GAYATRI YAJNAS: ITS UTILITY ASPECT AND DIRE NEED

16 May

Super Mantra Gayatri and Yajnas are like an inseparable couple. One is the mother of Indian culture and the other is the father of Indian spirituality. Both are mutually dependent on one another. Without executing a Yajna at the end of a Gayatri Mantra chanting program (Anushthaan) the latter remains incomplete. One portion of Japaor Mantra chanting is in the form of Havan or fire sacrifice. In ancient times when people were materially well off a tenth portion of Mantra chanting program was devoted to Yajna. But looking at today’s circumstances a 100th portion of the number of Mantras chanted is offered as Ahutis (sacred materials to the Yajna fire saying ‘Swaahaa’) to a Yajna. Without this an Anushthaan remain incomplete. A question may arise that what happens to those who are not materially very well off? The answer is that such individuals should chant extra Mantras amounting to a 10th portion of the number chanted during an Anushthaan. For them this extra Mantra Japa is considered equivalent to performing a Yajna. By giving this option it is not as though Yana is being ignored but that its importance albeit indirectly has been highlighted. Again it should be noted that this arrangement is only for the poor strata of society.

 

A dialogue between Janak and Yajnavalkya regarding the non availability of Yajna materials took place. Janak insisted the problems of Yajna performance are many and Yajnavalkya kept giving solutions to those problems thus insisting that Yajnas were a very important aspect of Vedic culture. Janak asked: Suppose Yajna materials like Charu are not available what is to be done? The answer was: Conduct Yajnas using materials eaten by a person daily (rice, wheat, millet etc grains). Janak asked: Suppose there is no food what happens then? The answer is make-do with plants. Janak asked: Suppose there are no plants? The answer was that use only Samidha (wood based fuel) for the Yajna. Janak asked: Suppose fire itself is not available? The answer is that mentally execute a Yajna using the fire of faith in a meditative manner. This is the gist of the long conversation that had taken place.

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From the above it becomes clear that along with Gayatri Mantra Japa conducting a Yajna is a must. Further in an Anushthaan both these are mutually conjoined. Gayatri Japa and 5-fold Yajna are imperative. We all know that conjoined to meditative methods are the Balivaishwa rites and it is nothing but a mini Yajna. During dire times this Balivaishwa rite became so miniscule that women after taking fire from their cooking pyre offered 5 small parts of a Roti (Indian wheat bread) to it while chanting the Gayatri Mantra. Thus it was taken to be a Yajna. Further those who worshipped Gayatri regularly too performed this miniscule Yajna. Before partaking food they would remove 5 small portions of food from their plates and offer it to a small bowl of fire. Even today here and there this tradition can be seen in India. Today Yuga Nirman Mission is trying to rejuvenate this tradion of miniscule Yajnas.

 

In ancient India great Rishi-Seers kept in mind at every step, wisdom, subtle viewpoint, utility and state of facts before embarking on any world welfare program. Despite giving due importance to Yajnas in religious activities they have kept many other precepts in mind too. They could never make any endeavor which had no great utility value. They have always gave due emphasis to the results and attainments while giving more importance to any sacred endeavor. Thus they gave Yajnas more importance amongst all spiritual endeavors keeping in mind their capacity to bestow world denizens both material and spiritual prosperity.

 

In Indian scripture one amongst many names of Almighty God is ‘Yajna Purusha’. Within the Shruti of Shatpath (‘Yajno vai Vishnu’) Yajna is said to be synonymous with Lord Vishnu. In the preliminary portion of Rig-Vedas Yajnas are described as a guide, preceptor, Purohit, Guru etc. While calling those who sing God’s eulogies as Deva or divinity manifest this endeavor’s fruits are called Ratna or jewel. In Vedic literature so much information is given on Yajna science and its deep import that no other information can match it. In one Vedic verse it is said “Agnay naya supathaa raayay”. It means requesting earnestly this Super Divine Fire to take all creatures to the shores of divine greatness. The same meaning can be found in Gayatri Mantra’s portion of “Dheeyo yo naha prachodayaata”.

 

Within the normal lifestyle of mankind Yajnas are inseparably bound to their worship rites. Right from birth to death Shodasha Sanskaaras or the 16-fold rites have been prescribed by Indian scriptures. All these are synonymous with the concept of Yajnas. Without executing a yajna none of these 16 rites can be completed. The word Yajnopaveet (sacred thread ceremony) which is one of these 16 Sanskaaras comes from the word Yajna. Yajnopaveet is a combination of Gayatri’s sacred sentiments and Yajna rites. In Indian marriage ceremony the bride and groom circumambulate the Yajna pyre without which the marriage ceremony remains incomplete. It is only after circumambulation of the Yajna pyre (7 Pheraas) is executed that the couple is declared as married or husband/wife. The last Sanskaara is Antyeshti. The funeral pyre in its pure aspect is a big sized Yajna. A funeral pyre may be lit with proper or half proper rules yet so many rules of Yajna have to be observed. The Puraahuti called Kapaal Kriya is done offering Ghee Ahuti (clarified butter).

