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Ayurevda - Homa (Agnihotra)

- By Dr. T.R. Shantala Priyadarshini

The terms HOMA -MANI-MANTRA etc have been described as different types of treatment, referred to as "DIVAVYAPASHRAYA" (treatment not by medicines but by invoking blessings from supernatural powers) by our acharyas(teachers) in many contexts, now do we need to know some thing more about them? Are they really scientific? Practice of this -do they help only in treating psychological disorders or do they mean much more? Why did our seers give these rituals so much of importance? What could these Vedic rituals mean today -in this scientific era of CT scan, atomic energy, exploration & expedition to Mars?
From ancient times, Ayurveda & Vedic sciences have made significant contributions to the world civilization, culture and knowledge in all areas of human pursuits. These contributions, mostly unknown to the wider world, in many situations unacknowledged and often distorted, need attention for good understanding and appreciation of the human past.
" Homa is a collective term for the various Vedic techniques used in the purification of the atmosphere: (yainas, yvharutis and agnihotra.)
The healing and purifying effect of Homa was used in the ancient Vedic system of knowledge, in spheres such as bioenergetics, psychotherapy, medicine, agriculture, including biogenetics, climate technology and interplanetary communication.
Today it is obvious that we live in an age of massive ecological and psycho-spiritual pollution. The ancients called this Kalki (KALKI) age. (Kalki is Sanskrit for pollution). Without human intervention, the Earth is no longer able to recover from the disturbance of the ecosystem.

In 'AGNIHOTRA' -(also a type of Homa)' AGNI' is for "fire" and 'HOTRA' for "healing"

- all factors in the ritual play an important role. At both sunrise and sunset dried cow dung, ghee, and rice are burnt in a pyramid-shaped copper receptacle of a prescribed size, along with the chanting of a mantra. During the burning the pyramid shape and the copper act like a generator to produce negative ions which have a harmonizing effect on both the environment and human well being. The healing energies and substances which come into being during the combustion of the initial organic material are released into the atmosphere though some also remain in the ash.
a) Cow dung contains a substance similar to penicillin, which has a disinfecting effect and reduces bacteria that cause disease. In all ancient cultures cow dung was used to combat a whole series of illnesses its property of reducing radioactive radiation is described in Vedic writings. After the Chernobyl catastrophe (refer to author's article-"Answers from Ayurveda to the problems of Chernobyl-published) a group of scientists experimented in Yugoslavia with Agnihotra and after discovering that there was no longer any sign of radioactivity in the immediate vicinity, following the combustion of the required ingredients in the copper pyramid. In the area bordering the Soviet Union people threatened by radioactive fallout sealed their huts with cow dung and was thus able to protect them from radiation. It is also known that NASA's manned space capsules are coated with a thin layer of cow dung to protect them against radiation.
b) Ghee also has properties of detoxification. During combustion, nutrients for plants are released in both fine and coarse forms Ghee undergoes many chemical combinations and dissolves toxic compounds. & Is the only substance known to modern science, which defies certain laws of chemistry: when ghee is burned under ideal conditions its weight does not alter.
c) Rice has a balancing yin and yang effect. Many ethereal oils are released during the process of combustion and chemical reactions are set off.
d) The mantra sung at sunrise and sunset stands, as mentioned, in resonance with the biorhythm. The notes, which are chanted, activate special vibrations, which create a specific atmosphere aimed at achieving the desired results. Such vibrations exist for everything, and everything can be activated, controlled and transformed by mantras. The atoms structure themselves anew.

When mantras are chanted during homa, the vibrations of the mantras are enclosed in the ash, and the ash as the medium for these vibrations is even more effective in achieving the aspired goal. The purification of the atmosphere through homa leads to an intensification of the life energy (prana); not only does it influence the physical health of all living things, but also the human psychic constitution. The state of the psyche is directly dependent on the quantity and quality of the prana available; thus the intensified absorption of prana has a positive effect on the psyche. In the homa atmosphere psychic tensions are set aside. Those who regularly practice Agnihotra soon experience a decrease in anger and greed; mood changes are less vehement and one feels calmer altogether.

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