It is reasonable to conclude that regular performance of Agnihotra Homa at a gap of 12 hours (sunrise and sunset) every day ensures continuous fumigation of the air around thereby preventing the threat from harmful viruses such as Covid-19.
With the pandemic spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) across the globe, parallel researches are taking place to cure the infection and develop vaccines to prevent the infection. A number of research findings are also pouring in from all sides to improve the immunity from the attack of this virus. But what goes missing is the realization that we indeed possess the most potent weapon against this virus in the form of the Vedic Homa called Agnihotra.
The name Agnihotra gained widespread attention soon after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in 1984 when it was found that four or five families living near the Bhopal railway station remained unaffected by the poisonous gas that surrounds them. Seeing the inevitable staring at them the families decided to stay back and do Agnihotra Homa. And wonder of wonders they were the sole survivors in that part of the city affected by the leaking gas. This prompted researchers from Russia, Germany, and Poland to descend on the city to find out the causes for their survival. The scientists of the Indian Defence and Research Department also evinced interest in the research.
Following this, many research findings started coming in of which I heard for the first time that cow dung has nuclear toxin and poison resisting property when smeared on the walls and sprinkled every day in the front of the house. Then came the incredible result of what saved the survivors. It was Agnihotra Homa done by them at the time of a gas leak. It was also said that they had been doing it regularly in the past. Subsequently, many tests were conducted and a model was evolved to get maximum benefits.
By the 1990s, a group of dedicated volunteers spanned across the country to spread the message of Agnihotra. It was through one of them I learned to perform this Homa. In my observation, I found the visible organisms generally present in a house, namely cockroaches, lizards, and spiders disappeared after some months of practicing Agnihotra. In the course of a few years after regularly doing this Homa, I observed that Idly batter did not ferment effectively even during the peak summer season. The only plausible explanation I could think was that the yeast naturally present in the air was wiped out. These observations over the years are the basis of my deduction that doing Agnihotra can be a good option to keep our surroundings sterile, especially in the current crisis of threat from novel Coronavirus (Covid-19)
The following video gives a demonstration of how to perform this Homa.
The Homa must be performed twice a day at sunrise and sunset and on all days of one’s life. It takes less than 5 minutes to do this Homa. Details of the materials used, and instructions are given at the end of this article.
Is Agnihotra proven to destroy the virus?
Now the crucial question is – does this Homa kill viruses such as Covid-19? The researches that continue to happen have revealed that Agnihotra fire and smoke remove biological, chemical and physical pollutants in the air. The biological pollutants are pathogenic bacteria and viruses present in the atmosphere around us. Several studies have confirmed a drastic reduction in the bacterial count to less than 10% after 12 hours of doing the Homa, by which time the next round of the same Homa must start. The discussion with Dr. Ulrich Berk of Germany gives a detailed exposition of various researches done by him and the effect of Agnihotra smoke and ash on human health and soil health and also the potency of the Homa in reducing pathogenic bacteria while not affecting beneficial bacteria. Some intriguing facts not yet understood by science are also given by him for further research.
Among the other researches, the one done by Nautiyal et al on medicinal smoke from the materials of the Homa is noteworthy. He observes that the “Absence of pathogenic bacteria Corynebacterium urealyticum, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter aerogenes (Klebsiella mobilis), Kocuria rosea, Pseudomonas syringae PV. persicae, Staphylococcus lentus, and Xanthomonas campestris PV. Tardicrescens in the open room even after 30 days is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the medicinal smoke treatment.”
One may be left to wonder why all these researches talk only about the destruction of pathogenic bacteria by the medicinal smoke from Homa and there is no information on their activity on viruses. A possible reason could be that bacteria can be cultured in artificial culture media and observed for research, but it is not so for viruses. Viruses are parasitic and need living cells to multiply. They attach to a living host-body for growth and multiplication. Therefore, it is not possible to culture them in artificial culture medium and needs a living host or complex cell/ tissue culture medium. However, there are many kinds of research, that describe the chemicals that can destroy or de-activate the virus by targeting the structural cellular protein components of the virus.
