Agnihotra is the Holistic Approach to Life

Agnihotra (अग्निहोत्र) refers to the yajna of the casting of ghee into the sacred fire as per strict rites and may include twice-daily heated milk offering made by those in the Śrauta tradition. The ritual has been described by P.E. Dumont as a “fertility charm”, and as a “solar charm” that symbolically preserved and created the sun at nightfall and sunrise. Let us know in-depth and learn how to perform agnihotra at home for receiving numerous benefits. Navnathas also used to perform many yajnas, wherein the base was agni.  Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System also developed agnihotra in the year 2018 as a Swayamsiddha Agnihotra

Definition of Agnihotra

The process of offering two oblations of two pinch full of rice smeared with cow’s ghee into the fire prepared out of dried cow dung in a pyramid-shaped copper vessel exactly at local sunrise and sunset times alongside chanting of two specific Sanskrit mantras called Agnihotra.

Agnihotra | Vedic WAVES
Agnihotra Being Performed at Sunset

Tradition of Agnihotra

This tradition dates back to the Vedic age; the Brahmans perform the Agnihotra ritual chanting the verses from the Rigveda. It is part of a pan-Indo-Iranian heritage, which includes the related Iranian fire-worship ritual called the Zoroastrian Yasna Haptaŋhāiti ritual mentioned in the Old Avestan. In the historical Vedic religion, Agnihotra was the simplest public rite.

The head of every Brahmin and Vaishya family was required to conduct it twice daily. It was already popular in India with Upaniṣads as a religious performance. The tradition is now practiced in many parts of South Asia in the Indian sub-continent, including primarily India and also in Nepal. The Brahmin who performs the Agnihotra ritual is called an Agnihotri.

Mythology and Origin of Agnihotra

The Brāhmaṇas describe several myths explaining the origin of agnihotra. In one, Prajapati, after creating Agni, offers the sweat of his brow (which became ghee) or his eye after hearing his voice commanding himself to sacrifice, creating Surya.

The origin of the exclamation svāhā, said as offerings are made into the sacrificial fire, is explained as a combination of svā (own) and āha (spoken). In another, the agnihotra is a condensed version of a thousand-year sacrifice Prajapati and the other devas performed to gain divine power.

Importance of Agnihotra

Agnihotra is a combination of two Sanskrit words, Agni and Hotra. Literally, Agni means fire, and Hotra means to offer. Agnihotra according to Vedas is the simplest form of Yajna.

According to the ancient Vedic scripture Shraut Sutras, Agnihotra is a healing fire ritual that should be performed at every sunrise and sunset.

Purush sukta has also emphasized the performance of daily Yajna.

Kathak Samhita in praise of Agnihotra has said that Gods attained godhood and swargaloka, the state of eternal bliss by practicing Agnihotra.

Shatapat Brahman compares Agnihotra with a boat that leads to Swarga, the state of eternal bliss. It is referred to as Avinashi Yajna which means, its relevance never fades.

Agnihotra is viewed as ‘Jaramaryam Satra’ a ritual that should be performed without disruption as it’s a basic and essential practice that heals and harmonize one’s life.

Agnihotra Preliminaries

The ritual is conducted twice daily, right before or after sunrise and after sunset or the appearance of the first star. The morning and evening agnihotras differ in the mantras and chants made by the officiants. At least four people take part in the sacrifice: the sacrificer, who hires priests to perform the ceremony (and is either a Brahmin or a Vaisya, but not a Ksatriya), his wife, Adhvaryu, and a milker.

Vedic rituals are typically performed by four priests: the aforementioned adhvaryu, who is responsible for the physical details of the sacrifice and chants the Yajurveda, a hotṛi who recites the Rigveda, an udgātṛi who sings hymns of the Samaveda, and a brahman who supervises the ceremony, and repeats the Atharvaveda while correcting any errors that may occur.

Types of fire

There are three fires:

  • An eastern offertorial fire called an āhavanīya lit in a square fire pit,
  • A western fire called the gārhapatya lit in a circular fire pit, which represents the householder’s fire, and
  • A southern fire is simply called the dakṣiṇāgni (Southern fire).

