Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Dictionary
See also Agni Tongues of Fire
Transformational Chemistry of Agnihotra
“Agnihotra” is a compound word. Its two parts mean “Agni” or “fire” from Yagya the Agni Dev in the Ved, and “hotra” meaning “healing”. The healing effect of Hom was used in spheres such as bioenergetics, psychotherapy, medicine, agriculture, environmental and climate technology, and inter-planetary communication since before the writing of the Vedas. As a result of carelessness towards our Mother Earth, today we live in a world of massive ecological and psycho-spiritual pollution. Agnihotra practitioners mostly concern themselves with remedying these issues at this time.
There are layers of significance to the Agnihotra ritual from the material, to the subtle, to the sublime. On the surface, Agnihotra is a small fire you prepare with offering dried cow dung, ghee and rice in a copper pyramid receptacle of proscribed proportion (called a “kund”) and performed with a timing tuned to the biorhythm of sunrise and sunset (for optimum effect).
Sun is our sustainer of light in the daytime (without which we have no life) and at night we have the power of fire, a natural release of the stored solar energy in all of the elements used in this ritual. Agnihotra is the transformation full circle of that sunlight on every energetic level. In a polluted environment. there are fine material changes during Agnihotra which can be seen with Kirlian photography.
In Agnihotra we render these offerings to the fire as sacred transformational tools. Agni is an aspect of the Holy Name who puts us in the space to temporarily give up our own agendas, let the Divine will be done. Sometimes we invoke the name of Shiv for this ritual as Agni is an aspect of Shiv who is one of the triad of main functions of the Devtaa. (creating, preserving, transforming)
Cow dung contains pure chlorophyll. Sacred cow eats only vegetarian diet of green grasses. Her dung is pure sunlight in dark matter. Ghee is also produced by mother cow. Cow is a mother / provider by nature. Her milk is the essence of her nurturing grace, and the ghee is made by further purifying, removing the solids from the butter produced from that milk by heating with fire and straining to retain only the essence of the essence of the cow’s grace. The Ghee is also pure sunlight. Ghee also has properties of detoxification. During combustion, nutrients for plants are released. Ghee dissolves toxic compounds. It is the only substance known to modern science which defies certain laws of chemistry. When ghee is burned its weight does not alter. We chant “SWAAHAA” as we offer ghee and Akshat (rice) throughout the Agnihotra ritual.
After arranging 3 pieces of sacred cow dung in the bottom of the Kund with Ghee and Havan Saamagree, We begin the ritual with holy Mantras, as the fire is lit, we offer Ghee and rice to increase the flame and to unite our intention and bring up, in ascension, the vibration for silent meditation. The sound of silence that you hear ringing in your ears is Naadam, the voice of the Cosmos, the Universal song. It’s a powerful gig with the Devtaa. To engage fully in it, slip off the outer skin, your body and mind – go beyond all language and manifestations.
The vibrations of Mantras are enclosed in the ash making that ash even more effective.
to offerings of ghee, we add a few grains of rice, just enough to pinch in your thumb and middle fingers. This is ordinary rice but it is also “A-kshat” or “Unbroken” rice. “A-kshat” is a Sanskrit word, "A" means no, and "Kshat" means which is not hurt, it means “with no wound on its body”. The subtle structure which exists around that grain which is unbroken is most suitable for healing processes. Many ethereal oils are released during the process of combustion and its chemical contributions are set off. Rice has a balancing yin/yang effect. The added sacrifice of Havan Saamagree (herbal preparations) is also a sublimation for what occurs on the spiritual plane.
Fire ascends, "Bhoor Bhuvah Swaha" from the Earth to the atmosphere to the ether. These organic chemicals permeate our bodies by entering our Praan mingling in the air, and so carry us to the gods – the energies of Agni are inside the human organism and surrounding us. As we make offerings – Swaahaa – we lighten our load and ascend with the flame. Trance on it and be transfigured into it.Along with holy Mantras, we offer this holy food into the mouth of the fire, and we can also offer our egos into the mouth of the Divine who burns lifetimes of our Karm away. Agnihotra is not just for special Poojaa, it is done at sunrise and sunset every day. It is also an opportunity for us to gather together, the focus of our intention is magnified by our joining. Everyone loves to gather around a fire in winter.
The purification of the atmosphere through Hom leads to intensification of Praan (life energy), this influences both the physical health of all living beings and the human psychic constitution. The state of psyche is directly dependent on the quality and quantity of Praan available. Atmosphere, Praan and mind are connected. Praan is the breath of life, some traditions call this “Spirit”. We are all connected via this nexus of subtle energies. Agnihotra produces a powerful energy field supporting and strengthening this nexus.Agnihotra is being practiced in the rain forests for repairing the vegetation and trees lost to pollution, tree diseases and to illegal cutting. There is a strong group of Agnihotree working in Ant-arctic as well, for replenishing of the ozone. According to ancient Guru tradition, the rays of the Sun should pass through a carpet of nutrition and that is what the various Hom have been created. Factories and automobiles producing acid rain have been destructive to our soils everywhere. Hom farming is being practiced now world wide to remedy this. All spoilages of water and subsoil water from pollutants are reached and remedied via the atmospheric cycle that introduces Agnihotra. Humans have tested the Earth to her limits with greed induced pillages of environmental resources, It is by Divine Will that these Hom therapies are being resuscitated and practiced again all over the world by intention of giving back to the Earth – we heal the atmosphere and the healed atmosphere heals everyone and everything connected by its Praanik nexus.
[by Dave, M; in "Aum Namah Shivaya Group", on May 26, 2009]
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/09/11