[Advaita-l] RE: Homam when it smokes

Sundaram, Vaidya (MED) Vaidya.Sundaram at med.ge.com
Wed Oct 1 16:25:27 CDT 2003

> 1) What if the Havis and other oblations given
>    to Agni Bhagawan are still there in their
>    original form in the Homa/havan kundam after 
>    the Homam gets over ? Can we continue to burn 
>    them (using Ghee etc.,? ) and Agni Bhagwan 
>    would still take these oblations that are 
>    getting burnt later (after the homam gets over) ?

Yes. All offerings in the fire should be fully digested. One must take
care that the fire is not extinguished after the homan is done when
there are undigested offerings. It is common practice to cover all
offerings in the fire with dried cow dung cakes in India for this
reason. In the US, I have seen the priests pack regular fire logs or
wood chips as substitutes ... the point is that the offering should be
fully digested. 

The general idea here is that the agni is the courier taking our
offering to the deva loka as food. Deva loka is said to have every kind
of pleasure except food, and that has to go there from here. Agni takes
it there. Any unburnt offerings are (a) either undigested by agni which
is bad for us, because some hold that this will give the yajaman a
stomach ache (b) the food never went to the intended deva because agni
never fully burnt it.

> 2) I read in a book that we can eat the remains
>    (of the oblations) in the Homa Kundam, if they are
>    not completely burnt. Can someone explain this ?

I don't know which book you read this from, but this is definitely not
true. The offering in the fire is made with specific mantras such as
"agnaye idam na mama" etc. - meaning, this offering just made is not
mine but Agni's. How would you explain the fact you offered it to Him,
and yet will eat it? Will it not be like giving you guest food and then
plucking it out of his hands ...? 
And this question should not arise at all, given the answer to your
question 1.

> 3) Can we use the ash of the Homam as Vibhuthi ?
>    If the Homam is done to dispose our Karma (which
>    is true in case of Srividya), then wont Homa 
>    Raksha (ash) be just the burnt up negativities of 
>    ours ? In which case, can that ash be used as 
>    Vibhuthi ?

As a general rule, yes you can, but there are exceptions to which kinds
of havan's that you may NOT take vibhuti from. I don't have the list
with me here. The thing to note though is that only that part of the ash
which is white is to be used as vibhuti. The gray or black portions are
not to be used. The exception to this rule again is when dharba grass is
used with specific mantras - although black, it is used as vibhuti or

> I came to know recently, how Vibhuthi should be made 
> as per Shastra. The cow-dung of kapila pashu (cow which
> is flawlessly golden in colour) should be received
> in a bamboo basket before the same falls and touches
> the earth. Homam should be done with this and this Homam's 
> ash should be used as Vibhuthi. If someone can 
> give more details, it'd be very useful.

Yes. This is the rule in the "pure" form. But this almost never happens

Hope this helps.
bhava shankara desikame sharaNam

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