 

The annual Yajna in the form of the Holi Festival of colors yet pervades in some form or the other everywhere. When worship programs pf gods/goddesses are performed some form of a Yajna too is executed. In certain cases lighting of incense sticks or a flame lamp is taken to be a representation of a miniscule Yajna form. Overhere incense stick symbolizes the Yajna materials and the flame lamp as Ghee offered to the Yajna fire. Whenever auspicious activities are carried out some form of a Yajna too is performed. It maybe an actual Yajna or a representation of it by lighting incense sticks and flame lamp (Deepak) as mentioned above.

 

The point that needs cogitation is why have Yajnas been given a prime spot in Indian culture? As an answer to this we can surely say that the more one dives deep into the concept of Yajnas the more its mysteries unfold. It then becomes crystal clear that Yajnas have their basis in both science and divine wisdom. Al those principles that back both material and spiritual advancement are embedded in seed form within the concept of Yajnas. The very vital principles of peace and bliss both individually and universally manifest superbly through the medium of sacred Yajnas.

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The deep import of Yajna connotes spirituality and also an act of generosity. According to Sanskrit language Yajna comes from its root ‘Yaja’ which has 3 meanings viz. 1) divinity 2) congregation 3) charity. These 3 are divine streams which augment great qualities in both the individual and world at large. Divinity means a sacred character full of divine qualities. Congregation means unity, cooperation and world brotherhood. Charity means commitment to social well being and aiming to realize the dream of ‘World united peacefully as a family’. In other words it means creating “A BEAUTIFUL BORDERLESS WORLD”. Thus Yajna represents all these 3 streams of activities. It can also be called a flag that represents these various activities. The flaming red torch of Jnana Yajna (Wisdom) is also called the representative of this Yajna Fire. Thought Revolution and Ritambhara Prajna or Divine Intellect is the vital force of Super Mantra Gayatri. Within the Yajna movement devotees are given due inspiration to translate pious qualities into wholesome professional, social and other actions. The basis of progress lies in knowledge and actions. Pious actions are called penance and sacred wisdom is called Yoga. Even for material progress intense perseverance and education are emphasized upon. Within them one gets a glimpse of Gayatri and Yajna precepts.

 

The Spiritual Philosophy of life’s Yajna makes man great and full of glory. Along with the concept of cosmic consciousness (Almighty Lord for the layman) Vedas exhort us to partake Yajnaavashishta (sanctified remnants of Yajna offerings). He who eats without sharing with others is called a cheat and a thief. There are many Vedic Sooktas (verses) which say that demigods attained divinity through the medium of Yajnas. Over here world humanity is commanded to work for world welfare. In a nutshell we can say that Yajna philosophy motivates world humanity to imbibe a great character at the individual level and at the world level a sense of brotherhood and unity by working selflessly for its material and spiritual progress. This is that supreme path which will help us attain all round advancement both individually and cosmically.

 

While describing the subtle inspirations imbued in the iconic image of Yajnas a very appropriate teaching is given to individuals to maintain inner/external purity and this make the world potent both materially and spiritually. This teaching is so extraordinary that it is difficult to find its match in other sacred scriptures. The Fire of Yajna manifests so many special qualities as follows:

1)     Always keep the head high-even if there is a problem never allow the head to droop down

2)     We must treat everyone whom we come in contact with as our equals.

3)     Whatever one procures or earns must not be hoarded but used for world peace and prosperity.

4)     Never allow lack as far as heat and light is concerned to attack your very existence.

5)     Always utilize your material and spiritual prowess for world well being.

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According to the Rig-Veda Yagna Fire is a Purohit (priest) appointed by Almighty God and despite the speech remaining mute it inspires world denizens to aspire for all round progress and peace via its activities. If apt social education is imparted wherein first one understands the importance of the above 5 glories and then putting them into practice divinity can manifest in mankind and heaven like situation will manifest on Earth. Thus Satyuga or Golden Age that reigned in ancient times can return with greater vim and vigor for a long time span to come. The tricolor of India’s flag symbolizes the 3 principles on which India’s progress is based on. If only a wisdom and sacred sentimental based description of the 5 inspirations of Yajna Fire can be given they can easily be imbibed both by the individual and society at large for all round growth. For era Transformation to manifest in a full fledged manner along with a radiant world future these ideals must be etched firmly in the psyche of world humanity.

