Whenever we hear about hawan or homa, the picture of a fire emitting smoke all around comes in our mind, but in a reverential manner since it is meant for deity. We have seen or heard numerous times that by doing hawan, one invites peace to his house.
As stated by the lord in Bhagwad Gita (Chapter 5 Verse 29)-
gyatva mam shantim rchchhati||
The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.
Since the supreme personality of godhead Sri Krishna is the ultimate benefactor of all hawans, he provides the person who is doing yagya and the person for whom yagya is done both with peace and tranquility.
Homa or Hawan or Yagya, as people call it in India is a vedic tradition which is coming down or the last billions and trillions of yugas. The famous yagyas which are mentioned in the Vedic literature are Ashwamedha Yagya of Maharaj Dashratha, Rajsuya Yagya of Maharaj Yudhishthir etc.
Doing Yagya was yuga dharma (Supreme prerogative and duty) of Treta yuga and people used to see the lord being satisfied by that when he used to appear in the yagya kund.
What is hawan or homa?
Yagya comprises of igniting a holy fire using pure wood and pure cow ghee and cow dung cakes and with the chanting of mantras, the hawish is poured into the fire with the word “Swaha!”. The hawish comprises of Indian Cow Ghee and mixture of Herbs called Hawan Samagri along with some other pure materials.
- Seeing the Hawan with scientific paradigm, the ancient sages used to say that by doing yagya, Sattva gun increases which is symbolized by cleanliness, peace and purity.
- The cow ghee and cow dung cake react to release tonnes of oxygen ad other gases which make the atmosphere pure.
- The small quantities of sulpher and nitrogen oxides get rid of harmful bacteria and their inhalation causes lacrimation, which relieves the eyes of all impurities and cough which arises clears the nasal and respiratory passage.
- All the harmful microbes and pathogens are cleared due to the smoke emitted by burning of herbs which acts as a natural detoxifier.
- The natural herbal smoke purifies the mind as well as the body.
- The ash which is remaining from the Hawan kund is asked to put into plants which acts as a very good fertilizer.
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Why we tie mango leaves on threshold of the door?
Whenever there is a celebration in the house, you will see that mango leaves are sewn on a string and are tied on the threshold of the door. Not only main door, but all the doors are well tied with the same. This not only looks beautiful but auspicious too.
As per Indian traditions and Vedic injunctions, Mango leaves are considered to be very auspicious and hence, they are used in Kalash Sthapana and other important Puja procedures. It is also used to purify the place by sprinkling water by a bunch of 5 mango leaves.
The scientific reason behind putting mango leaves are:
- Their wonderful property of warding off harmful bacteria and viruses away. Mango leaves have some aromatic compounds, which not only release wonderful aroma on being crushed or boiled in water but also, when hung in air.
- Hanging them releases various compounds which kill the pathogens away and create a nice and clean atmosphere. This positive atmosphere creates a positive effect on the mind of the individual.
- The green leaves like other plants release the useful oxygen and saves us from the harmful carbon dioxide.
- The mango leaves have been known for their unique traits even during the ancient era in the Hindu scriptures.
- Mango has been revered as the symbol of fertility. God of Love or Lord Kamdeva is also connected with mango leaves in the ancient tales.
Beginnings are an epitome of hopes, happiness and immense enthusiasm. The Hindu New Year or Gudi Padwa or also called as Ugadi is widely celebrated to inaugurate the Hindu year. This is the first day of the Indian month of Chaita according to the lunar calendar. This day also marks the beginning of new season and end of the Rabi crops. People from all around India perform special rituals on this day and welcome the New Year with immense joy.
The preparations for this special day include proper cleansing of the house and decorating the home at its best. The family members install the Gudi at the entrance of their residence by taking a long stick, a sacred cloth which is mainly red or yellow in colour and a Kalash. After placing the kalash it is adorned with mango leaves and flowers. This ceremony is highly sacred and considered to bring happiness, prosperity and success for the family.
The festival is celebrated in honour of Maratha Shivaji Maharaj, a great king who had a kingdom that spread across the entire part of western India. This is the reason people worship the Gudi which is a cloth which flies like a flag that is usually a sign of victory in an army.
This day also represents love and devotion between the wife and husband. On this day newly married daughters with their husbands are invited for special meals and resents. Thus this is the festival where families and relatives get together to celebrate the joy. Special delicacies are also prepared like Shrikhand and Poori or Puran Poli in Maharashtra and a mixture of six tastes called Ugadi Pachhadi or Bevu Bella in South India.
This year Gudi Padwa is on 8th April 2016 and we wish that it brings new ray of hope in everyone’s life.
Cleansing is a form of decluttering and getting your home rid of every extraneous useless object that is clogging up the energies in your basement, staircase, closets, box beds, drawers and kitchen almirahs. So there should be just two types of things in a house, one which has an aesthetic value and second which is useful. So as per vastu, clutter should be avoided to maintain the positive energies.
- Clutter in the north-east direction of the house will obstruct the flow of prosperity into your life. Keep the tops of tables, fridge and counters free from accumulation of objects.
- A cluttered environment reflects a perplexed mind; so by getting rid of useless and extra objects you are making way for a new, fresh and positive approach to life.
- The simple way of keeping the house neat and tidy is the key to enhance the energy of a space.
- Removing the cobwebs from dark, dingy, disused corners and airing them occasionally removes the negativity from the house.
- Enhancers like adding lampshades, torans, pictures and artefacts and the intention to improve the environment can bring magical effects in your home.
- Gayatri mantra or sacred chants of your faith can be played early morning in the house and has a purifying and calming effect. Sprinkling of rock salt and mopping the house daily with salt water, removes the evil energies.
- Vastu pujan and Vastu shanti havans can bring about positive changes in a house, office or factory. The medicinal herbs and shrubs used during havan act as an aura cleansing of the place.