when he/she loots and cunningly grabs the rightful share of others in society. And yet what is even more painful that that very man called literate, progressive and highly cultured is in reality far from what he/she appears to be (Appearances are often deceptive). This fact cannot remain hidden wherein in whichever nation, community, society etc the number of selfish people rise alarmingly there not only glory and respect go down the drain but that their very existence remains a big question mark.
It is spiritual ignorance that propels world humanity to work only for fleeting selfish gains. Those imbued with even a little bit of wisdom can definitely understand this fact. For example if 4 selfish people gather together and are told to behave selfishly with one another the result will be that none of them will get satiated. This is because each one is so alert about his selfish gains that when he contacts another selfish person they will share fist blows with one another. Readers who can clearly visualize the chaotic state of these 4 will truly understand the unruly state of the world at large when it teems with innumerous selfish narrow minded human beings. Lord Manus precept given as follows must be deeply cogitated over by people who out of sacred association with great seer and strength of character try to mould their day to day life on the principles of spiritual values:
The purest of the pure must be shared on a give and take basis with everyone. Those whose social transactions are not taintless can never attain greatness of character. Such a person can never become the beloved child of Almighty God. If we desire that our future becomes great and that we live a life of high stature our day to day living must become taintless and sacred.
You must change your very standpoint in all the activities transacted by you daily in a wholesome manner. Suppose you are a doctor, sincerely check the patients symptoms and honestly administer apt medicine with a yearning that the patient regains good health very soon. Those who sell medicines must take a profit margin of maximum 25 percent and not even an iota more. Your behavior towards all must be ethical and sweet natured. If you actually do this from the very bottom of your heart know for sure that you will earn much more wealth than those doctors who do not follow this method and instead earn cash by harassing their patients with the aim of emptying their pockets. If you opt for the ethical wholesome method the number of patients coming to you for medical treatment will augment and not only will your wealth augment but that name and fame too will follow suit.
Suppose you are a shop owner, you must sell stuff to your customers that is measured aptly and that is not adulterated. The profit margin should be very fair and never sell stuff that is out dated or old by calling it falsely as new. While dealing with customers speak politely, honestly and with a sense of oneness of soul. In this manner your customers will start trusting you more and more and there will be a long queue of customers eager to buy stuff from your shop. In this manner on the one hand you ethically please your customers and on the other you earn a lot of money too.
Suppose you are a salaried worker, resolve to responsibly carry out your duties without any dilly dallying. You must be committed and accountable in your jobs to your bosses. If you take bribes etc know for sure you are executing criminal unethical actions. As a result your soul/conscience gets tarnished and tainted. People who take bribes foolishly fail to realize that they get only as much their destiny decides to shell out for them. Even if they renounce tainted sinful actions their past misdeeds catch up with them and through other maims they undergo stress and strife as a result. Sins proliferate due to spiritual ignorance and weakness of the psyche. When the layman contacts such a sinful person in a friendly and loving manner there are great chances of the sinful person transforming for the better. Thus both of them can get spiritually uplifted.
In the Yajurveda (40) it is said:
O mankind! You may reside in any Varna, Ashrama or in any corner of the globe. But the fact is that the results of your deeds make you a king, servant, leader, citizen, healthy, diseased (lame, dumb, blind etc), boss, employee etc. Hence you must yearn to live for a 100 years while executing Vedic high stature actions. These great actions can never give you sorrow. It is high stature activity that will give you eternal joy and no other reason can do so. Spiritual activity is a supreme endeavor. When you help a person who is either poor or in anguish the latters mind always blesses you and thinks constantly of your well being. It is generally seen that when you help those in need either physically, mentally or materially he/she during your times of dire circumstances will always even lay down his/her life to help you get out of a crisis. Those who are ungrateful and downfallen, if they once in a blue moon help those who were his/her benefactor no doubt may experience a shred of light ray in their dark gloomy activities yet their tough egos overall tend to prevail. Suppose such a person wipes the tears of one in anguish and to an extent lessens his/her anguish, suppose at the time of dire need he/she helps someone, suppose he/she has donated some wealth yet in his/her bosom will rise thoughts in an egoistic fashion saying I am a great benefactor, I am spiritually very advanced, I work hard for others uplifting and so on and so forth. To such people we say: O one of lowly intellect! At least imbibe some inspiration from Almighty Gods cosmic Yajna! On the one hand you use materials created by God in an unruly wanton manner but egoistically fail to even donate materials not used by you to those who lie in a downtrodden poverty stricken state. What kind of justice or wisdom is this? Despite the Lords gigantic Yajna executed right under your nose you fail to imbibe it in your day to day living. Isnt it a shame on your part? You must remember always that without spiritual pursuits if you yearn for eternal bliss it is like trying to grow flowers in the sky hanging high up there! Know for sure that true humanity is synonymous with actions that ooze with well being of the entire world at large.
In the Atharvaveda it is said:
O mankind! You all must experience oneness of heart with each other, your psyche should ooze with a yearning to work selflessly for world welfare and it should not harbor even an iota of hatred towards anybody. You must adore each other so much that it should be comparable to a cow loving its newborn calf. Man should wriggle out of the quicksand of selfishness and instead stand high up on the rock of world welfare. The difference exists only in ones inner sentiments (Bhaavanaa) and attitude. If we all do this there will be nothing but benefits/gains. Good hearted people rise above the petty ego and its resultant selfishness. When they endeavor to ward off the pain and anguish of those in grief, poverty etc. the Lords law starts working wherein the good deeds are returned in full measure with fame, honor and salvation. Today our nation India is in a sorry state for the prime reason that selfishness is in total vogue everywhere. What we need to do is bang opposite to this i.e. welfare of all and well being of the world. By overcoming our tainted selfish leanings one must with a sense of humble sacrifice serve/worship all creatures as manifestations of divinity.
If we study Indias history it becomes clear that just as in the past great seers lived a Yajna based life so too today in the modern era we all can follow in their hallowed footsteps. For example Lord Shankara for the well being of world denizens drank the most potent Halahala poison. Maharshi Dadhichee to bestow blessings on divine beings and warding off demonic elements donated his very bones. Lord Indra made the Vajra or thunderbolt weapon from these bones. If you sift through the pages of ancient world history it is easy to deduce that not just one or two but virtually all great leaders, sages etc lived a life for world well being in a selfless/egoless manner. Mahatma Gandhi fought for Indias freedom from alien rule. This he did not do for himself only. Shri Subhashchandra Bose built the Azaad Hind Senaa not for his freedom but for Indias freedom. In the same way all great leaders renounced selfish narrow minded interests and worked selflessly for world well being. Great scientists too underwent immense hardships to discover new scientific laws and inventions so that world humanity could be served selflessly. Today we worship them, eulogize them and remember them time and again. Our history tells us that whenever anyone worked selflessly for others well being eternal joy and all round prosperity followed them everywhere. It is lack of selfless service that breeds stress and strife. If there is any Vashikaran Mantra that makes the world dance to your tune know for sure it is none other than selfless service to all world creatures without exception. A true Rishi, demigod or human being is one whose taintless mind dances with thoughts of selfless service to the world.
It is not as though only selfish is bad or that only selflessness too is not good. But the fact is that when both merge into one it is called spiritual welfare of the world. It is this that is called Yajna attitude wherein our own well being or that of the world manifests without any obstacle whatsoever. Yajna based life is that which oozes with a sense of true well being of the world and that leads one and all to spiritual liberation/salvation/Moksha.
Almighty Lord out of sheer limitless compassion has given mankind the path of Yajna oriented living which speedily shall bestow him/her with salvation. If we so wish in every aspect of our lives each moment we can walk on this royal path. In the Yajurveda (Chapter 40) it is said:
O mankind! By visualizing the Almighty Lords existence in every unit of the cosmos use all its powers with a sense of renunciation/sacrifice for world well being. Never ever get lured by the thought of snatching wealth and materials rightfully belonging to others. The Lords laws are all the time noting all your actions.
According to Vedas Yajna actions are those that bestow well being on others in society. They help in soul advancement. In the Yajurveda (Chapter 31) it is said:
Divine men via Yajnas perform Yajnas of Yajnas. This the is the very prime duty of human beings. Those who perform such actions become advanced and attain heavenly joys. This very joy has been attained by spiritual aspirants in the past. In the Shatpath Braahmana it is written:
Swayambhoo Manu performed austerities and saw that austerities are not full of limitlessness. At that time for all beings he performed Havan of his soul and by doing this he attained greatness, self rule and his kingdom.
In this manner that human being who sacrifices his all for the welfare of all beings in the world attains greatness, self rule and a kingdom.
We all are witness to the Lord executing a mammoth cosmic Yajna each passing moment in a pause less manner. Every living being on the bais of its intellect and effort attains benefits. The Lords creation i.e. the sun and moon gives the world life, light, juices etc. thus the earth and all creatures get dwellings, food, herbs, plants etc. Further we are all blessed by God since we avail his air, water, space etc. In a nutshell all this gives us an impetus to live a life of Yajna or selfless service to the world. In actuality if man wishes to advance in life in a comprehensive manner the one and only path is living a life of Yajna i.e. selfless service to the world.
Yajna is aso synonymous with worship of divinity. Divine people are those who are full of non-violence, truth, ireless, bravery, charity, forgiveness, sense/self control, self study/introspection, austerities, straightforwardness etc. Hence worship of divinity means honoring and congregating such divine people and associating with them for our material/spiritual uplifting. Congregationalism is selfless actions executed for a huge gathering of the lay public so as to bestow on them both material and spiritual prosperity. Wealth given to organizations that dig wells, build schools, colleges, hospitals etc so as to serve the lay public is called true charity or donation. We all know very well that the lives of all great men and leaders of the world oozed with the Yajna attitude of selfless service.
It is indeed a truth devoid of illusion that even to attain worldly joy like long life, energy, children, wealth, name, fame, education etc Yajna attitude and activities are imperative. King Dashrath performed the Putreshti Yajna so as to sire a son, Ashwamedha Yajna was performed to attain rule over the entire world and Gomedha Yajnas are famous for worship of divinity. In fact a true Ashwamedha Yajna involves making the earth extremely fertile for greater crop yield and Gomedha Yajna means mastering our 5 sense organs (ear, nose, tongue, skin, eyes). A Sanyaasin (mendicant) via Naramedha Yajnas resolved to unite the world peacefully as a family and work selflessly for this goal. For this he/she traveled the length and breadth of the world. A devotee who intensely yearns for God/Self Realization performed Yajna using the Praahapatyaagni (fire) daily and would vow 6 times:
O Almighty Lord! Your gigantic ceaseless Yajna continues in the world with your blessings. Hence I offer my soul as Samidhaa (wood) in this Yajna of yours so as to augment it n-fold. In order to enhance this Yajna of service to the world selflessly I will use all my mental, physical and financial strength for the same.
Which are the words used in praying to the Lord by spiritual seekers who yearn to attain Self Realization? The following Vedic Mantras give a vivid description of it (Yajurveda.chapter 18):
May our life span be used for Yajnas and only for Yajnas may we remain alive. May our social, spiritual and bodily powers be used for Yajnas. Meaning may we use our eyes for others well being and may it look upon others daughters, sisters etc as its own mother. Others wealth should be dust for our eyes and others soul as ones very own soul; may our ears hear sacred Vedic Mantras. On seeing other living beings undergo hardships, may we have the strength, to help overcome the same. Our ears should never listen to vilification of others character. Our speech should be measured and controlled and although it must speak the truth it should never be done harshly. Our speech must have radiant wisdom so that it can overcome taints of vile people and help gather great people for working towards world peace and prosperity. Our mind and soul should be without distortions and they must think only well being of all without exception. Our wisdom and speech must be utilized for Yajna execution and via robot like senses perform spiritual Yajnas. This must be done so that we never harbor the egoistic sense of doer ship I.
Yajnas are supreme actions and without due wisdom they can never be performed aptly. Those who aspire for Divine Wisdom must associate with divine saintly personages (Sadguru). This is because saintly association and performance of daily spiritual practices (Saadhanaa) the selfish ego is nullified. It is then that one becomes a true human being after which there is no need to run here and there for God Realization. In fact every moment they see God in the soul of all inanimate/animate world objects and in selfless activities that benefit the world. In the Bhagwad Geeta it is written:
The omnipresent Lord is for ever performing a cosmic Yajna. Those who aspire for a human rebirth or that in a higher world must deeply meditate on this verse of Mahaabhaarata Epics Shaanti Parva: Without Yajna activity human rebirth or a higher world is impossible to attain.
Man is said to be the greatest amongst all creatures but the fact is that the dirt produced by mans body far exceeds that of other creatures. It is not as though mankind is content with spreading bodily dirt all over the place instead over and above this they pollute the world via atomic bomb testing, poisonous gases from various mills/factories, cigarette smoking etc. Thus Almighty Gods otherwise fragrant world is letting off a foul stench. If man truly is best amongst all creatures he should be living a life of Yajna and thus manifest heavenly situations in all corners of the globe. He should make the world divinely fragrant by performing Yajnas and offering fragrant herbs to the sacred Yajna fire. This in turn would help augment crop yield, diseases could decrease drastically and the mind too can become taintless and serene. When the minds of such men and women unite children born to them can become great and radiant in character.
The greatest method of sacred and secret charity can be learnt from Yajnas. The materials offered to the Yajna fire become gaseous and are inhaled by thousands of people thus pleasing them with its heavenly fragrance. And at this end the Yajna performer experiences a sense of joy and contentment. The one inhaling fragrance does not know the Yajna doer and vice versa. Hence charity is going on in a selfless manner. In this manner as long as selfless Yajnas persisted in ancient India it experienced joy, peace and material comforts. And hence it became the World Guru (Jagad Guru). As against this today due to an abject lack of spiritual and material Yajnas the world is faced with strife and stress. The more man uses his energy for spiritual pursuits the results too will be n-fold more bright.
