Saturday, March 12, 2011

Seeing Vedic Rituals with a Scientific Eye

“What is this bull-shit? The new home is now polluted with fumes. How is this going to save my new home?
What are all these rubbish procedures? We are now in 21st century exploring nano technology.” – asked by an Indian Hindu who may be going to a western country for a job who is in twenties who is attending a grahapravesam.

“No sir. These fumes are from cow-dung cakes and not from bull-shit. Even the westerners now accept the “pancha-kavyam” made out of cow-deposits.” – answered by an oldie who has returned from a western country who is a Professor of Science who has done masters in Vedic chanting. He explains further on Homam to that youth.
Fire ritual is found in many ancient religions, including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and ancient Greco-Roman religions. Unlike the elements of earth, water and air, fire is ever pure and it purifies whatever it comes in contact with. The Sanskrit name for fire is paavaka, i.e. purifier. Fire is a living god that everyone has access to. Spending time worshipping god through fire purifies one's subtle consciousness. External fire resonates with internal fire, which burns unneeded conditioning of the mind accumulated through many lives and has a purifying influence on our consciousness.

Vedic seers (rishis) performed homam regularly, for the benefit of the world.
When composing the Jyotish masterpiece "Brihat Paaraasara Horaa Saastram" just before the advent of Kali yuga, Maharshi Parasara recommended various types of homam as remedial measures for various problems in the horoscope.
Navagraha Homam is performed to remove all the obstacles of life and to attain ‘Ayur, Arogya and Saukhyam’( longevity,health and happiness).Navagraha Homam is recommended for atonement of Navagraha Doshas . Homa is performed after conductingNavagraha Pooja . Nine varieties of flowers, nine cereals(Nava Dhanya),nine clothes( of different colours),and nine types of Naivedyams are used for Pooja. Each Graha is worshipped with a specified flower.For Homam nine types of Chamatas (twig) are used.Giving auras of gifts to the deserving devotees follows Homam.
The organisers of Athirathram 2011 of Thiruvananthapuram, a 4,000 year-old vedic ritual, Friday announced that for the first time, a team of scientists will study the impact of the historic Yagna (fire) ritual on the environment and people.

The team of scientists will be led by V.P.M. Namboodiri, former director of the International School of Photonics, CUSAT, Kerala.
The study will analyse the psychological and physiological impact of the fire ritual on human beings and its impact on the atmosphere, soil and its micro-organisms.
Athirathram is considered as the ultimate invocation of vedic scriptures for universal harmony. It will be held at Panjal, a village in Thrissur district, from April 4 to April 15.
Athirathram is returning to Panjal after a gap of 35 years.
Spokespersons of Athirathram 2011, M. Krishnakumar, told reporters that the study was a pioneering effort to record the effects of the Yagna in a modern manner to endorse the belief in the ritual's benefits to the society.
'From time immemorial, there has been an enduring belief in Athirathram as a ritual that benefits the community and the environment. The study will seek to further ascertain this belief which will help us understand the depth and scientific rationale of Athirathram and other ancient Indian rituals,' said Krishnakumar.
'We expect a large number of visitors for Athirathram 2011 and the turnout will run into lakhs. One of the significant visitors will be Frits Staal, the celebrated Vedic scholar,' said Krishnakumar.
It is widely believed that childless couples get blessed with children after consuming a sacred potion, Soumyam, on the 11th day of the fire ritual.
Athirathram, which will be held at the Lakshminarayana temple this year, has been positioned as an egalitarian exercise offering a rare opportunity for people from all walks of life to take part and share the benefits of the fire ritual.
Are we nearing 
the goal of answering 
with scientific eye 
about our vedic riturals?