Pran-yayu (प्राण आयु) or oxygen as we know is so vital that an absence for mere minutes can claim a life. As much as we abuse readily available water and food sources, environmental pollution and ruining the green belt is taking us to doom faster that we’d ever imagine!
The deteriorating health of the environment is now a global concern. Some environment enthusiasts are actively participating by cleaning polluted rivers, consciously reducing their carbon footprint, some are educating the youth for change. In one such act to keep the environment clean, IndoreHD in association with IMC, Powered by Indore Institute of Law, organized Agnihotra (अग्निहोत्र) – A community evening for environmental purification.
Before we raise a few eyebrows, let’s take you through a quick low-down on a Havan (हवन).
Havan is considered and we’d take you through scientific relevance too, an ancient Indian practice to purify the atmosphere around us. This happens when the air around the kund (कुंड) gets in contact with the fire, gets purified, and becomes lighter. This in-turn goes up and replaces the impure air (The impure/colder air comes down owing to its nature). This cycle continues, eventually leading to the cleansing of surrounding air.
Owing its roots to Yajurveda (यजुर्वेद), Agnihotra is a traditional practice done at Sunrise and Sunset to eliminate pollutants from the air. It is done through a simple, yet meticulous process of a couple of ingredients like ghee, cowdung cakes, and unpolished rice (घी, कंडे और चावल). It is an excellent, verified practice to heal the mind and body, eliminate negative energies, and to give our soul some solace.
One can easily perform this at home, and be a part of actively cleaning the environment through ancient means. It does make sense that in ancient times when such ‘yags’ were performed, the environment never lost its ability to recharge itself. Now that we are on the brim of environmental damage, and several ancient practices are frowned upon, a good insight into Agnihotra which by the way, also has scientific evidence, can be brought back to life to be used for healing our environment.
In the event ‘Agnihotra’, 11 copper kunds were set up in a bustling Rajwada. To this, were added cowdung cakes (कंडे), ghee, unpolished rice, and camphor(कपूर). Amidst the chanting on mantras by a pandit, the purification process was executed. The key idea behind such an event was to make do with the remnants of air pollution caused by Diwali, and already existing air pollution. Rajwada being the centre of bustle in the city, with sparse trees, a purification in this part of the city made more sense than anywhere else.
Dr. Punit Kumar Dwivedi, the ambassador for Swacch Indore was one of the key dignitaries of the event, who talked about the nuances of Swachchta Survekshan 2020 & Motivated the audience for their active participation so that Indore can repeat the history & become no.1 city fourth time in a row!
While ghee is an important ingredient and is also known in our Vedas as an antidote to poison. The ghee when burnt in the kunds covers dust particles with fat and makes them fall back to earth along with rain, thereby nourishing the vegetation.
The remnants of a havan, the ash, also has a cleansing effect and hence was immersed in the water in the past. Some European countries also use this ash as soil treatment. The smoke from the havan is also a therapy with its roots in Ayurveda. It heals the mind and body and creates a positive aura.
Seasoned Poi artist Tanya, who has been practicing her craft for over ten years now was also seen entertaining the audience with her engaging performance. Swinging tethered weights with ends lit with fire, she took the audience by surprise with her effortless moves and rhythmic dancing.
Alongside the Poi show, a quiz was conducted by IMC with interesting questions for awareness, alongside the CEO of IndoreHD Mr. Tapan Gupta discussing Swachh Bharat Survekshan 2020, and the benefits of Agnihotra.
Team IndoreHD would like to thank the key sponsors, Indore Institute of Law and Sarthak Singapore group for their keen efforts and valuable contribution. We’d also like to thank Nakoda Namkeen for sweets, Ahilya gaushala for ghee and cowdung cakes, G7 events for the screen set-up.
Agnihotra has several benefits, and if practiced around us will only result in positivity. We hope this event and more to follow will keep us alive in the Swaachta Survekshan, and more importantly will keep the climate in check!