Importance of Yajyen
Shatpath Brahmin Granth 14/4/2-3/29 beautifully describes that, "Soul (Jeevatma) desired to have wife, to be get children, to have money and to perform Yajyen. Person harbouring such pious desires should not ask for more." The underlying meaning is that when person is blessed with living assets in the form of family and material assets like money etc., such assets are means to perform Yajyen. It is every one's duty to utilize these assets in performance of Yajyen. Due to lack of true knowledge of Vedas, ignorant person indulges in attachment, allurement, laziness, inactivity, sensuality, worldly pleasures etc. on possessing money and family and does not utilize these assets in the performance of Yajyen and adopts a conduct which is contradictory to the Vedic tenets and teachings of shastras. As a result, he never achieves eternal peace. In spite of possessing materials assets, he is never contended and wanders like a deer misted by mirage in desert and the lust grows for more. Hence, keeping in view the experienced and
authentic speech of Rishis, all must remain attached to pious deeds like Yajyen etc., on being blessed with family and other assets.
Yajurveda mantra 40/14 states that materials progress if accompanied by spiritual progress, gives everlasting peace and happiness to that person and leads him to final liberation i.e., Moksha - otherwise one sided material progress like looking after family, earning money, assets indulging in sensuality, or achieving progress in science leads to complete spiritual ignorance and soul is entangled in the cycle of birth and rebirth and is distressed with painful suffering like the ignorance etc., too in present life.
Vedas declare looking after of family, earning money, studying, doing service, business etc., as pious deeds only if accompanied by God's worship i.e., Yajyen etc., in which two paths are involved i.e., worldly in the shape of money etc., and spiritual i.e., worship/Yajyen etc. This fulfills the requirement of Yajurveda mantra 40/14 wherein both paths are to be adopted. Yajurveda mantra 2/23 states that all these materials which are not utilized in part, in the performance of Yajyen, form the share of wicked and sinners. The underlying meaning has been explained in Rigveda as-
“Keval Ago Bhavati Keval Aadi” i.e., one who eats alone without offering a portion of his share in Yajyen and to other needy persons, earns sins for himself. Ravana and Duryodhan are historic examples supporting this statement .They were wicked who did not offer part of their earnings and materials in Yajyen and met with their downfall as a result. Where as Sri Ram, Sri Krishna, King Harishchandra, etc., were healthy, wealthy and spiritually sound so attained merriment. Fact remains that one to all desire to be happy always. The ultimate aim of every human being is to disentangle himself from ties of karmas and attain final liberation or eternal happiness. For the benefit of the entire mankind, God himself has asked the human beings to perform holy Yajyen, the ultimate source to all happiness. Unfortunately, today world, due to lack of spirit and desire to know and hard work, which in turn leads to ignorance, is unable to understand the true form of Yajyen, the way it was understood by public at large belonging from Satyug to Dwapur. In fact performance of the pious and true deed of Yajyen is not restricted to a particular caste, religion or sect but requires to be adopted by entire mankind. The main reason behind all this is that on performing holy Yajyen by any person gives benefit to whole universe. Secondly, when the knowledge of Vedas is originated at the time of creation, no religion or caste system was made by God and still does not appear in all Vedas, so the knowledge of Vedas is meant for all human-beings. The complete and detailed description of Yajyen has been given in Vedas and shastras, Geeta, Ramayana etc. Bhagwad Geeta shloka 3/15 states:
"Karmabrahmodbhavamvidddhi" and "Brahmaaksharsamudbhavam"
That O Arjun! Know the fact that the pious karma of Yajyen owes its origin from Vedas, Vedas have emanated from eternal God hence omnipresent God is ever established in Yajyen. Hence, while performing Yajyen, one should keep in mind that God is present amidst the persons performing Yajyen during that time.
Yagvalkya Muni says-
"Yajyau Vai Vishnuhu" i.e., Yajyen itself is Almighty God. As stated above in Geeta shloka that all four Vedas are not the creation of any Rishi-Muni or human being. Hence, the importance and supremacy of Yajyen is backed by the proof of Vedas and shastras.
Just as Almighty God creates the universe from non-alive Prakriti without the help of pencil or paper, similarly at the beginning of the creation, the four Vedas viz., Rigveda, Saamveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda emanate from most worshippable, eternal omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God. The study of Vedas enabled the Rishis to write memorable literature in the form of shastras, Upanishads, Geeta etc. Further,
the study of these books and practice of teachings in it, enable the human-beings to divest themselves of Rishi-rinn i.e., debt of Rishis on them. This further enables the culture of Vedas, shastras, Upanishads etc., to remain living and viable on earth because it is indispensable means to achieve eternal happiness and peace.
