‘Is Yagya or Agnihotra relevant in the today’s time?

Dr. Anil Jha

Chief Cardiac surgeon, Mahagujarat Hospital in Nadiad, Gujarat, India

Corresponding email: [email protected]

Dr. Anil Zha is Chief Cardiac surgeon at the Mahagujarat Hospital since 1997. He has obtained his medical degrees (MBBS and MS (Gen.Surgery) from Gujarat university and MCh and DNB (Cardiothoracic Surgery) from CMC Vellore Tamil Nadu in 1993. He has worked as Senior Registrar in cardiac surgery at the prestigious King’s College hospital in London 1995-97. He has been practicing cardiac surgery in Nadiad and Ahmedabad since 1997. Has performed more than 5000 coronary bypasses and heart valve replacement operations.

My experience of performing Yagya at hospital daily

Since past 25 years, I have been experiencing the positive takeaways of Gayatri Yagya, performed daily at my home. Hence, I decided to incorporate this process in our hospital routine. Initiated in 2004, it has been a journey of a good 15 years now that Yagya is an integral part of the early morning hospital hours.

The relatives of the critically ill patients, especially those who are in the ICU and the ones who are lined up for various cardiac procedures and cardiac operations are encouraged to take part in the havan (Yagya or Agnihotra).

The acceptance and the proactive response of the relatives have been very positive and encouraging. The satisfaction and calmness on their countenance says it all. Several of them have revealed at the time of discharge that this was one of the best things they have done in their lifetime.

In addition to this, it is also observed that the requirement of antibiotics is minimum for the patients and for a heart operation like coronary bypass surgery, we do not require antibiotics higher than 2nd generation Cephalosporins and the infection rate is close to zero. With my combined years of overall experience, I can only attribute it to the antibacterial properties of Yagna fumes.


Yagya has been described in great detail in Indian scriptures including Gita, Mahabharata, Ramayana, the Upanishads, Vedas, Puranas and so on. They all unequivocally have mentioned Yagya not only as a holy and divine act but also as our foremost moral duty.

I have seen my grandmother offering the first few morsels of food prepared by her in the fire of chulha (clay stove) before serving food to the family. She and many others have been doing it as a part of the tradition. On my queries, she explained that it was our duty to feed the fire god (Agni) before we consume it. Also we see that in the Hindus, in the funeral journey (Shav Yatra), from home to the funeral pyre, one close member of the deceased, carries fire in an earthen pot from home and actually leads the procession. This tradition has been there since Vedic times, the days when people had Akhand Agni (fire kept burning 24X7) in their homes and Agni was considered to be a family member.

Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita says that the Prajapati (the creator) while creating the world, created Man along with Yagya. Thus, all humans have been born as twin to Yagya. He further exhorts men to care of it (Yagya) nurturing it well and it in return will take care of you and fulfill your requirements and needs (Geeta 3/10). A very important lesson and message is hidden in this statement by Lord Krishna which actually is a very environmental-friendly advice. By performing Yagya, you please the Gods (Forces of Nature) and they will reciprocate and through this symbiotic relationship (Mutualism), with the Gods, you both prosper and stay happy (Geeta 3/11).

Who are these Gods which the Gita is referring to? They are actually the forces and energies of Nature i.e. air, sun, trees, rivers etc. Unfortunately, humans have left no stone unturned to devise ways in degrading the environment, to satisfy their short term pleasure goals. Be it reckless use of fossil fuels, polluting water resources etc. As per Srimad Bhagavad Gita, it is imperative to compensate for the damage done to the environment and atmosphere (Nature) and hence it becomes our moral duty. Man being sensitive and intelligent has to proactively make up for the loss and damage to the nature. Yagya is also a symbolic act encouraging and reminding us to heal and replenish the damage inflicted on the environment.

Besides this thought, the rite by burning the herbs and odoriferous substances and nutritious objects in the fire, we actually cleanse and enrich the atmosphere and environment. If we milk the nature for our needs, it is incumbent upon us to nourish it. If we harm the nature, it becomes our moral duty to undo the damage or be ready to face the fury of nature and consequences.

So it becomes a very important act, which we all must perform. How the nature is cleansed and detoxified is a matter of scientific research and many experiments have clearly pointed out that it surely does (1-7) The Ancient Indian scriptures have advocated 16 sanskaars (sacraments or religious refining ceremonies) for each individual and each is associated with Yagya. Most of these are meant to be performed in childhood and adolescent age, the age when most of the mental and physical development takes place.

The Yagya fumes (dhoom) has a dual effect. It boosts the immune system of the child and also reduces the number of microbes in the atmosphere (1). Thus these sanskars have an effect akin to vaccination. It has been observed that during the change of season, people fall sick and hence our Rishis attached Yagya with Holi and Durga puja so as to provide a kind of Community vaccination.

Modern medicine textbooks have mentioned that Antony Van Leeuwenhoek is the father of microbiology and that he was the first person to have discovered bacteria and parasitic microbes in the early 18th century. Robert Koch and Friedrich Loefller in 1884 were the ones who postulated that bacteria were the root cause of infectious diseases and are famously called the Koch’s Postulates. But little do we know that Vedas have described the bacteria thousands of years ago. They have been termed yatudhan. Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria is mentioned and it is also described that Yagya Fumes drive away these bacteria. It also gives a detailed account of how the bacteria lay hidden in the body and at an opportune moment when the person’s immunity is low it invades and causes disease. Rigveda has several verses (8) wherein it is vividly described how the Yagya smoke drives away the causative mycobateria and cures the person of tuberculosis of any part of the body whether manifested or occult. At times when the whole medical community is struggling to control Tuberculosis, this piece of information need to be looked into and thoroughly researched (9-11).

Several recent researches have unequivocally proved it beyond doubt that there is a drastic reduction in microbial count in the atmosphere where Yagya is performed (1-4). Also there is a copious release of negative ions from the fire –pit during Yagya which boost the immune status (4, 9-11) of the persons inhaling the fumes. Several researches have also proven that the level of pollutant gases and particulate matter count is drastically reduced after few hours in the atmosphere where Yagya is done (5,6). It is not only the air and water which are rendered healthy by Yagya but even the soil. I happened to visit one Agnihotra farm in Poland near Krakow. The produce of that farm was so healthy and tasty that it needs to be seen to be believed! At a time when the whole world and the entire humanity is staring at the dangers of Global warming and environmental upheavals, Yagya will prove to be a savior (12-15).


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