Since ancient times, people have believed that everything in the Universe has been created out of these five elements – Earth, Water, Sky, Wind and Fire. Fire is considered as an element for purification. Hence, most Hindu rituals are considered incomplete without fire. It could be something as simple as lighting an incense stick or a diya or it could be something as major as doing a Havan.
A Havan is also known as a Hom, Homan, Yagya or Agnihotra. Havan is a Sanskrit word and it means a ritual wherein the devotees make offerings to the Fire as a primary/core action. The Fire is considered to be Holy, Sacred and sacrosanct. The Fire is a symbol of divine presence. A Havan forms part of practically all Hindu Sanskaars. Common types of Havan include Aayushya Havan, Mrityunjaya Havan, Dhanwantri Havan, Ganesh Havan, Navagraha Havan, Vastu Havan etc. The fire is lit in a centre and devotees make offerings along with chanting the mantras specific to the objective for which the Havan has been organised. It is done either to please a certain deity or done with some other objective in mind.
A Havan has multiple benefits. The benefits are divine as well as scientific. A Havan helps to:
Most mythological stories are replete with situations where a Havan was performed to bring in the good and do away with the bad. What we see in today’s time is just a miniature version of the actual Havans that our age old rishis conducted. The Havan in the three Yugs before our Kalyug were very long and difficult to complete. Making sure that the Havan is not disrupted by any obstacle was a Herculean task. Since those times, a Havan is symbolic of hard work and dedication.
As discussed above, a havan is an important ritual on practically all occasions. It is performed
The most important thing in a Havan is the Havan Kund. It is the center point in any Havan or Yagya wherein the fire is lit and the offerings are made. It is either made of bricks or is a copper/stone vessel. The Kund more often than not is a perfect square.
Every Havan is conducted with a different and specific purpose. Some havans can be done daily while others need a specific auspicious day, date and time i.e. shubh mahurat. It is best to consult an expert before deciding on a time and conducting the Havan.
Two of the most important mantras chanted while performing Havan can also be chanted daily to gain benefit
Om Gan Ganpateya Namah | Om Tat Purusaya Vidmahe Vakratundaya Dhimahi Tanno Danto Prachodayat ||
Om Bhura Bhuvah Svaha, Tat Sa Vitur Vareynyam | Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat ||
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