Significance of Havan (Homam)

Significance of Havan (Homam)

Hinduism- the oldest living religion in the world- strongly believes in eradicating inner as well as outer imperfections by destroying undesirable elements and enriching positive energies in the environment.

To attain the goal of energizing and protecting the inner self and environment, Hinduism has given a significant place to havan/ homam, which is said to be created by Lord Brahma for man’s livelihood & the attainment of his desires.

Havan is a sacred purifying ritual performed by Hindu pundits in temples, homes and working places by involving a sacred fire, Agni God because Hinduism is well aware of the fact that the Sun is the main source of energy and a fire is a representation of the Sun’s energy. As per ancient Hindu texts on havans, any offering to Fire (Agni God) is actually an offering to the Sun. Offerings such as ghee, rice, dry fruits, honey, herbs, wood etc are offered to the sacred fire while reciting Sanskrit mantras.

Scientific Experiments with Agnihotra

Agnihotra Effect on Bacterial Population:  A preliminary experiment was carried out to study the effect of Agnihotra on the bacterial population in a room where Agnihotra was performed. For this study, two rooms of equal dimensions (13¼’ x 8’ x 11’) were selected. In both rooms fire was prepared from dried cowdung cakes in copper pyramids and the basal reading of number of microorganisms in both the rooms was taken by exposing blood agar plates at four corners of the room for 10 minutes. This was done exactly half an hour before Agnihotra time. Agnihotra was performed exactly at sunset in one of the rooms. Bacterial counts were taken again in both the rooms in a similar manner at half hour intervals. Thus readings were taken in both the rooms up to two hours after performance of Agnihotra. It was quite interesting to note that microbial counts in the room where Agnihotra was performed were reduced by 91.4% whereas the room where only fire was generated did not show appreciable changes in the microbial counts. This leads one to think that it was the process of Agnihotra which was responsible for the reduction of bacterial counts and not the mere presence of fire.

Two other similar experiments revealed similar findings. The phenomenon could be explained by giving two reasons:

– Agnihotra fumes are rich in formaldehyde and other substances which have inhibitory effect on microorganisms.

– A phenomenon like smog formation and its diffusion in the upper strata might be a likely postulation.

In the regions of North and South poles, many times, carbon particles accumulate to form a layer called “smog”. When fire is lit the hot currents push the smog into the upper strata and it is diffused in such a way that the carbon particles are no longer harmful in the residual concentration. In the present study perhaps
Agnihotra fumes might have dissociated the microorganisms in such a way that the residual population was no more harmful and was well within tolerable limit to human beings.


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11 Responses to "Significance of Havan (Homam)"

  1. Virender Vohra  June 2, 2014 at 2:55 am

    Sir I want to know whether Agnihotra can be performed using wood of Mango tree which is extensively being praciced by Arya Samaaj

  2. amith  September 4, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Agnihotra is performed exclusively with cow dung cakes. (COW-DUNG, not the dung of buffalow, not the dung of bull or ox, not the dung of a cattle that has not given birth to a calf yet.) the sticks from Banyan trees(or samitthu/samith/samidha (dry sticks from banyan/palasa tree) from can be a supportive fuel but will not have any effect unless there are 3 cow dung cakes and cow ghee in the altar. About mango trees I have no idea. This is first time i am hearing the idea of using mango tree sticks for any fire sacrifice. May be you can try and let us know your experiences. It will be helpful.

  3. Akhilesh  October 13, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Mango Tree sticks can be used in Havan.

  4. Nirmala  March 8, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I grew up in an “Arya Samaj” home. Now I live in the US. I still do Havan. When we perform Havan, we offer Samagree, Gogul and instead of mango wood we use cotton balls soaked in ghee. It works very well without the smoke and fire alarms going off. The essence for me is the chanting of mantras and feeling that connection with oneself and “OM.”


  6. Sharm  November 17, 2015 at 4:38 am

    When we are performing homam at home. Is it true that we can’t invite out siders? Who is not out family members.

  7. Name Rajendra  April 15, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    only mango tree wood or other tree wood need to use.any other tree wood which we can use.

  8. Vrajlal Rughani  June 22, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Do you publish Magazine ? These interesting information should be in hard copy to refer every now and then. By saving in IPad , the memory will soon be full.

  9. venkatesh  August 2, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    what are iteams used in hayagriva homam

  10. Shankaran P.  October 9, 2016 at 2:26 am

    What happens when you don’t have cow dung? Havan is performed around the globe. In some countries, the climate is not favored, so we have to compromise.


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