42-Philosophy of Yagya
Science and Philosophy of Yagya (Agnihotra)
All activities in the limitless expansion of the universe are said to
have generated from a grand eternal Yajna (Yagya).
Atharv Ved (9.15.14) describes Yagya as: Ayam Yagya Vishwasya Bhuvanasya
Nabheehiya implying that Yagya as the fundamental process of manifestation
In physical terms, Yagya (Homam, Havan or Agnihotra) is a process of
herbal sacrifices in holy fire aimed at the finest utilization of the
subtle properties of sacrificed matter with the help of the thermal
energy of fire and the sound energy of the Mantra. Modern scientific
research has also shown significant therapeutic applications of Yagya and
also affirmed its potential in purification of environment.
Literally speaking, Yagya means – selfless sacrifice for noble purposes.
Sacrificing ego, selfishness and material attachments and adopting
rational thinking, humane compassion and dedicated creativity for the
welfare of all – is indeed the best Yagya which should be performed by
all human beings. The philosophy of Yagya teaches a way of living in the
society in harmony, a living style to promote and protect higher humane
values in the society – which is indeed the basis of the ideal human
(1) Origin of Yagya
The four Ved signify the philosophy of the eternity and absolute
complementary role of Gayatri and Yagya in the divine creation.
Atharv Ved also deals with sound therapy aspects of Mantra for the
treatment of the ailing human system at the physical, psychological and
spiritual levels. The Saam Ved focuses on the musical chanting patterns
of the Mantra and the subtle form of Yagya by defining the latter as the
process of mental oblation on the surface of internal emotions through
the cosmic radiation of the omnipresent subtle energy of sound. The
Yajur Ved contains the knowledge of principles and methods of performing
Yagya as Spiritual and Scientific experiments for global welfare.
(2) The Teachings of Yagya
Why do we regard the sacrificial fire of Yagya as Purohit (priest)? It
inspires us to imbibe its five idealistic qualities in our life.
--Fire has the characteristic of always being hot and bright. We are
inspired to lead bright, radiant, active lives like fire, full of wisdom
--The flame of fire always goes upwards. One may apply any amount of
pressure but its flame never goes downwards. It teaches us that despite
immense pressures of fear and temptations our flame of wisdom, and
foresight should ever be kept-alight and up-turned.
--Anything coming in contact with fire becomes fire itself. We should
also have such a quality of excellence in our character, so that any one
coming in our contact may become refined.
--Fire accumulates nothing. Whatever is offered in the fire is vaporized.
It is scattered throughout in the atmosphere and becomes universal. We
should also not accumulate possessions for our selfish ends but utilize
all our resources and qualities for advancing the good of the people. We
should be generous and lovingly kind.
--The residue of fire are ashes. Ultimately physical forms of all human
beings are going to be reduced to a handful of ashes. The idea behind
applying (ashes of Yagya) on the forehead is that man should always
remember the inevitability of death and utilize each and every moment of
his life in the best possible manner.
These 5 teachings are known as Panchaagni Vidyaa which the priest (Purohit)
in the form of fire teaches to every human being. A man is truly blessed
if he imbibes these teachings in his daily life by performing symbolic
worship in the form of Yagya.
The real purpose of Yagya is to imbibe virtues like self-sacrifice,
self-restraint (Sanyam), charity, beneficence, generosity, compassion
etc. in our daily life. It inspires us to surrender everything, body,
mind, ego and soul to God. A Saadhak on surrendering himself to God, who
has been described as Yagya Purush in the scriptures, becomes one with
Yagya, just as Samidhaa on being consumed in the sacrificial fire of
Yagya become fire itself. In fact the real Yagya is to follow the
directions and inspirations of our indwelling divinity and imbibe
righteous tendencies. Constant remembrance of the Divine, keeping an
attitude of detachment and remaining engrossed in regular sacred studies
and devotion amounts to leading a Yagyeeya life. Such a person sees the
presence of God in everyone, everywhere and becomes free of evil deeds
(3) Scientific Aspects of Yagya
There are two basic energy systems in the physical world: Heat and Sound.
