[Advaita-l] Yajna and Homa

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Aug 20 00:16:53 CDT 2009

On Mon, 3 Aug 2009, Umashankar V wrote:

> Dear Friends,
> I have read through the mail chain and by-and-large the message I get it
> Yajna and homa are same (or) similar. Yajna has a collective good as its
> collective activity.
> In which case, I have a query - Vajapeya Yajna, or for that matter what
> Janamejaya did - Sarpa Yajna in order to get Swarga prapti for his father.
> There was a king who was propted by Sage Narada to also do a "mlechha Yajna"
> as the King's father was killed by Mlecchas and he was in Yamaloka, he did
> the Yajna to send his father to Swarga. How can they be called "collective"
> or for "collective good"  ? Were they not a kamya karma of an individual?

Sorry for the late response but I wanted to add one more thing.  It is a 
bit of a stretch to say yajnas neccessarily were public and for the 
collective good.  As you point out there are counter-examples.  The 
dividing line between the Shrauta and Grhya rituals is that the former 
were performed by kings and other wealthy people while the latter, as 
their name suggests, were domestic and performed by the ordinary people. 
Our culture stresses the importance of hospitality so if a rich man was to 
perform a a yajna it might have tended to become a public event for that 
reason even if the letter of the rules did not absolutely require it.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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