There are two types of offerings in the Fire in Hinduism,Yaga and Yagnya.
Yaaga is one conducted with a Purpose, to fulfill a desire.
Yagnya Being performed
Yagnya is conducted because it is to be conducted, a Duty, A Categorical Imperative as Immanuel Kant puts it.
Yagnya is to be performed with a sense of detachment, anticipating nothing in return.
Fire is chosen to perform Yaaga and Yagnya because Fire has Five Unique Qualities , called
- The flame of fire always goes upwards.It implies that despite immense pressures of fear and temptations our flame of wisdom, and foresight should ever be kept-alight and up-turned.
- Anything coming in contact with fire becomes fire itself, indicating that we , having been a part of Reality,God, become One with It.
- Fire accumulates nothing, reminding us that ,in Life we accumulate Nothing
- The residue of fire are ashes making us remember that we turn to Ashes thereby reaffirming the Impermanence of Life.
Types of Yagnyas.
The Seva Yagna — altruist service of the society is a noble example of Yagya.
The Gyan Yagya, The Comprehension of True Knowledge.
Vak Yagnya, Speaking Good of others, never ill of others.
Mano Yagnya, thinking of only Noble Thoughts,
Hearing only that which is Good for All (Bhadram karnobi Srunuyaama Devaa-Rig Veda)
Seeing only those that are Noble.
Vak Yagnyena Kalpatham,
Mano Yagnena kalpatham’
Sakshur Yagnena Kalpatham,
Srothram Yagnena Kalpatham (Sri Rudram-Chamaka Prasna)
In Purusha Suktha Brahma is offered as Havis, offering to Fire by the Devas.
‘Yath Purushena Havisaa Devaa yagnya mathan vatha”( Purusha Suktham)
Purusha Suktha speaks about the evolution of the Universe.
The Prana Yagya implies — the service of saving the lives of people from suffering and agonies and inspiring liveliness and respect for life in them. A variety of such Yagyas are described in the Shastras.
Benefits of Yagnya.
Yagya is also glorified as “Yajóoaya Sarvakaamdhuk” meaning, “Yagya is the source of fulfilling all desires”.
“Agni Mºde Purohitam” The first revelation of Rig Veda of is said to have given knowledge of kindling fire toYagya is also glorified as“Yajóoaya Sarvakaamdhuk” meaning, “Yagya is the source of fulfilling all desires”. .
Yagnya is the primordial source of the Forces of Nature and this is explained in the Purusha Suktha.
The efficacy of Yagnya, Scientific study Results.
3. Purification of Environment by Yagna
The industrial wastes, rapid urbanization, deforestation, air and water pollution,
disturbances in the ozone layer -formation, radioactive waves etc., have
destabilized the human, animal and plant life cycles. The ecological imbalance
caused by these acts of ‘civilized men’ has resulted into disastrous threat not only
to human survival but to the life as a whole on our planet.
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. Ozone layer depletion has been causing ailments like sunburn, skin
cancer, cataracts and weakening of the immune system. Viruses are becoming
drug-resistant and showing consistent growth trends.
Experimental studies show that the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and
disease are reduced in the houses, where the
Yagna (Agnihotra) is regularly performed because it creates a pure, nutritional and medicinal atmosphere. Itrenews the brain cells, revitalizes the skin, purifies blood and prevents growth of pathogenic organisms.
Agnihotra is basically a healing process. ‘Heal the atmosphere and the healed
atmosphere will heal you’— is the Modus Operandi
Purification of environment through the constituent electrons of the substances
fumigated in the Yagna is an obvious effect of this process [2-4]. The observation
of some distinguished scientists is note worthy in this regard.
Dr. Hafkine has mentioned that — “mixing ghee and sugar and burning them
creates smoke which kills the germs of certain diseases and secretion takes place
from some glands relate to the wind-pipe, which fill our heart and mind with
Sugars present in Havishya have great power to purify the atmosphere. It kills
the germs of T.B., measles, smallpox and cow-pox — remarks Prof. Tilward.
According to Dr. Shirowich, a Russian scientist has remarked that (i) Cow’s milk
contains great power of protection from atomic radiation; (ii) Houses having
cow-dung covered floors enjoy complete protection from atomic radiation; (iii) If
cow’s ghee is put into Yagna fire, its fumes lessen the effect of atomic radiation to
a great extent.
The medicinal fumes emanating from Agnihotra have been observed by
researchers in the field of microbiology to be clearly bacteriolethal in nature.
These eradicate bacteria and other micro-organisms, which are the root cause of
illness and diseases. This must be the reason why the incidence of physical
ailments, sickness and diseases becomes less in the households, where
Agnihotra is regularly performed.
Even without going into detailed chemical bacteriology, it can be stated that
performance of Yagna leads to purification of air. This takes place in the
following four ways .
3.1. Removal of Foul Odors:
As already stated, under steam volatilization, the various volatile oils get diffused
in the surrounding atmosphere along with steam and smoke. Since these oils have
distinct good smell, the foul odors are automatically replaced. This aroma can be
experienced easily in the surroundings when
Yagna is performed due to diffusion of substances like thymol, eugenol, pine, terpinol and oils of sandal-wood, camphor and clove.