YAJNA IN THE EYES OF GREAT WORLD THINKERS
The founder of Theosophical Society Ms Annie Besant while describing the true nature of Yajnas says that it is in fact the core principle of Hindu Philosophy. According to the Bhagwad Geeta this world was created from a Yajna basis and Yajna propagates it. Its 3rd chapter/8 th verse opines that Karma or action is that primeval Yajna which created all beings. Similarly in the 14 th chapter/3 rd verse it is said the womb of all that is created in this world is given by our father Almighty Lord. The Lord creates this world via a Yajna only. In the Purusha Sookta it is written that Yajna meaning selflessness is the medium via which the Lord manifested as this world and the world propagates too via a Yajna. Yajnas help world humanity reach the state of supreme greatness/perfection. Thus it is the righteous duty of every world individual, to cogitate deeply on the importance of Yajnas and imbibe the same in ones day to day social, professional and other transactions.
Ordinarily there is a general consensus that Yajna or selflessness is painful and full of hardships. But know for sure this is a myth and a misconception. The gist of Yajna is joyfully and voluntarily sacrificing ones all so that others can share our bliss and comforts. The divine aspect of mans psyche and its high stature nature literally oozes with joy while renouncing/sacrificing ones very being too for others joy and uplifting. Bang opposite to this mans lower demonic nature loves horading things to the extent of snatching what rightfully is others share. Yajna can give you agony only when the Yajna doers higher and lower character is at loggerheads. It is only such opposites which out of imbalance that result in discontent while executing a Yajna.
In order to create the world Almighty Lord as per his holy wish renounced his unlimited life span. In the process this life was bound in a disciplined manner. This sort of manifestation of his world is a Yajna on his part. The Lord proclaimed: Ekohum bahusyaama prajaayaiya which means let me become many from one. This aphorism shows the true nature/form of a Yajna. The Lords epicenter in this infinite divinely radiant cosmos is everywhere but has no circumference/periphery. He is like a divine globe full of the divine light of life. The Lord in order to become an individual desires to limit his existence and this desire is the limit of this divine light. This limit is Gods Maya (divine power of illusion) which he dons like a cloak to create this world of name and form. In this manner by sacrificing the total absolute state of divinity along with its untold bliss the lord takes up a limiting form. This is definitely Yajna (selfless sacrifice) on the Lords part. Over here the Almighty Lord is binding himself. Why? The answer is that as long as this world continues to exist this Divine Yajna will persist and that also because God is the substratum of this world. All names and forms in this world are imbued with Gods divine aspect and thus god binds himself with name and form of various objects both animate and inanimate. Almighty Lord enters every name and its form and endures its bondage until this living being aspires to merge into Gods cosmic form devoid of material bondage. Thus the Primeval Yajna of Almighty God mentioned above is nothing but the Lord imbuing all names and forms with his divinity as their substratum.
Bang opposite to the above Yajna material nature insists on accumulating things. The soul too influences nature and hence the forms of nature manifest. It is the soul that helps nature function. Ere the soul disappeared, these names and forms would become naught. Hence nature tries to accumulate things as much as possible and feels lost when asked to sacrifice even a small portion of its existence. For material nature or Prakriti accumulation/latching on to things gives it joy never mind if it is only fleeting.
Yajna or self sacrifice is full of sorrow, how this thinking manifested can be understood from the above mentioned information. The soul attains eternal divine bliss only if it self sacrifices (self also means limited ego I). In the embodied state too a creature is not bothered that with self sacrifice its body may die because it knows that the material body is not important and that it is merely a visible means of soul advancement. Creatures know well that the gross body is transient and bound to perish one day. During times of self sacrifice the body on seeing the vital force leave feels anguished and tries everything in the book to stop this from happening. That vital force diminishes while carrying out Yajna activities which the body identifies as mine and hence body feels pained when this vital force bids adieu. The lower worlds of name and form exude this secret of Yajna and when the vital force leaves the body feels agonizing pain. Hence it is least surprising that people full of spiritual ignorance not knowing the true mystery of self sacrifice look upon Yajna too as painful. They hence fail to understand that in fact Yajna means eternal bliss while self renunciation takes place. The soul during such Yajnas prays: O Almighty God! We work as per your commands and that gives us true contentment/satisfaction.
Thus the Law of Yajna in this world is a Law of Soul Progress. Every brick of the foundation of advancement is laid down via yajnas. The soul while renouncing itself takes birth in a higher species and the lower body perishes. Those whose eyes are set merely on the destruction of name and form feel that all of material nature is like an abattoir or slaughter house. But those who underneath this slaughter actually visualize the soul renouncing a lower identity for a higher stature one via self sacrifice do not feel the pain at all. In fact they are blissful with the realization that they will be reborn in a higher species which also connotes soul progress.
It is beyond any doubt that man whose intellect is advancing as days pass by researches with the experience of innumerable eras and unearths the truth that the Law of Life is Yajnas/self-sacrifice. But in such endeavors and other types too man has been given external aid. In the infant stage of human civilization great Rishis appeared and educated them so that they could walk on the right path. It was these great Rishis who handed down this law of Yajnas/self-sacrifice. In order to aid the dawning intellect of human beings certain righteous duties were brought into being and most definitely this law too was included. And yet they could not expect from these primordial beings the principle of renouncing something without asking for anything for them selves. In fact those materials they desired were meant for bodily sustenance (food, shelter etc). Hence it was most required that mankind slowly walk in that direction wherein ultimately he/she learns the art and joy of self-sacrifice/renunciation. Hence man was taught that he was related to beings, both higher and lower than him self and that he was very much a part of the whole so to speak. He was told that his gross body was nourished by food grains and other lower species (meat, chicken, eggs etc). Thus man is indebted to them and must repay in kind. Thus man attained that wisdom wherein he is always indebted to Mother Nature and hence it follows suit that he continuously repay this debt. With the result Yajnas now meant renouncing things dear to us and people started thus repaying their debt to nature in the process manifesting both their material and spiritual well being. Later, when a more in depth education was imparted to evolving mankind, Yajna results were extended to subtle worlds from the previously gross ones. Thus Yajnas became a stepping stone to self-sacrifice and hence well being. According to Mahatma Gandhi Yajnas connote actions executed without either asking for anything in return in this world or the next or not even mentally desiring any thing (total selflessness). These actions can have their basis in body, speech or psyche. Over here the word Karma should be given a wide berth. We should work not only for human well being but that of every animate/inanimate being of the world. From the non-violence standpoint it does not be hove mankind to kill other beings so that mankind is uplifted. This sort of animal sacrifice is certainly not Yajna at all. In Vedas and other texts no doubt descriptions of sacrificing horses, cows etc can be found. We strictly oppose them. In the weighing scale of truth and non violence animal sacrifice during Yajnas is just not the done thing. I am very satisfied with this standpoint. I cannot say anything regarding the historical meanings of religious precepts and I accept my shortcomings as far as researching into their true meanings is concerned. I am not even persevering to attain such capability. Suppose the historical meaning agrees with sacrificing other creatures for Yajnas yet I cannot stand by it because after looking upon truth and non-violence as my supreme righteous duty violence (like sacrificing animals in Yajnas) in any form is absolutely taboo for me. A Supreme Yajna is that which bestows well being of all creatures in an all pervasive cosmic manner. Such actions are also called selfless service or Sevaa Bhaava. If via hurting one being you try to bestow well being on another person know for sure this is certainly not Yajna or Sevaa. Both the Bhagwad Geeta and our own experience tell us Yajnas help us overcome bondage of actions. Without Yajnas and non violent selfless activities this world cannot exist even for a miniscule of a second. Hence the Geeta author after giving us devotees a glimpse of Divine Wisdom in the 2 nd chapter talks of the method of attaining it in the 3 rd chapter. With great clarity it has been said that along with our birth Yajnas too accompanied us all which means that the human body is given to us all for selfless service. Hence who so ever par takes food without first performing selfless deeds/Yajnas is indeed a criminal. This is a very harsh conclusion made by the Geeta author. Those who yearn to lead a pious life must perform every action with a Yajna attitude. We were born along with a Yajna and hence for our entire life we are indebted to the world and its beings. We are destined to serve the world for our entire sojourn in this world. Just as an employer gives his/her employee food, clothing and shelter in return for service rendered so too the Divine Employer of this world/Almighty God gives us food, shelter etc which we must accept with thanks and gratitude. Never should we complain if for some reason best known to Almighty Lord he does not give us these materials. This body belongs to God and if he so wishes he can either nurture or destroy it. This state is neither agonizing nor is it demeaned. If we understand our true status in the world it is natural blissful and most desirable. To attain this eternal pause less bliss intense faith is a must. In all great world religions I have come across this ideal wherein we must give up all worries and apprehensions and instead have deep faith in Gods justice. Have faith that what ever God does is best for us in an unquestioning manner.
But none should fear these words. Those who commence tasks of service with a pure mind will realize its importance as days go by. Those who refuse to renounce selfishness for them the path of service will be quite difficult to walk on. In fact their actions will continue to reek with selfishness. And yet such utter selfishness is not all that much in vogue in the world. Knowingly or otherwise we all tend to execute either major or minor selfless actions. If only we start doing the same along with due thinking our yearning for service along with spiritual bliss augment by leaps and bounds. In this lies our true happiness and welfare of the world too. We have entered this world with something at the time of our birth and it will not be a waste of time if we delve deeper into it. Knowing fully well that Yajna is our daily duty, must be imbibed all 24 hours and realizing that Yajna means selfless service the verse Paropkaaraaya sattaam, vibhootayaha tends to agitate us. Selfless service is not as though you are benefiting someone else because the one who is ultimately benefiting is your self only. It is like repaying a debt you owe to someone. There a burden from your shoulders is coming off. When you shed burden while repaying a debt you are performing your righteous duty. It is not as though only saints are meant to work for world well being because it is the prime duty of all human beings. Thus mankind will realize that life is not just meant for sense pleasures and when he renounces attachment to them mentally it becomes a source of divine bliss. Mans very renunciation is his enjoyment. This is the stark difference between an animal and mans meritorious deeds called Punya. Majority of people feel that such a meaning of life would render it dry and lack of artistic flair. Hence for them such thinking is erroneous. But according to my humble viewpoint the word renunciation does not mean giving up hearth and home and running away into a dense forest. In fact it means while remaining in the thick of things (job, business, home etc) one develops mental renunciation that means renouncing the mental attachments towards objects. A householders life may be full of renunciation or full of fleeting sense pleasures. While a cobbler is making shoes, while a farmer is tilling his field, while a businessman is making a lucrative deal etc their attitude can be mental renunciation or yearning for fleeting sense based joy. A true ethical industrialist while earning millions of dollars could be harboring just thoughts of manifesting well being of society with his hard earned money in a selfless good willed manner. Such a man of vision and integrity will not hurt anothers profession, he/she will not speculate in a gambling manner, he/she will not take undue risks and despite being wealthy owners of property etc will live akin to the philosophy of simple living high thinking. Despite earning millions of dollars he will see to it that others do not incur a loss and if the need arises he/she might renounce a very lucrative contract if it means obstructing anothers downfall. None should mockingly jeer at this statement of mine saying that it is a figment of my imagination. It is the worlds good fortune that such visionary businessman/industrialists have been born both in the orient and occident. Of course their number may be small but all the same, the foundation stones of professional ethics and integrity have certainly been laid down by them. Hence it is my contention that even if a handful few such examples exist today we cannot say it is a figment of my wild imagination. I have seen a tailor of such ethics in Badhwaan (Saurashtra, India). I know of such a barber and who does not know about that cloth weaver? On researching deeply into this I found either people conducting business in a selfless service manner or those who did so just for petty and narrow minded selfish gains. It is true that even selfless professionals earn money for their household upkeep too. And yet their sole aim is not this but that their main sight is on working selflessly for world uplifting via their professional pursuits that are ethical in nature. Motilal was a dedicated tailor both before and after attaining enlightenment/self-realization. But his attitude transformed and now post enlightenment/self-realization his tailoring business became a Yajna. Sacredness now enters it. This business all the time delves deep into other peoples prosperity and thus art manifests in his/her life. A life of Yajna is the pinnacle of artistic skills. It is full of nectar because the ceaseless stream of divinity is all the time blessing such a person. Man never tires drinking it and the stream of nectar never dries up. That Yajna is definitely not a Yajna which seems burdensome. Anything that agitates one is certainly not renunciation/sacrifice. Sense pleasures are fleeting and destructive. True renunciation results in immortality. Nectar is not something independent in nature and in fact is a part of our wholesome thought process. Someone enjoys cinema on a screen whereas someone else enjoys changes taking place in the vast expanse of the sky. What we mean is that interest is not a matter of education or practice. In childhood certain interests are nurtured and practiced but they are superficial in nature. A particular country and its citizens maybe interested in a particular subject that might totally disinterest another nation and its residents. We come across many such examples of this.
Majority of Yajna doers believe that they work selflessly. Hence they think that they can ask anything i.e. even that which is not required from others. As soon as such a thought arises, that person is not a true Yajna performer. In selfless service there is no room for thoughts of ones own comforts and needs. In fact it is Almighty God who looks after the requirements of his beloved selfless worker (Sevak). God will give him/her anything which in his eyes is required at that time. And hence when a true devotee of Yajna is given something he/she should not think it to belong to himself herself. Instead accept only the bare minimum for bodily sustenance and rest should be shared with others as grace of God. Even if a true devotee of Yajna is not given the bare minimum of comforts he/she will endure it calmly without anger or stress. The mind will be perfectly poised and balanced even under the direst situation. The fruit of Yajna is not comfort but it is attaining more opportunities to serve the world that much more selflessly.