 

It is said that after performing Yajnas demigods attained divinity. It is also said that only via Yajnas can true Brahmin-hood manifest in animal-men. One third of the 6 endeavors executed by Brahmins have to be devoted to performing Yajnas and helping other laymen do so. From an indirect standpoint within these proclamations the grandeur of those precepts pertaining to purity and brilliance are pinpointed which are the foundation stones of the very life force of yajna and world peace/brotherhood. The entire cycle of individual and society, nature and creation circumambulates on the axis of the Wheel of Yajnas. It is the Yajna Philosophy of generous cooperation that creates situations of activeness, good management, advancement and joy/peace in every nook and corner of the world. The life of the human chariot works fine simply because all its parts (organs like heart, lungs etc) work in tandem. Ere these organs harbor narrow minded attitudes, selfishness, vanity and refuse to cooperate with one another our life’s journey will end on the spot. The Water Cycle of nature is crystal clear: Clouds get water from the ocean, earth from clouds, rivers from earth and ocean from flowing rivers. If even one leg of this cycle is obstructed know for sure that our planet Earth will sizzle like blazing infernos. In the Living Being Cycle, living beings devour plants. Plants in turn get their food from the feces and urine of living beings. Both are mutually related to one another. Plants exhale oxygen which is a life support for many creatures, especially human beings. In turn human beings exhale carbon dioxide gas which is inhaled for sustenance by the plant kingdom. The same magnanimous cooperation exists between animals and human beings. This is Yajna according to the Vedas and thus the Wheel of Creation/Time keeps rotating. By imbibing the true concept of Yajna man gets a golden opportunity to rise higher in life especially in comparison to other beings. But when this sacred ideal is ignored innumerous dire situations are witnessed the world over. When the sacred activities of Yajna are imbibed truly every problem will find its solution. Human welfare and Yajna ideals are 2 legs of one single tenet. Hence the author of Bhagwad Geeta says: Prajaapati created human beings and Yajnas simultaneously and proclaimed that if they worked for mutual welfare in tandem not one of them will lack joy, peace and a stress free life. This great tenet of world well being is called Yajna Philosophy. In order that the world is educated in this respect Agnihotra (fire sacrifice) in the form of an iconic solution has been revered as a leading religious/spiritual activity.

 

Yajna also encompasses material science. Yajnas contribute gigantically by purifying foul air and rendering it very fragrant. Thus man’s very life support viz. air/oxygen is rendered clean and pollution free. Today air pollution has become a very big world problem and hence if the concept of Yajna is given due importance air pollution can be destroyed from its very roots.

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Yajna Energy abounds with power to destroy bacteria and other germs that cause various diseases. We are quite sure such an easy, widespread and cheap method of healing has yet to be unearthed to date. Ancient spiritual texts are full of healing methods both as far as the mind and physical body are concerned. If only these pages are opened and referred to avidly not only bodily but psychological/psychiatric illnesses too can be tackled very efficiently. Amongst various healing methods the world over Yajna healing can get predominance simply because its healing herbs are administered with great ease in the human body via very subtle/pure air. Today medicines are administered using very gross mediums and hence they fail to penetrate very deeply into the various organs of the body. If today’s world situation is analyzed very deeply what stands out that more than physical diseases it is vile mental taints like bad habits, addiction to drugs etc, criminal tendencies, unruliness, anger, erroneous thinking, hatred and a stressful life which gives more hardships to world humanity. Thus when Yajna Therapy will be presented in a very compact form to the entire world it will surely help overcome mental stress and bodily diseases in a big way.

 

 

The cosmic widespread influence of Yajna programs result in benefits like Parjanya especially in drought and famine conditions. The gross meaning of Parjanya is clouds and hence rains. But the subtle meaning is rain of Vital Force. In the ancient times of the Yajna Era heavy rains lashed out in all corners of the world. For this special Yajnas can be conducted pertaining to rain bearing cloud formation. Even today, many a time this Yajna technique has given wonderful results wherein it rained on otherwise parched and arid lands. And yet Parjanya should not be restricted to showering of rain water. Instead the deeper meaning is said to be the Vital Force Principle which via the medium of Yajnas is formed in space and via wind and clouds it gets showered as Vital Force rain water. This rain of Vital Force neo creates the inner personality of both animate and inanimate beings (an outstanding method of personality development). This Vital Force based Parjanya nourishes and makes more potent materials like plants, herbs, water, food, air, milk etc which are vital for man’s sustenance. Their power augments manifold. With the result if any animal, bird, human being etc utilize these their radiance will surely go in the upward direction in an untold manner. This attainment doubtlessly will aid all round progress of the entire world.

 

More than purification of air it is more prudent to sanctify the world’s atmosphere. Pure air aids good health. The atmosphere influences every nook of our personality and hence in its development. In turn it gives a positively wholesome direction to our previously wayward thinking process. Thus a strong foundation of transformation of our actions (social, professional etc) is laid down. The Yuga Nirmaan Mission aims at sanctifying world psyche from its very grass roots. For this no doubt, activities of propaganda and creativity are required, writings and speeches on this subject are welcome but remember that these gross endeavors cannot fully influence and transform those sensitive layers of the human psyche. In fact the very flow of the subtle world will have to be reversed. The atmosphere definitely is influenced by winter, summer, rains etc and this in turn will transform world circumstances by leaps and bound. In the same way, if the measure of greatness inspiring elements augment a great deal in the subtle atmosphere it will be a tad easier to flow along with the general trends of the world. When it becomes windy the speed of a boat picks up a lot. A certain wholesome atmosphere needs to be created if a bright world future has to set in. This is where Gayatri Yajnas step in and take over the mantle of inducing, a conducive subtle atmosphere.

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