How to perform Agnihotra
Agnihotra is a simple fire ritual mentioned in ancient Vēdic scriptures which is performed to reduce pollution and spiritually purify the atmosphere. To learn more about the background of SSRF's spiritual research into Agnihotra please visit Spiritual research into the ritual of Agnihotra
At the precise local sunrise and sunset timings, two pinches of uncooked rice grains, smeared with a few drops of cow`s ghee are offered into the fire. The fire is prepared in a semi-pyramidal copper pot. While offering the two portions to the fire, two simple Vedic mantras are chanted.
2. Agnihotra mantras
The offerings of Agnihotra are to be offered to the fire along with chanting of the following Sanskrit mantras.
2.1 At sunrise
1. Suryaya Swaha Suryaya Idan Na mama |
2. Prajapataye Swaha Prajapataye Idan Na mama |
> Listen to the Agnihotra mantra that is recited at sunrise.
2.2 At sunset
1. Agnaye Swaha Agnaye Idan Na mama |
2. Prajapataye Swaha Prajapataye Idan Na mama |
> Listen to the Agnihotra mantra that is recited at sunset.
The chanting of the mantras helps create and develop the spiritual emotion of total surrender within one’s mind. Chant the mantra in such a way that its sound resonates in the whole home. The pronunciation should be clear and rhythmic. The Names ‘Surya’, ‘Agni’ and ‘Prajapati’ in the mantras are synonyms for the Almighty. The feeling of total surrender is developed through the utterance of these mantras.
3. Lighting the fire
3.1 Items required for Agnihotra:
- 2 pinches uncooked unbroken rice grains
- Cow’s ghee (clarified butter)
- Semi-pyramidal copper pot of a fixed size and shape
- Dried cow dung
- Fire source (matches)
[Most of the ingredients can be purchased at online stores specialising in supplies for Agnihotra. These can be found across the internet.]
3.2 Arranging the ingredients
Check the local sunrise and sunset timings (they can also be obtained online at http://www.timeanddate.com/
First, take a small square piece of cow dung cake and place it at the bottom of the pot just big enough to fit the bottom of the pot.
Place two small pieces at the front and back sides of the pot.
On top of the above two pieces, arrange two longer pieces vertically along the left and right sides of the pot; ensuring that there is some space in between.
Arrange 1 or 2 more layers like this, with 2 pieces placed horizontally and the next 2 placed vertically. Like this a hollow space is created in the centre of the pot.
Take another piece of cow dung and apply ghee to it. Light this piece over a lit ghee lamp, and put it in the centre of the arranged cow dung pieces in the pot. If needed, one can also use myrrh, camphor or a cotton wick soaked in ghee. While lighting the fire, a few drops of ghee can be put over the cow dung. If necessary, a hand fan can be used to ignite the pieces. Never blow on the fire. The fire should be fully ablaze in the pot at the time for Agnihotra.
Take two pinches of clean, unbroken rice grains smeared with a drop of ghee, on the palm of your left hand or in a small dish.
4. Making the offering
4.1 Agnihotra in the morning
Keep an eye on your watch and as soon as its needle touches the exact sunrise time, start saying the first mantra ‘Suryaya Swaha’.
Immediately upon saying ‘Swaha’, offer one part of the rice grains to the fire and upon continuing the mantra complete the first line uttering ‘Suryaya Idam Na mama’. While offering the grains with the thumb, middle finger and ring finger of your right hand (palm facing upwards), place the left hand on your chest.
Uttering the second line of the mantra, offer the other part of the rice grains to the fire after saying ‘Prajapataye Swaha’ and complete the mantra uttering ‘Prajapataya Idam Na mama’.
Sit and concentrate on the fire until the offerings are fully burnt. The morning Agnihotra concludes here.
4.2 Evening Agnihotra
In the evening before the Agnihotra time, remove the morning Agnihotra ash from the pot very carefully and put it in a container specially kept aside for it.
Repeating the morning process, prepare a fresh fire from the cow dung cakes in the pot. Also prepare two equal parts of the ghee-smeared rice grains for the two offerings.
Exactly at sunset time, accompanied by the chanting of sunset Agnihotra mantras ‘Agnaye Swaha’, offer the first part after saying ‘Swaha’ and complete the mantra by saying ‘Agnaya Idam Na mama’.
