What is Hawan and its significance in the religion?
According to Hindu scriptures, Agni is one of the most important vedic gods. Agni is a god of fire. In hawan, it plays an important role as it is a messenger from and to the other gods. Hawan is a Sanskrit word which refers to the ritual in which making offerings into consecrated fire is the primary action. It is a religious ceremony performed in temples and homes and a very powerful Vedic procedure and chanting of various mantras is an essential component of it. It is also known as Homam, Yajya, or Ysjna. In reality, it is procedure of purifying the body, mind and atman (spirit) together to ignite sole power. When a stone thrown into the pond it produce waves which travel throughout the pond in concentric circles, similarly happens when we perform hawan and hence it gives positive energy and influences the nearby environment. It is believed that the cycle of nature is itself a cosmic yagya, which is an essential part for the natural rhythm of the universe and existence and maintenance of the animate and inanimate worlds.
Yajna is a ritual of sacrificing and sublimating the Havana samagri (herbal preparations). Generally, wood and ghee (butter) are used as fuel and the kunda (fire container), which is made of bricks or a metal. These kunda may differ in shapes such as square, rectangular, circular and triangular. Although in most cases, square kunda is preferred. Whilst performing Hawan, we make our offerings to fire by uttering the word ‘Swaaha’, which symbolize- politeness, kindness and charm.
There are various types of Hawan, which are performed for various purpose such as Vastu homa, for house warming which means to encourage good vastu (energy) in buildings, Durga homa, for gaining self-confidence and removal of negative energies, Mrityunjaya homa, for ward off life threatening situations like accidents, Gayatri homa to facilitate positive thinking and subsequently performing good karma, and the last one, Chandi homa for the Victory in all arenas etc…