Jai: Swamiji, what is agnihotra?
Swami Ram Swarup: In this regard I paste some of my articles —–
First lesson in spirituality
In four Vedas, three kinds of knowledge/science have been preached. In Rigveda, knowledge of every Matter of universe/science is given. In Yajurveda, knowledge of all kinds of pious deeds/moral duties of men and women are given. In Samveda, the way of real worship of Almighty God is given. Atharvaveda teaches that all the above three types of knowledge/science are true and in addition Atharvaveda speaks about medical science as well. However, all four Vedas, state that Yajyen is the most pious deed to be performed including worship of the God.
Yajyen is not only to offer aahutis of ghee, samagri in the havan-kund but main meaning of the Yajyen is Devpooja, Sangatikaran, Daan. Dev pooja means there are five alive devas which are- mother who gives birth, father who nurses, learned atithi who gives knowledge, learned Acharya who gives true knowledge and who kills all the sorrows etc., of the disciple and makes the disciple capable to follow the real path of Vedas to get long, happy life and salvation.
The fifth dev is Almighty God who gives us everything to live upon etc., and especially who gives us the knowledge of four Vedas at the beginning of the earth. The word “Pooja” as stated above has its meaning i.e., to give respect, to obey etc. So, the four devas i.e., mother, father, atithi and acharya are given respect in the shape of money, shelter, clothes, sweet speech etc. But Almighty God takes nothing and gives everything. So the real respect and worship of the God is that if we obey His divine preach given in Vedas. In this way we really worship the God.
So first preach of four Vedas is to perform holy Yajyen with Ved mantras daily. The way of Yajyen with Ved mantras will be preached to you personally at a later stage. But you can start Yajyen with gayatri mantra only.
The meaning of gayatri mantra is mentioned on www.vedmandir.com. Though gayatri mantra is first to be listened from an acharya yet if you know its pronunciation, you may start doing havan, please.
Secondly, you must sit on siddhasan both times (morning and evening) as time suits and with closed eyes without pronouncing, the gayatri mantra must be chanted in the heart along with its meaning.
How to do havan
Please sit in the morning to perform havan. Havan must be performed in sunlight then it is more beneficial. Half a bowl of fresh water with a tablespoon must be with you with small twigs especially of mango tree if possible, havan samagri, ghee, camphor and match box must be there with you. Please sit on sukh asan on four times folded blanket and blanket must be kept on mat.
Sukh asan i.e., sit on duly folded feet in comfortable position. First close your eyes and concentrate between two eyebrows and chant Gayatri mantra three times within heart and not by mouth. Then open your eyes.
Take one spoon of water in right palm. Chant this mantra, OM AMRITO UPASTRANMASI SWAHA and drink the water which you have put in your palm. Then again take the spoon of water in right palm then chant the next mantra, OM AMRITA APIDHANMASI SWAHA, and drink the water. Then again take the water in right palm and chant the mantra, OM SATYAM YASHAH SHRI MAYI SHRI SHRAYTAAM SWAHA, and drink the water. Then wash the right palm while sitting, with the same water kept in bowl.
Now, put the twigs into havan kund with one piece of camphor and burn it. During this process chant the Gaaytri mantra again and again till such time the fire is lighted sufficiently. Then chant the Gayatri mantra and at the last add the word Swaha and offer ghee with tablespoon, quantity equivalent to 4 to 5 drops. And if you are alone then also offer in fire pinch of havan samagri from your right hand’s fingers and thumb avoiding forefinger. So this offering may be of 11 times, 21 times or 51 times as the time suits. It is the simplest way and I have not quoted the complete method of Yajyen. The havan with Ved mantras are always offered as the best worship of God only please. Do havan daily and both times.
Importance of Yajyen
Clouds cause rain and grow food grains, clouds are formed as a result of Yajyen. The Yajyen is performed, under the guidance of a learned Acharya of Vedas, through pious deeds. In Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta, Yogeshwer Krishna preaches to men and women, to be industrious and hard working so as to perform Yajyen. As a result of this timely rains shall occur leading to growth of enough food grains. Otherwise, inadequacy or scarcity of food grains and water shell retard the growth of human beings and end their lives. At present, due to non performance of Yajyen, the growth and nutrition of human –beings is not in conformity with the required standards. Long, happy lives are also not being attained.
In Samveda mantra 594, food grain says symbolically-
“I have been created before the creation of devtas and nobody can survive without consuming me. Those who donate me in yajyen etc., I protect them and bestow them with the result of pious deeds.[punya] ”
Samveda is acclaimed most, glorified and praised for preaching the worship of God through Yajyen and practice of Ashtang Yoga that is, Samveda states especially about worship (upasana) in detail.
Sri Krishna himself states in Geeta shloka 10/22 that – “I am Samveda among four Vedas.” The underlying meaning of this statement is that Samveda is liked the most by Yogeshwer Sri Krishna because in Samveda, most of the preach has been given on worship and worship of God is the main motto of human life.
