The Significance of Homas – Havan aur Puja
A Homa or Havan is a sacred fire ceremony in which various forms of the Divine gods and Demi-gods are invoked in a sacred fire that has been kindled according to the guidelines in the Vedic scriptures.
Certain special offerings are made into the fire while Sanskrit Mantras are chanted. The combination of the powerful energy of the fire and the Sanskrit mantras creates extremely auspicious and purifying vibrations that are beneficial to all who attend the Homa. The smoke that rises from a Homa contains a powerful healing energy, and as it rises to the heavens it purifies the atmosphere, both physically and subtly, encouraging a peaceful environment and gentle weather. Every kind of negative karma can be purified by the sacred Homa fire, due to divine grace.
Homa is performed in a receptacle (Havan kund) in which a fireplace (Vedi) is made with bricks. The Homa fireplace should be decorated with colorful flowers, leaves, grains, and beans.
Wood to be used as fuel for Homa should burn easily without creating much smoke. In India the wood from a mango tree is most often used for Homa. The Homa wood should be completely dry and cut or broken to suit the size of the Kund.
Samagri is a combination of thirty-six herbs used to purify the atmosphere and smells very good, like incense. Some ghee and raw sugar should be added to the herbs. When the Homa is performed, the chemicals in the samagri are burnt and get converted into gaseous form which mix in the atmosphere, entering the breath and the body chemistry of the one doing the Homa and those who are in the vicinity. These chemicals go to the gods that are present as different energies or abilities inside the human organism.
Why is a Havan necessary?
There are many different reasons why you might want to do a Homa and Abhishekam in your house by requesting a Brahmin priest, the real significance of doing a Homa or Puja is that one is offering one’s negative karma in the form of the money to Hindu Brahmin priest. Through the power of the Homa ceremony, the negative karma is destroyed and replaced with positive karma.
If a person is experiencing difficulties of any kind, doing a Homa will help to lessen those difficulties. In addition, doing a Homa is a very sacred act of merit, as Homas benefit all family members and invited friends. By making a donation to Brahmin, we can bring great benefit to many creatures, and this enhances our own pool of merit, or positive karma. Thus, doing the sacred Homa in your home can both reduce one’s negative karma and enhance one’s positive karma, which makes life more conducive to spiritual practice and which ultimately leads to the highest liberation.
The Significance of Abhishekam
During a traditional Puja, or worship ceremony, Abhishekam is often performed. In an Abhishekam, various liquids like milk, ghee and honey are poured in a steady stream over a Murti, or divine figurine, while specific Sanskrit mantras are recited. As the offerings are gently poured over the Murti, divine blessings radiate out towards all those present, providing protection, purification, and spiritual elevation. These sacred ceremonies purify the Earth’s atmosphere, uplift the community, and contribute to the health and prosperity of the individual.