During the ceremonies, a poker, a pot called an agnihotrasthālī, a spoon known as a sruva, and a larger ladle called the agnihotrahavani are all used. At the center of the ritual, space is an earthen altar called the vedi where the tools to perform the ritual is placed.

Agnihotra rituals in India

When the sacrificial area has been cleaned and the sacrificial fire lit, a cow is brought to the grounds, and the milker, an ā́rya and not a śūdra, recites mantras before it, then bring the calf to the right side of its mother before beginning the milking. The milk is kept in the agnihotrasthālī, which can also only be made by an ā́rya. When the milking is complete, the adhvaryu pours water around the three fires, before boiling the collected milk on coals collected from the gārhapatya.

The adhvaryu draws milk from the agnihotrasthālī to the agnihotrahavani, pouring it onto sacrificial sticks twice: first when reciting mantras, and the second silently. He then ritually consumes some of the milk before placing the sticks into the āhavanīya. When the libations are complete, the agnihotrahavani is cleaned with Darbha grass and refilled with water. It is then heated on the āhavanīya as additional mantras are recited, and poured onto the vedi as an additional libation. In certain versions of the ritual, this is followed by a blade of grass being offered to the āhavanīya. When the ceremony is complete, the adhvaryu sips some of the leftover water, recites the mantra “From Rta, I have found Satya” and pours water on his head.

Sunday Group Chanting & Agnihotra in Belgaum, Karnataka – Homa Therapy India
Agnihotra Rituals in India

Agnihotra rituals in Nepal

Witzel (1992) locates the first Agnishala hypothetically at Jhul (Mātātīrtha), in the western ridge of the Kathmandu valley, and later at the southern rim of the palace of Aṃśuvermā at Hadigaon, Kathmandu. The first source of inscription evidence was from Tachapal tole, the east part of Bhaktapur city, also shown by a legend that the Maithila King Harisiṃhadeva would establish the yantra of Taleju Bhavānī in the house of an Agnihotri. From 1600 CE onward, the Agnihotra has been attested to the Agnishala temple in Patan only.

The Agnihotra ritual in Nepal has been first recorded in an inscription of King Anandadeva in c. 1140 CE that mentions the initiations of his two sons, viz. Yasho Malla and prince Somesvara at Agnimatha (or Agnishala in Lalitpur). The temple of Agnishala since the 12th century maintains the Vedic tradition of the Agnihotra fire sacrifice ritual and despite having undergone many ritual changes, the basic Vedic performance is still intact. The Agnishala is maintained by the Newar Rajopadhyaya Brahmins of Patan, who are the premier Krishna Yajurvedic Brahmins of Nepal.

Along with these, there are other Agnishalas identified and recently revived at, viz.

  • The southern edge of Pashupatinath temple (a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nepal) by a Purbe Brahmin. This has been in practice for almost 200 years now, and for this Agnishala, in 1974 the government provided NRs. 18,000 (then around US $7,000) per year.
  • Kumarigal, south of Bouddha (another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal) in Kathmandu by Narayan Prasad, a Purbe Brahmin.
  • Thamel, north of central Kathmandu by Tirtha Raj Acharya.
4 Day Meditation & Relaxing Yoga Holidays in Goa, India
Agnihotra Rituals in Nepal

Agnihotra in modern India

Popularized by Sant Gajanan Maharaj

A simplified variant of the agnihotra ceremony was popularized in the mid-1900s by Gajanan Maharaj and entails the casting of ghee and brown rice into only a single fire lit in a copper pyramid-shaped brazier with cow dung and additional amounts of ghee. Mantras are repeated during this process. 

Practitioners claim a number of physical and environmental benefits from performing the ritual; however, these are pseudoscientific. In 2007, Sylvia Kratz and Ewald Schaung found that while Agnihotra ash possibly increased the amount of phosphorus in the soil, levels were the same regardless of whether the ceremony was done at the prescribed times with mantras or not. The composition of the pyramid was found to be a factor, with ash created in iron pyramids containing significantly less phosphorus than ones made of copper.