In the case of Coronavirus, it has been found out that there is an “Integral membrane protein involved in several aspects of the virus’ life cycle, such as assembly, budding, envelope formation, and pathogenesis.” If this membrane is damaged the virus material cannot sustain.
Based on this feature, breaking this membrane is proposed as the best solution to destroy the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Since soap and alcohol-based sanitizers break the membrane they are recommended for killing this virus. An illustration from NewYork Times is reproduced below to show how this works.
Can Agnihotra damage the protective protein layer of the viruses?
This question gains importance in finding out whether Agnihotra Homa can be a potent weapon against Covid-19. The research done by Girish Pathade and Pranay Abhang of Fergusson College of Pune shows the loss of capsule formation of a pathogenic bacteria called Klebsiella pneumonia when exposed to Agnihotra ash.
They also found out that the microbial content in the air drastically reduced after exposure to Agnihotra fumes. The effect was high within 10 feet distance from the Homa pot and reduced successively. Ideally, the effect was noticed within 30 feet distance from the Agnihotra Homa pot.
The ability of the smoke of Agnihotra fire to destroy the cell wall of bacteria must be applied to the protein-membrane protection of the viruses too.
The experiments done by Rahul Raveendran Nair is a big leap forward in this direction. His research indicates that Agnihotra Homa does produce hydrocarbons in the air that “Undergo partial oxidation and produce methyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and formic and acetic acids”. Here it is noteworthy to observe that the alcohols that are released in the Homa smoke are similar to the alcohol-based liquid hand sanitizers (with an alcohol concentration of 60%) that are recommended for inactivating the Coronavirus.
Pathade et al.6 (Fergusson College of Pune) used rice as an offering and observed reduction in microbial content and loss of capsule formation in the bacteria. In RR Nair’s experiment7 Navadhanyas (9 types of grains) were used that led to the formation of 17 compounds of alcohol in the air that remained in the air for a maximum duration of 30 minutes. The following Table giving the list of hydrocarbon/ethyl compounds is reproduced from his paper.
RR Nair further reports that “All these volatile substances spread out into the surrounding atmosphere and are subjected to the photochemical reactions with sunlight and form various compounds, which may be the reason behind the strict instructions to perform agnihotra during daytime (sunlight is a major factor)” 7.
He further notes, “.. Partial oxidation of various aromatic hydrocarbons certainly produces formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is the most basic form of an antimicrobial aldehyde and is known to be a reactive antimicrobial as it reacts with proteins and peptides in micro-organisms and kills them. While agnihotra is being performed, a small amount of formaldehyde, along with water vapor, is always produced.”
Hence, it is reasonable to conclude that regular performance of Agnihotra Homa at a gap of 12 hours (sunrise and sunset) every day ensures continuous fumigation of the air around thereby preventing the threat from harmful viruses such as Covid-19.
My earnest appeal to scientists around the world working on containing this virus is to work on the medicinal implications of this Homa and bring out an optimum combination to destroy the Covid-19 virus.
Is this Agnihotra Homa the same as the Traditional Agnihotra Homa?
This question arises due to the fact that traditionally milk is offered in the fire though other kinds of offerings such as grains including rice are permitted. Traditional Agnihotra Homa is a long procedure done on the traditional Vedi (sacrificial altar) by boiling milk in Agnihotrasthaali (pot) in Grhya fire, drawing the fire from Grhya to Ahavniya and making the offerings in Ahavaniya fire. The experimentally produced Agnihotra pot avoids this but retains the shape of the Ahavaniya altar.
Though every householder is ordained to do Agnihotra every day at sunrise and sunset, there are different schools of thought on when to perform: immediately before or soon after sunrise or sunset or a little later. But all texts are unanimous in stating that it must be done close to sunrise and sunset time. The experiments had taken note of the slight variations in time and arrived at a conclusion that exact sunrise and sunset is the ideal time.
