Since ancient times, agni i.e fire, has played an important role in the Indian concepts of religion, rituals, spirituality, medicine, cooking and in the daily life of the people themselves Anything performed in the presence of a properly lit fire yields auspicious and positive results The creation and preservation of agni, in its material and physiological forms, contributes to our unique fundamentals of science, philosophy and community living.
A havan is a ritualistic offering made to a fire specially lit to the accompaniment of sacred chants Agni, being the ultimate purifier and processor, transcends the intention of this offering to a spiritually rewarding level Our great sages who narrated or scripted the classical texts, including that of Ayurveda, consider every usage of fire as a havan This includes the physical acts of eating and digestion The great sage Charaka, who is regarded as the father of Ayurveda, compares suitable food with samit (havan offering) and the jatara agni (digestive fire) with the aahita agni (havan fire).
Form and fire are inseparable because of their elemental congruity It is tejo maha bhuta (fire element as per the popular translation) that makes these two happen Visual perception of a form is possible for us because of agni bhuta in our eyes Thus, focusing the mind to a single point of forms in sacred flames happens to be a most basic, and naturally compatible, type of meditation.
Coming from an Ayurvedic and spiritually inclined background, I wholeheartedly appreciate your successful efforts to simplify a significant ritual for the masses, without narrowing its spiritual perspective I find this small book opening up larger possibilities for individual growth and peace which, collectively, will be useful for the whole world.
Origins of the yagna
Manifestations of the Divine
Identifying religious forms
Images in the sacred flames
Seen in fire - sculpted in stone
- A Being with wings of fire
Meditating with the sacred flames
Conducting a mini yagna
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