Like the Vedic Agnihotra, the modern version of Agnihotra perpetuated by Gajanan Maharaj and groups such as Homa Therapy has two variants, one for the evening and one for the morning. At sunset, the practitioner says Agnaye svāhā idam Agnaye na mama (Devanagari: अग्नये स्वाहा इदम् अग्नये न मम), offering the first half of the rice or ghee into the fire after “svāhā” is spoken.

After the first mantra is said, the practitioner then says, Prajāpataye svāhā Prajāpataye idam na mama (Devanagari: प्रजापतये स्वाहा प्रजापतये इदम् न मम), again offering a second portion of rice and/or ghee as soon as “svāhā” is spoken. The morning Agnihotra is identical, save for the fact that Surya is substituted for Agni.

Where do you carry out an Agnihotra ceremony?

Inside a closed room

You can carry out the ceremony inside a closed room which enables you to be surrounded by the cleansing smoke. Or you can perform the ceremony outdoors in nature. Though the smoke does tend to get blown further away in that setting, it means that the surrounding plants can benefit too. Organic farmers in India and beyond are using Agnihotra to cleanse the environment and promote a healthy harvest.

Being closed in a room with the smoke could sound a bit overwhelming, but interestingly the smoke doesn’t affect you in the same way that wood smoke does. It’s energetically beneficial to be surrounded by the Agnihotra smoke, which has been shown to contain negative ions (a sign of cleaner air) and has been shown to be okay even for people with asthma. Personally, I find wood smoke acrid and it irritates my throat and eyes, but I don’t get that effect from sitting in a closed space with the Agnihotra fire, which is made from just cow patties, ghee, and rice.

During menstruation

The ideal practice is to burn the Agnihotra both at sunrise and sunset every day, except the time of menses for women. The reasoning behind this is that Agnihotra helps energy to lift upwards and can do so in a strong way, whilst the time of menses is about moving energies downwards towards the earth as a form of cleansing, so if you are the one performing the ceremony (as opposed to watching), you may end up with your body and the energies counteracting.

However, it’s fine to attend Agnihotra during menses, although the benefits may not be as strong as normal. Most of us don’t have the chance to practice daily Agnihotra, however, attending on an occasional basis is very beneficial. This can be particularly the case if we can coincide the Agnihotra with a phase of the moon (i.e. new moon, full moon) or special, auspicious times of the year when solstices and energetic shifts occur.

How to perform Agnihotra at home?

The procedure of Agnihotra comprises two contributions to the firepower, precisely at sunrise and sunset by chanting two Sanskrit Agnihotra mantras. The fire is produced out of cow dung cakes and pure cow ghee in a copper pyramid pot. Agnihotra purifies and rinses the negative vibrations. It emits positive vibes on earth and human bodies.

Agnihotra rituals requirement

  • Copper pyramid,
  • Cow dung cake,
  • Pure ghee made from cow’s milk,
  • Full grain rice,
  • Agnihotra Mantras, and
  • Timings (Sunrise/ Sunset).

Setting up the fire

Take some cow dung cake at the base of the copper pyramid.

Add some dried cow dung, which has been covered with ghee in the pyramid in such a way as, that permits air to pass.

Apply a little ghee on the cow dung cakes and light them. Add more cow dung cake to raise the fire.

You can use a hand fan to support the fire. In any case, do not blow through the mouth.

Try not to use any mineral oil or related materials to light the fire.

At the specific time of sunrise and sunset, the fire should be there in the copper pyramid.

Agnihotra Mantras

At Sunrise

Sooryáya Sváhá

(include the one part of rice)

Sooryáya Idam Na Mama Prajápataye Sváhá 

(include the second bit of rice)

Prajápataye Idam Na Mama

At Sunset

Agnaye Sváhá

(include the principal bit of rice)

Agnaye Idam Na Mama

Prajápataye Sváhá

(include the second segment of rice)

Prajápataye Idam Na Mama

Agnihotra process

Please take a couple of brown rice on a dish or your left palm and apply a couple of drops of ghee with it. At the time of sunrise, chant the Sunrise Mantra and add a couple of brown rice to the fire.

Chant the Mantra again and add some brown rice to the fire.

At the time of sunset do the same things by chanting the sunset Agnihotra Mantra.