Patanjali Rishi's Yogshastras sutra 1/7 declares Vedas as self-proof "Swataha
Pramaan" and speech as well as teachings of Rishis as "Partaha Pramaan" hence equally authentic. It is advisable that all our actions including worship should be authentic i.e., supported by any of the proofs mentioned in Yogshastras sutra 1/7.
Shri Guru Granth Sahib declares -
"Ved Katev Kaho Mat Jhoote Jhoota So Jo Na Vichare" i.e., Vedas are true, never proclaim that they are false. The person who does not reflect, deliberate or deeply think over its teachings after studying them, is the one who is actually false/untruthful, the deceiver. God Himself has ordered human-beings to perform Yajyen in various mantras of all four Vedas. Although the word "Yajyen" has many forms and connotations yet we would restrict our explanation to the term "Yajyen" which is beneficial to the whole mankind. It includes from simple Yajyen performed in homes (Agnihotra) to Ashwamegh Yajyen i.e., Yajya solemnized by powerful kings for the benefit of nation and universe.
Yajyen is paramount or must supreme pious deed. In non-alive Prakriti, the alive God's
power works to create the third thing i.e., universe and this sought of pious deed of creation is also called Yajyen. Hence, universe is the result of Yajyen. Atharvaveda 9/10/14 declares "Ayam Yajyo Vishwasya Bhuvnasya Nabhihi", i.e., Yajyen is the naval (centre of importance) of entire world. Naval has got Jatharagni by which the food is digested and converted into energy, blood, carbohydrates, proteins etc., which is essential to remain alive. One whose Jatharagni is less active or is about to finish, he will die; so due to the lack of Yajyen, the whole creation is being put to degeneration in values leading to its unnatural death. Further in the Naval if jathragni is disturbed, indigestion takes place. Hence, due to lack of havan generally persons suffer indigestion and several diseases.
The word "Yajyen" has been derived from the root word "yaj" which implies three meanings - first is Devpuja, second is Sangatikaran and third is Daan.
Dev pooja further means Dev + Pooja. It includes five alive Devas or the persons who are the givers, i.e., mother, father, guest (knower of at least one Veda), Acharya or learned of Vedas and Almighty God. Pooja is a Sanskrit word which implies "to honour and serve". This Pooja word is being used as worship by all but according to the eternal philosophy and meaning of word Pooja as said later is that one should do service to alive parents, guests and Acharya with clothes, money, respect, polite and sweet speech, honour etc., because such services are not applicable for those who have gone to heavenly abode. So there is no provision of Shradh in Vedas. It is pertinent to mention here that Almighty God can only be served by putting into practice His principles and laws mentioned in His Vedas and performance of Agnihotra. This is Dev Yajyen. Number of such Yajyen were performed by ancient kings like Sri Ram, Sri Krishna, their subjects, Rishis, Munis and they maintained eternal peace and harmony in their lives and within their kingdom. Yajurveda states - "Devaha Yajyen Yajyam Ayajant" i.e., learned persons always worship God through Yajyen.
Second, Sangatikaran means the proximity or nearness with learned and to satisfy the learned with servitude i.e., devote heart, soul, money, body in the service of Acharya (Rishi-Muni, learned person) so as to gain knowledge pertaining to Vedas, Yajyen, Ashtang Yoga etc., from them in return. As regards money, the same is donated as per one's capability and if capability does not exist then no need to offer money and he should get knowledge.
Third is Daan, i.e., to donate vidya daan or giving of knowledge is the paramount (most supreme) daan in the world. Vidya daan is eternal, undestructible donation which is delivered by a learned to the aspirant on receiving the knowledge as mentioned above, person achieves complete happiness. The knowledge is gained and spread through service to a learned with clothes, food, money etc. This service is supported by the teachings of Vedas. However, donation can only be made to the deserving "Supatra". Some renowned benefactors (Daani) include kings like Harishchandra, Karna, Mordhwaj, Ved Rishi, Upmanyu, King Dashrath, Bhagirath, Sagar, Yayati, Janak, Sri Ram, and Sri Krishna etc.
