Yagya Chikitsa and its Advantages
Indian culture and history has gifted so much to mankind, our scriptures have already solved the queries though modern culture has buried it all. We have around four hundred types of Yagyas which have been explained in Vedas. Out of which 21 are believed to be compulsory and these are known as Nityakarmas, the rest Yagya's are particularly performed for some wishes or benefits which is known as Kamyakarma. Nitya Karmas including Agnihotra and Aupasana are performed two times a day while remaining yagya can be done over the course of year.
Ayurveda is considered as an Upaveda of Atharva as per mentioned in Panchama Veda. According to Ayurvedic principles, Tridosha and seven Dhatus are known to be supporting systems of all living creatures which is clearly explained in this mantra "Ye Tri Saptah Vishwa Roopini Bibhrat". Ayurveda believes that this universe is composed of five elements i.e. Vayu (Air), Jala (Water), Aakash (Space or ether), Prithvi (Earth) and Teja (Fire). These five elements are referred to as Pancha mahabhuta which in turn known to form body channels i.e. Tridosha (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) which maintains the humors of human body.
Elimination of ailment through Ayurveda
Ayurveda involves various therapies and strategies for promoting the wellbeing of individuals. Criteria for treatment in Ayurveda includes some factors like bodily constitution, medical history, lifestyle and external environmental factors. According to Ayurvedic scriptures, balance in Tridosha, Agni, Dhatu and their coordination with elimination of Mala is considered as Swatha (Healthy). It is explained in this verse mentioned below-
"Samadosha samaagnischa samadhatu mala kriyaha, prasannaatmendriyamanaha swastha itiabhidheeyate"
Hence, Acharya has classified Ayurveda chikitsa (treatment) into three major categories –
- Daivavypashraya chikitsa (Divine therapy)
- Satvavajaya chikitsa (Psychotherapy)
- Yuktivyapashraya (Rational therapy)
Among these three chikitsa here we are going to focus on Daivavypashraya chikitsa. Let’s go deep into Ayurveda and association of Daiva Yogashraya and Yagya chikitsa!!!
Daivaypashraya chikitsa is composed of two words Daiva meaning divine and vyapashraya means trusting. This is the mostly followed therapy which involves non-pharmacological treatment but relies on social rituals and divine power. It is mentioned in the scriptures that every disease has its seeds primarily grown in mind and then proliferates in the body. There are certain planetary forces which manifest the diseases. Acharya Charaka has well explained this chikitsa which involves these therapies for the elimination of the diseases- Mantra, ausadha, mani, mangala-bali, upahara, homa, niyam, prayascitta, upavasa, svastara, pranipata and yatragamana.
Benefits of Daivavypashraya Chikitsa
This chikitsa is helpful in reducing stress, negative thoughts and increases belief in divine power and helps the person in diverting the mind from negative actions to other activities. Daivaypashraya chikitsa involves Yagyachikitsa, which involves yagya therapy that has been an important part of Vedic and traditions in India.
What is Hawan (Yagya)?
Yagya can be defined as a scientific method involving finest utilization of subtle properties of sacrificed matter including fire and sonic vibrations of chanted mantras. In this ritual, sacrifices of herbs and plants are made in the Yagya kunda, which is a specially designed fire-pit or clay structure containing specific types of wood (samhithas) and ghrit (ghee). Combustion, sublimation and transformation of herbs and medicinal plants sacrificed in yagna-fire are converted to vapor phase. This therapy of inhalation and environmental purification have sublime and spiritual impacts. This medicinal-smoke inhalation in the form of therapy is also known as Dhoomapana. The yagya which involves application of herbs is known as Bheshaj yagya.
Significance of Hawan (Yagya)
The word ‘Hawan’ has been derived from the Sanskrit language which refers to any ritual in which offerings are given in consecrated fire. This was usually performed by ‘Rishis’ and is an important religious practice in Hindu culture and also known as homam, yagya or agnihotra. Hawan is done using some specific herbs which are in combination known as Hawan Samagri which can vary with occasions/ceremony or by the purpose of the Hawan. These are practiced even today on various occasions like house warming, baby-shower, wedding, annaprashan, mundan (tonsure) and other sanskars. These are performed at specific time, mantras, shapes-sizes of kunds, etc. which can vary with persons disease and patient’s condition. The concept behind the burning of herbs in fire which results in generation of medicinal-smoke and is inhaled directly while performing pranayama.
What are the advantages of Yagya therapy?