One more important point to note is that the approach to selfless service must not be lackadaisical and hence given a last spot. Just because you are working for others without getting anything in return does not mean I will do it as and when it pleases me to do so. A person who thinks or behaves thus alas does not know the true principle underlying a Yajna. Selfless service means humbly working to ones full potential and it is given a prime slot in ones day to day living. Anything else is given cursory attention. The gist of all this is that a pure Yajna doer says nothing is mine and that he/she sacrifices his/her very being for world welfare in a humble self effacing manner.
SUPREME PATH OF WELL BEING-YAJNAS
Both the wisdom and scientific aspects of Yajnas must be given due respect on an equal footing. In the scientific aspect is included rites and ritual in a methodical manner. When along with Vedic Mantra chanting Aahutis are offered to the Yajna fire the atmosphere is purified, our psyches exude great thoughts and human sentiments become sacred. The wisdom aspect of Yajnas is even more potent. In this scientific era people will accept Yajna Sciences only after due research proves it credible. And yet Yajnas wisdom aspect is accepted by all without any doubt arising in the mind. Yajna Philosophy is imperatively required in world humanitys life.
In the Bhagwad Geeta it is said that Prajapati with the help of Yajnas created this world. Thus it is clear that this world is Yajna manifest and that Mother Nature on its own is a Yajna. Yajna means sacrifice, renunciation, cooperation etc. As long as such thinking exists in an awakened manner in society no obstructions can come in the way of its all round advancement. By radiating these qualities via Yajna activities the wheel of selfishness can be shattered to naught and thus this world can see the advent of a bright future in this very century. Whatever we think is useful owned by us must be offered for world well being in a selfless manner. Its usage must be for everyones welfare. With the help of Yajna rituals this very sentiment is nurtured and nourished. The sentiment of I and mine breeds nothing but mental distortions. The scriptures proclaim that anyone uses objects he/she own selfishly is definitely committing a sin. The punishment of such sins is incurred by all of society.
This life is Yajna incarnate. It is said that Lord Rama, Ashwatthaamaa, Draupadi etc were born via Yajnas. From a sentimental standpoint we too were born from a Yajna. Lest our mother had harbored selfish emotions our existence in this world was well nigh impossible. For 9 months a mother nurtures the embryo in her womb with the help of her flesh, blood etc. The embryo grows for 9 months in this manner and only then all of us were born in this world. Later for the newborn, milk is provided to it that is made from the mothers bodily blood. If the father had not cut down on his needs so as to nurture us we would not have advanced to youth. Sacrificing their comforts parents undergo many hardships to bring up their beloved children. If this is not sacrifice/renunciation then what is?
Our bodily creation too has Yajnas as its foundation. Every unit of our body along with its own security is nourishing and protecting all bodily organs. Although our hands work hard to earn money it does not use it only for itself. Food taken by the hand is transported to the mouth by it and not kept for itself. The mouth chews it and sends it to the food pipe. From there it enters the stomach where it is digested. The stomach does not keep any of the food items for its selfish use. The food juice is transported into the blood and the latter without keeping anything for itself transports this digested food to all organs of the body. Loads of blood resides in the heart yet the heart does not use any of it for its selfish usage. Even the muscles, nerves, brain etc work Yajna style. If the wheel of utilizing useful things for the welfare of other bodily organs stops rolling, know for sure the body will become ill and diseased and that death will stare hard at us.
Nature remains optimally balanced because of Yajnas. Nature at every step converts various objects into other forms of greater utility value. Ice is converted into river water. Rivers in turn quench the thirst of many people while moving forward ever moment. Water becomes steam and clouds under the hot sun rays. Clouds in turn shower entire earth with rain water and thus fulfill its requirements. This same cycle can be visualized in plant kingdom too.
This Yajna based sentimental cooperation must be established between human beings, animals and plants too. Wherever such activities exist there joy and peace will rule the roost. Wherever there is lack of such Yajna activities there material wealth too will give you hell like hardships.
In this world there are quite a few nations that ooze with material wealth and comforts. At the government level laws have been made wherein after using various materials for a short while they must then be destroyed. This is done so that the balance of optimum production of materials is maintained. And yet at the emotional level their citizens lack a sense of oneness of soul. Thus their lives are full of stress. The statistics of the number of insane people there is on an alarming rise. One third of their citizens do not get sleep at night without taking sedatives and other sleeping pills. The relationship between husband-wife, parent-child etc is full of distrust and hence is very superficial in nature. Every individual is full of suspicion about another person. Thus they are entering into a stage of dreadful tension and stress. There is tension amongst individuals, families, society and nations. Hence the question arises as to how this dire problem can be solved? How can one be liberated from it?
This task cannot be executed merely by augmenting material comforts. There was a time in history when people were not materially advanced and yet were at peace. This was despite lacking proper food, clothing and shelter. One cap, one shawl and other such frugal attire was used by the entire family in turns. Their bodies were strong like steel. Bang opposite to this today despite swimming in material comforts we fight with each other. Many medicines are now not curing certain diseases which they previously did help overcome.
The above problem can definitely be solved by Spiritual Science. Gayatri and Yajna fully represent Spiritual Science. Yajna is a great teacher of living a spiritual life. Hence Agni (fire) is called Purohit or pries cum preceptor in Rig-Veda.
Rig-Veda manifested much before other Vedas did. Its first Mantra is: Agni meeday purohitam yajnasya deva ritwijum. In it fire is said to be Purohita and that the true Yajna doer becomes divine. Such a persons psyche becomes an unlimited vault of jewels represented by sacred qualities.
Vedas and other scriptures eulogize Yajnas in every possible way. It is said to be a chief instrument of world welfare and God Realization too. It is not an overstatement if we call Vedic Religion as Yajna Religion because according to Vedas the detailed meaning of a Yajna as given in Rig-Veda (90/90/16) and Yajur-Veda (31/16) is (it includes all supreme actions that bestow soul welfare and that of the entire world at large):
On the basis of Braahmana texts (Shatpath.3/7/3/10, Kausheetakee.2/8 etc.), Deva means those who via Yajnas worship Yajna i.e. Almighty God i.e. Yajnovaivishnoohu. Within Yajna they reign supreme as far as worship of God, sacred congregationalism and charity is concerned. While performing worship rites of them honest scholarly people become super great men and reach that state of Moksha/divine liberation which Realized Saints attain.
In these Mantras the divine emotions of worship of the God of Yajnas is crystal clear. The reason why Yajnas are called ones supreme righteous duty is that it encompasses man respecting people greater than him self and dutiful nurturing of those younger than him self. Yajnas are also called Adhwara in many Vedic Mantras. According to Niruktakaar Yaaskaachaarya Adhwara means an action devoid of violence. A Vedic prayer which includes such actions says (Rig-Veda 6/19/19; Yajurveda 15/38; Saama Veda 111):
We pray that this fire to which we have offered fragrant, disease destroying and nourishing materials bestow us welfare and eternal joy. We pray that our charity will give us well being and bliss eternal. We pray that our Yajna exuding non violence and good will to all bestow us welfare and eternal joy. We pray that our Yajna offerings bestow us welfare. In this manner at many places in the Vedas the fact that Yajnas bestow well being is depicted. Further a prayer also says that may we never be separated from sacred Yajna activities, renunciation of selfishness and selfless service to the world.
In the Rig-Veda (10/57) and Atharva Veda (113/1/51) it is said:
O Lord of Supreme Grandeur! We pray that we never stray away from that supreme path of righteousness. We pray that we never stray away from Yajna while imbibing the nectar of wisdom based devotion. We pray that we never let selfishness, desires, anger, avarice etc enter our psyche. With reference to never renouncing Yajna activities, is it not a great prayer? It is not only an indirect prayer but that prayer directly invoking blessings too can be found in many Mantras (Yajurveda 11/7). We pray that that Lord who creates and blesses us with supreme joy, peace and prosperity nourish our Yajna sentiments and divine love for the same. We pray that The Lord inspires the Yajmaan or Yajna host to walk in the direction of righteousness, wisdom, renunciation, grandeur, true fame and divine beauty. In The Yajurveda it is prayed that wherever Yajnas are executed may they bring joy to us along with supreme well being. According to the Vedas Yajnas not only overcome air/water pollution but that our wisdom, strength and intellect augment manifold.
In the Rig-Veda (commentary of the Mantra 1/13/2) it is said:
When fragrant materials are offered to the Havan fire the Yajna purifies air and other objects along with protection of our body, plants etc. In this manner many nectarine juices too manifest and when the purified materials via Yajna are partaken by all living beings their wisdom, intellect and strength become very potent.
In the Rig-Veda (1/13/5) it is said:
Ghee (clarified butter) and other materials offered to Yajna fire, enters interstellar space and this in turn purifies water molecules present in the atmosphere. This purified water along with its fragrance covers all other objects and thus all living beings attain joy.
In the Yajurveda (1/23) commentary (Bhaashya) regarding Yajnas it is written:
Via Yajnas great children and joy pertaining to the body, speech and mind are attained optimally.
In this manner according to Vedas Yajnas are sound mediums of manifesting world well being. How can we doubt its potential of world welfare when Yajnas are known to help attain strength, purification of the intellect and making it razor sharp and which congregates society to help the world attain material/spiritual advancement? Hence the Vedas proclaim aloud Rig-Veda (8/102/20):
While lighting the Yajna fire if the mind and intellect too are conjoined to it and efforts are made to light up the Fire of Divine Wisdom in our soul our spiritual advancement gets a potent face lift.
It is hence that Indian Divine Culture gives Yajnas a prime slot. The burning fire is looked upon as God manifest and the divine principle fire is said to be a Purohita or preceptor-priest. No doubt it does not preach using speech yet via its mode of working inspires us to follow suit. It is only when it becomes functional that the preceptors fulfillment and the disciples imbibing of this teaching attains fulfillment. We can understand Yajns fire the bestower of great teachings as follows:
1) As long as fire continues to burn it remains hot and manifests light. We too must remain hot throughout our lifespan i.e. remain active and not indolent. We must make intense efforts to augment our wisdom consciousness so as to render it widespread and all pervasive. We must perform such actions which inspire others to lead a life of divine light and that their activities gain more optimum momentum.
2) The second characteristic of fire is that its head is always held high i.e. it moves in the upward direction. No amount of pressure on fires head can make it droop downwards. Thus our intellectual thinking too must reach high peaks of glory. Even if circumstances are very dire yet never think in a lowly and tainted manner. Never bow your head to illegality and criminal tendencies. Stand upright to uphold justice and thus aspire for heights of greatness. Always also inspire others by setting an example to uphold law and hence justice at all times.
3) Even if impure materials are added to fire the latter renders them pure and taintless. Wood, ore or dirt on entering fire become fire itself. Thus even if tainted people contact you your personality should be so radiant that they will shed all their taints and become pious. We must imbibe the art of befriending those who are lost and in need of help. Never attract vile qualities of others in your psyche. Lord Shivas neck is decorated with serpents coiling around it but never does the Lord imbibe their venom. In fact since these serpents are in close contact with the Lord they gradually shed their venom and become imbued with divine aura. On the holy day of Naagpanchami serpents are worshipped in the ancient land of India. Thus Lord Shivas contact has bestowed sacredness on the entire group of the snake species. Our endeavor of setting an example should be such that those who have strayed away from wholesome living are lured back into doing so.
4) If any material is added to fire it does not keep any of it for its selfish usage. Instead fire gives it back to the world. Fire thus never hoards anything. We too must walk in the footsteps of our divine preceptor i.e. Fire God. Never harbor stinginess and never hoard wealth, materials etc. Our potentials and means must all the time be used for world well being.
5) Fires ultimate form is ash. All of us should realize that ultimately we will die and will become nothing but dust. Hence never behave arrogantly/egoistically and refrain from incurring sins as a result of such unruly activities. Always keep the thought of death staring at you in the deep recesses of your psyche. Always remember that one day your life will definitely end and hence do not act in such an erroneous way which will make you repent for a long time to come.
These 5 precepts are more priceless than all the jewels of the world put together. Jewels after all are nothing but stones and we harbor fear lest someone robs them from us. But these 5 precepts are such that any Ritwija (Yajna doer) who imbibes them truly attains divinity. Further respect/honor associated with these great qualities along with cooperation too is theirs for keeps sake.
Yajna is called the manifest image of the formless Lord Almighty because unlike other demigods there is no past history wherein along with various qualities a distortion too exists. The stories attached to other demigods are such that a question arises in the mind i.e. if they are worth worshipping why along with their many qualities they possess a few flaws too? This problem can never be attributed to Fire God of Yajnas.
With reference to Yajna Fire the belief of divinity must be reinstated. We must believe it to be God incarnate/manifest. Thus the more Yajna attitude and Yajna based life is imbibed the more speedily can we visualize the advent of a New Era.
As long as in the past India lived a life of Yajna it oozed with both material and spiritual prosperity. At that time India inspired and gave the light of wisdom to world humanity via its sacred ideals. Today we must reawaken our sacred consciousness. But it is not possible merely via material Yajnas. To this we must imperatively conjoin Yajna Philosophy and Wisdom. Yajna inspirations must be imbibed wholeheartedly in the deep cave of the soul. Only then will our soul advance and further manifest the age old dream of world well being in an all round manner. With reference to this, scriptural scholars talk of Yajnas as follows:
Yajna is that action which ultimately manifests world welfare.
From the above observations the great import and all encompassing nature of Yajnas can be understood. It should never be looked upon as a narrow sectarian activity/ritual. The Lord has correctly said in the Rig-Veda that Yajna Fire truly is our Guru and guide. The Ritwij of a Yajna becomes divine and the Havan doer finds the same in the form of a vault of rare jewels. These are divine jewels of divine wealth which follows us in innumerable incarnations/rebirths that we undergo. They fill us up with so many divine glories (Vibhootees) that mankind realizes he/she is wealthier than Kubera (god of wealth) too.
