[Advaita-l] Yajna and Homa

Uma and Ramakrishna puttakrishna at verizon.net
Mon Aug 3 09:39:34 CDT 2009

hOma is fire offering and is generally associated with a kAmya karma.
Yajna is more general; it can be a fire offering or need not be.
Bhagavad giTa (chapter 4) talks of many different types of yajna -
Dravya yajna (this is a fire offering of material - ghee, cooked rice etc.),
tapO yajna (performing austerities), japa yajna, yOga yajna (karma yOga),
jnAna yajna (imparting knowledge) etc. Yajna is generally not considered
a kAmya karma - it is a collective undertaking for collective good, like
the entire village participating in a yajna for rain; gAyatri yajna
is performed for the welfare of a whole community or country atlarge.
In yajna, the fire offering is preceded by collective japa - many people do
japa over a period of time, each doing a large count of japa, say 10,000.
Then the fire offering (which can be called hOma) is undertaken to a count
Of 10% of the total japa count. In this yajna also, we see collective
Participation and collective effort for the collective good.

With Regards,
K. Ramakrishna.

-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org] On Behalf Of Krishna
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 4:01 PM
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Subject: [Advaita-l] Yajna and Homa

Dear members,
I have a question.  
What is the difference between a yajna and a homa?  Is it the scale?  Or is
it the type of offering (ghee versus others) or the mantras or purpose
(kaamya karma versus loka kalyana)?  Yajna seems to have a broader meaning
than fire ritual, but homa is strictly a fire ritual.
If this has been discussed before, can you please forward me the link?
With regards, 

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