Transformational Chemistry of Agnihotra
Homa Therapy comes to us from the Vedas, an utmost ancient body of knowledge given in the mother of tongues, the Sanskrit language. The foundational tool in Homa Therapy is Agnihotra.
“Agnihotra” is a compound word. Its two parts mean “Agni” or “fire” from Yajna the fire deva in the Vedas, and “hotra” or “healing”. The healing effect of Homas 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 sublte, 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 Shiva for this ritual as Agni is an aspect of Shiva who is one of the triad of main functions of the Devas. (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’ sgrace. The ghee is also pure sunlight, processed not through the stomachs but by her maternal breast, or udder. 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 “SVAHA” as we offer ghee and Akshata throughout the Agnihotra ritual.
After arranging 3 pieces of sacred cow dung in the bottom of the kund with ghee and havan samagri, 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 nadam, the voice of the Cosmos, the Universal song. It’s a powerful gig with the Devas. To engage fully in it, slip off the outer skin, your body and mind – go beyond all language and manifestations.
AGNI HOTRA MANTRAS
Om I vibrate in union with the absolute God I-AM
Suryaya the sun, radiant source of effulgient light
Svaha (I offer this oblation to the Sun-God) I let go and let God, offer it up to the Divine in perfect union
Suryaya again (I give praise to) the sun
Idam na mama Thy will not mine be done
Praja-pataye Cosmic Consciousness, Lord of all creation
Svaha again the sacred oblation
Praja-pataye again Cosmic Consciousness
Idam na mama thy will not mine be done
Om I vibrate in union with the absolute God I- AM
Agnaye the God who makes Fire, holy transformation (in the interest of Lord Shiva)
Svaha (I offer this sacred oblation to Agni) I give it all up to God
Agnaye again the Fire-God
Idam na mama Thy will be done, this is not just for me alone
Praja-pataye Cosmic Consiousness of all creation
Svaha I offer this holy offering to let go and let God
Praja-pataye Cosmic Consiousness that created all of this
Idam na mama Thy will be done not mine alone
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 “Akshata” or “Unbroken” rice. “Akshata” is a Sanskrit word, 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 Samagri (herbal preparations) is also a sublimation for what occurs on the spiritual plane.
Fire ascends, BHUR BUVAH SVAH from earth to atmosphere to ether. These organic chemicals permeate our bodies by entering our prana 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 – SVAHA – 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 karmas away. Agnihotra is not just for special puja. It is done 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 Homa leads to intensification of prana (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 prana available. Atmosphere, prana and mind are connected. Prana 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 repair to the vegetation and trees lost to pollution, tree diseases and to illegal cutting. There is a strong group of Agnihotis working in Antarctica 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 Homas create. Factories and automobiles producing acid rain have been destructive to our soils everywhere. Homa 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 Homa 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 pranic nexus.
Information compiled by Niradhara Marie c.2006, Ananda Ashram
Information compiled from the following sources:
+Satsang Homa Therapy Talk by Vasant, Bangalore, India – Dec 2005
+Dr Shantala Priyadarshini, Mysore Ayurvedic Medical College – Feb 2005
+Ma Bhaskarananda, Senior Teacher of Sanskrit and Agnihotra
+Bharati E Balmes, Director of Ananda Ashram and of its Sanskrit School
+Recorded teachings of Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati
+Personal daily sadhana practice of performing Agnihotra
Peace & Purpose –