3.2. Removal of Bacteria:
As stated under products of combustion, the partial oxidation of hydrocarbons
and decomposition of complex organic substances produce formal aldehyde
which is a powerful antiseptic. It is also interesting to note that germicidal action
of formaldehyde is only effective in the presence of water vapor which is also
produced in large quantities in Yagna.
The use of formaldehyde spray for disinfecting of walls, ceiling etc., is common and such a spray is automatically produced when
The oxidation of hydrocarbons also produces formic acid and acetic acid both of
which are good disinfectants. Use of formic acid for preservation of fruits and that
of acetic acid in preserving vinegar is a common practice.
The antiseptic and antibiotic effects of fumes of
have also been examined
by conducting suitable experiments on rabbits and mice and it has been
established that fumes emitted in Yagna are powerful antibiotic.
Agnihotra ash purifies and cleanses the water making it fit for drinking
3.3. Removal of insects:
There are non-bacterial parasites like flies, ringworm, dice, fleas etc., which are
immune to bactericides, which are also harmful to other living beings.
Such insects which are generally immune to ordinary reagents. However they
either get killed or are driven away, when they come in contact with the fumes of
volatile oils like camphor diffused in the environment.
3.4. Effects on Plants and Vegetation:
The disinfection of air is not only useful to animal life but also helps plant’s life
though the bacteria responsible for diseases in both may be different. The
aromatic substances during Yagna get diffused in the air and offer protection to
plant life against harmful organisms. This ensures healthy plant growth.
Agnihotra’s atmosphere and ash can be used as adjutants in the ‘Natural
farming’ methods — also known as the Agnihotra farming methods. It is a
holistic concept of growing plants in healthy atmosphere and maintaining
ecological balance by performingAgnihotra(Yagna) in the middle of the farm
and using theYagna – ash as a fertilizer. It is not only safe and productive but also
holistic in its approach towards environment.
3.5. Role of CO2 generated in Yagna:
Consignment of the wood and other organic maters to flames has been always
controversial because of generation of CO and CO 2 and increase
in consequent ‘green house’ effect. It had been argued that performance of
Yagna also produces CO and CO2. It should be noted here that the way in which theSamidhas and Havishyaare burnt in. Yagna is a process of slow combustion at higher
temperature. While the burning of coal in factories or in the household fire
involves rapid combustion. where oxygen is sucked in large quantities and
enormous CO2 is emitted. In the slow combustion taking place in the process of
Yagna, small quantity of O2is utilized meager CO2 is emitted that poses no threat
to the environment. In fact whatever CO2 is generated it is readily absorbed by the
surrounding vegetation and CO 2 cycle is strengthened .
The other important aspect is the fact that CO 2produced in
Yagna is not alwaysfree CO 2 but it remains mixed with other aromatic oils and antiseptic products. It therefore, acts as a vehicle in transporting such products to distant surroundings.
The use of CO 2 as a cerebral stimulant to assist the patients suffering from lack of
ventilation is common in medical world. Its use to control and cure many mental
disorders is also known to medical science. Small amounts of CO 2 inhaled by the
persons performing Yagna acts as a stimulant and more and more aromatic
fumes are inhaled which help in curing mental disorders.
Particularly effective results with respect to the elimination or reduction in
radiation were achieved through Yagna fire and ash. These observations are
made by Dr. L. Maela Anatoninhowska of Poland after using P.S.I. techniques.
Results of Some Recent Experiments:
A group of scientists led by Dr. Manoj Garg, Director, Environmental and
Technical Consultants and the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board conducted
experiments during the Ashwamedha Yagna at Gorakhpur, U.P. These
experiments were set up at about 20 meters east from the
Yagnashala. The samples of 100 ml each of water and air collected from the surroundings were analyzed using high volume envirotech APM-45 and other sensitive instruments.
A summary of their results (  – Akhand Jyoti, Sept. ‘97 p.22) is presented below:
In Air Samples (unit mg per average sample)
Instant Level of Sulphur dioxide Level of Nitrous Oxide Before Yagna 3.36 1.16
During Yagna2.82 1.14 After Yagna 0.80 1.02
Bacteria Count in Average Water Samples
Before Yagna 4500
During Yagna 2470
After Yagna 1250
Minerals in the Ash (Bhasm) of Yagna
Phosphorous 4076 mg per kg. Potassium 3407 mg per kg. Calcium 7822 mg per kg.
Magnesium 6424 mg per kg. Nitrogen 32 mg per kg. Quispar 2% W/W
These results clearly support the claims made about the role of
Yagna in control
of air pollution. The Deputy Director, Agriculture had submitted a technical
report based on such results, recommending the use ofYagna’s ash as an
Comparable results were also obtained by the scientific experiments conducted in
about 27 large scale Yagnasorganized by Shantikunj, Hardwar in India and
abroad during 1993-1995
Citation and for Details.