The Sanskrit word Yagna is originated from the verb – YAJ = which means to do oblation to fire. Yagna are combination of rituals which are recommended in our great Vedas. While undertaking one particular yagna the practitioner has to recite a particular mantra and do offerings to the fire. The mantra could be from Vedas or from Puranas. The yagna could be undertaken for the purpose of planetary affliction in the horoscope, some Vastu problem, child birth, marriage, progeny etc. Vedic Yagna is the highly developed science of contacting the celestial field of life. Our saints’ cognized specific procedures for gaining blessings from different manifestations of the divine who create and administer the universe. The ancient tradition of Vedic Yagna prescribes a variety of performances to express devotion to the Divine in its varied manifestations, to celebrate and facilitate important achievements in life, and to purify ourselves and our environment of any malefic energy that may hinder our evolution.
Pooja is a ritual where mantra is also recited and fire sacrifice is also done, but all are voluntarily. To undertake pooja there is no need of following the classical method as prescribed in our Brahmin grantha or tantra books. There is no need to chant the mantras in their prescribed quantity. It could be said that pooja is undertaken as a general worship to the god just to get the spiritual development. While undertaking pooja of a specific deity one do not have fixed goal which he has targeted to achieve. Pooja may be performed at almost any time, although certain times may be considered much more auspicious. They generally last between one hour and depending upon the person.
A Pooja to Ganesh is often performed at the outset of any important endeavour, including the start of new businesses, or to remove obstacles to success and evolution, to gain support of Nature for finding a life partner, for improving harmony in married life or for having children. A longer Homa can also be performed. (Ganesh is also invoked at the beginning of any Yagna, as Ganesh is considered to be the Lord of the Celestial Hosts, and his blessings are necessary for the success of the Yagna.)
This is one of the most popular Yagyas for householders, for it honours MahaLaksmi, the manifestation of Mother Divine responsible for creating and maintaining affluence in all spheres of life, inner and outer.
Fullness and bliss are two qualities intimately associated with MahaLakshmi, and participants in Poojas or Homas to MahaLaksmi often report a distinct increase in sweetness of consciousness as well as enhanced support of Nature. This Yagna is frequently performed for increasing both material abundance and richness of spiritual life. It is often performed when starting a new business, when making important financial investments, or for improving harmony with business partners.
To gain the grace of Mother Divine and receive her blessings to remove ignorance, provide protection from adversity and eliminate suffering on an individual and cosmic level. Durga Poojas can be of various lengths, from two hours to six hours or more, and may be performed on a single day, or on consecutive days. The recitation of selections from the Durga Saptashati, a collection of beautiful hymns to Mother Divine, is an especially enjoyable part of this Pooja.
This is a more elaborate Yayga that is understood to have powerful effects on the cosmic, global and individual levels. It is traditionally performed to alleviate the adverse affects of the planets, liberate man from all troubles, restore friendships, gain blessings of wealth and beautiful children, and to overcome enemies and evil planetary influences. Performance of the Chandi Homa includes Pooja two to three hours long and a Homa (fire ceremony) that lasts approximately four hours. It includes the recitation of all 700 verses of Durga Saptashati, a collection of beautiful hymns to Mother Divine.
This special Pooja to Siva includes a ritual bath (Abhishek) of the Siva Lingam, followed by the recitation of the 200 verses of Rudra from Yajur Veda. The purpose is to gain support for spiritual endeavours and to alleviate suffering, both individually and for the entire creation. Yagyas to Siva also help to remove ignorance, prevent disease and promote rapid recovery from serious disease.
This special fire ceremony to Siva is for ensuring a long and healthy life and helps bring an end to prolonged or severe sickness, as well as for many other purposes. It is also traditionally recommended to relieve the malefic influence of Mangal (Mars) or Shani (Saturn) when certain astrological combinations are present in the birth chart.
Saraswati is the embodiment of Mother Divine that is responsible for the enlivenment and spread of Pure Knowledge, as well as progress in areas of study and of the arts. By honouring Saraswati, the qualities of wisdom, intelligence and good memory are enhanced in the individual and the environment. Yagyas for Saraswati help gain blessings and support of Mother Divine in the areas of spiritual study, other educational activities, or in the arts, including writing, public speaking, visual arts and music. These Yagyas are often performed prior to starting studies.
Vishnu is the Maintainer of the universe and is responsible for ensuring evolution and harmony in life. From time to time, Vishnu incarnates in an avatar such as Rama or Krishna to restore balance to the universe after a build-up of negativity has occurred. Yagyas for Vishnu help gain general support of nature and smooth family life.
This Yagna is performed to relieve tensions and improve relations between husband and wife and to ensure the growth of harmony, love and happiness in married life.
This Yagna is traditionally considered to have special power in helping to gain success in court cases, or to defeat business enemies or competitors, and to provide a strong support of nature for fulfilment of desire.
Dr. Shanker Adawal
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