Similarly, uttering the second line of the mantra offer other part of the rice grains to the fire after saying ‘Prajapataye Swaha’ and complete the mantra uttering ‘Prajapataya Idam Na mama’.
Concentrate on the fire till the offerings are fully burnt. This concludes the evening Agnihotra.
5. Other preparations
Keep the Agnihotra place clean and tidy.
In the morning, it will be ideal if one takes a bath before the Agnihotra time. In the evening, if taking a bath is not possible, then wash the hands, feet and mouth before performing the Agnihotra.
Agnihotra ash can be stored in a separate container. It has medicinal properties (Ref: www.homatherapy.de/linked/buch_eng.pdf) and can also be used as an effective and very useful fertiliser for your kitchen garden and agriculture. Do not treat this ash as waste to throw in a dustbin. One can immerse Agnihotra ash in a lake, river or water reservoir. It cleans and purifies the water at a subtle-level.
6. Steps in performing Agnihotra (slideshow)
Below is a slideshow that depicts the steps in performing Agnihotra.
7. Where to perform it
Agnihotra can be performed in any room or place in the house. If one has an altar or place for meditation, etc., then it is excellent to do it there. It can even be performed on the balcony or terrace of your house, or a farm or garden adjoining the house.
8. Who can perform it
The practice of Agnihotra is simple, easily adoptable and universal. It may be performed by anyone. In the world, many people and families perform this sacrificial fire and derive its benefits. There are no barriers like religion, sect, caste, creed, nationality, colour, sex and age. Children can also practice it under supervision. Women should avoid performing it during their menstrual periods.
If Agnihotra is done as a preventive or active measure for protection against nuclear radiation, then SSRF recommends that it is performed by a person of at least the 50% spiritual level. [For more information on the importance of spiritual level in increasing the efficacy of Agnihotra for protection against nuclear radiation, please refer to our article on Agnihotra as protection against nuclear radiation]
While performing Agnihotra, only one person should make the offerings. Other members of the family present at the time of Agnihotra will derive the resultant benefits.
9. Developing a sense of total surrender
While offering the rice grains with the right hand, the left hand should be placed on the chest as this invokes the spiritual emotion of surrender.
After making the offerings in the fire, sit quietly and try to concentrate your mind on the Divine energy. At this time try to discard all thoughts from the mind and strive to develop the feeling of total surrender.
After Agnihotra, let the fire subside by itself. Do not try to extinguish it by any other method. It is best if all cow dung pieces burn. However if they do not burn then treat them as ash (by immersing in water, etc.) and use fresh pieces of cow dung next time.
10. Drawing based on subtle-knowledge of Divine frequencies generated while performing Agnihotra
Click here to understand about drawings based on subtle-knowledge.
|1||Creation of a ring of spiritual emotion (bhāv)|
|2||Attraction of the Supreme God Principle|
|2A||Creation of a ring of the Supreme God Principle|
|3||Attraction of a flow of Divine consciousness (Chaitanya)|
|3A||Creation of a ring of Divine consciousness|
|3B||Emission of Divine consciousness in the form of Air|
|3C||Emission of Divine consciousness to the person and creation of its ring|
|4||Attraction of the Sun Principle after oblations (Ahuti)|
|4A||Creation of a ring of Sun-predominant Principle|
|5||Attraction of a flow of Fire-predominant Principle|
|5A||Creation of a ring of Fire-predominant Principle|
|5B||Emission of rings of Fire-predominant Principle|
|6||Emission of a flow of energy from the mantra (Mantra-shakti)|
|7||Spreading of Divine Energy (Shakti) particles|
|8||Emission of the Absolute Fire Principle (Tēj-tattva)|
|8A||Creation of a ring of the Absolute Fire Principle|
|9||Spreading of Divine Energy particles in the form of Divine consciousness|
|10||Purification of the Kundalini-chakras|
|11||Spreading of vital energy (Prāṇa-shakti) particles|
|11A||Obtaining vital energy|
|12||Spreading of Divine Energy particles|
|13||Creation of a protective sheath around the body|
|Related links||Related Book|