We all need to understand the depth of Vedas. Most of the mantras of Samveda preach to perform Yajyen. Yajyen, besides shower in the benefit of timely rains, bestows innumerable benefits on the aspirant, which cannot be enlisted here due to constraint of time and space. However, let us restrict our discussion to few hints regarding “The Importance and Benefits of Yajyen”-
Samveda Mantra 942 states that offerings given in the pious fire of Yajyen “Vacham Janayan” generates sweet voice within offerer. Due to lack of such offerings, mostly people utter bitter, harsh and sour speech. This is not being digested in the families nowadays.
Samveda Mantra 952 says that Yajyen generates divine merriment “Madaye Chakaanaha” and bestows eternal satisfaction on the soul. Let us all peep within ourselves to check whether we are experiencing merriment or are facing day to day problem of sorrows, sickness etc. Is not so that we are against Samveda and have left worship of God by performance of daily havan/Yajyen.
Yajyen/ havan is the order of God and non-compliance of man to such divine order is due to his indulgence in illusion.
Samveda mantras 981, 1355 state that Yajyen bestows wealth and assets on the aspirant. Now mostly the people are poor and rich are not satisfied.
Samveda mantra 948 states “Yajyen Vajihee Naha Upaagamat” i.e., Yajyen bestows all wealth, assets on the aspirant and increases the agricultural yield and food stock of the performers of Yajyen.
Samveda mantra 975 states “Saubhaga Parisrava” i.e., Yajyen showers good fortune on the aspirant.
Samveda mantra 884 explains “Ritasya Dhiyam” i.e., Yajyen generates pious “Vedic” intellect (Pure mind) within aspirant. [We see mostly the minds of both elders and children are full of bad habits]
Samveda mantra 886 states that when the offerings are given in the pious fire of Yajyen by the aspirants and learned Rishis, then the particles offerings, in minutest form, reach the space and cause timely rains as a result, they control pollution and make the atmosphere pure.
Samveda mantra 1186 states that Som Yajyen increases the intensity of rainfall and production of food grains. Now, there is food problem.
Samveda mantra 1363 clearly states that he who loves/ adores Yajyen, he only is capable to concentrate/meditate in omnipresent God. In the absence of performance of Yajyen, mostly people do not know the real form of the God as per Vedas. As a result, they do not love God and mostly the worship is converted into formality.
Samveda mantra 1280 states that Yajyen purifies mind and intellect.
Samveda mantra 1105 states that Yajyen devastates and conquers the enemies. The place where Yajyen is performed is sacred that is “Tirath”. Whereas people have made their own Tirath against Vedas.
Samveda mantra 1060 says that Yajyen bestows 30,000 merriment or happiness immediately on the aspirant. In other Samveda mantra it is stated that when aspirant performs Yajyen, his 810 sins are burnt. So if we perform Yajyen for whole of our lives’ like Shri Ram, we can be free from sins.
Samveda mantra 881 states that Almighty God establishes Himself in Yajyen.
In Samveda mantra 873 God states that He is fond of Yajyen and He loves those who perform daily Yajyen.
Hence, misled by saints who are against Vedas , innocent public has given up performing Yajyen, as a result of which, the whole earth is facing the shortage of rains, water, long life, food stock, wealth, merriment, brotherhood, peace etc. God states in Rig-Veda mantra 9/15/2 and Samveda mantra 1266 that for performing Yajyen, one must do pious deeds accompanied by hard work otherwise Yajyen cannot be performed. These mantras prove that lazy, uninspired, non-diligent, non-listener of Vedas cannot perform Yajyen. Sri Krishna Maharaj states in Geeta shloka 3/10 that God has created eternal worship by means of Yajyen and has ordered to perform Yajyen.
Benefits of Yajyen
Yajurveda gives knowledge to do pious deeds. The first mantra of Yajurveda (1/1) says that human beings must perform Yajyen in which offerings are put in burning fire with Ved mantras. Then mantra says it will prevent the infectious disease and will give constant pleasure. Samveda mantra 534 says that the ingredients like ghee and samagri when poured in fire while performing Yajyen, then these matters go in sky and cause rain and purify the atmosphere.
Samveda mantra 536 says that in YAJYEN, the matters (aahuti/offerings) go up to sun and give strength to sun to cause rain. Samveda mantra 537 tells the offerings in a Yajyen must touch the ray of light of sun. Samveda mantra 539 says that the offerings in a Yajyen, go to the sky to create rain so that the animal, birds etc., are increased in number. Samveda mantra 1379 says that Yajyen must be performed while chanting Ved mantras and mantra 1380 says that age is increased by Yajyen.
Samveda mantra 1363 says that one who loves Yajyen, he only concentrates/meditates. Samveda mantra 1270 says that the offerings in Yajyen go in the sky through ray of light of sun. Yajurveda mantra 1/2 says that Yajyen purifies the earth. It reaches to ray of light of sun and goes to sky and sun through air. Yajyen purifies the air and holds the universe spreading pleasure all over. When Yajyen is performed then air touches the burning fire and scientifically is purified just as water is boiled on fire and becomes purified. Then the pure air goes up (on being heated) and the impure air starts touching the fire and after becoming purified goes to sky and this procedure is continued till the end of Yajyen.
