HAVAN ~ THE ANCIENT RITUAL ~
Why do we do Havan?
As per Shrimadhbhagwat (10/84/39), since our birth, we are all indebted with three types of debt/obligations/dues.These obligations are the ones which we owe to the Rishis/Sages, to the Deities and to the Ancestors. The observance of these dues by everyone is a must, or else one can not be liberated. Observing celibacy; performing Sacrifice/Homa(yagya-hawan) and begetting progeny are the suggested ways to be freed from the above said dues respectively.
Lord SRI KRISHNA has also clarified the necessity of doing Sacrifice/Homa (Yagya/Hawana) by saying : “Dear Arjun, people who do not perform Yagya are not eligible for the ‘Present World’. So dreaming of or yearning for the ‘Next World – Heavenly Abode’ is just meaningless.”
Vishnu Puran also says: “Every human being wants to be personally happy and accordingly desires for peace, prosperity, family life etc and then finally aims for his salvation. But without having an accumulation of virtues, how can one get celestial happiness? One can have it only by doing virtuous deeds/actions and by peroforming yagya etc. This is the permanent dictum of the Shastras.”
In Atharva Veda (12/2/37) it is mentioned : “a person who does not perform a Sacrifice/Homa (yagya-hawan) looses his aura and radiance very fast.”
In the Gita, sacrifice /Homa(yagaya-hawan) has been justified as a means for the internal purification of man. “Yagya/Homa/ Sacrfice, charity and penance are the modes of self-purification, which enhance the will power/internal strength of man and he then progresses.”
In our routine lives, while walking, cooking, eating, inhaling, exhaling etc. innumerable micro organisms fall victim and get killed by us unintentionally. To save ourselves from such type of sin, sages have prescribed Daily Sacrifice (Nitya yagya-hawan).
As per Manusmriti , in every house, we have hearth, mill stone – grinding mill, broom, a mortar of iron or brass for pounding things and vessel for storing water. These five items are considered sensitive and using then is said to be violent, thus constituting the ‘Panchsuna’ dosha or faults.
Daily Sacrifice Homa (Nitya Yagya-Hawan) or sacrificial fire is an effective remedy for the pacification of these faults (or for allaying these faults). In this context, it is very relevant to know that all types of Yagya-Hawana (sacrifice) are classified into – (i) Nitya or obligatory – to be performed daily (ii) Naimittika or ‘occasional’ – performed on particular occasions and (iii) Kamya – based on same desired object. For the last two i.e. ‘Naimittika’ and Kamya’ man is free to do them as per his devotion and situation, but for redeeming his sins (repentance) and for rectification of ‘Panchsuna’ faults, one has to peform, as the name suggests, ‘Nitya ‘obligatory’ sacrifice/homa daily. This is called ‘Panchmahayagya’.
Since ancient times, it has been proved that smoke generated out of sacrificial fire is highly effective in destroying the disease – bearing germs. This fact has been described in various scriptures/shastras. According to Yajurveda(2/25), “When disease destroying, wish-fulfilling, nutritious and purifying oblation mixture (Hawana Samagri) is offered in sacrificial fire (yagya – hawana), it turns into smoke, mingles with air and spreads far and wide, destroying disease bearing organisms that are harmful for our over-all well being”. The Essential oils and Alkalides present in the herbs and roots, used in the oblation mixture, vapourise at a particular temperature when heated up, mix up with air and act as disinfector.
In olden times, kings, saints and sages of India accumulated unparalled powers by doing Sacrifices/Homa (yagya/hawan) and got their respective wishes fulfilled. By performing Sacrifices (yagyas), the Deities were blessed with godlines or divinity and lord Indra was bestowed the status of chief God after he completed 100 sacrifices/homa (yagyan/hawan). Likewise, King Janak removed the drought conditions and brought rains, and King Dasaratha got his progeny after performing Sacrifices (yagya). Even today, the Sacrifices/Homa (yagya/hawan) performed with complete devotion and dedication is as significant as it was in the olden days. Today also, we can get our wishes fulfilled like begetting a child, getting wealth, rains, winning a court battle, freedom from diseases and so on. All that is needed is a complete observance of the ‘Theory of Karma’ coupled with full faith and devotion.
Materialistic /Worldly benefits through Homa/Yagya-How ?
In the chapter 141 of Agnipurana, it is mentioned that when Yagya/Hawan is performed, there is fructification of individual’s specific wishes like persons aspiring for son, wealth, beautiful wife, handsom husband, kingdom for king, Goddess Lakshmi will get his wish fulfilled but the intensity with which he will desire it, he will get accordingly. A person performing a Homa without any specific wish, get God (Parabramha) himself!
