The Vedic religious rituals are incomplete without the specific ingredients (Puja Samagri) which are necessary in the ritualistic worship. These ingredients, aiding the religious rituals are an important link in seeking the grace of God through the medium of religious rituals. Understanding the spiritual importance of each of these ingredients enhances the Bhaav (Spiritual emotion) towards them, thereby making the Puja ritual rich in spiritual emotions.
The Vedic rituals have to be performed strictly according to procedures prescribed. Purity is important to ensure that the Puja produces the intended results. The purity of the participants (internal and external), chants (proper enunciation of Mantras) and the materials used in the Puja is also extremely important. Some Pujas may last for a few hours or for days and require special preparations. Some are performed in private and some in public. They are also performed individually or collectively according to the need. All the materials used in a Puja should be pure and unadulterated to obtain the full merit of the Puja viz. physical, mental and spiritual.
Every ritual framed, has highly advanced methodologies associated with it. Yagna / Homa / Havan are an integral part of any major Puja. The sacredness and purity which a Havan can create is much more than any other process. A Homa or Havan is a sacred Vedic ritual in which offerings are made to the fire. The offerings made to the sacred fire during a Havan, purifies the environment as well as the people around. The fire is the primary link between cosmic consciousness and human consciousness. The offerings made to the fire in the Havan Kund are primarily Ayurvedic herbs and spices. As per the Yagna Mimamsa they should be in the right quantity and the quality of the material also should be good in order to have a positive effect.
As per the Scriptures, the unique shape of the Havan Kund generates and dissipates multi-directional energy. It acts as a generator of highly powerful energy fields and spreads them in its surrounding atmosphere. Therefore the Kunds are made as per the strict Vedic specifications to maximize the effects.
Puja and Havan can also be combined. In fact, this is most common for example, a ceremony could begin with Puja to a sacred image of Ganesh and then a Puja using a copper pot, coconut and leaves to Varuna and then go on to include a Havan directed towards Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Devi Durga. In common speech the complete ceremony would be called a Puja, but in fact there are many Pujas and many Havans all combined into one. That is, whatever happens through our prayers and chants and visualizations in front of the Agni (at a micro level) affects the lives of the people at the macro level, bringing upon the desired results prayed for.
The vibration of the Earth synchronizes with the vibrations produced by the chanting of the Mantras during the Havan, which helps the nature and the Earth as a whole. By sitting near such a sacred fire, the Chakras are energized and become active in the participants, which help in praying more effectively and affect our consciousness positively. Havans basically help the Earth and hence substantial positive Karma is acquired by the participants.
Havan has many benefits, starting from our body, mind and soul to the environment. We not only purify the air but also remove the impurities from our mind and body. This process also helps in maintaining the unity and harmony in the family and the community. By constantly looking at the Havan fire, and by chanting divine Mantras, all disturbing and wavering thoughts are destroyed in the fire which results in concentration, equanimity and serenity. The fumes produced during a Havan decompose the toxins, thereby liberating free oxygen and other useful products acting as disinfectants. Scientific studies have found that Havan is mainly performed by using wood of the mango tree. When the wood is burnt then a gas, “formic aldehyde” is released which destroys the harmful bacteria and makes the atmosphere purified. Yajurveda says that four types of things are mainly used to prepare offerings for a Havan; 1. Sweet substances like honey, jaggery, raw sugar etc., 2. Ayurvedic herbs like Guduchi, Ashwagandha etc. 3. Pure cow ghee, dry fruits etc., 4. Fragrant materials like cardamom, cloves, dried petals of flowers etc. With the offerings into the fire and chanting of Mantras, one’s Chakras are re-energized, creating a rejuvenating and revitalizing effect for both the mind and body. One attains positive thoughts, actions, and words which paves a way for one’s success. Havan also induces peace, good health, prosperity and clarity of thought, with the increased power of discrimination and an improvement in mental abilities.
These are some of the ingredients used in performing Vedic rituals, Haldi, Kumkum, Abheer, Ashtagandh, Agarbatti, Supari, Mauli, Jenau, Nariyal / Dry Kopra, Yellow Mustard seed, Cloves, Cardamom, Gulab Jal, Ganga Jal, Kusha, Honey, Ghee, Cotton wick, Akshat, Wheat, Camphor, Saptmrutika, Dhoop, Guggal, Til (Black), Til (White), Barley / Jau, Udad Dal, Agar, Tagar, Jatamansi, Navagrah Samidha, Shatavari, Brahmi, Giloy, Ashwagandha, Devdaru, Nagarmotha, Havan Samidha, Dry Bilva fruit, Kamalgatta, Black Pepper, Jaiphal / Nutmeg, Dry fruits, Moong, Til Oil, Kesar, Jaggery, Sugar, Khadi Shakkar / Misri, Bhasma / Vibhuti, Bhojpatra etc.
As an online Puja platform Puja Sanskar makes it a point to use only authentic and pure materials / ingredients for the Puja and Havans. Important Ayurvedic herbs have been certified for their authenticity by The Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.