The one most auspicious offering performed in Hindu Tradition to please the supreme lord is “Yajna”(Havan) or commonly known as “Yagna”. Yajna born of Sanskrit origin whose literal meaning translates to Sacrifice or offerings.
Performed in front of the Sacrificial fire or the Agni Deva, along with the Vedic mantras being chanted by the Brahmans, it is believed to be the most appropriate form of offering to God.
The Sanskrit Origin…
The word Yagna is derived from the Sanskrit verb “Yaj”, which has a three-fold meaning of worship of deities, unity& charity. It is one of the oldest rituals in Sanatan Dharma for propitiating the deities. Yagna encompasses the qualities of Satkaar- welcoming a guest, Upkaar- putting the needs of another over our own and Sangathan-unity.
Yajna and it produces…
The smoke produced by Yajna is believed to purify the atmosphere around us and bring a huge amount of health benefits to our body. It also has the capacity of spreading the positive vibrations to the doer and also for the person to whom it is intended.
An ill person may not be in a position to consume much of the quantity of medicines in a usual routine. The remedy lies in inhaling the “Yajna Dhooma (Smoke)” generated from the sacred fire leads to cure any form of illness.
Yajna includes offering or Aahuti of Coconut Husk, Ghee, Puffed Rice, Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Cow Dung, urine of Cow and many other medicinal herbs used in large quantities.
Positive Impacts on Biosphere as per a Study…
Other than the holy smoke from the Yagna eradicating all the evil spirits and bringing peace and prosperity along with it, The scientific studies have now revealed that Yagna indeed has an impact and a positive one on the Biosphere- the soil and its micro-organisms.
As per a study by a team of scientists led by Prof V P N Nampoori, former director of the International School of Photonics, Cochin University of Science and Technology. The scientists had focused on the fire ritual’s scientific dimensions and impact on the atmosphere, soil and its micro- organisms and other potential environmental effects.
The Yagna seems to have accelerated the process of seed germination and also the microbial presence in air, water and soil in and around the region of the fire ritual is vastly diminished. The team had planted three types of seeds- cowpea, green gram and Bengal gram on all four sides of the ritual venue at varying distances. They found that the growth was better in case of pots kept closer to the fire altar.
According to Nampoori, the sound is a vibration and continuous positive vibrations through chanting, accelerates the process of germination.
“The findings would not only help dispel superstitious notions associated with Vedic rituals but also help in continuation of such tradition for the betterment of nature and the environment,” says Nampoori. The research team also found that microbial activities in the soil and water around the yagnashala were remarkably less compared to normal ground.
The research team conducted tests near the fire altars of the 1918 and 1956 Athirathram, still preserved in the backyards of Namboothiri homes, reveal that the bricks continue to be free of microbial presence.
“It’s an indication that the effect of the ritual is long-lasting and there is nothing to doubt about it. Studies are on to find out if other positive changes on the atmosphere are transitional or permanent,” say researchers.