Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Sacrificial Fire

Almost most of the Indian religions worship fire as a benevolent element. From time immemorial the sacrificial fire has been an important item of our culture. Every function, ceremony, worship or Puja starts with the worship of the fire in some form or the other. Most of the Indian women perform a small worship of the deity in their house with a special “ARTI” of a small deepam or lamp and incense sticks. The importance of fire worship is mentioned in all the Vedas and religious books.
Some modern thoughts regard the Fire Worship as a primitive practice of campfire. But scientists have established that performing a small domestic “havan” or fire worship with ghee and other specified ingredients produces purifying gases like ethylene oxide, propylene oxide, formaldehyde, butapropiolactone and acetylene which boost up the spirit of the performer and the surroundings.

Rishis perform Havan in the ashrams to purify it and give it an atmosphere of good health and prosperity. Fire worship is done in India, for prosperity, health, victory, thanksgiving, good crop, bountiful rain, etc. Twigs and dried leaves of some special trees, rice, wheat, til seeds, guggal, camphor, raisins, coconut, vermilion and turmeric are used for the fire worship. Guggal and Camphor are supposed to be good germ-killers. The burning of these items in the fire along with the addition of pure ghee and the reciting of Mantras produces beneficial gases according to the Rishis. They prescribe the morning or evening as the ideal time for performing this worship. But the Tantriks prefer to perform their Yagna at midnight, nearest to a cremation ground!

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