(Editorial note: The information presented in this article from literature and personal practice provides food for thought, but perhaps more as a provocative theory of using ancient practices for modern environmental and medical problems. Scientific research to examine these ideas will be essential to apply such information for public good.)
Vedic sciences have a proven tool/methodology for dealing with pollution problems, plagues and epidemics of all types particularly as a Preventive Care and that is Agnihotra and Yajñopathy (Homa Therapy) as a part of day to day life. Astrality of a field or area as also of the individuals can be improved with purification of Atmosphere. ‘Heal the Atmosphere and healed Atmosphere will heal you’ is the fundamental principle of healing by Vedic Sciences. Param Sadguru Shri Gajanan Maharaj narrated the essence of Satya Sanatana Dharma, i.e., panch sādhan mārg or fivefold path. Take ‘Yajña, Dān, Tapa, Karma and Swādhyāya’, as your way of life and that is the eternal religion given by Vedas to the humanity.
The Bheshajya Yajña is a part of Vedic Yajña System and is to be performed during the transition period (Sandhi-kāl) of two seasons. Therefore three Bheshajya Yajñas are to be performed as, ’Nitya’ (Regular order) in a year. This is known as ‘Chaturmāsya Esti or Yajña”. Change in seasons has impact on plant life, animal life and human life. We generally have cough, cold and fever (Flu-like symptoms) during this time. Therefore our great Sages made Bheshajya Yajña as a part of life. Shri Vasant V. Paranjpe has described ‘Bheshyajya Yajña’ as ‘Medicinal Yajñas’ in his book ‘Homa Therapy our Last Chance’.
Research on Agnihotra and Yajñopathy
I would like to mention on Agnihotra and Yajñopathy to deal with COVID-19 at least as a Preventive Care (of course in addition to Govt. Guidelines about washing hands, keeping personal hygiene, social distancing, wearing mask in public etc.) and also at least one very relevant and important research study here, which probably may or may not be there in the aforesaid compilation:
An interesting study of Shri Rahul Ravindran Nair, ‘Agnihotra : A Prototype of South Asian Traditional Medical Knowledge’ indicates as follows:
This study conceptualizes the principles of Agnihotra Yajña. The perusal of ancient and modern literature reveals that the functioning of the human body is impossible without maintaining an energetic continuum driven by sunlight. The seven major chakras existing over the spinal cord help to maintain this energetic continuum. Agnihotra Yajña is proposed to balance the chakra system as a whole by minimizing entropy. Offerings of natural elements to fire lit in a copper pyramid during Agnihotra liberate various volatile compounds having potent pharmacological actions. Attempts were made to enhance the efficacy of fumes by incorporating two to three pieces of coconut endosperm and ‘navadhānya’ (nine grains) to the conventional oblations. This investigation clearly demonstrates that the purpose behind the practice of Agnihotra Yajña is ‘letting incessant flow of energy (life) through our meridian lines and acupuncture points. The volatile organic compounds in smoke were analysed using gas chromatography and masspectrometry method …
… In addition to the ingredients tested, cow ghee is another important traditional ingredient that is poured into the fire. The fumes that are liberated during the combustion of ghee help to protect the respiratory system and facilitate the removal of blood clots and the bacterial infections in nasal passage lungs and veins. Hence daily exposure to this medicinal smoke should certainly have a favourable influence on the health of the mind and body of the person inhaling the fume. In addition, the potent antimicrobial action of the above identified compounds, purifies the air in the place where Agnihotra is performed……
…These electromagnetic waves, together with the chanting of Vedic hymns (unique sonic signals) have potential health benefits. The combustion of offerings in the Agnihotra pyramid is thought to increase PCE/Chi/Prana in the surrounding atmosphere and the intake of this increased quantum of PCE/Chi/Prana by breathing is thought to optimize the alignment of chakras and would certainly establish energy connections between the physical body and the electromagnetic body via the chakra system…..
..In the light of all the above facts, Agnihotra Yajña can be considered as a complementary medicine that removes the energy blocks in the meridians/nādis. In conclusion the ultimate purpose of practicing Agnihotra Yajña is to realize “Life” which means ‘letting incessant flow of energy’ through our body–mind system as any blockage in this flow would cause disharmony and chaos in the system, thus leading to poor health.”
Although the ingredients used and studied in Shri Nair’s experiment are different from the standardized ingredients used in daily Agnihotra as recommended by Param Sadguru; the results, observations and conclusions are important from the point of Yajñopathy for building immunity.
‘Agnihotra’ as ‘Kāmdhenu’ not only give protective shield against COVID-19 as a preventive measure but also bring health, peace and prosperity to people performing Agnihotra by purifying the atmosphere.
The performance of Agnihotra at sunrise and sunset is a must as this Primary and Supreme Yajña through its Resonance Effect captures many ethers, electricities and subtle energies at sunrise and broadcasts them in the atmosphere for its purification.
While interpreting Rigvedic Surya Sūkta (Mandala 1 Hymn 115 and Mandala 10 Hymn 170) Shri Shyam Ghosh says, ‘The invisible electromagnetic waves of cosmic energy carry the properties of heat, light and sound which manifest when those come in contact with matter’. (Rigveda for Layman-Shatsukta Paridarshanam by Shyam Ghosh).
Article, ‘Corona Pandemic- Aspects and Perspectives’ refer to our active self-movement and our relation with the sun, i.e., our rhythmical system is connected with the sun and its course throughout the day. Agnihotra establishes connectivity between our biorhythm and the biorhythm of circadian cycle of sunrise and sunset and the subtle energies emanating from the sun are attracted even if you are confined to your house.