The process of imbibing a Yajna way of life is such that the confluence of material and spiritual wealth is a foregone conclusion.
THE METHODOLOGY OF YAJNA WAY OF LIVING
Offering fragrant materials to Yajna fire signifies the fact, that no longer shall our inner goodwill and sacred thinking remain dormant/latent. We must light them up divinely and thus make them radiant. Instead of allowing it to dwell in a limited manner it should be made widespread/omnipresent.
Gigantic amounts of Havan materials can be found in storehouses. It can give us no merit. May be the hoarder gets minor financial benefits and yet the lay public will benefit only this hoarded material is shared with society. Every human being possesses some special talent and if he/she so wishes the same can be used to help others attain them. Such help can augment peace and joy in the entire world. Wherever such pious sentiments and endeavors flourish there know for sure Yajna life proliferates.
Only when sandalwood, incense etc is lit that its fragrance spreads in all directions. To put it differently if they remain hoarded and unlit their fragrance will not be enjoyed by one and all. Man is free to limit the utility value of his skills and pious qualities for his own usage. No doubt he/she can benefit personally but if he/she utilizes the same for others our society will become akin to heaven. In certain cases it will appear that the individual is not benefiting a great deal but know for sure this is a superficial observation. This is because when you work for world welfare you as a cog in the wheel too are definitely going to prosper along with the world.
It is a mighty Yajna act of righteousness when valiantly one tries to burn to naught ones mental taints and distortions. Twigs and branches of trees lying scattered here and there are of no use unless and until they are collected and offered to fire to render it more brilliant and potent. If you give a chance to a lit stick of wood it can set ablaze an entire jungle and thus cleanse miles and miles of forest area. Fire can cook so many items and the importance of cooked food is more than its raw counterpart especially grains etc. The results of heating, cooking etc using fire element are limitless. But these benefits accrue only when fire is given ample fuel to set it ablaze. Keeping this analogy in mind if we human beings offer our scattered wayward habits in the fire of greatness a radiant Fire God manifests and the aim of Yajna thus gets fulfilled. Yajna gives us heaven. This is indeed an open secret. Everyone is most welcome to directly experience and visualize it. When a tiny seed in the tradition of Yajna living sacrifices its tiny existence the result is manifestation of a gigantic tree. This tree stands testimony to the self sacrifice (Yajna) and glory of the tiny seemingly negligibly important seed. Anyone can see after cutting asunder the limits of selfishness so as to enter the abode of cosmic consciousness that how much more a person who does not hoards anything attains in comparison to a rank hoarder? Water molecules that yearn to reach great heights conjoin to fire/heat and give up their heaviness so as to be rendered feather weight. The more one is light in weight the more one rises upwards. Dirty water is known to rise along with wind upwardly yet if it wishes to renounce the dirt so as to become light in weight it must contact heat, shed its limiting form so as to enter a gigantically widespread area. This verily is the spiritual aspect of Yajnas. If we valiantly dare to endure/forbear heat of this material world we will become light (egoless) and hence we can sail in the gigantic sky of cosmic consciousness. Thus even a previously miniscule stature individual will now be called great or super man. Such a great man/woman who commands respect from every nook and corner of the globe and who gets credit for manifesting well being of millions of people the world over.
If Yajna is understood not in a narrow but more widespread manner all the artistic skills and sciences get enveloped under its guidance. All material and spiritual benefits of Yajnas as mentioned in sacred texts will not remain a topic of mere faith and that in this very birth mankind can experience a heavenly situation on this planet Earth it self. If only every human being of our planet manifests world well being in his/her day to day transactions we may or may not attain that heaven which scriptures say we attain on death. And yet know for sure that this world of ours it self will become heavenly. In reality laboratories and manufacturing units are nothing but Yajna Institutions but it is our ill fate that not all of them aspire for world welfare. As a result of this those fruits of true Yajnas are not experienced by earth denizens.
OUR ENTIRE LIFE SPAN MUST BE YAJNA ORIENTED
Life is a Yajna. Every breath of it is an Aahuti or sacrificial offering. He who lives such a life wards of diseased conditions and attains a long healthy life span. In the Chhandogya Upanishad a great deal of light has been thrown on its precepts and deep import.
The Upanishad author has divided mans life into 4 stages based on Varna-Aashrama. A life of activity is said to span 96 years. The last 4 years of a 100 year life span is spent in tiredness, weakness etc. Hence a human life is said to be 96 years and not 100 years. Every stage amongst 4 are said to be of 24 years. This is also because Gayatri Super Mantra has 24 alphabets in Sanskrit language. Youth which is the 2 nd stage is compared to the blazing sun of the noon. The remaining 2 stages are Vaanaprastha and Sanyaasa in that order. Both are clubbed under one category because it signifies activities that help us attain our spiritual goal in life. In this manner the 3-legged Gayatri represents the 3 stages of optimal human living. Lifes Yajna is divided into 3 stages that are synonymous with self/sense control, enterprise/valor, radiant skills and spirituality. Thus Gayatri too is a Yajna of the highest order.
These 3 stages have 3 demigods-the first is Vasu, second is Rudra and 3 rd is Aaditya. Vasu connotes self control, Rudra enterprise and Aaditya is the substratum of radiance. Life should be wholesomely used in this manner. If this wheel of life moves optimally there is no need to undergo diseases, sorrow and downfall in life.
According to the Upanishads if midway some distortions/hardships do appear avoid erring by looking upon it as manifestation of past actions or destiny and endure them calmly. Search for these distortions within the psyche and correct those flaws accordingly. We must pray to the demigod to make our contemporary circumstances optimal so that our future is full of radiance. We must alertly not walk on that path which will create our downfall in future.
When our flaws get corrected distortions and strife which are its fruits too are warded off. The diseased condition of the psyche now gets reformed. Ill fate that creates obstacles in the arena of the body, mind and social life can now no longer continue to harass us and thus with tail between legs vanish into the thin air.
This verily is the royal path of eternal joy and peace. We must first understand lifes various stages, its goal and usage and then act accordingly. We must overcome our errors and pray to God that we move forward on the path of truth. Thus our strife and stress will be destroyed and if we dont do this our minds will remain diseased and life full of dire situations.
As mentioned before life is a Yajna. Gayatri is its icon. Time is its offering or Havishya. Vasu, Rudra and Aaditya or self control, enterprise and spirituality is the discipline it must observe. Those who deeply understand this spiritual mystery never get enmeshed in the net of diseases, strife, sorrow etc. Assuming that in those rare cases we do get enmeshed even then ward off your mistakes and pray to Almighty God that you get inspired to walk on the path of truth/integrity. This is that royal path which gives man permanent all round good health.
The Chhandogya Upanishad (3/16/1-2) writes:
Human life is a Yajna. The first 24 years of man is life is the Yajna of dawn. Gayatri Chhand (meter) is of 24 alphabets and in the Yajna of dawn this meter is used. In this Yajna Vasu demigod too is associated and it is none other than our Prana or Vital Force (because all energies dwell in it). If in these 24 years anyone afflicted with bodily or psychological diseases should pray thus: O lord Vasu (Vital Force)! Please conjoin my morning Yajna to that of noon. It means conjoin my 24 years to the rest of my life span so that my life progresses optimally. Pray fervently that this Yajna of Vasus, does not fizzle away to naught midway. This request will give you the path of acquiring good health. Thus the first 24 years of mans life chugs ahead.
It is elaborated further:
The next 44 years of a human being (corresponding to youth) is akin to noon time. The Trishtupa Cchand has 44 letters and at noon time it is made use of. This Yajna is related to Rudra demigod. Rudra is verily Prana or Vital Force. If anyone is afflicted with a disease he/she must pray: O lord Rudra as my Vital Force! Please do conjoin this noon time Yajna of mine to the 3 rd stage Yajna (Vanaprastha and Sanyaasa). We pray that this noon time Yajna predominating with Rudra as Vital Force never fizzle away to naught.
The remaining 48 years too are Yajna manifest and is depicted as follows in the Chhandogya Upanishad (3/16/5,6):
The remaining 48 years of mans life span corresponds to the dusk Yajna. The Jagati Cchand has 48 letters and this Yajna uses Jagati Cchand. This dusk Yajna is associated with a Vital Force called Aaditya demigod. Aaditya demigod is a Vital Force because it imbibes everything. If anyone is afflicted with a disease he/she must pray: O lord as Aaditya my Vital Force! This life span of mine has entered the third stage and hence we pray that it lives a full life. We pray that this dusk time Yajna predominating with Aaditya as Vital Force never fizzle away to naught.
The Upanishads (Chhandogya 4/46/7) while ending the above precept and depicting its results writes thus while giving example of Rishi Aitereya who could ward off his disease:
Once Rishi Maheedaas Aitereya who understood the Yajna of Life deeply fell ill and in that state he said to the disease: O disease! Why are you harassing me? Why are you giving me agony? I definitely will not die because of this. When he questioned firmly thus his disease vanished and lived a full life. Those who truly understand the spiritual philosophy of this Yajna of Life live a full life span.
O PURITY PERSONIFIED! OFFER YOUR ENTIRE BEING TO YAJNA
In the Rig-Veda (10/7/6) it is said:
O one with a divine nature! On your own you must perform Yajna/worship of demigods present in your intellect and surrender to them. What can a rank ignorant person do to you who are mature and pious? Just as you worship demigods, based on various seasons, so too, you have taken birth from supreme purity. Worship your body.
O one with a divine character-perform Yajnas. Generally 5 Yajnas are daily performed by us all. Naimitika Yajnas too are performed during various seasons, festivals, Sanskaaras, programs, charities etc. Today the Lord of Vedas calls on you to perform a Yajna which is different from the Nitya and Naimitika Yajna spoken of above. This Yajna will be very special. And it is Abhyaas (practice) Yajna.
Where exactly will this Yajna be performed? Who will be its doer? For which demigod will this Yajna be performed? With which materials will this Yajna be performed? All these questions must be pondered over deeply. Since this Yajna is very special its methodology too must be extraordinary. In this very Mantra the Vedas have given its observations thoroughly. It says: You must perform this Yajna on your own i.e. you will be the Hotaa, Yajmaan and Purohita too. The region where this Yajna will be performed is Dvividha Loka or the head/scalp. This Yajna will be performed for demigods. Which demigods? The answer is those demigods who via divine sentiments reside in your soul. In place of Yajna materials you will have to offer your self and entire being. Lord of Vedas commands you to perform this Divine Yajna. O one imbued with divine nature! O soul who has emanated from the Supreme Almighty Lord! You can definitely perform such a Yajna. This is because you are spiritually mature. You are pure hearted.
The Bhagwad Geea (3/10/12) says:
Prajaapati/Almighty God after creating all living beings via Yajna said: I command that all of you progress and may this Yajna fulfill all your wholesome desires. Demigods pleased with your Yajna will give you desired comforts/materials unasked.
Demigods fulfill our desires because man himself alone cannot do so. The means to fulfill desires are generated but means are also culprits as far as augmenting desires are concerned. You may amass umpteen means yet even the biggest amongst them will pale significantly in comparison to the mob of desires. You get one object the desire for a second one is right round the corner. You may amass a great deal of wealth, honor, respect, property yet, the mind never gets satiated. Minds desires never get fulfilled totally and as a result it harbors discontent, agitation, stress and a great deal of lack. Hence at this juncture it is the demigods who can ward off such a dire situation. These demigods appear from Yajnas and being pleased they fulfill our desires.
Demigods are none other than divine sentiments/leanings. They live in Diu Loka i.e. Brahmarandhra in the scalp/head region. When man is immersed in sacred sentiments like compassion, love, friendship, service, cooperation, oneness of soul etc he/she gets such a high stature divine bliss which can never be compared to all the sense merriments of this world like material comforts, wealth, pride social status etc put together. One who has not tasted sugar finds great pleasure in jaggery. At the moment, man is immersed in worldly desires but if he/she gets to taste tastier and juicier bliss, he/she will automatically give up lowly worldly desires. This transformation now leads to total satiation of all desires. The moment divine sentiments, divine wisdom and divine light pervade the psyche the latters veil of ignorance/darkness is destroyed to naught. Always be mentally alert and abstain from allowing it to go in wayward directions. A small child while visiting shopping malls gets enticed by various toys and cries out for them. But his parents accompanying him know that these items are not meant for adults and will not even glance in that direction. When we buy something we see its utility value and our matching requirements too. Unlike small children they will not get lured by superficial coloring and bright packaging. The same child when it grows into an adult is no longer lured and enticed by fancy colorful toys. When the truth dawns in his/her psyche on maturing all such childish desires vanish. Similarly those desires that agitate a person full of spiritual blindness calms down when divine wisdom and light manifest in his soul. Now he/she realizes the transient and fleeting nature of sense pleasures and worldly attractions. This is because now divine sentiments and wisdom rule the roost in his/her psyche. The taste of divine bliss in the soul calms down all agitations pertaining to sense pleasure based desires. Such a divine peace enfolds the soul wherein that individual no longer desires anything. In this manner demigods or divine sentiments satiate and calm down all our yearnings especially the worldly type.
When exactly do these demigods or divine sentiments augment a great deal? How are they awakened? How do they become latent in the first place? In one voice both the Bhagwad Geeta and Shrutis give an answer: Demigods are pleased via Yajnas. Sacred and wholesome actions are called Yajnas. Such actions strengthen our divine sentiments. If we merely think about all this, keep imagining, ride high on clouds of thoughts, keep planning etc nothing much will accrue out of it. Simply thinking about a cake and not actually eating it is not going to satiate your hunger pangs. In order that hunger is satiated a plate of food must be served before us and actually swallowed by us. No doubt great actions nourish our divine sentiments. Just as 2 wheels of a cart, helps the cart to move so too, knowledge and action make up ones material/spiritual endeavor. Yajnas augment demigods. The potency of demigods and divine sentiments strengthens when sacred selfless actions are executed. Hence if we aspire to experience the bliss of satiation of all our desires it is imperative that we perform Yajnas and selfless actions which manifest demigods and divine sentiments.