The use of rice as the offering is mandatory in Aupasana which is also to be done at sunrise and sunset with the two-line mantra. But only two deities, namely Surya and Agni are worshiped in Aupasana. The third deity Prajapati worshiped in Agnihotra Homa makes the experimentally deduced Homa a simplified form of Agnihotra. Only Surya, Agni and Prajapati are regarded as the deities of Agnihotra.
Our Sutras advocate that Agnihotra can be done in Grhya fire too. Examples include:
- On bringing home the bride after marriage along with the nuptial fire (domestic fire that will be used forever thereafter), the man is ordained to do Agnihotra in that Grhya fire.
- “If he likes he may (perform the sacrifice) with rice, barley, or sesamum.”
- “He should sacrifice in the evening with (the formula), ‘To Agni svâhâ!’ in the morning with (the formula), ‘To Sûrya svâhâ!’ Silently the second (oblations) both times.”
RR Nair’s experiment7 showed the temperature levels needed for creating the desired compounds and oxides in the air. The traditional Homa did in the traditional Vedi made of earth and other materials prescribed by the texts attain the desired temperature with prolonged procedures. The original experiment done on Agnihotra in the wake of Bhopal gas tragedy seems to have taken this factor into account and after testing with various methods had arrived at the specifications of a copper pyramid that quickly transmits heat. The temperature noticed at the bottom, mid-level and above the fire have been documented and it appears that the use of a copper pot of specified size matches the temperature generated in the traditional Vedi through the prolonged procedure.
Yet another difference is the silent chanting of the second mantra both in the morning and evening Agnihotra. This pertains to the offering to Prajapati. In the experimentally deduced Agnihotra Homa, this mantra also must be uttered out. But both the times the mantras must be uttered with specific intonation which one can find out in my demonstration video above.
Now a brief account on the materials needed:
- Pyramidal Copper pot set containing 5 items. (This can be ordered online)
- Cow dung cake (dried)
- Dried twigs of any of the 5 trees – Banyan, Peepal, Bilwa (Aegle marmelos), Palasha (Butea monosperma / பூவரசு), Udumbara (Ficus racemosa / அத்தி )
- Cow’s ghee
- Unbroken and unpolished rice.
- Oil lamp to light. Gingelly oil or ghee lamps preferred.
- 2 pieces of Camphor.
- Sunrise and sunset times of each day for one’s location.
The Homa must be done exactly at sunrise and sunset every day. It can be done within 5 minutes. There is no caste, religion, gender and age difference reflected in the results of Homa in the researches. However, the woman during her monthly periods is advised not to touch any of the materials and not do the Homa. The results were found to be less when tested.
Only 2 mantras are found to give the maximum benefits when they tested with all the mantras. They tested in different languages and with meanings, but none of them produced the same result as was done in Sanskrit mantra.
They must be recited in a particular intonation as demonstrated in the video above.
The morning mantra:
Suryaya Svaha/ Suryaaya idam na mama//
Prajapataye Svaha / Prajapataye idam na mama//
The evening mantra
Agnaye Svaha/ Agnaye idam na mama//
Prajapataye Svaha / Prajapataye idam na mama//
With an appeal to all to do this Homa every day for one’s own health and for keeping the air clean around oneself, I expect newer experiments with this Homa to combat the threat from deadly viruses like coronavirus.
In the experiments done by scientists after the Bhopal gas tragedy, it was detected through Kirlian photography that the practitioners of Agnihotra had developed healthy ‘Aura’ . Healthy aura gives rise to mental peace and heightened awareness of the Self.
Let everyone perform this simple Homa and live happy and healthy.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu!
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
 WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – Mar 18, 2020, Who.int
 Scientific Aspects of Agnihotra: Purification of the Atmosphere by Agnihotra – Feb 16, 2018, Agnihotra.org
 Agnihotra Yajna: A Prototype of South Asian Traditional Medical Knowledge – Sciencedirect.com
 Asvalayana Grhya Sutra, 1-9-6, Sâṅkhâyana-Grihya SutraI, I, 12; Âsvalâyana-Srauta Sutra, II, 2. – Australiancouncilofhinduclergy.com
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