Havan

Agnihotra, Dev Yajya, Havan

INTRODUCTION

Havan, also called Agnihotra or Deva Yajya, is our second daily duty.

We all want to improve ourselves spiritually, physically and socially. We all want material wealth, health, knowledge, long life, peace, prosperity and spiritual enlightenment. We all want so much! Yet, while we dream and acquire material things throughout our life, one fact of life is that our mere presence in the world continuously affects the earth, nature and the atmosphere. Our factories, industries, machines and automobiles – and even our canned foods and cosmetics – all have a definite negative impact on nature.

There is also the ‘natural, unavoidable’ pollution from our body. Fortunately, the Master Designer of this wonderful Universe has, with Divine foresight, given to us the panacea to this unavoidable pollution – The Vedic Ritual known as Havan!

The Havan, with its mantras and offerings are so designed that while our desires are
addressed, there is also purification of the body, mind and the environment.

As one of man’s daily duties, the Havan ceremony has proven to be the source of
achieving what science is yet to master: purification of the air. Our yajyas (sacrifices)
of combining a physical purificatory act with a spiritual petition to God for individual
prosperity cannot be equaled.

Note:
Usually Havan commences with a ritvigvaran – selection and appointment of priest.
The following summarizes this practice of ritvigvaran:

Ritvigvaran – Appointment of Priest
Inviting the Priest to lead the Yajya1

The host (Yajmaan) says:
Om aa-vasoh sadane seeda2

The priest responds:
Om seedami

Host says:
…Aham-adya-ukta-karma3-karaṇaaya
bhavantam vriṇe

The priest responds:
Vṛito-‘smi

  1. A priest can lead us into prayers, thus the appointment is done formally. (Note: the priest do not pray for us, but leads us in prayers). Havan is a duty for everyone.
  2. Gobhil Grihyasutra 1.6.5
  3. in the place of karma the type of yajya being performed can be mentioned
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