Those divine sentiments that manifest in our psyche must translate as sacred actions in the world. We must alertly search for negativities and shortcomings of our psyche. Perform such actions that ward off these mental taints from their very roots. For example if you have the habit of getting up very late in the morning make sure that you go all out to rise up early at the crack of dawn. Take help of a loud ringing alarm or some family member to wake you up punctually. In this manner slowly but surely your adverse habit of getting up late will be warded off. This counter action of getting up early with a strong resolve overcomes the negative action of getting up late. In the same way when great qualities are to be imbibed deeply use your power of strong resolve. The mind will try to obstruct you yet calmly strengthen your will power and sure enough the goal will be well within your reach. It is with a bit of difficulty that our minds take interest in self study, self introspection, selfless service, spirituality etc. And yet if we make a firm resolve using our Sankalpa Shakti daily we can form this habit and thus now it will be in our very nature to perform spiritual practices. Sankapla means a resolve to reinstate divinity in our psyche. How can this be achieved? It initially starts with Mantra chanting and is a Yajna too.
For this Yajna what are the required materials? Shrutis opine: O one created from the Supreme! O prince of Almighty God! Perform Yajna of your very body. With money we buy Yajna materials from shops and by giving preceptor-gifts/Dakshinaa we call Agnihotras and Mantra chanters. But this cannot be done in a Spiritual Yajna. In fact in this Yajna we have to offer our body and entire being. By merely offering wealth we cannot buy knowledge so too love too cannot be bought. Neither can we buy righteousness nor divine wisdom. In this great Yajna our very soul has to be sacrificed with a smile on the face. The mind has to be mastered and hard work has to be executed by the body.
Do not give undue importance to your physical body. Do not bother much about your 5 sense organs running after their respective objects. Forget about the minds material desires. Ignore your inner yearning and aspirations. Instead immerse all these in the Yajna of sacred activities. The Vedas proclaim: O pious one! O pure hearted one! Perform divine Yajnas for demigods. Immerse your body and mind in Yajnas of sacred activities. Complete this great Yajna by offering your soul nay very being.
O great soul! After listening to this proclamation and command of the Shrutis do not hesitate. Do not fear that your old habitual nature will obstruct you from walking on the path of selflessness and self sacrifice. The social network of past friends will create obstacles and advise thus: Give up sacred actions. Do not walk on the path of self sacrifice and selfless service to the world. This path is full of thorns and hence that age old path of hoarding and sense merriment is supreme. Do not ever fear such obstructions. Do not hesitate and aver because of such foolish advice. Such people must be ignored because their so called advice is erroneous and laced with ignorance. Such lowly obstructions can never stop you from marching ahead on the supreme path of selflessness. How can such rank lowliness affect you? If you ignore it how can it ever harm you? It is in your supreme interest that such erroneous tainted advice be ignored hook, line and sinker!
Vedas proclaim: O world humanity! You have descended from the supreme and certainly not lowliness. O man! You indeed are divine and not one to be looked down upon. O man! You are sacred and not impure. Hence act in accordance with your soul grandeur and glory. Perform those Yajnas that augment demigods. In this Yajna immerse your whole being. Thus your entire life will become Yajna manifest. In days of yore the deep import of Yajna was not simply restricted to scriptural discussions or self study. In fact endeavors were made to make every arena of life Yajna incarnate. Anyone whose aim was materialism too was taught to make even such pursuits Yajna manifest.
Lord Shri Krishna while elucidating the importance of Yajnas says in the Bhagwad Geeta:
Via Yajnas you must appease all demigods-powers of the entire cosmos that bestow well being. If you please demigods it follows suit that they too will please you. Thus by pleasing each other you all will attain supreme well being doubtlessly. This is because demigods pleased via Yajnas will bestow on you both material and spiritual joy. As a word of caution, if you enjoy these comforts without first offering to demigods you will be labeled a thief. This is because you must offer all that you have attained via pleasing demigods to them again and then enjoy them. Thus the wheel of enjoyment will move unhindered. Pleasures attained via Yajnas only can bestow on mankind both material and spiritual prosperity.
In our country-India right since time immemorial this tradition has been pursued with. Agnihotra is a means merely to draw the attention of the lay public to the precept of selfless service. It is an open truth that the more man harbors cooperation, love, compassion, generosity etc towards society the more he himself will gain these great qualities back from society. This is verily the true basis of attaining eternal joy.
Suppose someone is very wealthy, he/she is very good looking and healthy but if there is no one to love him/her, no one helping him/her then life becomes meaningless, insipid and virtually lifeless. Benefits accrue to human beings only when he behaves exactly with others as he expects others to behave with himself. Others will love us only to the extent we selflessly love others (Newtons 3 rd law of motion: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction).
Take the example of a joint family. Ones wife, small children and younger siblings are not that useful as far as earning wealth is concerned. Despite this the head of the household nurtures and rears them with love, affection and compassion even more than the love he has for his own self. The same head of the household who becomes aged as time goes by experiences the gratefulness from his children and younger siblings who themselves have entered adulthood. Even in this old age a person lives in an atmosphere of love and respect from his family members. The more mankind utilizes his material/spiritual powers for world well being the results too will be that much more beneficial for him.
Ordinarily the arena of sacred actions is believed to be the institution called family. But if we delve deep into the nature of mankinds bodily and intellectual prowess this arena is very limited. Almighty God has given humanity many glories and powers so that they protect, propagate and help advances other weak intellectual creatures of this world. The periphery of good will based activities must not remain limited to our blood relations and in fact must flow towards entire world humanity and other living beings. All glories generated by mankind with Gods grace must be utilized for sacred divine endeavors. When anyone uses his/her existence, capabilities, power, means and skills like Almighty God to make the world heavenly and joyous he/she actually attains the true goal of human life by attaining self/soul fulfillment.
If all this is not done there is no one more ungrateful than world humanity amongst all the creatures of Almighty God. Whatever is attained by human beings in this world is a sacred gift Yajna with its blessings. It means that others have generously helped us attain whatever we own today along with our social status. The father via his sperm and mother via her egg, blood, flesh and loving nourishment helped us take birth in this world. Teachers and preceptors blessed us all with a sound education. The books we read and study have been published after hard labor put in by a big team of professionals. Had they not put in great effort and time of theirs in publishing books you and I would have been rendered illiterate fools. It is society that has helped us own clothes, food, house etc. If they have generously helped us it is but natural that we too generously help nurture society for its all round well being. Anything less than this would obviously mean that we will be labeled thieves in the world. If both individual and cosmic gains are worked out in tandem lifes fulfillment can be ours for keeps. But if only selfishness rules the roost life will be insipid and full of lack. Not only this, but that from all corners selfish people face insults, censures, lack of help and so on and thus the ultimate result is nothing but strife. Those who are rank hoarders full of selfishness never see their desires fulfilled and because they do not even give a ear to others sage advice reap nothing but anguish/agony. Behind this innumerous obstacles and obstructions are conjoined.
There is only one solution to overcome such sorrow and that is living a life of Yajna. Agnihotra is only its symbol and although it is important the fact remains that man must cultivate qualities like renunciation, selfless sacrifice and generosity. Via good actions leaning towards piousness man must advance himself. Via his talents and capabilities he must in a cooperative manner help augment others joy, peace and comforts.
Scriptural literature gives many examples wherein as long as Yajna tradition persisted in the land of India there was joy and peace everywhere. In the Bhavishya Puranas author describes the social conditions of ancient eras as follows:
O King! In this country definitely each village has a temple and in every region Yajnas are conducted. Every household is replete with various material comforts. No one is poverty stricken. Every individual over here is spiritually inclined.
It has been Indias past tradition not to imbibe anything devoid of Yajna attitude. The basis of that lifestyle was sacred sentimental give and take. Today because this tradition of Yajna living has been perilously ignored everywhere there are signs of downfall and stress. Society is agitated, tense and in order to overcome them the lone solution is imbibing true Yajna tradition.
INVOKING DEMIGODS VIA YAJNAS
While elucidating the deep import of Yajnas scriptural authors say they are very effective methods of creating a bond of cooperation between human beings and demigods. To achieve success in any endeavor mere hard labor is just not enough. Further neither can mere divine powers do the needful. This is because endeavors of welfare need help of both in ample measure.
The above mystery has been dealt with by Lord Krishna in the Bhagwad Geeta (3/10-12) as follows:
Prajaapati Brahmaa at the beginning of the Kalpa after creating Yajna Samhitaa Prajaa said to them-With the help of this Yajna may you propagate and it will also fulfill all your desires. Via this Yajna you must augment demigods and they in turn will help you advance both materially and spiritually. In this manner looking upon it as your righteous duty you will mutually advance one another which in turn will give you supreme fulfillment. Demigods who augment via your Yajnas will unasked bless you with wholesome materials and comforts.
Another scriptural verse says:
Offer all your life span, vital force, sense organs, mind, soul etc to Yajnas. In this Mantra world humanity is commanded to offer their all nay their very being to Yajnas.
Just as mankind is inspired to alertly persevere so as to create a bond with demigods so too demigods too are given commands as follows:
O demigods! Your self and Yajmaanas (human Yajna doers) must sit close together and perform Yajnas cooperatively.
Man can benefit only if he establishes a bond with demigods, cooperate with them and augment them. This is because demigods satiated and nourished via Yajnas bestow on mankind innumerable means of joy and appropriate opportunities.
Maharshi Angiraas says:
Man can attain power, joy and other means of comfort by performing great Yajna acts which in turn appease demigods.
A pertinent question asked is who exactly are demigods? Where do they dwell? What type of relationship do we share with them? Why are they satiated via Yajnas? How do Yajnas nourish them? How can mankind attain their help/cooperation? What type of powers do demigods possess in order that they benefit world humanity? Why is it that without Yajnas, demigods fail to help world denizens? All these questions must be pondered over deeply so that the above mentioned observations can be understood fully well.
The gross meaning of demigods is great men, realized souls, true saints etc who give. Yajna hence means giving full cooperation to such great saints and helping their powers and missionary activities. Such great souls are worshipped by augmenting their sacred sentiments, creating an atmosphere of sacredness and via other paths helping attain success in their mission. Devotion/meditation means building a close inner bond with them and thus attaining benefits which in turn is also true worship offered at their hallowed feet. Assuming that we have no faith in great saintly personages or in their activities, if we do not cooperate with them or walk in their footsteps , we refuse to live as per discipline designed by them we will never attain their services even if they desire to do so. In such cases absolutely no benefits accrue to us. Hence it is most required that both create a bond of mutual affection, cooperation and good will. Yajna hence is nothing but creating this bond of oneness and unity. With a true resolve and for a great goal when 2 people unite there 1+1 is not equal to 2 but is equal to 11. Their united potency becomes 11 fold and not 2 fold. This augmented power gives unlimited gains to both persons. This then is the definition of worldly demigod worship of a gross Yajna.
The other set of demigods are those which are subtle and invisible. They are Gods various types of subtle divine powers. On the one hand Almighty God is one only and yet his qualities and areas of activity are manifold. These then are called demigods. In the same way within the deep recesses of Mother Nature (Prakriti) there are many powers/forces/energies which help in creation, propagation and annihilation of this cosmos. These too are called demigods. There are influencing radiations emitted by various stars, planets and galaxies. These too are called demigods. The suns rays have 7 colors and rays of various qualities like ultraviolet, alpha, beta, gamma and X rays which are also demigods.
In Indian scriptures 33 Koti demigods have been spoken of. Their 33 types are thus: 8 Vasus, 11 Rudras, 12 Aadityas, 1 Ashwini Kumaaras, 1 Pooshaa. These divine powers create changes, turmoil, uplifting in the atmosphere of the world. Demigods are 33 type, Pitrus 8 type, Asuras 99 type, Gandharvas 27 type, Pawan 49 type etc. This is not a matter of astonishment, curiosity or distrust. This research in fact is Indias ancient subtle science based on studies undertaken for very long time spans. There was a time when Indians knew these forces quite well and by benefiting from them they had mastered nature/Prakriti. It is said that demigods were imprisoned by the demon Raavana. He had gained victory over demigods which in reality meant he had unearthed these subtle forces so as to utilize, control, direct, invoke and bid adieu to them as per his needs. So symbolically speaking this is called imprisoning demigods.
In the days of yore, man journeyed to and fro to other planets, galaxies and so on. Many great Sidhas then had attained 8 Sidhis and 9 Nidhis which means they could make their bodies invisible or atomic in size, they could spread their bodily form gigantically in space, they could walk on water, they could travel by air in their bodies etc. All these amazing feats were performed using forces of subtle nature which we term as demigods. Every subtle power/force/energy in Spiritual Science is called demigod. The 5 elements too are demigods viz. water is Varuna Deva, heat is Agni Deva, wind is Vaayu Deva, earth is Gauri Devi and space is Indra Deva. In the same way many powers working in the deep cave of this world are also called demigods.
Invisible powers have 2 categories viz. conscious and active. Active powers are associated with material nature and conscious is associated with divinity. For example the gross form of Agni or fire is the ball called sun. Material scientists tend to look upon the sun as simply a ball of fire or a rotating/revolving planet. As against this according to Spiritual Sciences apart from its gross form the sun also possesses conscious vital force/Prana. It takes inspiration from God and is God incarnate. Apart from possessing a gross form the subtle form of water, wind and fire gods have a conscious soul and is related to God or divine cosmic consciousness. Just as the human body functions as per directions of conscious vital force present within it so too the visible functions of demigods are executed as per directions of its inner consciousness. When a bond is established with that inner soul consciousness the activities of inducing movement and obstruction of water, wind etc ensue. If Indras divine center is appeased by us via devotion/meditation man can induce rainfall as and when he so wishes. Bhagiratha of ancient era brought down River Ganges on planet earth by appeasing Ganges divine soul and as per desired direction of flow this river headed towards the ocean. In ancient time it was in this manner that people pleased other demigods too for attaining desired gains.