In performing Yagya, these two energies, namely, the heat from Yagya’s
fire and the sound of the Gayatri and other Mantra, are combined to
achieve the desired physical, psychological and spiritual benefits.
The fumigation of specific substances in the Yagya - fire is a scientific
method of subtlization of matter into energy and expanding its potential
and positive effects in the surrounding atmosphere. The electromagnetic
waves generated thereby help in transmitting, at cosmic level, the
desired sonic signals ‘stored’ in the Mantra, which are chanted during
the process of sacrificing the special materials in the fire. There are
two basic energy systems in the physical world: Heat and Sound. In
performing Yagya, these two energies, namely, the heat from Yagya’s fire
and the sound of the Gayatri and other Mantra, are combined to achieve
the desired physical, psychological and spiritual benefits.
(4) Types of Yagya
Apart from fire-based scientific experiment (or fire-ritual, as popularly
known), other principal types of Yagya signified in the Vadik culture are:
The Sevaa Yagya - altruist service of the society is a noble example of Yagya.
Apart from fire-based scientific experiment (or fire-ritual, as popularly known),
other principal types of Yagya signified in the Vaidik culture are:
The Gyaan Yagya, similarly implies the service of people by enlightening
their lives in the glow of knowledge and education.
The Praan Yagya implies - the service of saving the lives of people from
suffering and agonies and inspiring liveliness and respect for life in
them. A variety of such Yagya are described in the Shaastra.
(5) Benefits of Yagya
Yagya is also glorified as “Yajooaya Sarvakaamdhuk” meaning, “Yagya is
the source of fulfilling all desires”. This appears to be true in view of
the positive effects, at physical, mental and spiritual levels, of
performing Yagya and ideal elevation of life by adopting the universal
philosophy of Yagya in action.
“Agni Moole Purohitam” The first revelation of Rig Ved of is said to have
given knowledge of kindling fire to Yagya is also glorified as “Yajóoaya
Sarvakaamdhuk” meaning, "Yagya is the source of fulfilling all desires".
This appears to be true in view of the positive effects, at physical,
mental and spiritual levels, of performing Yagya and ideal elevation of
life by adopting the universal philosophy of Yagya in action.
The first man on the earth. The knowledge of other powers of Nature is
said to have descended afterwards. Fire and thermal energy are also the
key sources of materialistic development. “Fire worship” is prevalent in
one form or the other in almost every religion or cult. In Hindu religion
and Indian culture, the sacrificial fire of Yagya is of auspicious
(6) Purification of Environment by Yagya
The industrial wastes, rapid urbanization, deforestation, air and water
pollution, disturbances in the ozone layer -formation, radioactive waves
etc., have destabilized the human, animal and plant life cycles. The
ecological imbalance caused by these acts of ‘civilized men’ has resulted
into disastrous threat not only to human survival but to the life as a
whole on our planet.
Till recently it was accepted that research into science can furnish
answer to all of man’s problems. Today we find increasing number of
diseases including malfunctioning of body organs due to increasing
severity of pollution in the atmosphere. Ozone layer depletion has been
causing ailments like sunburn, skin cancer, cataracts and weakening of
the immune system. Viruses are becoming drug-resistant and showing
consistent growth trends. Experimental studies show that the incidence of
physical ailments, sickness and disease are reduced in the houses, where
the Yagya (Agnihotra) is regularly performed because it creates a pure,
nutritional and medicinal atmosphere. It renews the brain cells,
revitalizes the skin, purifies blood and prevents growth of pathogenic
organisms. Agnihotra is basically a healing process. ‘Heal the atmosphere
and the healed atmosphere will heal you’- is the Modus Operandi.
Purification of environment through the constituent electrons of the
substances fumigated in the Yagya is an obvious effect of this process.
The observation of some distinguished scientists is note worthy in this
Full article can be read at: