Shloka: Agnihotra eva tat sayam pratarvarvajram
Yajamano bharatrvyaya praharti |
Bhavatyatmana parasya bhratrvyo bhavati |
Meaning: The one who practices Agnihotra in the morning and evening becomes strong like thunderbolt/ diamond. Destroys enemies by himself (unassassinated). His enemies remain conquered.
Shloka: Yavadahoratre bhavatah | Tavadasya lokasya
nartih naristih | Nanto na paryantosti |
Meaning: As long as he does Agnihotra in the day and in the night, in this world for him there would no pain or misfortune. There will be no end to him. An Agnihotra practitioner will have a long life.
Source: Taittirya-brahmanam, Astakam 2, Anuvakah 5, 11 (Vedic period)
Theory behind Agnihotra
Agnihotra is a combination of two words Agni + hotra, in which agni means fire and hotra means healing. So Agnihotra is nothing but use of fire for healing. This tremendous ritual was first introduced by Brahmin priests in the Vedic period. Agnihotra was religiously followed in the ancient days. It is very necessary for us to practice Agnihotra frequently to save ourselves from the harmful pollutants that we encounter daily. Earth has become very dangerous just not for human beings but also for plants and animals too. There is environmental imbalance which is leading to new diseases day by day.
According to Vedas and the shlokas written in ancient scripts, Agnihotra was to be performed daily to maintain good health. It has the power to purify the air around us by killing harmful virus and bacteria. The materials used for performing Agnihotra were considered to be very auspicious.
Agnihotra is performed using the following materials
• Copper pyramid with a stand which holds the fire
• Rice taken in a small copper bowl
• Oil / butter / Ghee taken in a copper bowl along with copper spoon.
• Dried cow dung cakes.
• A collector or a jar to hold the ashes left over after the homa.
Agnihotra or homa is performed twice a day, one during sunrise and one during sunset. This homa is performed along with recitation of mantras. Reciting mantra is a very important part of performing homa as it gives a positive vibrations to the surrounding. These vibrations ail for better mental health. And dry rice grains are added to the fire as offering. After every mantra a small quantity of rice is put into the fire.
The copper pyramid is filled with cow dung at the bottom and towards the wall of the pyramid. The majority of the pyramid is filled with cow dung with a small empty space at the centre. Some wooden logs are put at the centre for which fire is lit. Ghee/ butter / oil is used as catalyst to keep the fire strong. If there are any chances of fire going off then ghee/ oil / butter is added to it to keep the fire on. There should be more smoke than the fire while performing it. The smoke given out by burning all these material are rich in components that aids in purification of air. And the ash residue left over is also very powerful. Consuming a small amount of ash daily is said to be a great immunity booster. And mixing it with the plant fertilisers help the plants to grow well without being affected by any diseases. It is also said that there will be no negative force attracted towards the person or the place where the homa is being performed.
It clearly shows that ancient Indians lived a very long, happy and healthy life because of the traditions they followed.