Ganesha, Saraswati, Lakshmi. Kali, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, Pooshaa, Ashwini Kumara, Kshetrapaal, Bhairava, Yogini and other demigods too are as mentioned above. These powers influence mankind in a varied manner. When the state of demigods and the bodily and mental state of man, focus at one point, a strong bond is forged between both of them. In spiritual parlance this connotes pleasing demigods or mastering them. In other words we can say that via certain spiritual practices the bodily parts, Chakras, subtle nerves, subtle glands and Brahmarandhras magnetic center are awakened in such a way that they can attract akin to a magnetic pull, desired forces/powers from this gigantic cosmos. This spiritual practice is called devotion to God or meditation. When such devotion to God or meditation succeeds it satiates a devotee with desired great fruits. The material scientists of Occident while designing scientific technology are pleasing the marriage procession of Rudra demigod. Our ancestors via activities like soul practices, austerities, Mantras, Yoga, Yajna etc established a strong bond with the subtle soul of divine principles and gained innumerable benefits from their great energies.
Divine Powers definition is virtually a widespread science that includes its characteristics, benefits attained via close proximity to them, its for, the mystery of their vehicles, the differences as far as the methods of their spiritual practice, obstacles in the way of spiritual practices, mystery of successfully attaining them etc. In this context it is not possible to describe it in detail and it is enough to say that via Yajnas demigods are pleased with relative ease. In Yajnas certain Mantras are chanted and it has a deep relationship with the above mentioned observations.
Vedic Mantras have been interwoven so extraordinarily and scientifically that if methodically it is chanted aptly special vibrations fill up in space. For special goals and endeavors specific Mantras are chanted as a result of which a sound vibration manifests. These then awaken divine centers of the aspirants body and in turn this attracts divine powers of the cosmos towards itself. Just as in the cosmos all Divine Powers reside in the same way in the microcosm (human body) its special centers are designed. Mantras are called Divine Sound and its energy is called thunderbolt or divine weapon too. This energy manifests due to Mantra chanting and the bodily and cosmic powers create a strong bond in a mutual fashion. They embrace each other and thus close proximity and relationship is established between them. A great power exists that creates a bond between a Yajna devotee and demigods/divinity. A gross viewpoint tells us that that prayer to God dwells in Mantras and some teachings too exist in them. These do not appear to be of very great importance. This prayer can take place using prose or poetry and not merely using Mantras. For example the sun in its gross aspect is a ball of blazing fire but subtly is Savita or divine soul. So too Mantras in their gross form are teaching oriented prayers but subtly are very important powerful mediums that help human life contact extremely Divine Powers of the cosmos. Mantra power is supremely great and hence the great Indian Saint Tulsidaasji too has eulogized it.
Mantras are Shabda Brahman or Divine Sounds. The stupendous potency of this sound was very much known to great Rishis of yore. They unfolded the movements of fast moving sound vibrations of the cosmos in a scientific manner which then manifested as Mantras. Word sound is a live existence which per second travels thousands of miles. Modern Science built missiles by unearthing electrical flow that is constantly on the move in interstellar spaces divine principle. With a flick of a button, missiles run miles upwards in space and like an arrow of sound land exactly at that place where it is programmed to do so. This missile technology freely travels in space motivated by cosmic electrical flow. As per the programming of the missile programmer missiles like obedient officials move speedily according to directions based on speed, direction and length of journey. Mantras can be called Spiritual Missiles.
Mantras are designed on the basis of sound based scientific laws. Today Western scientists have yet not unfolded the mystery of which electrical flow is created of which type by placing which word one after another. And yet all this was known to seers/sages of yore. By placing words in a certain orderly fashion certain parts of the mouth in a certain order start moving. As a result of this our bodys brain nerves, Chakras, centers, endocrine gland network and subtle nerves get excited. The turmoil created by the reaction and counter reaction of such movements produces a special electrical flow in space. This electrical flow can be transported to desired regions, just like missile technology. Modern scientists have created such an apparatus that travels to the moon. Mantras too are designed such that it can travel to various planets and worlds with ease. Their reach includes demigods, subtle divine worlds and divine energies.
Mantra power can be demonstrated by even small time Tantriks in the form of lowly stature miracles which include Maaran (killing someone), Mohan (delude someone), Ucchaatan (incite thoughts or sexual passion in the psyche of others), Vasheekaran (hypnotize someone so that he/she obeys all your commands, Stamban (making inert anothers powers) etc. Those who are serious Yoga aspirants their Mantra helps attain 8 Sidhis and 9 Nidhis. They control virtually every aspect of Mother Nature/Prakriti. Natures laws never obstruct their endeavors and hence they carry out acts which are beyond the ken of natures laws. In fact they seem to be against natures laws and impossible to execute. There was a time in the ancient land of India wherein the science of mastering scriptures and Yantras was known to even laymen. Great Rishis had succeeded in attaining the supreme spiritual state via Mantra energy and also the method of man or soul become God/cosmic soul. It will indeed be erroneous on our part today to look down upon Mantra energy and mocking it. We must deeply understand that it is a very influential science. Today this science may well be in a demeaned state yet there was a time in days of yore when it had reached great pinnacles of glory. We must hence aspire and hope that its lost glory will be reinstated fully in the near future. Word power is extremely potent. And hence the manner in which words have been interwoven scientifically in Vedas is verily beyond the ken of the human intellect. If only we understand fully the deep import and mystery of these sacred words, act in accordance with their profound teachings or that we unearth the hidden science and energy embedded in them know for sure these mantras will be akin to Kaamadhenu or the proverbial wish fulfilling cow. Maharshi Patanjali while endorsing this says (Mahaabhaashya):
If after understanding totally, even one word of Shrutis, we translate it into action verily this one word will become a Kaamadhenu that will give us heavenly joy.
OPTIMAL BALANCE OF SUPER DIVINE POWERS
According to Vedas Yajnas have 3 arenas viz. cosmos, body and earth.
1) COSMOS: In this gigantic cosmos many known and unknown movements occur. Behind these many invisible forces are at work. Interstellar space Yajnas are those wherein subtle movements take place in this world that include reactions due to the influence of planets/stars, seasonal changes, activities of demigods like Indra/Varun/Rudra/Marut, human sentiments and activities etc.
2) Bodily Yajna encompasses bodily movements directed by the 5 elements, wind exhalation in the form of Prana/Apaan/Vyaan etc, phlegm/bile/wind functioning and activities of mind/intellect/ego/psyche. When both these Yajnas function optimally the worlds peace and prosperity remain balanced. When either of these Yajnas becomes imbalanced many distortions and calamities erupt. If the cosmic Yajna goes haywire earthquake, famine, storms, floods, no rain, diseases, epidemics etc ensue and this in turn results in communal hatred, agitations, wars, strife and hardships. If bodily Yajnas go haywire ill health, weakness, short life, despair, worries, hatred, delusion of mind etc manifest rampantly.
3) The third Yajna is Havan. It helps overcome distortions and lack that manifest in the above 2 Yajnas. When the atmosphere predominates with cold we light up the hearth of our house and ward it off. When vitamins decrease in our body we take medicines and injections to augment them. Similarly Havans make use of certain materials and powerful Vedic Mantra chanting so as to optimally balance micro and macro Yajnas. With the result true joy and everlasting peace rule the roost.
In many places these 3 Yajnas are described in sacred scriptures. Cosmic Divine Powers are forever involved in peace initiation, protection and uplifting of living beings of all worlds. Is it not a Yajna since these powers are constantly working towards advancement of all beings?
A description in various spiritual texts is given regarding the action Yajna of cosmic Divine Powers. In the Gopath Braahmana (1/13) it is said:
Agni is Hotaa, Vaayu is Ardhavyoo, Surya is Udgaataa, Chandramaa is Brahmaa and Megha is Sadasya.
In the Yajurveda it is said:
The Yajna Vedi has 7 boundaries. It has 21 Samidhaas. These Yajnas are made widespread by demigods. Purusha like a beast is bound to it. Demigods getting Havi from Purusha make this Yajna widespread.
In the Atharva Veda (11/10/29) the body is called Yajna:
By looking upon bones as Samidhaa and sperm as Ghee 8 types of tastes were taken by demigods so as to enter the Purushas body.
In the Shatpath Braahmana it is said:
This Purusha body itself is Yajna because it is a medium via which Yajnas are performed.
Those Divine powers which reside in space for propagation/nurturing this cosmos have entered the human body too. Both are strongly bound to each other. The micro gets cold, heat, light, air, food, water etc from the cosmos or macro. In the same way our sense organs are under the jurisdiction of Divine Powers. If there is no light how can our eyes function? If there is no sound how can our ears listen? Thus micro (creatures) and macro (cosmos) are inseparably bound to one another in a Yajna manner. One Yajna results in another Yajna akin to a chain reaction. In the Shatpath Braahmana it is said: I make Yajnas from Yajnas. Other Vedic references of this sort also are available: Yajnas are created from Yajnas. Demigods execute Yajnas from other Yajnas. Those Yajnas use spring season as Ghee, hot season as fuel and autumn season as Havi.
It is the Spiritual Yajna of Divine Powers in the human body that helps sustain life. Via air we inhale/exhale, via fire we digest our food, via water blood circulation takes place, earth helps nurture bones, sun nourishes our eyes, sonic waves help in hearing to things in a Yajna manner. Demigods reside in Brahmarandhra on the scalp, Sahasradal Kamal, Kanda of Kundalini Power, Aajnaa Chakra, Swaadhishtaan Chakra, Manipur Chakra, Anaahat Chakra, Soorya Chakra, Idaa, Pingalla, Sushumnaa etc. The Divine powers of invisible worlds are also related to the mind, ego, intellect, psyche and other mental centers. The Praanaagni Upanishad says: All demigods dwell in this body. The Atharva Veda (11/8/32) says: A realized saint who knows this Purusha says it is verily Brahman. This is because just as cows dwell in cowsheds so too all demigods reside in the body. The Yajna taking place between the body and cosmos creates a very strong bond. To the extent this bond remains balanced the body and mind remain healthy. When this bond weakens or deteriorates distortions ensue. If even a slight imbalance takes place in the general state of cosmic Divine Powers turbulence manifests in this and other worlds. Accidents, strife and obstacles too manifest as a result of this.
Yajna is a therapy whereby bodily and spatial demigods displeasure, mismanagement and imbalance is corrected optimally. Vedic Mantra chanting full of deep import, Samidhaa of special tree wood, special Havya materials and special methodology performed in a congregational manner induces balance, joy and nurturing in demigods. Thus every type of steadiness and joyful conduciveness are created.
SATIATING DIVINE POWERS VIA YAJNAS
Demigods are nothing but Gods powers that manage this cosmos. Different powers are given specific names. It has a strong correlation with various problems faced by the entire world and mans individual life pertaining to wealth, joy, advancement, downfall, loss, gain, illness, strife, stress etc. By attaining pleasure of demigods (divine powers) man can easily throw wide open the doors of his all round success and prosperity. Assuming that demigods get displeased even intense effort on the part of that person will reap failure only. Amongst all the spiritual practices enumerated that help make conducive Divine Powers, Yajnas reign supreme. Yajna pleases demigods and they bestow apt situations on its devotee. There are many scriptural proofs for this viz. Matsya Puraana (239/38):
The lotus eyed Lord Vishnu is pleased via Yajnas. If he is appeased the world remains joyous and if he is content, the world experiences contentment.
During the Yajna conducted by the demon King Bali Lord Janardana as Vaaman (small boy) had come there. Not as a guest but as an alms asker. As per the Matsya Puraana (246/20):
If that Lord who is not easily pleased even via religious vows/Vratas, fasting etc starts asking for alms, is it not astounding? All this was the greatness of King Balis Yajna.
The Hansa answered the Rishis when asked which actions give which corresponding fruits as per Vishnoo Dharmottar Puraana (137):
Man on performing Yajnas attains the world of Vishnoo etc. Havans destroy sins. Mantra chanting satisfies ones desires. Speaking the truth helps attain the supreme state.
Hansa is praising Yajnas in the Vishnoo Dharmottar Puraana (162):
Yajnas sustain demigods and Pitrus/ancestors. World creatures are under the control of demigods and demigods are controlled by Yajnas. Yajna verily is that Lord Vishnoo in which all animate/inanimate beings reside. For Yajnas the world of demigods and herbs has been created.
Swayambhu Manuji created this world of humanity for Yajna sake only and said: Yajna bestows well being on one and all and hence assiduously work in a Yajna fashion. We can overcome sins by eating remnants of Yajna food. Wise men proclaim that wealth possessed by Yajna doers is divine.
Via Yajnas saintly people enter heaven where demigods reverently worship them. Hansa told great Rishis: O divine Rishis! A saintly Yajna performing person on entering heaven attains innumerable comforts. Hence with intense perseverance worship Almighty God via Yajnas.
Hansaji is describing the methodology of Havans to great Rishis in Vishnoo Dharmottar Puraana (287/3-4-5-7-15)):
The mouth of demigods who work for world well being is fire and desires can be fulfilled only by appeasing demigods. Yajna fire verily is the supreme image of Vishnu. By offering materials in this fire it reaches sun god. Sun helps make clouds which rain water. Water produces food grains and this in turn creates world living beings (3-4).
Demigods shower in the downward direction and human beings upwardly. The chief upward showering in fire are materials created from earth (5).
Demigods attain self fulfillment when materials are offered in Havan fire. These satiated demigods satiate mankind by fulfilling their desires (6).