If you miss the planning then it is not Agnihotra and you would not get the impact on the air and biosphere. When performing the Agnihotra, the energy will flow from the copper pyramid because of the Agnihotra procedure. You have to continue the procedure following the Agnihotra timing.

Agnihotra Purifies Atmosphere, Simple to Follow - BIT Blog
Agnihotra Being Performed at Home

Agnihotra Benefits

A magnetic type field

Tremendous amounts of energy are gathered around the Agnihotra copper pyramid just at Agnihotra time. A magnetic type field is created, which neutralizes negative energies and reinforces positive energies. Therefore, a positive pattern is created by one who does Agnihotra merely by his/her performance. Agnihotra purifies the atmosphere of pollutants and neutralizes harmful radiation. The resultant atmosphere gives nourishment to plant life.

Not long before the following Agnihotra you can take those ashes and store them in a sack, box, glass, or pot. The ashes from the Agnihotra fire are incredibly therapeutic. It has healing power. The ash is an amazing product for astrology, Ayurveda, and price value.


Agnihotra helps to reduce stress, enhance a sense of calm and deepen a meditation practice. This comes not only from the cleansed surroundings, but the smoke and fire also work at the level of the subtle body. They help to cleanse our aura and vibrational field, creating a clearer auric field and promoting healing by helping us to work on releasing negative energies. Attending or performing Agnihotra helps to gradually raise our vibrational level, and can be a really helpful tool on the spiritual journey.

  • Removes stress and tension from the mind.
  • Cleanses negative thought patterns that affect the mind.
  • Establishes Love and compassion.
  • Reduces anger and destructive habit patterns.
  • Brings motivation to get rid of drug addiction, alcoholism, etc.


On a physical, and environmental level, Agnihotra smoke cleanses the air of pollutants, negative vibrations, and radiation. You might not think you’re exposed to radiation, but many of your home devices are putting out radiation and creating an electromagnetic field as well as naturally occurring radiation in our environment.

  • Purifies the air we breathe by removal of toxins in the atmosphere and helps to neutralize harmful radiation.
  • Purifies contaminated water.
  • Seeds the clouds and promotes rain.


The ghee is thrust into the atmosphere and attaches itself to the molecular structure of the soil, allowing the soil to retain more moisture. Plants grown in the Agnihotra atmosphere are better able to withstand droughts. Agnihotra causes a change in the cellular structure of the plant which sends more nutrients to the fruit of the plant and less to the leaves, stem, and roots.

Many people have found that the size, taste, texture, and yield of fruits and vegetables grown in the Agnihotra atmosphere are superior. The performance of Agnihotra in the garden reduces pest problems and organic gardening and farming are made easier by using Homa (healing fire) techniques.

  • Promotes soil fertility and useful microorganisms.
  • Purifies water bodies and promotes organic life.

Medicinal properties of Agnihotra

Healing of all types of ailments

Agnihotra renews the brain cells, revitalizes the skin, and purifies the blood. It is the holistic approach to life. Many people who are normally allergic to smoke experience a healing effect by sitting in the Agnihotra atmosphere. The healing effects of Agnihotra are locked in the resultant ash. Thousands of people in different parts of the world have experienced wonderful healing of all types of ailments by using Agnihotra ash.

Natural remedy

The ash from the Agnihotra can be used as a natural remedy for various ailments. A spoon of the ash can be added to drinking water (it’s fine to ingest), or mixed with ghee and other healing oils to make ointments. It can also be scattered around plants to promote healthy growth and ward off pests.

The pharmacist Monica Koch (2004) carried out studies to observe the effects of Agnihotra fire and ash, with some really interesting findings on the range of maladies that can be treated (see her book, Kock, M. (2004) Homa Therapy: The Ancient Science of Healing, Madison VA: Fivefold Path Inc. Various studies have demonstrated the impact on improved air quality, healing, and plant growth. 

Feel quite elated and relaxed

As with all healing practices, after attending or performing Agnihotra you are likely to feel quite elated and relaxed, but you may also feel quite emotional due to the release of negative energies. Personally, I experience very deep meditation and insights, and afterward, I tend to have vivid dreams and a sense of things shifting. But it’s always with a sense of it being for the good, helping me work on things I needed to release. Drinking plenty of water afterward is always recommended.