Many studies and researches are being done to maintain the dignity of Yajna. It is also mentioned in Shastras and Ayurveda that Hawan should be done with the help of remedies for the treatment of diseases. Some of the main benefits of yagya fumes includes-
- Effective remedies for psychosomatic disorders.
- Fumes reach directly to each part and cell of the body.
According to Vedic literature, the inhaled Yagya medicinal-smoke or Yagya vayu is believed to give strength and immunity and the exhaled breath helps in removal of toxins from the body. This also contains nectar, provides longevity, peace and positivity.
Yagya chikitsa for diseases
Which dosha has been vitiated? Fluctuation of which element is causing the disease? What are the herbs which must be added in the yagya or hawan for fulfilling the deficiency? These are the major factors that must be kept in mind before performing the ritual. According to Ayurvedic scriptures there are many herbs like Neem, Guggul, Brahmi, Punarnava, Chandan, Devdar, etc. Adequate quantity of herbs is taken along with jaggery and Ghee is beneficial for physical and mental health. It is believed that if these contents in small quantities are kept near the patient for one or two times; this can help in managing the symptoms of any ailments.
Festivals and its association with Yagya chikitsa
As it is mentioned in Vedas and Hindu tradition, Yagya's are perfumed for the sovereignty also it is mentioned in Mahabharata Yudhisthira have performed Rasjasuya yagna which was done for the crucial event related to Sri Sankararama Dikshitar in a discourse. This ritual has been compared to the mythical cow Kamadhenu and it is believed that sacrifices satisfy God; in turn God bestows what humans desire. Even the food we eat which depends on rain and it is ultimately the result of sacrifice. These all maintain an equilibrium between interaction and cooperation between all kinds of energies and humans in the cosmos. So it is believed that Yagya before every good deed will activate all the positive energies and also it improves and strengthens one's karmic matrix in present life. This is the reason Yagya, the holy fire ritual is performed before every festival to spread positivity and eliminate negative energies so that it will have a good impact on mental and physical health of all beings.
Scientific aspects behind the Hindu ritual 'Yagya'
There are many historical evidences that ancient sages performed Yagyas and Asuras (demons) try to vanish them. But demons have to pay a hefty price as it is believed that valiant godly prince used to guard the yagya and diminishing the nuisance. Let’s discuss the facts!!
How does it work?
Basically the world is composed of two energy systems i.e. heat and sound so the involvement of mantras and fire in the whole ritual are blended together to achieve spiritual, psychological and physical benefits.
Aroma and science behind fatty substances!!
As we know that the smell can be smelt even from a great distance, besides this smoke and steam is also given in a huge amount and the already added adequate amount of solid particles provide sufficient surface for mechanical diffusion. Addition of Ghee plays an important role in combustion of a component i.e. cellulose present in wood which ultimately helps in keeping the fire alight. When the diffusion of all volatile substances takes place then some photochemical reactions in presence of sunlight. This might be the reason Yagya's are recommended to be performed in strong sunlight.
Shape of Agni kund
The pyramid shape is generally believed to store and generate a specific positive energy field which possess antibacterial properties. Inverted pyramid allows controlled dissipation of energy and spreads them in the surrounding atmosphere.
The sound vibrations are believed to penetrate energy spheres at cosmic and subtle levels. Sanskrit alphabets are endowed with some special and powerful vibrational powers, they can set harmonious wave patterns when pronounced.
Impact on environment
According to recent studies, severity of diseases and malfunctioning is increasing due to the pollution and there are incidences that diseases, sickness and physical ailments get reduced in houses where Yagya's are performed frequently.
Healing process in Hindu fire ritual
Yagya tends to create nutritional and medicinal surroundings as it is beneficial in renewing brain cells, prevents bacterial growth and purifies blood which helps in rejuvenating skin. Agnihotra is known to be a healing process as it is said that healing the atmosphere and healed atmosphere will heal you in turn.
Removal of bacteria and disinfectants
Partial oxidation of hydrocarbons and decomposition of organic substances results in formation of formaldehyde and formic acid, an antiseptic and disinfectant respectively. As this is the known fact that use of formaldehyde possesses germicidal activity and it is produced in huge quantities during Yagya which ultimately kills the harmful bacteria.
The fire in flames sublimates all unwanted substances inside, causes active flow of blood and gives vigilant courage to fight against all evils.
From the above discussion this is clear that India is a land of diversity loaded with beneficial history which is helping this generation in improving the quality of life. All information is available in our ancient scriptures related to any spiritual, ethical and medical issues.