[Advaita-l] Yajna and Homa

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Mon Aug 3 02:15:11 CDT 2009

On Sun, 2 Aug 2009 Michael Shepherd wrote:

> Namaste. While yajna is defined as 'worship, sacrifice', extended to the
> five great obligatory sacrifices of the dvija, the prime definition of homa
> is 'pouring into the fire'. The older, more formal ceremony of offering
> oblations as in the RgVeda was the 'hotra' with its designated classes of
> priest.

Actually it is the other way round.  It is the Yajna with Vashatkara which 
makes up the shrauta sacrifices which require atleast 4 Brahmanas.

The homas with svahakar are typically less elaborate and are either 
auxilliaries of the shrauta rites or make up the grhya or "household" 
rites which require either one Brahmana or are done by the sacrificer 
himself.  (And to add to the confusion these include the panchamahayajnas 
you mentioned.)

On Sun, 2 Aug 2009, Sunil Bhattacharjya wrote:

> Yes in the Vedatrayee there is yajna and the priests are differently 
> called in each of the three vedas. In the fourth Veda ie. the Atharva 
> Veda where Lord Brhma himself is the priest.

Brahma or brAhmaNa in this context has nothing to do with brahma 
prajApati.  Perhaps it should be translated as "wielder" or "director" of 
sacred speech.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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