Samdhya Meditation and Agnihotra

Vaidya Sundaram vaidya_narayanan at YAHOO.COM
Thu Nov 1 20:55:02 CST 2001


Vivek Anand Ganesan <v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM> asked
> Are there any nitya agnihotris left in India?

 Yes, there are indeed a few hundred people who still take the rigors of the
ritual ... our family priest is a Dikshidhar called Sundararama Dikshidhar
who is a nitya agnihotri. He recently conducted a naachiketa chayanam as
well ... there are definitely several others I have met and have heard being
referred to.
 One list member mentioned Sengalipuram Anantaraama Dikshidhar - he is no
more; in the early seventies (?) he took aapat sanyaasa and shortly
thereafter attained samadhi. He was known be a nitya agnihotri as well, and
apparently for 32 generation before that, his family had been nitya
agnihotri's as well.

> Also, aren't there vidhis that say that one is to "keep"
> the fires at all times?  How does one do that in an
> apartment in Madras or Manhattan?  Are there list members
> who follow this?

Even for brahmachari's for the samidha dhanam, one has to "keep" the fire -
the usual practice for really orthodox people back in India is to keep a
piece of the fire in a pot filled around it with husk which will last
atleast 12 to 15 hrs. The same is followed for agnihotram as well.

In the event they have to travel (I think the requirement to light a new
fire is crossing a river), the fire can be generated afresh by taking a wood
from a tree called "araNi" in Tamil (don't know what it is called in
Sanskrit or English, sorry!) , and churning one piece on the other. The fire
just sparks out and the wood pieces catch fire and this is used as fresh
agni. The process of churning is accompanied by Vedic mantras.

Jaldhar wrote:
> Usually by Agnihotra one means the Shrauta agnihotra.  According to the
> Grhyasutras there is also the Vaishvadeva homa, that grhasthas should
> daily.  But to my knowledge all these rituals require owning your own home
> so apartment dwellers are out of luck..

I don't believe this is a requirement that one has "own" the house. The
Dikshidhar I mentioned above does not own his house even now ...

bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

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