Agni Hotra

The Fire Ceremony for Purification and Cleansing

– Anand Krishna –

You may have participated in the elaborate fire ceremonies performed in India or elsewhere by the traditional Indian/Hindu priests, which can last for hours; and you may have also read about the simplest form initiated by the revered Hindu Reformer Swami Dayanand Saraswati of Arya Samaj that hardly takes 5 minutes.

Before we go any further, let me make it very clear:

No Single Version is Better than Another.
More than the outer form of the ceremony, it is your intention, faith, and devotion that really matter.

Having said so, I must also mention that having chosen certain version, technique, or method – stick to it. This ceremony is meant for Sadhakas – spiritual seekers, genuine aspirants, and faithful practitioners. This is not a mental or intellectual exercise to satisfy your curiosity.

This spiritual practice – Agnihotra – is an essential and inseparable part of Yogic Way of Life, which is deeply rooted in the Hindu Values.

It is, indeed, very unfortunate that this sacred tradition is not properly understood. Moreover, today, we live in a world full of:

Professional Learners

I have seen and met with people who spend all their energies, time, and money in learning “something new”. Thus, they are left with no time to practice what they have learnt.

To make things worse, the certification gimmick has created “yogis” who think their ability to stand on their head is yoga. They have no knowledge of yoga as a holistic life style and soul-culture, and not just a set of exercises or a certain dietary discipline. Yet, after 100, 200, or 300 hours of the so-called “training”, they feel they can already teach others and earn their living from such pseudo-yoga profession.

I have never ever seen or met with a true, a genuine practitioner of Yoga who claims the title Yogi. A genuine teacher will always consider himself/herself a sadhaka, an aspirant. He/She is never ever done. The genuine yogis are ever living the yogic way of life, without claiming any title.

Yoga cannot be Taught

You must live yoga, and it is only then that you can share your experience and experiments with others.

True, genuine yoga is contagious.

If you are a genuine, a true spiritual aspirant, and serious about your “search”, then being in the presence of a genuine, a true yogi is enough to infect you with yoga. Your life shall change in that very instant.

This experience can never ever be had from several hundreds hours of any intensive training. Indeed, the yogic training starts from the moment you are “infected”.

Coming Back to Agnihotra

Whether, you follow this method of Agnihotra, or any other method – please stick to one single method. Stick to a method, which you intuitively feel is right for you. Try to understand the inner significance of this spiritual practice. Do not consider this as a mere ritual, or simply add it to the list of what you have learnt and what you can teach.

If you are learning Agnihotra for the purpose of “offering” it, “selling” it as a commodity, then, I am afraid, the following method will not work for your. Indeed, it can be harmful, for the reasons I shall shortly share with you in brief…

First Thing First!

We follow the method given by the Mother Goddess in Her Form as Tripurasundari, the Most Beautiful in All Three Realms (Past, Present, and Future) and Rajarajeshwari (The Queen of Queens).

This method, as explained by Her, is based upon the principles of Shri Vidya (The Art and Science of True Abundance, Wisdom, Inner Satisfaction, Health, and Bliss), however, as She warns me:

  1. It is not a commodity to sell.The facilitator must never ever charge for his/her services. All donations made by the participants must be spent on buying the ingredients, or for charity purpose only.
  2. Before sharing with others you must first perform it 108 times consecutively without any break. It is only then that you shall be able to share something worthwhile. You cannot share anything that you don’t have, that you don’t own. You must have the “agnihotra experience” first before sharing it.
  3. Anybody can participate in this particular ancient version of agnihotra, however the one officiating, or the facilitator who first leads the chanting must have been vegetarian for at least 6 months, and wowed to remain so for the rest of his/her life.
  4. The facilitator must also refrain from smoking and/or any other form of intoxication and alcohol.
  5. At all times and throughout his/her entire life, the facilitator must always strive to live the high and lofty yogic ideals, which includes moderation in all fields. Follow all the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga of Patanjali.

Now, the Technique…

The Most Important Tools:

  1. A Copper or Clay Kunda as shown in the picture
  2. Small containers/vessels for the offerings

Offerings:

  1. Dry Cow Dung Cakes
  2. Cotton Stubs
  3. Special Camphor Tables for Offering Purpose
  4. Ghee (Clarified Butter, this is the BEST Option)), or Any Other Good Quality Cooking Oil
  5. Dried Branches/Twigs of Mango (BEST) or any other Fruit Yielding Tree
  6. Rice Grains with the Husk
  7. Local Herbs/Spices (The Most Essential are Cloves, Cinnamon, and Cardamoms – you can add any other)

Inner Significance of the Mantras:

  1. Om Gam Ganapataye Svaahaa – to invoke Ganesha, or the Faculty of Wisdom. Ganesha is also known as the Remover of Obstacles as well as the Lord of Obstacles. By invoking Ganesha, we affirm our faith in the Divine Wisdom, “Please remove all obstacles from my path, if this is the path I must tread; at the same time, do please create obstacles, should this be not the rightful course of action for me.”
  2. Om Suryaaya Svaahaa (for the morning ceremony)
    Om Agniye Namah (for the evening ceremony) – to invoke the Source of Energy within each one of us.
  3. Om Prajaapataye Svaahaa – to invoke Vishnu, the Eternal Preserver, in His Divine Form as the Caretaker of the Universe, “Endow me, o Lord, with the ability to share my blessings with one and all.”
  4. Om Hrim Krim Dum Durgaaya Svaahaa – to invoke Mother Goddess Durga, “Please burn all my negativities.”
  5. Om Hum Hanumate Svaahaa – to invoke Hanuman, “Please‎ endow me with devotion and creativity.” (For more information, please refer to our book ‘The Hanuman Factor’)
  6. Om Shri Saai Naathaaya Svaahaa – honoring the Spiritual ‎Mother, The Spiritual Father and Mother of the spiritual aspirants.
  7. Om Klim Klesha-Naashaaya Klim Phat Svaahaa – “Please remove all my inflictions, Suffering‎s, ill fate, etc.”
  8. Gaayatri Mahaa-Mantra – to bless us with the necessary intelligence and the ability to act discreetly and rightfully, while avoiding all unrighteous actions.
  9. Om Hrim Shrim Klim Krishnaaya Govindaaya Gopijanna-Wallabhaaya Svaahaa – “I seek refuge in Lord Krishna, the lord of all beings, the Beloved of all devoted‎ souls, the Granter of Moksha or Ultimate Freedom, Liberation.”

Please click here to watch a clip of live performance

[info]Donation is left to your generosity and will be used to buy the ingredients and for charity purpose. Please refer to our daily timetable for the schedule.[/info]