On Saturdays we have a Agnihotra ceremony at The Shala Bali. Sitting together with the RYT300 teachers and classmates around the sacred fire and chanting is a wonderful way to end the week. Specially now, as Mount Agung has been erupting and the forces of nature are strong, has it been very fitting to remember to give thanks to mother nature.
Rose Baudin preparing for the Agnohotra ceremony.
This is what the www.agnihotra.org-site says about the ceremony:
Agnihotra is a healing fire from the ancient science of Ayurveda. It is a process of purifying the atmosphere through a specially prepared fire performed at sunrise and sunset daily. Anyone in any walk of life can do Agnihotra and heal the atmosphere in his/her own home. Thousands of people all over the world have experienced that Agnihotra reduces stress, leads to greater clarity of thought, improves overall health, gives one increased energy, and makes the mind more full of love. It is a great aid to drug and alcohol deaddiction. Agnihotra also nourishes plant life and neutralizes harmful radiation and pathogenic bacteria. It harmonizes the functioning of Prana (life energy) and can be used to purify water resources.
Agnihotra is an ancient science given in Sanskrit language at the time of creation. Sanskrit was never anyone’s mother tongue; it is a language of vibration. We can make changes in the atmosphere with Sanskrit mantras and fire prepared with specific organic substances, timed to the sunrise/sunset biorhythm. The fire is prepared in a small copper pyramid of specific size and shape. Brown rice, dried cowdung (manure) and ghee (clarified unsalted butter) are the substances burned. Exactly at sunrise or sunset the mantras are spoken and a small amount of rice and ghee is given to the fire. There is not just energy from the fire; subtle energies are created by the rhythms and mantras. These energies are generated or thrust into the atmosphere by fire. This, in addition to the qualities of the materials burned, produces the full effect of this healing HOMA (healing fire). Much healing energy emanates from the Agnihotra pyramid.
Tremendous amounts of energy are gathered around the Agnihotra copper pyramid just at Agnihotra time. A magnetic-type field is created, which neutralizes negative energies and reinforces positive energies. Therefore, a positive pattern is created by one who does Agnihotra merely by his/her performance. Agnihotra purifies the atmosphere of pollutants and neutralizes harmful radiation. The resultant atmosphere gives nourishment to plant life.
Agnihotra and Plants: The ghee is thrust into the atmosphere and attaches itself to the molecular structure of the soil, allowing the soil to retain more moisture. Plants grown in Agnihotra atmosphere are better able to withstand droughts. Agnihotra causes a change in the cellular structure of the plant which sends more nutrients to the fruit of the plant and less to the leaves, stem and roots. Many people have found that the size, taste, texture and yield of fruits and vegetables grown in Agnihotra atmosphere are superior. Performance of Agnihotra in the garden reduces pest problems and organic gardening and farming are made easier.
Medicinal properties of Agnihotra: Agnihotra renews the brain cells, revitalizes the skin and purifies the blood.
The healing effects of Agnihotra are locked in the resultant ash.
All the participants get a red mark on the forehead