Some experiences of Agnihotra shared by beneficiaries

Parvati Rosen-Bizberg, Wysoka, Poland


“I first started Agnihotra in the US when I was 25 years old. I had chronic asthma since I was about 11 years old. It was very bad from the time I was around 20 years old. “If I took an apartment I had to know someone else living in the building, who could drive me to the hospital when I had an attack.
The attacks often came in the middle of the night, early morning. I would have to be given breathing treatments and shots of epinephrine. I think my asthma was pollution-related. So, I learned about Agnihotra and started it. My landlady wouldn’t let me do it in the house, so I did the fires underneath the porch outside.
After two weeks my asthma was completely healed. I have no asthma at all now.”

Karen Webb’s Healing, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA


“Two days after having a root canal treatment, I woke up before 4 a.m. with a thundering headache and was nearly unable to open the right eye. In addition to performing Agnihotra twice daily and daily ingestion of Agnihotra healing ash before most meals, I added the recommended dosage of an over-the-counter allergy and sinus medication, thinking I might be having an allergic reaction to mold from working in the basement a lot, packing boxes.”

“This medication didn’t seem to help at all, and I called the dentist’s office, asking for advice, thinking perhaps I might have an infection at the site of the root canal. The dentist suggested I start taking a broad-spectrum antibiotic, but this medication didn’t help either. In fact, the vision in the right eye became blurry, and I was seeing double, unable to drive a car. Luckily, my son from Baltimore, MD, came to help me, and he strongly felt I should go to an urgent care facility in Charlottesville.

Being in the city, I was now able to take taxis to drive me to this eye specialist and that one, before being taken to a hospital where an M.R.I (magnetic resonance imagery) confirmed a 2 cm tumor behind the right eye, where the blood vessels and nerves come together. The ophthalmologist was very baffled and suggested I go for a second opinion, telling me that were she to operate, it was considered major surgery, and she might accidentally do damage to the muscles around the eye and to the optic nerve, causing a loss of vision.

At about this time, I received an invitation to come to Houston, Texas, to participate in 11 days of Rudra Yagnya. While in Houston, I heard from a friend that she had used Agnihotra eye drops successfully to help clear up an eye problem her mother had had, and I decided to start preparing Agnihotra eye drops daily, following the instructions in “HOMA Therapy, The Ancient Science of Healing” by Monika Koch. After making and using these drops, one into the corner of the right eye, and once rubbed into the skin beneath the eye, a recent M.R.I. has now confirmed, that the tumor behind the right eye has disappeared.”

Jorge Jaen Herrera’s, Guayaquil, Ecuador, South America

Alcoholism and drug addiction

“I am 47 years old and I have been into drugs and alcohol for more than 22 years, maybe even more than half of my life. I grew up in a marginal area of Guayaquil and I started taking drugs at a very early age. 

When I was 25 years old, I started my artistic activities, but I also started drinking alcohol. I managed to stop taking drugs 8 years ago, but I could not stop drinking. Nobody in my family used to believe in me. They looked for me in the “Extra” newspaper, where they picture the people who have died, like in accidents, prisoners, etc. When I disappeared, they would check with the police, the highway patrol, the morgue, etc. Those were the places where my mother and brothers searched for me and sometimes they found me there.”     

“This year, 2008, I met Maria Jose, who asked me to help her in an art competition project. A little later, we visited her parents, Vicky and Fernando Zurita, in Quito, who run a Homa Center. Immediately I began to take Agnihotra ash and we did the first evening Agnihotra fire. My anxiety about alcohol was so big that I wanted to run away and look for a drink. But I took the Agnihotra ash and that removed the anxiety. I was taking 20 glasses of water with Agnihotra ash daily to get relief.”

“One day, I found a closet full of over 100 bottles of alcohol, which the family had received as gifts. I stood trembling with joy and sadness at the same time; joy, of seeing so many untouched bottles of different brands. Immediately the little devil in my mind came up, instigating me to grab one. But right away I took water with Agnihotra ash.”

