Yagya – The Importance of Fire Ceremony: Our ancient texts are full of legends wherein ancient sages performed Yagyas and the demons (asuras) tried to destroy them. The demons then had to pay a hefty price as the godly, valiant prince used to guard the Holy fire and eliminate the nuisance. Whether these are just folklore, myths, legends or history is a debate for some other day, but there is no denying the fact that Yagya was related to slaying negativity since the Vedic times. Let’s explore how and why…
How it works
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 chanting of the Gayatri and other Vedic Mantras, are blended together to achieve the desired physical, psychological and spiritual benefits.
The aroma of Yagya
The surroundings and the smell of a Yagya can be smelt even at a huge distance. In addition to steam, smoke is also given out in plentiful quantities and solid particles existing in a highly divided state offer adequate surface for mechanical diffusion. Thus smoke also functions as a medium for circulation of aromatic substances depending on temperature and direction of the wind.
The science behind using fatty substances (Ghee)
Ghee helps in rapid combustion of cellulose of wood and keeps the fire alight. When all the volatile substances are diffused in the surrounding atmosphere, these are further subjected to photochemical reactions in the sunlight. This may be the reason why it has been recommended that Yagya should be performed in the presence of strong sunlight.
The shape of the Agni Kunda
The word ‘pyramid’ means the fire in the middle’. This ancient-word meaning for pyramid is closely connected with the enigmatic energies springing from its central shape. The pyramid shape is generally thought to generate and store a special energy field, which possess bacteriostatic properties. The inverted pyramid shape allows controlled generation and multidirectional dissipation of energy. It acts as an initiator of unusual energy fields and spreads them in its surrounding atmosphere.
Chanting of Sanskrit
The power of sound vibrations is long since acknowledged in the field of science. These vibrations can penetrate the energy spheres at the subtle and cosmic levels. All the alphabets of the Sanskrit language are endowed with special vibrational powers, which set out harmonious wave patterns when pronounced. It is interesting to note that an American Scientist has established that recitation of Gayatri Mantra produces 110,000 sound waves per second.
Purification of environment
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. Experimental studies show that the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and disease are reduced in the houses, where the Yagya is regularly performed.
Spiritual significance of Yagya
The heat endowed in yagya is a source of immense energy. As this fire inflames, melts or sublimates all the gross substances inside, we too should burn out all our vices, ill-tendencies, lethargy, dullness and despair and energize our personality with the warmth of new zeal, alacrity, awareness and hope. The heat and energy of the yagya should be reflected in the active flow of our blood, our industriousness and our nimble and vigilant courage to fight against all evils.
The ash produced by fire reminds us of the ephemeral and transient nature of life. We tend to forget this eternal fact and continue on the path of cravings and attachments…adding to our mistakes, infirmities and sins too. While putting the Yagya – bhasm on our head after the Yagya, we should ponder over the end of our present life and realize the importance of the time and breaths available to us now.