Hence performance of Dev pooja, Sangatikaran and Daan amounts to performing the most supreme worship of God. Yask Muni too inspires people to perform Yajyen by stating "Yajyav Vai Shreshthtamam Karmaha" i.e., to perform Yajyen is the best, pious deed in the universe. It is quite surprising today that we dwell over the land given to us by God, we eat the food given to us by Him, derive pleasure from senses given to us by God etc., etc., but do not obey His order to perform Yajyen for the benefit of oneself, country, countrymen and the whole world. The way to perform Yajyen is told to the aspirant by the learned. Simple way is to lay clean aasan, place havankund, ghee, havan samagri etc., in yajshala then chant Gayatri mantra followed by mantras relating to God's praise, prayer and worship. As per the special occasion, Swastivachan and Shantikarnam are chanted. Then pious fire is lit and offerings are made in it. In the end Poorna aahuti is offered in fire. However, the details are always learnt from a learned Acharya and one should recollect that five alive Devas are properly respected.
In the ancient times, Yajya was given utmost importance and any aspirant who went to the learned to get Deeksha used to carry Samidha (a twig to be offered in pious fire of havan) in his hand. Prashnopnishad states that six Rishis including Satyakaam went to Piplad Rishi with a Samidha which is a clear indication that everybody must perform Yajyen. Whereas it is our bad luck that now the people go to present saints without samidha and even present saints tell against the Vedas and Yajyen. History also states that Sri Krishna Maharaj went to jungle along with Sudama to fetch samidha during his stay in Guru Sandipan's ashram.
God Himself declares in various mantras, for instance in Yajurveda mantra 1/2, "Vasoho Pavitramasi"i.e., Yajyen beholds the entire universe. Further, it spreads materials and spiritual purity and is the bestower of eternal happiness on the entire world. Hence, in the said mantra, the organizer and performer of Yajyen along with learned are advised never to give up Yajyen, in fact they should ask this knowledgeable question as to who orders us to perform true deed of Yajyen?
Yajurveda mantra1/6 gives the authentic reply to this question that "Tasmai Twa Bhunakti" i.e., God Himself orders all human-beings to perform this true, pious deed of Yajyen.
Hence Yajyen is supreme worship of God. It also purifies air, water, environment since the offerings put in the pious fire of Yajyen contains antiseptic, antibiotic, nutritive (energetic), fragrant materials that disintegrate into smaller molecules when put into fire and spread rapidly in the atmosphere thereby purifying it. In fact these molecules of ghee etc., are carried by sun rays and spread into atmosphere. When these molecules reach into upper layers of atmosphere, it has been proved scientifically that they play a vital role in causing timely rains which is a blessing to the farmers, animals and public at large. When, in India, Mumbai was, hit by plague then people from all sects and sections of society started performing havan on the advice of the scientists and were benefited to a large
French scientist Tri, has made commendable research in the pure smoke that emanates during the performance of Yajyen. On the analysis, he found that Yajyen is usually performed by burning twigs of mango tree that generate, "formaldehyde" gas on burning. This gas has the property to kill the germs and purify air and water. In fact this research
inspired the scientists to make the disinfectant, "Formaline" used widely in households in the form of harpic, lizol, phenyl etc.
Another scientist named Tautlik proved that the resins (seedless) like currants mixed with in the offerings made in pious fire of Yajyen are capable to kill the germs of typhoid even, when exposed to the smoke of Yajyen for half an hour daily. The effect of smoke of Yajyen is deadly on germs of smallpox, tuberculosis, cholera, when the offerings put in the fire contain jaggery, raw sugar (molasses) besides resins and currants. The small quality of carbon dioxide so produced is beneficial as it causes green house effect.
Another scientist Dr. Kundanlal (M.D.) found out that food exposed to the smoke of Yajyen does not go undergo fermentation or decay for long.
When we draw our attention towards the meaning of Dev pooja, Sangtikaran and Daan as explained above, then we would see that it inspires to get preach in Yajyen about Almighty God then services towards learned persons and elders and then to make the atmosphere pollution free. So through Yajyen, we attain progress physically as well as in spiritual matters, which is the motto of whole mankind. It also increases love internationally, promoting brotherhood.
It has been proved historically that great personalities like Lord Krishna, Lord Rama and
innumerable kings and their subjects performed Yajyen to live a diseases free, happy, peaceful life. We need to follow their footsteps if we need to attain eternal peace in life.