Holistic Ancient Yagya Lifestyle

Holistic ancient lifestyle advocates the pursuit of a good, clean and wholesome life. The Yagya routine followed in the ancient days provided the means of quantum healing through Physics, Pravargya and many other skillful traditions. Some of these are discussed as below:-

Physics (Padarth Vijnan) for Holistic Living

Physics is a powerful medium through which theological and philosophical gauge can be metered. In physics, different forms, light, sound, magnetic elements and their atoms are considered. Properties of material objects in the nature and the effects of energies like heat, electricity, speed on these material objects are explained in the science of physics.

Ancient Bharatiya Vidhwans called Rishis (Study Experts) have discussed this science in the context of theology and philosophy. Creation of the universe, and its arrangement, its root cause, elements, etc. were thought over by Rishis whose knowledge eventually gave birth to spiritual science. From the different types of combination of Panch Maha Bhootas (5 Mega Life Forms) i.e. Prithvi, Aapa, Tej, Vayu and Aakash the creation process started. This is the main stream of ancient Bharatiya thought.

Curiosity and research of many Rishis, led to the formulation of many Darshan Shastras. One of the Darshan Shastras, ‘Lokayat Darshan’ explains that, material world which can be grasped through five senses, is the only reality and is made of Prithvi, Jal, Agni and Vayu, these four elements; and ‘Chaitanya’ is also born from it.

Vaisheshik Darshan, one of the other Darshan Shastras, accepts 9 different elements like Prithvi, Vayu, Tej, Aapa, Aakash, Kal, etc. The first 4 elements are made from Paramanus, the material particles which cannot be divided. When these atoms of 4 elements combine together in varied patterns, different properties are created, and this is the cause of creation of different material objects.

In all Darshanas, Prakriti (Nature) is the basic element of the whole creation. In Bharatiya Darshan sciences, the concept of speed of these elements has been discussed and the speed has been named as ‘Parispand’. Again, the Prashastapad scientists have also discussed the concept of speed, named as ‘Gatee’, and have given nine kinds of speeds and their causes. To measure speed, the very subtle units of distance and time were in use in ancient times. The maximum subtle unit of time was called ‘Truti’ and very subtle unit of measuring distance was ‘Trasrenu’.

These are measured as: Truti = 1/33750 second, and Trasrenu = 1/349525 inch.

Many concepts of acoustics given by ancient Rishis (Hermits) are relevant even today. For instance, sound waves are created due to vibrations in the air, which causes ‘hearing of sound’. The fact is already mentioned by the Rishis, in the Darshanas, who were aware of the ‘echo’ concept since early ancient days. Their concepts of the intensity, height and properties of every ‘tone’ were also quite crisp and clear.

Ancient Bharatiya Experts have unraveled this particular concept – Transmission of Light and Heat means, very subtle particles traveling at high speed and forming a straight line in all directions. A reference to this in the Darshanas vindicates the fact that the ancient Rishis were aware of the transformation and refraction of rays of light. While contemplating on the Somayag process, one may conclude that Somayag is the play of heat, light, sound and time concepts.

Pravargya in Somayag

In Pravargya ritual, we find the use of the principle of physics regarding light, heat, sound, time etc. Mahavir, a three-partitioned earthen pot is used to boil the cow-ghee while performing the Pravargya. In Shrout Sutras the selection of soil for making Mahavir is prescribed in details. Soil of white ant-hill (termite), soil of river-bed, alluvium mixed with very fine sand, milk and hair of goat, pieces of somvally and water mixed together are the basic materials needed for making Mahavir-earthen pot. The materials mentioned turns the pot unbreakable, to sustain the extreme revolving high pressure of boiling cow-ghee, which can otherwise burst into flames easily. This clearly indicates that ancient Yagya experts were quite aware of the properties of clay. The process of burning the raw Mahavir pot is also given in detail to make it even harder.

Process of Pravargya in Somayag: Fresh cow-ghee is poured into this Mahavir pot and boiled on fire. Simultaneously, Rigveda, Samveda and Yajurveda mantras are chanted in deep solemn voice till the cow-ghee reaches its boiling stage. Boiling time is observed through timely chanting of Veda Mantra. The number, intensity, height and Udatt, Anudatt and Swarit frequencies of Veda Mantras, by which subtle cosmic energies are awakened, are very strictly observed in a scientific way by reciting lengthened orthoepy of the term ‘Om’ at the end of every mantra.

In Somayag manuals, the details of mantra recitation process are given in the scriptures. When to recite mantras in different swaras, including mandra, madhyam, uccha, krushta, atikrushta swaras is also specifically mentioned. Again, the birth place of swara in the body of the reciter and other details are also given. For example the place in the body of mandra-swara is:

“Urasi Charan, Mandram janayati swaram” i.e. lower part of chest is the place ofmMandra-swara.

Definitions of other types of swaras are also given. The acoustic principles and their effects were definitely known and used by experts in Yagya process. While boiling cow ghee in Mahavir-pot, a small blue-flame is seen. Herein applies the Davis principle of hydro-dynamics that when a liquid attains the temperature of boiling point, it becomes flammable. At this boiling point of cow ghee, fresh cow milk is milked at Yagya place and oblation of cow-milk is given to the boiling cow-ghee; instantly with very high intensity, the flame shoots up in the atmosphere to about 25-30 feet high. The physical, chemical properties and their effects, different objects like Samidha of different gummy and thorny trees of arid zones, 5 cow-products, different types of grains and cereals, Purodash of burned flour of rice, wheat, etc. cheese from milk, juice of Soma creeper were very well known to Yagya experts.