It is said in the ancient religions scripture SHRIMAD BHAGWAT that the person who performs yagya/Hawana with full faith and devotion and worships his awcestors also, gets eternal happiness. This performer gets the right to nectar in heaven. The Gods also bless the area or premises where Yagyas are done. After getting the blessings of God, attainment of no worldly material becomes impossible. The mutual attraction between the deities and the Yagya/sacrifice performer has been clearly written in the religious scriptures.
The Chapter 141 of Agnipurana, it is mentioned that when Yagya/Hawan (Homa/sacrifice) is performed, there is fructification of individual’s specific wishes like persons (aspiring) for a son will get son; wishing wealth will get wealth, wishing life parti (marriage) will get a gorgeous match King without Kingdom gets and one who aspires for coucess get success. The intensity with which a person desires something he gets accordingly. And a person performing a sacrifice/Homa(Yagya/Hawan) without any specific wish, gets God (Parbrahma) himself.
Ancient Religious scriptures Shrimad Bhagwat- is said here that the person who performs, with complete faith and dediction, sacrifice/Homa (Yagya/Hawan) and worship his fore fathers, gets virtue in abundances. The sacrificer becomes eligible for nectar (Amrit) in heaven. The area premises where sactrifice/Homa (Yagya/Hawan) is performed is also blessed with the God’s grace. After getting the blessings or forever of God, no worldly matter or material becomes unaccessible. The close relationship between sacrifice (one who performs the Homa or Sacrifice).
In the Rigveda, mention is made of a person deities who prays to Fire (Agni) to carry to the Gods the oblations he is offering while doing a sacrifice/Homa (Yagya/Hawan).
When sacrifices/Homas (Yagya/Hawan) are performed the pantheon/Deities remain contended. Though the deities are self-sufficient, as per the Creator’s laws, and human beings are mutually dependent for their happiness.
In the Gita (3/12) also it is said : Nourishment or maintenance of deities and fulfillment of desired wishes of human beings are mutually dependent.
In Shukla (White) Yajurveda (3rd Chapter, 49th Shloka), there is a discussion between the performer adn Indra God, the performer says, “Oh ‘Shat krato (Indra having hundred powers or a hundred sacrifices to his credit) let us mutually exchange the oblation offerings made in the sacrifice/Homa (Yagya-Hawan) and their consequent fruits , Let me offer the oblations to you and you give me the consequent fruits” Lord Indra replies, first you make the offerings, then I will give you the results. You place the offerings before me and just see whether I am giving you results or not” Sacrificer (one who performs a sacrifice/Homa) replies, “First you give me the fruits/results, according to what you give me, I shall give you my offerings”.
In the above discussion, the reciprocal/mutual relationship between man and the deities is clear, as far as sacrifice/Homa (Yagya-Hawan) is one of the best ways for man to get salvation. In the ‘Shanti Parva, of Mahabharta, it is mentioned that there is nothing in this Universe which can be compared to sacrifice/Homa (Yagya-Hawan). Presons showing disinterest in sacrifice/Homa etc. are prone to infame, jealousy adn poverty.
Material used in the oblation’s mixture like guggul (Commiphora mukul), herbs & roots etc. at a particular temperature, because of their specific gualities, become powerful and weightless and spread to long distances making the atmosphere pollution free. Positive energy becomes all pervading can ferrying positivity to our thinking process which gives good results in life. Why does it happen this way-however, disturbed and unhappy we are, we get peace and solace when we visit a temples a Gurudwara or any religious place? It is because the environment there is full of positive energy. It is an established fact that clean and positive environment adn thoughts result in all-around progress and happiness. Therefore, this act of performing sacrifice/Homa (Yagya-Hawan) also leads to mental peace, good memory, personality development and stress-free life. Vaastu Shashtra and today’s in vogue feng-shui’s basic principle or philosophy is to remove negative energy from one’s residence or workplace and to place Homa (Yagya-Hawan) it by positive energy. If the items used in Feng-Shui- like stature of little laughing Baddha, crystal ball, bundle bamboo sticks or a tortoise can bring fortune energy then the various herbs, roots and other rave and unique items used in the oblation mixture (Hawan-Samagri) for sacrifice can also result in the establishment of a positive environment and lead to all around progress and development. this is a very easily understood scientific fact by on logical brain/thinking.
But all these benefits mentioned vi2 positive thinking mental peace, good memory, personality development, stress free life etc are possible only if the oblation’s mixture (Hawan Samagri) contains the required relevant ingredients. In this respect, the blend of ingredients in ‘ Vishisht Yagnesh oblation’s mixture (Hawan Samagri)’ is just perfect and appropriate all that is needed from us is faith and devotion, without which even God’s descending fore a person will not yield any result and prove futile.