Yagya – The Importance of Fire Ceremony or Holy fire
Our ancient texts are full of legends wherein ancient sages performed Yagya or fire ceremony 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. When performing yagya, these two energies blend together to achieve the desired physical, psychological and spiritual benefits. These energies are the warmth of the Yagya fire and the sound of chanting Gayatri and other Vedic mantras.
The aroma of Yagya
You can feel the surroundings and the smell of Yagya even at a great 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 some scriptures recommend to performed the Yagya in the presence of strong sunlight.
The shape of the Agni Kunda
The word ‘pyramid’ means the fire in the middle’. This ancient word for pyramid is closely related to the mysterious energies emanating from its central shape. Many people believe that the shape of a pyramid creates and accumulates a special energy field with 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
Meanwhile 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 Sanskrit alphabets have special vibrational abilities. When pronounced, they create harmonious wave patterns. 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
Even until recently, we believed that scientific research could provide an answer to all human problems. Today we find increasing number of diseases including malfunctioning of body organs. Briefly it happens due to increasing severity of pollution in the atmosphere. Experimental studies show that in homes where people regularly perform Yagya, the number of physical ailments and diseases become less.
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. Moreover then 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. In addition, we should ponder over the end of our present life. You have to do it while putting the Yagya’s ash on our head after the Yagya. And realize the importance of the time and breaths available to us now.
All these reasons are show how important to perform yagya or fire ceremony before starting our Yoga teacher training course.