The fumes emitted from the burning oblations in Yagya, served as nucleus of clouds and rains. Smoke from the burning medicinal plants helps in the purification of the atmosphere and many disease bearing germs are destroyed. Thus, a healthy eco-system is created through Yagya process.

Thus it is proved that Yagya Sanstha and science of physics are directly connected.

Worldly Traditions in Ancient Lifestyle (Loukik Aachar)

In the early ancient years, the Pashu-Bandha was a mandatory part of all Somayagas. In fact all Shrout Sutras also state Pashu-Yag as an indispensable part of Somayagas.

But in due course of time, as the social, cultural phase changed, Pashu-Yags were condemned by other religions which were preaching Ahinsa principle to be practiced in individual and social life. In a reactionary movement against pashu-hinsa in Yagyas, people’s inclination towards Buddhist and Jain cult grew exponentially. Eventually, changes took place in the traditions and general behavior of the society and prohibition of Pashu-Yags became an obligation for those who wanted to preserve the glory and dignity of Hindu religion. Smriti and Puranas reveal these changes were incorporated in good time and were rather consistent and not contradictory to Yagya principles under the supreme authority of Vedas.

It is very interesting to study, how Vedic Yagya principles are knitted subtly into the traditions followed in Hindu society. Vedas say that Agni-Tatva (fire source) is present in Ashwatth Tree and Agni is created from two pieces of Ashwatth tree by friction. Since, Yagya is performed on Agni it is extremely pious to worship Agni. The scriptures also advise Yagya performer to go on various fast such as Ashwatth Vrat (fast) and Ashwatth Udyapan Vratas for gaining various spiritual benefits.

Aatma Samaropan (Surrendering Oneself) is an essential part of the ancient holistic Yagya. In this process Yajamana warms up his hands on Agni and holds it outside his mouth and while reciting mantras takes the warmth and heat of it inside. The process is called Aatma Samaropan and it gave birth to the tradition of holding hands on the flame of Niranjan and then holding hands outside the mouth and breathing in at the time of Aarti (Holy singing offering to the gods).

In Ashwamedh Yagya there is an occasion for solving a puzzle. In Satra Yag there is a victorious procession where Ritviks utter oath, while dipping fingers in cow-ghee to complete Somayag and thus welcoming Soma-Raja (Somavally in Shakat) in the Yagya. In Rajsuya Somayag, Ishti Yagya is performed in the houses of 12 prominent people of different classes of society like military head, prostitutes (Vaishya) serving elite class, gambling head, widows etc.

All these acts in Yagyas bring a balance between social and spiritual life of those who follow them regularly. Smritis and Puranas propose many Yagyas on the basis of Vedas, which can be easily performed by common man. Such Yagyas are Vishnu Yag, Ganesh Yag, Chandi Yag, Rudra Swahakar etc. In Somayag everything is precise, unchangeable, disciplined in the chain of Yagya karmas. The Smritikars and Puranakars wisely framed such type of Yagyas which can easily be performed in the house of an individual on one platform as well as on a very large scale on social plane with 5 or 9 platforms or more.

For example, Chandi Yag: One can perform it with increasing numbers of ‘Saptashati Patha’ upto 1,10,100,1000. Laksh-Chandi Yag includes 5 or 9 or even more platforms and the Yagya prolongs for many days. Such Yagyas, on a large scale influence the social psyche of those involved and Yagya-Sanstha continues without forgetting the basic Yagya principles. People are inclined to observe religious rules of conduct i.e. Aachar Dharm.

For example, performing Agrayan Ishti Yagya, with newly harvested grains, was a favorite ritual during the early ancient days. Later along with the new wave of reforms it was realized that instead of paying oblations to Agni everyday and offering ‘Nivedaya’, it is all the more important to treat respectfully and give meals to uninvited guest in place called ‘Atithi Yagya’. Gradually with the passage of time, all these activities got widely adopted by society and became a form of regular social conduct.

The whole “Aachar Dharm” was proposed and adopted through Yajneeya process, so the influence of Yagya-Sanstha remained intact and thus the religious foundation of Bharatiya culture remained concrete. The concept of Yagya has strongly influenced the Bharatiya cultural since of ancient times. Now, though the actual Yagya is not performed regularly, the spirit of the whole Yagya or the ‘Mool-Tatva’ has been adopted in daily life.

While taking daily meals we recite the Shloka-

“Udar Bharana Nohe Janije Yagya Karma” means – Taking meals is not only a physical act of filling the stomach, but it is Yagya-Karma. We give oblations in the Fire of Prana-Shakti in our body. So, if we have to appeal to ‘Bharatiyatva’ (Bharatiyahood) of Bharatiyas, the only word ‘Yagya’ is prominent. In modern times too, Pujya Vinobha ji has resorted to newer forms of Yagyas like Bhoodaan Yagya, Shramdan Yagya, etc.

Thus we see the importance of the concept of Yagyas in society. ‘Yagya concept’ is not merely of ‘thinking’ but it is Karma (action), it is a way of living. According to our capacity, we must perform Yagya Karma in our daily life. No one Yagya is superior to other kind of Yagya. Bharatiya culture has Smriti and Puranas as its basis. So, the Yagyas given in these books are to be followed as they are prescribed. Yagya Karma rests on the foundation of faith. The fruits of the Yagya Karma can be harvested only when Yagya is performed with complete faith.