And again the little devil came. So I went to the closet to grab a bottle, but surprise: It was empty! They had taken all bottles out. I said ‘OK’ and I stayed 2 months doing Agnihotra and lots of Tryambakam in this Homa Center.”

“Homa Therapy has changed my life and my way of thinking, now I want to do good things in life. There are good things to be done and there are good people. I have been doing Homa Therapy for nine months and I feel very happy. I am again united with my family and this is very important for me.”

“When I used to visit a house for the first time, I would look for the bottles immediately. I was pulled by the advertising of alcohol. That would stimulate me to drink; once I took the first drink, I could not stop until the next day. Now, I don’t care for it. Before I used to worry, about what would I do with my time if I stopped drinking? I needed something in my hand, a bottle or a glass. Now, I do something more productive, I paint about the changes in my life. I feel as if I have not been drinking for many years, but it only has been for 9 months. My friends ask me: ‘You look younger? 

“As you can see in the newspaper, I was well known for partying among the artists, poets, writers, and musicians in Guayaquil. I had a studio, called ‘El Ojo del Chicharo’, where under the pretext of creating, the artists would gather at 6 in the morning to consume alcohol. 

“Now, when my friends ask me if I want to drink, I reply: ‘No, it doesn’t grab me.’ Homa Therapy has given me the strength and confidence to talk to anybody and look into their eyes. Now everybody opens the doors for me. Recently I was named the director of the art studio, in the Casa de la Cultura (House of Art) of the province of Guayas.”

“Now I get exhibition rooms wherever I want. Before, I had to request them and wait up to two years in order to do an exhibition. Now, this year alone I have had 3 exhibitions. Homa Therapy has opened the doors of gratitude, it is a Divine blessing. Now my family believes in me.

The parents of my friends request me to help their children because they see the changes in me. A friend, who was involved in drugs and who recently came out of jail, came to participate in Agnihotra and started taking the Agnihotra ash regularly. Now he is clean and his parents are very grateful to me, even though I tell them that I have not done anything. A musician friend, Pichimbo, who had a stroke and suffered from paralysis on one side of his body, came for 21 days in a row to participate in Agnihotra in my house and he took a lot of Agnihotra ash. For three years he could not play the guitar, but now he does. This is really a wonderful testimony. Now, my plan is to do Homa Therapy, Agnihotra, and Tryambakam Homa with a group of friends in my art studio.”


Because of the above, I am confident that you have learned in-depth about agnihotra, its definition, origin, importance, tradition, rituals, benefits, and how to perform it at home. Now, that you have become self-sufficient, hence it’s the right time to use your acquired knowledge for gaining numerous benefits for well-being.

After reading this article, how would you rate it? Would you please let me know your precious thoughts? 

Frequently asked questions

Before posting your query, kindly go through them:

What is the definition of Agnihotra?

The process of offering two oblations of two pinch full of rice smeared with cow’s ghee into the fire prepared out of dried cow dung in a pyramid-shaped copper vessel exactly at local sunrise and sunset times alongside chanting of two specific Sanskrit mantras called Agnihotra.

Who popularized Agnihotra in India?

A simplified variant of the agnihotra ceremony was popularized in the mid-1900s by Gajanan Maharaj and entails the casting of ghee and brown rice into only a single fire lit in a copper pyramid-shaped brazier with cow dung and additional amounts of ghee. Mantras are repeated during this process.


Where can Agnihotra ceremonies be performed?

You can carry out the ceremony inside a closed room which enables you to be surrounded by the cleansing smoke. Or you can perform the ceremony outdoors in nature.

Related Posts


  1. Very INFORMATIVE ABD KNOWLEDGEABLE ARTICLE ON THE PAVITRA ‘AGNIHOTRA’….Thanks for sharing this incredible knowledge with us…..

    1. Thanks, Dr. Hemangi. It’s my pleasure to have your precious words. Although I have shared this pious knowledge, I would wish not only you but all my valuable readers to practice Agnihotra to achieve numerous benefits. Thanks once again and take care!!

    1. So sweet and kind of you, Madam. It’s my pleasure to have your precious words. Please take care and stay safe!!

Comments are closed.