Yajna performing helps cleanse ones soul of all dirt and thus heaven is attained. Yajnas help destroy all vile activities of the world and none should doubt this. (15).
In the 3 rd chapter of Manu Smriti (75-76) it is written:
Those demigods/saintly men associate with Homas are known to nourish/nurture the entire world. This is because materials offered to the Homa fire reaches Aaditya demigod. This in turn induces sun to form clouds which shower us with rain. Rain water produces food grains and thus living beings are created. Hence anyone performing Yajnas are in fact nurturing all world creatures.
In Shri Vishnu Puraana (6) it is written:
O Dharmaraaj! Demigods satiated by Yajnas pour rain which in turn satiated world denizens. Yajnas always bestow world welfare.
In Kurmapuraana (Poorvaardha 20/40) Bharadwaaj says:
During a Yajna if anyone worships the eternal Lord Vasudeva they are in fact worshipping all demigods since they are manifestations of Almighty God himself. Thus it connotes that by worshipping eternal Lord Vasudeva in a Yajna all demigods are automatically worshipped.
In the Shiv Puraana (1/4) it is said:
(Yajna is a supreme means to please Lord Shiva) hence O great Rishis! All of you must go to planet earth and perorm a long gigantic Yajna for 1000 years.
In the Brihad Naaradpuraana (39/61) it is said:
Those who worship God via Yajna in a selfless manner transports his/her 21 generations to Haris temple.
In the Vaaman Puraana (39/64) Sootaji said:
O Rishis! Those devoid of mental attachments worship God and his followers via Yajnas are known to sanctify the entire world with the sacred dust of their holy feet.
In the Vaaman Puraana (37/46) it is said:
The Lord of all demigods Shri Vishnu took up his Vaaman form so as to satisfy a Yajna and fire god in the same way as a Ritwija does so to the Yajmaan/Yajna doer.
In the Matsya Puraana (183/1/42) it is said:
Via Yajna and Mantras those who worship me, worship Rudra become devoid of fear.
In the Matsya Puraana (183/1/24) it is said:
Lest my devotees with a strong resolve worship me via Yajnas for salvation or Mukti know for sure that for thousands and millions of Kalpas he/she will not take rebirth.
In the Kalikaa Puraana (31) it is said:
Via Yajnas demigods and world denizens experience fulfillment. Yajnas produce food grains. Only Yajnas add to the grandeur of this world. This entire world is Yajna incarnate.
In the Kalikaa Puraana (32) it is said:
Yajnas satiate demigods. The entire world resides in Yajnas. Yajna helps remain steady Mother Earth. Yajnas liberate world denizens from bondage.
In the Saur Puraana (7/14) it is said:
Lord Shankar is the enjoyer of Yajnas which means he is pleased via Yajnas.
In the Saur Puraana (7/36) it is said:
Yajnas help worship Lord Shankar.
In the Padma Puraana (5) it is said:
Great saints via Yajnas worship God and in turn demigods too get fulfillment.
Shri Parasharji says in this context:
O meritorious one! For Yajna program Brahmaji created the 4 Varnas which are great means of Yajnas.
In the Yajurveda (11/6/7) Almighty God says that Yajna is mans righteous duty because Yajna is the substratum of this world:
Via Yajnas Almighty God created all animals, Rig/Yajur/Saama/Atharva Veda Richaas and via Yajnas he nurtures them.
Via Yajnas if demigods do not receive their share they tend to weaken with the result the world faces small/big calamities. In the Kalikaa Puraana (20) Shri Maarkandeyaji says:
Without Yajnas the food of demigods does not reach them. Thus clouds get destroyed and rain does not pour. Lack of rain water man has to go hungry because of famines and epidemics.
In the Kalikaa Puraana (20/16) it is said:
Without Yajnas world humanity becomes fearful and sorrow ridden and lack of rains world humanity dies because of strife and stress.
Life devoid of Yajnas and penance leads to stress and hardships because food grains deplete alarmingly and so does ones wealth.
As quoted above the greatness of Yajnas has no limits. It is like a freely moving bull that roams with head held high the world over. Its potency is eulogized in every corner of the globe. Thus Yajna incarnate bull with its war like cry echoes goodwill in every direction.
In the Go Braahmana (3/7) it is said:
Rig, Yajur, Saama and Atharva Vedas are the horns of the bull called Yajna. Their legs are the morning, noon and dusk eulogies/prayers. Its 2 heads are Brahmaudan and Pravargya. These 3 are bound to Mantra, Kalpa and Braahmana. Its 7 hands are the 7 metres/ Chhandas of Gayatri etc.
NOURISHMENT OF DIVINE PRINCIPLES VIA YAJNAS
In the Paanini Sootras the word Yajna comes from:
Yajayaachayatavicha uprakcharaksho nad.
It means worship of God, association with saints and charity. Thus according to Paanini Yajna means worship of demigods and worship of demigods via Hari. Just as each country elects its government for managing its nation aptly so as to ward off hardhips and problems faced by its citizens so too demigods are varius powers of Almighty God that give apt rainfall to the entire world and keep the cosmos well managed/governed. When the elected governments tax collection is poor the lay public faces crime, looting etc. Similarly if Yajnas (tax) are not performed to appease demigods (government) as mentioned in Vaayu Puraana demigods fail to control water and other elements. Thus either the world faces floods or total lack of rains like famines etc. In turn world denizens undergo immense hardships and stressful lives.
In Nirukta (3/19/6) Yajna is synonymous with worship of demigods, fire sacrifices etc. Overhere demigods are appeased who in turn optimally control water, fire and other powers. In turn as a result world denizens sustain life without getting destroyed. But today in India because governments are secular the import of Vedas and Yajnas no longer rule the roost. The dire result of all this is that the world over, natural calamities have taken over. If only Yajna and Yaagas are performed everywhere along with other sacred activities natural calamities can be warded off so that joy and peace can reign everywhere around the globe.
HOW CAN THE ENTIRE WORLD BE NURTURED VIA YAJNAS?
The thing is we must offer demigods their required materials called Havya. We are gross but demigods are subtle. Suppose we give them their required materials, how will they actually receive them? They need subtle materials only then can they be propitiated. The solution given was Yajna. We must understand its example. We must give food to our soul. We are gross and the food offered by us is gross too whereas the soul is subtle. How can the soul receive gross food? It requires subtle food. The solution for this is that we swallow this food via our mouths as an offering to Jatharaagni or fire of the stomach. This fire transforms gross food into a subtle form. This subtilized food is then imbibed by the soul which also renders our body hale and hearty. If gross food is not given to the soul our mind, body, sense organs will become diseased. Thus neither can we benefit nor aid others to do so. Our intellect will not only refuse to work for us but that it will not help others in need too.
When we offer sacred materials/Havya to the Yajna fire this gross fire transforms Havya into a subtle form. Further gross fire too becomes subtle in nature which merges into Super Subtle Fire. This in turn with the help of subtle wind enters the atmosphere and Diu Loka. Overhere demigods receive their subtle food. Demigods satiated by this subtle food shower rain on earth for food grain production. As a result mankind oozes with joy and peace. This is spoken of in Manu Smriti and Vedas too.
In the Nirukta (7/25/1) Shri Durgaachaarya writes that when we please demigods all animate/inanimate beings will be nurtured aptly because they are dependent on good rainfall and food grains. The way to please demigods is via Yajnas and hence Yajnas are of great value.
Scriptures proclaim that Yajnas are a must for appeasing demigods. So a pertinent question asked is who are demigods? How is mankind related to them? We cannot ignore them by not performing Yajnas and demigods too have their duty towards mankind. In the Bhagwad Geeta it is written that Prajaapati spoke thus:
Influence demigods appropriately via Yajnas. By satiating them they will satisfy you all. By mutually satiating one another attain the pinnacles of supreme greatness. The question asked is which are those demigods who can be pleased via world humanity using Yajna as the means? How do demigods in return create joyful circumstances for satisfying mans desires?
If we delve deep into the above questions the names of demigods like Agni, Chandra, Prithvi, Soorya, Aushadhi, Vanaspati etc come to mind. How do Yajnas give them contentment? This question too must be pondered over in depth. A gross vision of this has been portrayed by Manuji in the following verse:
Yajna materials offered to sacred fire contact solar rays. Thus an apt atmosphere is created in interstellar space which manifests cloud formation. At the right time these clouds shower rain on earth which help produce herbs, plants, trees, fruits, vegetables, flowers etc. These are not only beneficial for human beings but that all living beings take full advantage of them to sustain their very existence. Various types of life forces are present in herbs, plants, trees, fruits, vegetables, flowers etc which sustain life of all creatures. These life forces are created by demigods like Agni, Chandra, Prithvi, Soorya, Aushadhi, Vanaspati etc. Therefore if we offer demigods their subtle food via Yajna fire they will help augment various life forces in a wholesome manner. This then is the method of satiating demigods via Yajnas. Prajaapati or world creator is performing Yajnas in the form of sun/moon sending rays to earth, sun sends heat and light, wind circulates life force and a group of demigods join forces to obstruct demons in the form of virus/germs/bacteria from making us ill or warding off imminent death by them. Hence if we fail to execute Yajnas in a big way, demigods will refuse to perform their duty towards world creatures. This will then give a free for all roadway to demons to execute vile activities like epidemics, diseases, famines etc.
If we perform Yajnas methodically it helps in proper nourishing of demigods. This is what we mean by purifying atmosphere or warding off air pollution via Yajnas. Over here it also connotes nourishing of all demigods and not merely wind god. Thus all types of atmospheres are purified. Once demigods are nourished optimally they kill all human enemies like diseases etc which then go to bestow on man a long healthy life span. It is clearly mentioned in sacred scriptures that Yajnas are food for demigods. In the Shatpath Braahmana it is said:
Prajaapati told demigods that Yajna materials are their food. Suppose we keep demigods humgry by not performing Yajnas most definitely tainted activities will augment the world over. Man will become diseased and die prematurely. Today all this is witnessed by us everywhere. It is an imperative fact that demigods obtain energy to function from Yajnas.
In the Shatpath Braahmana it is said:
Demigods function with means called Stoma. Stoma is a type of Yajna and thus only via Yajnas can demigods act.
Do Yajnas create beneficial situations or not in the atmosphere? This can be experienced first hand by one and all. When Yajna materials are offered to Yajna fire a special fragrance is inhaled by individuals in far off places. Life utility based powers of Yajna materials (Aahutis) are rendered extremely subtle. The help manifest life forces in demigods like Vayu, Prithvi, Soorya etc and they in turn sustain the life force of all creatures.
There are many who fear that instead of burning Ghee, grains and other valuable materials in the Yajna fire why not donate it to individuals in society for their welfare? Why unnecessarily burn up all these materials to ashes? In reality those who question thus are purposely flaunting their ignorance. Assuming we donate a portion of Ghee to one individual only he/she will benefit marginally but if that same portion is offered to Yajna fire thousands will benefit by inhaling sacred Yajna fumes. It is hence that Yajnas are full of selfless service and renunciation. Every individual associated with it lovingly serves all beings. One portion of Yajna offering/Aahuti becomes so subtle which activitates infinite fold life forces in demigods. The latter in return give benefits to thousands of creatures in this world. In the Shatpath Braahmana such sentiments pertaining to Yajnas has been written beautifully as follows:
Asuras or demons covered all herbs with fatally venomos substances. Men and animals use herbs to sustain life. They thought that by making them use this we can defeat demigods. But what happened is that only animals ate those herbs and since human beings did not use them, demons could not defeat demigods.
One must note minutely in the above story that it is best to abstain eating food/herbs which contain demons in the form of disease generating bacteria, germs etc. Demons yearn to defeat demigods by making human and other creatures eat food grains, herbs etc that are infected by poisonous germs. Of course it is a fact that by not eating food, beings go hungry. How long can living beings live without food, air and water? And demons are so sly and vile that they do not reveal themselves very easily. It is difficult to first recognize them and then overcome them. Hence demons are said to put on a false garb and facade which deludes and harasses demigods. As mentioned in the story above demons were hiding in the food grains etc. Hence demigods vowed to destroy these demons so as to protect themselves from a demonic onslaught. Someone asked the demigods as to how would they destroy these demons? The answer given was that via Yajnas this was very much achievable. From this episode it becomes crystal clear that in order to destroy, germs, venom etc in food grains etc that are responsible for ill health one has to definitely take recourse to Yajnas. Wherever Yajna programs are conducted on a regular footing there health destroying bacteria etc dwelling in food, herbs etc are easily warded off.
The above storys gist is given in Shatpath Braahmana thus:
Only via yajna health destroying germs were killed that are present in food/herbs partaken by humans and other beings. As a result not only world humanity but other beings too started partaking these herbs etc. What more proof is required to point out that Yajnas purify the atmosphere and thus ward off air pollution? In Braahmana texts there are many more such examples elucidated in detail. Readers can further refer to Gopath Braahmanas Uttar Part (1/19) and Kausheetaki Braahmana (5/1).
In a nutshell one can say that it does not matter whether one is performing Yajnas for desire fulfillment or a regular Yajna. Its fruits may be material or spiritual but what stands out is that all Yajnas purify the atmosphere. None can refute this priceless fact. After performing Yajnas we cannot escape its great results. This is an imperative and most definite result of Yajnas. If we wish to attain any other goal of Yajnas even then we will have to go through this path. This is an inseparable bond between demigods and human beings. In this manner it is a root substratum of human societys advancement.
It is only when humans successfully complete their Yajna, can demigods perform their appointed Yajna in return. This is a supreme righteous precept. It is one without a second, great and incomparable to anything else.