Yajyen is basically performed by using wood of mango tree. A scientist named Trelle of France did experiments on Yajyen. He found that Yajyen is mainly performed by using mango tree. When the wood is burnt then a gas, “formic aldehyde” is liberated which destroys the harmful bacteria and makes the atmosphere pure. Then only, the scientists made “formalin” from “formic aldehyde” gas. He also did experiment on jaggery/Gur (in Hindi raw sugar) and found that on burning the jaggery, jaggery also generates “formic aldehyde” gas.
A scientist named Tautlik came to know that if we stay in a Yajyen and its smoke for half an hour then the germs of typhoid are destroyed and all these matters are used in Yajyen.
Yajurveda says that four types of things mainly used to prepare offerings for a Yajyen:
1. Sweet Like honey, jaggery, raw sugar etc.,
2. Antibiotic herbs like gyol, etc.,
3. Nutrition like pure ghee, dry fruits etc.,
4. Fragrant materials like elaichi (cardamom) dried petals flowers etc.
When all these are offered then it happens that just as a household lady in her kitchen fries chilli in ghee then you know the effect of the chilli through air even goes to a far distance like drawing room and other rooms too. So is the case of Yajyen and similarly the offerings of all the things goes to the sky and to sun making contact with air and ray of light of sun.
Chilli leaves its bad effect to the nose whereas the above said things used in Yajyen leave the best affect in atmosphere according to the qualities of each thing. That is why Samveda mantra 3 says that burning fire is like messenger/ambassador which does work to carry the effect of all above things to the sky i.e., spreads them in atmosphere. Everybody knows that things/matters are never destroyed but change their shape only. There is also a misunderstanding that in a Yajyen/havan, carbon dioxide gas is generated. Carbon dioxide is available in whole of universe. Its huge quantity is harmful but when carbon dioxide comes out from havan, duly mixed with ghee and other things it becomes beneficial to all human beings. Secondly, burning of mango does not liberate much of carbon-dioxide. Scientists also say that carbon dioxide is taken by human beings in soda lemonade which becomes digestible. Therefore the holy Yajyen in addition is a scientific action which is beneficial to the whole universe.
Dr. Kundanlal (M.D.) was an allopathic doctor, he took twelve test tubes made of glass, duly purified scientifically, six sets of two test tubes each made and each set was filled with milk and food i.e., six were filled with milk and six were filled with food. In six test tubes, there was air of
Yajyen/havan. In other six test tubes there was only ordinary air of garden filled. Now Dr. Kundanlal started regular watch on each set of test tubes. He found the result that the food which was filled by ordinary air of garden started decaying and giving bad smell quickly whereas the food with air of Yajyen/havan started decaying slowly. This experiment was based while performing a single havan but a spiritual havan containing all things (minimum 21 herbs) will give the best result.
Therefore there are unlimited benefits of Yajyen which cannot be explained in full, being very lengthy. I have forgotten about an article I read in a leading newspaper of India about ten years back, in which it was mentioned that in a country, a jungle up to the area of 30 miles started getting dried up due to a disease in herbs and trees. The Govt. tried level best to nurse the jungles but all in vain. The country came to know from somewhere about Yajyen and not Yajyen but a simple havan without Ved mantras was started there and slowly, the whole jungle was recovered and became green, duly free from disease. Yajyen in the night will contain only spiritual effect but the physical effect for causing rain and purification of atmosphere will be decreased as all the things used in Yajyen/havan will be unable to go to sky and even to sun in the absence of ray of light of sun as mentioned in above mantras.
Jai: Swamiji Is advaita in Vedas?
Swami Ram Swarup: No, please advaitwad does not exist in Vedas. Vedas tell always about traitwad as briefed below:-
Eternal knowledge of Vedas which emanates direct from God only preaches “Traitvad”. In Traitwad, there exist three matters:
(2) Souls( Jeev)
God and souls are alive whereas Prakriti is non-alive matter.
From Prakriti, all the matters of universe are created. But neither from God nor soul any matter is created. Soul can never be God being unchangeable and God can also never be soul being unchangeable. Soul due to the attraction towards prakriti is indulged in illusion and forgets his original form of immortal peace, purity etc. and has to face the birth and death again and again.
But Almighty being the commander of the souls and prakriti, is never attracted towards prakriti. He always remains purified. So, God cannot forget his original form and is never indulged in any kind of illusion. Therefore, everything like tree, tube light, stone, electric fan are made of prakriti and hence can never be God.
So, the meaning of Eko Brahma Dweetya na Asti will be, there is only one God equivalent to whom no other God exists. Besides this, Yajurveda mantra 27/36 states-‘Na Jataha Na janishyate’ i.e., there is only one Formless, Almighty, immortal God and equivalent to this, neither any other God was born, nor shall be born.
In advaitwad soul is stated to be God Himself which is not according to Vedas.