A Study of Agnihotra yajna effect on environment and plants was performed in New English School, Ramanbaug by Pranay Abhang (Teaching Associate, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune) and Manasi Patil under the guidance of Dr. Pramod Moghe (Rtd. Sr. Scientist, NCL, Pune) and Dr. G.R. Pathade (Principal, H.V. Desai College, Pune) with the support of Dr. R. G. Pardeshi (Principal, Fergusson College, Pune), Mr. Purandare (Principal, New English School Ramanbaug) and Mr. Pathak.
Agnihotra, a Vedic ritual is performed daily, all days of the year at the time of sunrise and sunset with chanting of mantra in Sanskrit. Anyone can perform Agnihotra to heal and purify the atmosphere. Dried cow dung cakes are used to light the fire during the yajna and offering of unpolished (brown) rice mixed with small amount of cow ghee is given to the fire while chanting the mantras exactly at the time of sunrise and sunset.
It has been reported that tremendous amount of energy gathers near the copper pot when Agnihotra is performed and positive environment is created. Agnihotra purifies the atmosphere of pollutants and reduces the harmful radiations. It is seen that performing Agnihotra stimulates plant growth. Many people do Agnihotra in their farm (homa farming) and have obtained good results. Agnihotra is also said to be good for the health. It is reported to have various effects on the health of the people performing the homa. Having come across above benefits of the yajna, we performed the study to give scientific background to our valuable traditional knowledge.
There are many Vedic yajnas performed by people for purification of environment, for rainfall and many more. These yajnas differ from each other in following aspects: number of people performing the yajna, time of performance and duration of the yajna, and different type of offerings and place. If we compare Agnihotra with other yajnas, it will be seen that Agnihotra can be performed by anyone, in group or individually, can be performed all round the year in home, office, farm etc. and requires just few minutes in morning and evening. Some yajnas require many constituents whereas Agnihotra requires only small amount of brown rice, cow ghee and cow dung cakes. Thus we can achieve multiple benefits of Agnihotra in minimal cost and time.
To study the effects of Agnihotra on environment and plants, Agnihotra was performed in the school daily for the period of 8 days and experiments were carried out. The objectives of the study were as follows:
- Study of change in light and heat energy during Agnihotra,
- Effect of Agnihotra fumes on microbial count in the surrounding environment,
- Effect of Agnihotra fumes on SOx and NOx levels in the environment,
- Effect of Agnihotra fumes and Agnihotra ash on plant growth
- Effect of Agnihotra on water.
- Medicinal use
The change in light intensity was measured before and after Agnihotra with help of lux meter. Agnihotra has tremendous effect on the environment. To observe the effect of Agnihotra fumes on microbial count in surrounding environment, the colony count was taken before and after Agnihotra. The result showed significant decrease in colony count after Agnihotra, which means Agnihotra reduces microbial load in the air.
New English school, Ramanbaug is located on one of busiest roads of Pune. Heavy traffic moves around this school resulting in high concentration of harmful gases like SOx and NOx in the surrounding air. Therefore, the levels of these gases were monitored before and after the yajna and also during the yajna. It was seen that SOx levels dropped significantly after performing Agnihotra while NOx levels remained the same clearly stating that it can keep the pollutants in the surrounding air under check.
As mentioned earlier, Agnihotra has beneficial effect on plant growth. This was studied by simple experiment in which germinated seeds were kept in the room where this yajna was performed. Fumes arising out from the yajna stimulated the growth of shoots and roots. In another experiment, Agnihotra ash was applied to the seeds and it resulted in increase in plant growth. It was found that Agnihotra ash supplied various nutrients which are essential for plant growth. So instead of using costly chemical fertilizers we can use Agnihotra ash as a fertilizer. Agnihotra ash being natural is devoid of toxins and the cost required far more less than that of the chemical fertilizers.
In agriculture various fertilizers, pesticides are used by farmers which have harmful chemicals in them. These chemicals have genotoxic effect on the crops. An experiment was designed to check effect of Agnihotra ash on Genotoxicity. From the experiment it was observed that after the addition of Agnihotra ash the genotoxic effect of the chemical was neutralized and showed increase in growth.
Water released from houses, factories etc. contain many pathogens which lead to diseases when such water is accidentally consumed. We performed Agnihotra and added its ash to this water and found that the biological oxygen demand was decreased and the microbial count reduced considerably. From this study we can say that using Agnihotra ash we can purify such water up to certain extent and reuse it in fields.
From the above mentioned experiment on microbial content of the air, we saw that the number of microorganisms gets reduced. And also the pathogens in the water are killed. From this we can say that the Agnihotra ash as antimicrobial properties which can be utilized in can of burns, skin infection or wounds on the body.
Thus from the experiments conducted at the school, it was observed that Agnihotra is beneficial for the environment as it reduces the harmful effect of the pollutants in the air and also improves the quality of raw water. It means Agnihotra not only reduces air pollution but also water pollution. It was also observed Agnihotra ash when used for plants, there was increase in plant growth. Hence, if one performs Agnihotra daily, he can purify the air around him, reduce the stress caused by the chemicals on the plants and live a healthy life. With minimum expenditure on the yajna one can relish enormous benefits.
~ Pranay Abhang, Teaching Associate, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune
TO READ IN MARATHI, CLICK HERE: Experimental study of Agnihotra Homan