Maharshi Yaaska while commenting on Vedic terminology has the following to say about the word Deva:
Why are Devas/demigods called thus? The answer is because they donate/give charity. They throw light, become illumined themselves or stay in Diu Loka. Maharshi Yaaskas observations clearly opine that daa dyotana meaning illumination or illumining other things. It also connotes demigods who dwell in space. These qualities help identify demigods easily. Researchers opine that if you wish to prove anything 2 aspects are most required. What are they? One is characteristic and the other is proof. Scriptures too say that something can be proved only by their characteristic and proof. From the above characteristics Soorya, Chandra, Prithvi, Jal, Agni etc connote demigods/Deva which is their existences proof.
In the Yajur Veda (14/20) a Mantra tells us that earth, fire and other matter are clearly demigods:
If the Mantra is read aptly the reader will realize which material objects connote demigods. If demigods are revered via Yajnas man attains various powers. How does this happen? Let us understand this answer.
Regular Agnihotra is called Divine Yajna in scriptures. Divine Yajnas mean performing pious acts keeping demigods in mind. A Yajna pyre is erected and fire is lit in it. On a daily basis Havya or Yajna materials are offered in this sacred fire. By doing this demigods are pleased or in other words they are sanctified.
Fire is the mouth of demigods. Hence any material added to fire is received by various demigods. It is akin to humans eating food which is then passed on to every organ/cell of the body. In the same way materials added to Yajna fire are easily received by demigods like water, earth, fire, space etc.
When demigods like water, earth, fire, space etc. get purified it is called honoring of demigods. Via Yajnas demigods are sanctified. Meaning they are purified. These sanctified/pleased demigods are utilized by householder beings. Via their sense organs all living beings imbibe these material objects.
This augments the power of our sense organs. Senses become pure, life becomes sacred and disease free. Our bodily organs made of pure and sacred water, food etc too becomes sanctified. Your mind is synonymous with the type of food you eat. Is it not power attained when the senses become potent and the mind is rendered pure and sacred? Which indeed is greater power than this? With a pure mind man can carry out innumerable tasks for sure.
YAJNA PURUSHAS GREATNESS
At the time of Pralaya or cosmic annihilation everywhere darkness/Tamas ruled the roost. Almighty Lord or creator of this world at that time did Eekshana. This then induced movement in Prakriti/nature made of 3 Gunas which were initially equipoised. At that time Almighty God was called Yajna Purusha (Yajur Veda 31 & Taitereya Braahmana 3/3/75). From this Yajna Purusha manifested various other Yajnas and later as time elapsed, all Yajnas put together manifested as this Cosmic Yajna in a fully developed manner. Since the Lord himself is Yajna incarnate and so too is his created cosmos nothing apart from Yajnas exist in this world. This we can say without overstating. The 4 Vedas too manifested from Yajna incarnate Almighty God (Yajur Veda 31/7 & Shatpath Braahmana 1/1/4/3). Hence they too are Yajna incarnateand whatever exists is nothing beyond Yajnas. And say what else can exist? Apart from Yajnas nothing exists. Anything outside the periphery of Yajnas gets destroyed. Certain Yajna Sciences are called demonic powers but know for sure that too is Gods Maya or power of illusion (Rig Veda 10/55/2).
In the Bhagwad Geeta it is written that Prajaapati created both Yajnas and creatures together. He ordered all creatures to attain their desires via Yajnas. On an average in the Atharva Veda Sookta all types of Yajnas have been enumerated. Further it says that Yajnas manifested from Almighty God. Their names are Darshapaurnamaas, Vaajpeya, Ashwamedha, Raajasooya etc. Chiefly these Yajnas were created for human beings. In the Rig Veda (1/84/2) it is said that Indra attends eulogies sung in praise of Rishis and Yajnas conducted by human beings.
From the above Mantra it is clear as to what special qualities are possessed by man and demigods. There are other Mantras wherein separate descriptions of mankind and demigods are given. The above mentioned Mantra should not be misconstrued by believing that Rishis never performed Yajnas. Rishis did perform Yajnas. And yet what the above mentioned Mantra is trying to say that predominantly Yajnas are instruments for world humanity to fulfill their desires. In comparison to what man attains via Yajnas great Rishis attain much more via Sankalpa/power of resolve and eulogy to Almighty God (Yajur Veda 17/28). But this power of eulogy was attained by Rishis via fire worship (Atharva Veda 4/23/5) and Rig Veda 10/80/4). In the Mahaabhaaratas Shanti Parva it is said that at the beginning of Tretaa Yuga Vaivamvat Manu manifested. Hence humanity was created in Tretaa Yuga. Yajnas specifically were performed more and more in this era. This is because era degeneration rendered power of resolve and eulogies that much more ineffective. Keeping this fact in mind the above Mantra says that man has a special bond with Yajnas. Krit Yuga is Divine Era. In it nature based Yajnas function optimally and hence at such times man does not require Yajna help in any major way. During this era there is no variedness or great potency of Yajnas. At that time earth lived in a Divine Era. If demigods themselves manifest on planet earth whom will mankind offer Yajnas to? In those times Rishis and demigods were the chief authors of World Yajnas.
Human Yajnas are just not merely mediums of understanding World Yajnas but are helpers in directing World Yajnas. Micro Yajnas are transformed into Macro/Cosmic Yajnas by human Yajnas. These Yajnas are not called Kalpa because of Kalpanaa or imagination. In fact ecause they have divine potential they are called Kalpa. Anyone who methodically performs Yajnas, manifest divine energy in their soul/psyche. This happens so that they become capable enough to direct World Yajnas. Sometimes in the World Yajna controlled by Yajna incarnate Almighty God some calamities do set in like flooding, famine, earthquake, tsunamis etc. The question asked is that is all this given to us by God? No! Certainly not! This is not given by God. All this is but the fruits of our actions. God is not harsh and merciless to induce flooding, famine, earthquake, tsunamis etc. and thus bring stress and strife in the lives of mankind who are Gods beloved children. Hence all these taints and distortions definitely man made. It also follows suit that if man can induce flooding and other calamities he can also induce optimum rainfall, apt circumstances and wholesome seasons. In a certain sense we are authors and directors of apt seasonal control. In this manner in order to make World Yajnas well managed and regular time and again, God gave great Rishis at the commencement of creation technology called Yajna. Via Gods regular duties there is arrangement of proper rainfall everywhere and yet on certain occasions excess or lack of rainfall is witnessed by us all the world over. Via Kaareerishta Yajnas Rishis create monsoon seasons. Germs, bacteria etc found in natural dwellings, various places seasons are destroyed by Rishis via Bhaishajya Yajnas. Putreshti Yajna helps childless married couples to give birth to children. Via great Yajnas called Ashwamedha, Raajasooya and Vaajpeya partial Yajnas of the microcosm along with its energy is rendered equivalent to that of World Yajnas. Hence we can say that human Yajnas are simply means to understand Cosmic Yajnas and are their reformers, controllers and aides too. They destroy sins and generate grandeur plus Divine Powers.
Generally we perform Yajnas in the form of Agnihotra wherein fire is lit. Never ever look upon this fire as material and wordly (Yajur Veda 5/4). Vedas proclaim that within this material fire manifests one more fire. This added fire can be visualized only via a divine vision or Rishis who are imbued with Divine Powers. In other words great saints via these powers manifest one more fire in the material fire of Agnihotra. This inner fire present in the cave of material fire is said to the son of great Rishis. How then do Rishis create this subtle fire? A general answer would be via friction. This is friction takes place in divine vision, divine speech and divine thinking/reflection.
In previous verses (Yajur Veda 5/20) it is said that fire is churned via Mantras. On reflection a question asked is whether the second fire that emerges from churning is Almighty God in his Cosmic Fire form or is it some other fire. Scholarly and wise men must deeply reflect over this point. I forone simply has to say this that the ordinarly loking Yajna fire must never be looked upon as worldly or material. Within it there definitely exists another fire which Vedas are indicating in various verses. Keeping this inner subtle fire in mind we must perform Yajnas with intense faith (Yajur Veda 3/11). If faith is lacking Yajnas never succeed. Yajna oozes with both material and spiritual grandeur. Yajna protects everybody. Yajnas help destroy all our sins. Yajnas help fire enact extraordinary feats and tasks. A great responsibility rests on the shoulders of those Yajna devotees who harbor intense faith. Hence they must prove to world humanity the enormous power and influence of Yajnas (Yajur Veda 1/2; Rig Veda 1/24/14; Rig Veda 6/3/5; Rig Veda 8/23/8; Atharva Veda 12/2/37).
From the above facts it is crystal clear that the aura and radiance of an individual who does not perform Yajna gets destroyed. In order to protect this aura and radiance Yajnas are most required and imperative. In the Purusha Sookta of the Vedas Almighty God is called Yajna. It simply means that God created this world in an optimal fashion and that it is well managed in an unanarchic manner. Secondly this world itself is Yajna incarnate. All its tasks are carried out under such stringent laws that all objects function aptly in their appointed tasks. Just as this world is a gigantic Yajna in the same way mans life akin to a cog in the wheel too is a Yajna. Its aim is to induce mankind to create a semblance of balance between his inner and outer being. In this manner he/she can forge a strong bond optimally with the entire world.
The above observations help us conclude that in ancient eras Yajnas were not considered to be a special spiritual task or some miraculous mantra chanting. In fact Yajnas were very much a part and parcel of life in those times. Yajnas are categorized chiefly in 3 ways viz. seasonal basis, mans righteous duties and nations governance and management. Thus in order to solve problems related to economy, culture and political governance certain cooperative and social endeavors were pursued with. These tasks were rooted in Yajnas. So in ancient eras Indian society and culture were nothing short of Yajna manifestation. Gopath Braahmana Yajna names and methodology are enumerated wherein it becomes clear that ancient Indian citizens verily lived a life of true Yajna. As a result they oozed with great health, good charactered progeny, good rainfall, good governance, knowledge, wisdom, science and God or Self Realization.
Following are the types of endeavors fulfilled via Yajnas:
1) Health is of 2 types. One is individual and the other is social. Seasonal illnesses like cold, cough, diaorrhea etc and epidemics like plague, malaria etc can attack anyone and everyone. A lone individual is just not capable enough to overcome them. In days of yore Yajnas based season wise could help decrease drastically disease based distortions. Thus society enjoyed good health. In fact because of this Gopath Braahmana calls them Bhaishajya Yajnas.
2) If one is childless and wants a great child with a long life span we are ordained to perform Putrakaameshti Yajna. A certain portion of this Yajna is also conjoined to Sanskaaras like Garbhaadhaan, Punsavan and Seemantonnayan and also to Pitru Yajna.
3) Yajnas have a special relationship with rainfall because the prime basis of wealth generation by the lay public depends on rainfall. In ancient eras when a drought like situation occurred great Rishis would manifest rainfall via Yajnas. This has been detailed in many places and even in todays contemporary times these Yajnas have proved fruitful.
4) The true import of wealth means materials of good utility value in our life. Currencies and other avenues are merely means of buying/selling these materials and can be changed any time. Thus true wealth connotes food, livestock, clothes, shelter etc. which are a must for comfortable living. This type of wealth is definitely required even for conducting Yajnas. For this Gomedha Yajnas are prescribed wherein wealth belonging to society augments a great deal.
5) In ancient culture a kingdom was such wherein society was governed in an optimal manner. All world human society was tied in a bond of oneness so that joy and peace prevailed everywhere. This helped people overcome fear of wars and strife and instead used their precious time and energy not only for personal benefits but for society at large. In order to work for world welfare Ashwamedha Yajnas were conducted on a gigantic scale. This in turn helped anarchic and unruly regions in the world get transformed into aptly governed ones. Thus no longer could they break peace and welfare that ruled the roost everywhere.
6) Via 5 great Yajnas the solar and lunar worlds were made radiant and as a result guests, aged, ill, downfallen, animals, birds etc were fed sumptuously. Hence say is there anything greater than such selfless service and pious sentiments of compassion? It is because of such Yajnas that mankind manifested sacred sentiments of forgiveness, compassion, non-violence etc. Thus their lives were not limited to mad material pursuits but that divine qualities too were given an apt platform to proliferate.
7) After doing all this when a true devotee says Idam na mama meaning O Lord all that exists is not mine but yours only, he/she can never experience bondage to the world and any actions/Karmas. This selflessness is a very special characteristic of Yajna. In the Bhagwad Geeta Lord Krishna says: Apart from Yajna actions all other actions lead to bondage. In this manner a person who realizes the deep import of Yajnas also acts accordingly and hence becomes capable enough of attaining salvation or liberation (Moksha/Mukti).
It has been proved beyond doubt that in ancient Indian culture Yajnas were given utmost importance and from here its sacred precept spread all over the world. Of course it is but natural that because of disparity as far as region and society is concerned the methodology, actions, materials etc of Yajnas vary in different regions. And yet the root source of Yajna sentiments is the same in any country and culture. In ancient Greek and Roman civilization Yajna culture did exist and even today Parsis are devout fire worshippers. Within Jainism and Buddhism incense and flame lamps used are subtle forms of Yajna only. In Jewish, Christianity, Islam and other semetic sects traditions of lighting flame lamps, candles etc are definitely found. Chinese tradition calls Yajna Ghoma which appears to be a resultant of the word Homa. Ancient indwellers of Egypt and Red Indians of America too were known to perform Yajnas. From this it can be proved that Yajna has been the root righteous duty of human civilization and it was spread everywhere by Indian Aryans. As long as Indian citizens understood the Science of Yajnas and put it into practice in their day to day living, so long India remained the crest jewel amongst all world nations. In fact India then was called Jagadguru or the Preceptor of the World. But alas when people started ignoring the sacred sentiments of Yajnas it resulted in them killing animals for sacrificial offering in Yajnas and eating/drinking those items which are taboo (animal flesh, intoxicants etc). Since then India went head on to a downfall because inner weaknesses started ruling the roost. Even today Indian society can be uplifted and reformed only if the true precept of Yajna is first understood deeply and then imbibed in ones day to day transactions.
END OF THIS E-BOOK
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