Homa, also known as havan or yagna, is a Sanskrit term which refers to traditional ceremonies that involve offerings into a consecrated fire. These fire rituals have proven to purify atmosphere and ground, and to have a healing effect on the mind and the body. Ancient Rishis conducted homas to also make land and plants more fertile and foster abundant growth. Although a consecrated fire is the central element of every homa, the procedure and items offered to the fire vary acc. to the occasion or the benefit expected from the ritual. Procedures invariably involve: • the kindling and consecration of the sacrificial fire; • the invocation of one or more divinities; and • the making of offerings to them with the fire as medium, amid the recitation of relevant prayers and mantras. It is a tradition that dates back to the Vedic times. Yajnas have continued to play a central role in rites of passage, such as weddings, spiritual initiations, temple celebrations or other ceremonial events.
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