Yajñayopathy (Homa Therapy)
In addition to performing Agnihotra daily, I would recommend performing daily or from time to time ‘Tryambakam Homa’ for about fifteen minutes in which one is able to offer oblations with Tryambakam Mantra for about 108 times.
ॐत्र्यंबकं यजामहे, सुगंधिंपुष्टिवर्धनम्।
उर्वारुकमिव बंधनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीयमाSमृतात स्वाहा।।
The oblations to be offered in the sacred fire will be that of pure Cow-ghee fortified and enriched with certain essential oils which have antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, antispasmodic properties to deal with pathogenic bacteria and viruses of any type, therefore it is called as ‘Amrut Havi’, this is recommended by Dr. Kamal Narayan Arya, a Research Scientist of Ayurveda and Yajnyopathy. In ‘Panch Mahā Yajña Vidhi’, Swami Dayanand Sarswati said ‘this śloka not only gives beautiful description of Agnihotra but also prescribes guidelines for preparation of Havirdravya (Medicinal, Aromatic, Strength and Energy giving herbs/medicinal substances for giving offerings to the fire). He says:
अग्नये परमेश्वराय जलवायुशुद्धिकरणायच, होत्रं हवनं दानं यस्मिनकर्मणिक्रियते ‘तद्-अग्निहोत्रम्’ सुगन्धिपुष्टिमिष्टबुद्धिवृद्धिशौर्यबलकरैऱ्गुणर्युक्तानाम्द्रव्यांणांहोमकरणेन वायु-वृष्टिजलयो:शुद्धख्यापृथिवीस्थपदार्थानांसर्वेषांशुद्धवायुजलयोगादत्यन्तोत्तमतयासर्वेषांजीवानांपरमसुखंभवत्येव।अतस्तत्कर्मकर्तृणांजनानांतदुपकारतयाSत्यंतसुखलाभोभवतीश्वरप्रसन्नताचेत्येतददाद्यर्थम्अग्निहोत्रकरणम्।
Therefore in preparation of Havirdravya aromatic substances like Kesar, Kasturi, Ghee and Milk-like nutritious and strength–giving products, sweet things like jaggery, sugar, honey and medicinal herbs/plants like somalata, disease curing medicinal herbs/plants /substances be used. The following are the ingredients of this Havi:
Amrut Dhara (Divya Dhara)
This is a preparation of three ingredients i.e. Crystaline essence of Ajwain (Omum-Trychyspermum ammi), Pepper Mint (Mentha spicata), and Bhimseni Camphor (Cinemomum camphora).When all these three ingredients in crystal form are mixed together in a bottle automatically they get melted into a liquid form. It is anti-septic, anti-bacterial and head-ache and pain remover.
Cardamom Oil (Elettaria cardamomum)
Anti-spasmodic-muscular and respiratory spasms, muscle pulls and cramps, anti-bacterial, anti-mycotic, anti-viral, carminative activities. Used in asthama, whooping cough and as overall health-booster.
Clove Oil (Syzygium aromaticum)
Chemical constituents are iron, calcium ,potassium, phosphorous, vitamin A and C, minerals, compounds like eugenol, eugenol acetate etc. anaesthetic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative and anti-inflammatory.
Cinnamom Oil / Dalchini oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Number of compounds including cinnamaldehyde which reduces inflammation, anti-bacterial, carminative, anti-microbial, antifungal; suppresses the growth of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi-good for cough, cold, constipation etc.
Malkangani Oil / Jyotishmati Oil (Celastrus paniculatus)
Helpful for concentration and memory-used in Divya MedhaVati. Steam inhalation for treating upper respiratory infections, cardiac tonic, diuretic in nature, low-BP, vigor and vitality.
Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis amygdalus )
High in anti-oxidants, vitamin E, protects cells from harmful substances/free radicals, maintains blood-sugar control and heart-health, acitic, formic, linolenic and palmatic acids
Ten ml. of each of the above six oils is to be added to half a kilo of pure Cow-ghee and this fortified cow-ghee is to be offered as oblations to the fire while chanting Tryambakam Mantra. Even if you light a lamp of this Goghrita (Cow-ghee) in your house it will give results; but performing Tryambakam Homa for fifteen to twenty minutes will be better, because the vibrations of Tryambakam Mantra will have the resonance effect for creating a protective shield.
Ayurvedic Home Remedy
One more home remedy is preparation of a decoction (Kaḍā) as a preventive measure for COVID-19. This Kaḍā is made up of 7-10 fresh leaves of each of Adulsa (Adhatoda vassica), Parijat (Nyctanthes arbortristis), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Bael (Aegle marmelos) and Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) with addition of approx. two grams of each of Black pepper (Piper nigrum), Peepali (Piper longum), Star spice, Sunthi (dry ginger powder), Cinnamom powder. Boil all these ingredients into 1.5 to 2 litres of water to make it as a one litre of Kaḍā and keep it bottled. You can prepare a hot drink of this Kaḍā by adding a table spoon of the preparation to one cup of tolerably hot water and take it with lemon and honey. You can sip this hot drink two-three times in a day. You can also add a table-spoon of this preparation to the vapourizer and inhale the vapours, whenever you have cough and cold or you are sneezing. Parijat has been found to be very useful in case of fever and joint pain in cases of Chickungunya. This Kaḍā will be helpful as a preventive measure as well as an immunity booster when combined with Agnihotra and Trambakam Homa.
–Sh. Anand Gaikwad, Krishi Bhushan Sendriya Sheti M. S. & Retd. Executive Director/Company Secretary