28 Nov 2020 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
Introduction : YAJNA (HAWAN)
Yajna (Vedic Hawan) is the spiritual rituals in which offerings are made to Supreme soul (Paramatama), whole almighty, and Goddesses (Will, action and energy) in a specific manner by chanting of Vedic mantras.It is also known as Homa The chanting of mantras, while performing Hawan is expected to ensure achievement of particular desires. It is also believed that whatever is offered at Fire (Agni Dev) reaches directly to universal power.
The Vedic scholars of the Vedas who perform this spiritual ritual do so with very pure souls and bodies, and because of their strong focus and purity of thought, their performance and offerings can gently help in solving problems, struggles, suffers and removing blockages in one’s life. The hymns sung and an oblation offered into the Agni (fire) is a form of hospitality for the Vedic gods and goddess.
Yajna is the holy offering to pray, worship and please various deities which use fire as the medium. Fire is one of the elements our body is composed of, so Yajna acts as a link between humans and Almighty; inner and outer natures.
Hawan, also known as homa or agnihotra, is a Sanskrit word that refers to any ritual wherein offerings are made into a consecrated fire. The word comes from the Sanskrit root word hu, meaning “to offer” or “to present.” Generally, the word is used in northern India, while homa is used in South Asia, especially in Himvat kshetra to Maha Bhaarat around. Regardless, the meaning is identical.
It is believed that the regular practice of Agnihotra brings purification and transformation to the individual and the environment. In this way, homas are also part of yoga ecology as they adhere to the yogic principles of purity and caring for the natural world.
Spiritual Meaning of Yajna ( Hawan )
The word Yajna is derived from the word ‘yaj’, which has a forehold meaning; to unite, to worship deities (Deva pujan), to give (dana) and to meditate for higher spiritual achievements. Yajna also encompasses the welcoming of the person (satkaar) and unity (sangathan) while performing the auspicious action. The importance of Yajna has been described in a layer of Vedic literature called, Yajurveda as well as Brahmanas. The philosophy of Hawan teaches a way of living in peace and a lifestyle which promotes higher human norms and values, which is indeed the basis of a great human culture.
TYPES OF YAJNA
Brahmayajna –Meditation on OMKARA; Devayajna – Fire Ceremony, Pitriyajna – Pray to Parents; Athitiyajna – Honor to Guests, Balivaishvadevayajna – Feeding to Creatures
Hawan is a Devayajna
Yajna, or Yagya, is an outer form of worship in which an altar is built, sacred fire is kindled using specific types of grass or wood; and then pouring into it oblations such as ghee or clarified butter, food, grains, sesame seeds, while chanting Mantras from the Vedas. The chanting of mantras while performing Hawan is to invoke gods and seek their blessings and favours. It is also done to ensure fulfillment of specific desires and overall welfare of an individual, a group of people, the entire society, entire country, or for that matter – the entire universe.
Now, I would like you to remember one important thing about Hawan or Yajna. The visible fire that you see is not worshipped. It is only a symbolic act, which should be clear from the following purport of the mantra chanted during the Hawan. The summary of the meanings of the mantras during Hawan is as follows: “Oh resplendent glory, light of the universe, we light this fire to remove darkness from our midst. Thou dwelleth within our hearts, may we burn out all our sins and vices. Bless us Oh Lord, with kindness and generosity, knowledge and strength, food and wealth and good children and useful animals. Oh Almighty Lord, in thy name we offer all these ingredients into this sacred fire.
Hawan Kund is the center place in a Hawan in which the fire is put and all the offerings are made. It could be considered like a sanctum sanctorum for a Yajna. The structure of the HAWAN KUND itself generates energy to perform the rituals. It is traditionally made in pure copper as copper is well known for its grasping capacity; it grasps the divine spirit and destroys bad spirits. The spiritual vibrations are easily absorbed in copper and it has the capacity to transmit them.
A simple Hawan Kund
One bundle of mango or any other suitable wood / Dry cow dung (Keep aside three individual wood sticks as “Samidhaa”)
250g Pure Hawan Saamaagree
250g Ghee (Melted)
Holy Thread (Sutra),
Some offerings e.g. (Haluwa / Kheer (Sweet Rice) / Puwa / fruit)
A container with fresh water and teaspoons
Matches / Fire lighter
A lamp / diyo to be placed in front of the Hawan kunda (Optional)
Havan Samagri is the blend of different herbal roots, leaves, grains, butter, milk, incense and seeds.
The main content in Hawan Samagri are Agar Wood, Anwala, Bach, Baheda, Bawachi, Bay Leaves, Cardamom Green, Chharil, Cloves, Daru, Haldi, Deodar, Dhawai Phool, Dry Coconut or Sookha Nariyal, Dry Eucalyptus leaves, Guggal or Guggul, Guruch, Harr or Harad, Howber, Indra Jau, Jara Kush, Jata Masi? or Balchhad, Kamal Gatta, Kapoor Kachari, Nag Keshar, Nagarmotha, Nutmeg, Red Sandal Wood, Sandal Wood, Sugandh Bala, Sugandh Kokila, Sugandh Mantri, Tagar Wood, Talish Patra, Tej Bal Wood, Tomad Bee. Nowadays you get Hawan Samagri packed in the market. The havan samagri is offered in the fire during yagnas and homas, after completion of every mantra chant.
Hawan Samagri when offered in the ablazed fire which disseminates in microform, in the air, to purify the environment besides activating the air as a disinfectant germicidal agent. It is anti-bacterial and is made from high-grade raw materials.
For preparing the Hawan Kund and vedi, see video:
Mix the hawan samagree (pronounced sama-gree, and not samaa-gree) with a little ghee, about 1 tablespoon. Then place the samagree in plates/bowls/thalis and set around the hawan kund where the people participating in the hawan are going to sit.
Place the container with the water, the parsadh, as well as the container with the melted ghee around the kunda.
Place the three wood sticks (Samidha) that were kept aside in the ghee container. Ensure that the water and ghee containers have their own spoons.
Take another tablespoon and place a piece of camphor in it and put next to the ghee container.
The main lamp/diyo (optional) should be prepared with ghee/oil and a wick and placed next to the hawan kund on the side of where the main hawan participants will sit.
In Himalaya Yoga Academy :
After the completion of yoga teacher training courses in our yoga school, we do this hawan ( Yajna ) for the graduation ceremony. We do it in order to provide the yoga students with the positive affirmation through the yajna.The hawan is taken part the the yoga teacher training students as well as the yoga reteat students.