Essence Of
Bhavishya Purana


18    ‘Agni Kunda Nirman’ and ‘Shodasopacharas’ in ‘Agni Puja’
Depending on the purposes for which ‘Agni Karyas’ are meant, or the number of ‘Ahutis’or Offerings are decided, Agni Kundas are constructed accordingly and these are broadly of ten types viz. Chaukore, Vruth, Padma, Artha Chandra, Yoni Akrutika, Chandraakar, Panchakona, Saptakona, Ashtakona and Nava kona. Indeed, no ‘homa’ or Yagna is ever attempted without an Objective-either for a personal gain or for ‘Jana Kalyan’ or General Propitiousness or sometimes even negatively motivated! Also the number of ‘Ahutis’ (homas) might vary from modest numbers to hundred, thousand, Ayut, Lakh, Crore! Graha Shanti is the normal objective aiming at ‘Shanti’ and ‘Pushti’ or Peace and Well-Being; but when Yagnas are organised for General Objectives like Success in Battles, Eradication of Epidemics, Floods, Earth Quakes etc. the number of Ahutis is to be at least ten thousand or even a lakh.But if homas are performed for Evil Purposes, the results might initially be fruitful, but in the long run, they tend to be self-destructive! Agni Kunda has to be blemishless without impurities like hair, bones and excreta; the entire bhumi must be dug up deep, watered and seeded to ensure quick sprouting of seedlings. The Kunda area must be purified with Omkara, sprinkled with kusha grass water of a holy river preferably; in fact there are eighteen prescribed ‘Samskaras’ of Purifying Exercises before installing Agni in the Fire-Pit. At the time of Installation of Agni in the Kund, the Agni Beeja Mantra viz. ‘ram’ as also Shiva Beeja Mantra ‘Sham’ be recited to infuse Shiva Shakti into Agni along with sprinkling of Kusha grass water. This process ensures the fulfilment of the targetted objective of the Ahutis.Having installed Agni in the Kund, worship of Devi Bhagavati and Bhagavan is to be performed with ‘Arghya’, ‘Paadya’ and ‘Achamaneeya’. The relevant Mantra to propitiate Agni is Pithru Pingala daha daha pacha pacha Sarvajnaajnaapaya swaaha/ Agni Deva is stated to utilise three of his ‘Jihvas’ (tongues) viz. Hiranya, Kankaa and Krishna (The Sapta Jihvas are stated to be Viswa Murti, Sphulingini,Dhumravarna, Manojava, Lohitasya, Karaalaasya and Kaali, as described elsewhere). The Samidha material used for different kinds of Homas vary too; for example, in Ajyahoma Tri Madhu (Milk, Sugar and Honey) is used, likewise, Anna and Payasa, Gold, Padmaraga, Bilwa patras, Tilas (in Pitru homa), Candana, Agaru, Camphor, Gandha etc. are used in different types of Yagnas such as Naitthia Karma, Ikshu homa, Deva Homa, Padma homa etc. Full care must be taken while the specified material is utilised as other wise adverse effects might have to be faced!
Before taking up Agni Puja with Shodasopacharas, a devotee should invoke the Moola Devatha Trinetra Ishwara by offering red flowers.Then welcome Kamadeva, Indra, Varaaha and Kartikeya at the four entry points. The Sixteen Services to Agni Deva should be provided as follows: Aasana Mantra: Twamaadih Sarva bhutaanaam Samsaara -arnava taarakah Paramajyoti rupastvamaasanam saphalee kuru (Agni Deva! You are the uplifter and saviour of the humanity from the deep Oceans of ‘Samsara’ and also the ‘Parama Jyoti’; do accept a Seat before we initiate our sincere Puja); Prarthana Mantra: Vaiswanara Namastestu Namastey Havyavaahana, Swaagatam tey Surashreshtha Shaantim kuru namostutey/ (Vaiswanara Deva! Havyavahana! We are beholden on your arrival and welcome sincerely; kindly grant us Peace); Padya Mantra: Namastey Bhagavan Deva Aaponarayanatmaka, Sarvaloka hitaarthaya Padyam cha prati –gruhnataam/ (Jala Swarupa Narayana! Accept water for washing your feet and bless us) Arghya Mantra: Narayana Paramdhaama Jyoti Rupa Sanatana, Gruhaanaarghya mayaa dattam Viswarupa Namostutey (Vishwa Rupa! Jyoti Rupa! Sanatana Deva! Paramdhaama! Narayana! My salutations to you; Please accept this ‘Arghyam’ being offered by me reverentially); Achamaneeya Mantra: Jagadaaditya rupena Prakaashayati yah sadaa, Tasmai Prakaasha Rupaaya Namastey Jaatavedasey/ (As you are resplendent in the Form of Aditya Rupa, Jata Veda, Prakasha Swarupa and Vaisvaanara, do oblige us by accepting this Achamaneeya water!); Snaaneeya Mantra: Dhananjaya Namasteystu Sarva Paapapranaashana, Snaaneeyam tey mayaadatam Sarva kaamaartha siddhaye/ (My greetings to You Janaardana! Kindly accept this holy water to bathe you in a formal manner and grant us accomplishment of various ‘Siddhis’ or Spiritual Achievement); Anga prokshana evam Vastra dhaarana Mantra: Hutaashana Mahaa baaho Deva Deva Sanaatana, Sharanam tey pragacchhaami dehi mey paramam padam/ (Devadeva! Sanaatana! Hutaashana! Mahabaaho! I am in your shelter. Kindly acknowledge this ‘Anga Prokshana’or Sprinkling of water over Your Body Parts and also clothing); Alankara Mantra: Jyotishaam Jyoti Rupastvamanaadi nidhanaatchyuta, mayaadatthamalankaaram kuru Namostutey! (Agni Deva! You are such as would never step down from your high pedestal; You have neither begining nor end; You are the Parama Jyoti Rupa; my reverences to You; kindly accept these ornaments and ‘Alamkaras’or beautifiers and oblige); Gandha Mantra: Deva Deva mudamyaanti yasya Samyak samaagamaat, Sarva doshopashaantyartha Gandheyam pratigruhyataam/ (Deva! All the Deities do calm down in Your august Presence; do accept this Sandal paste as a symbol of Your kind acceptance); Pushpa Mantra: Vishnustwamhi Brahmaa cha Jyotishaam Gatirishwara, GruhaanaPushpam Devesha Saanulepam Jagad bhavet/ (Devesha, You are Brahma, Vihnu and the route to Jyotisha and Eshwara; do accept these flowers since they would enhance the fragrance of the whole World); Dhupa Mantra: Devataanaam Pitrunaamcha Sukhamekam Sanaatanam, Dhupeyam Deva Devesha gruhnataam mey Dhanamjaya ( Deva Devesha Dhanamjaya! You are the unique provider of happiness to Devatas and Pitras; please allow this ‘Dhupa’ to bring this aroma all over); Deepa Mantra: Twamekah Sarva Bhuteshu Sthavareshu Chareshu cha, Paramatmaa Paraakaarah Pradeepah pratigruhnataam/ (Paramaatma who is stretched all over among the Beings in the Universe! Your Profile is indeed outstanding and stupendous; please increase the splendour manifold by accepting this token Light and endowing us with happiness); Naivedya Mantra: Namostu Yagnapataye Prabavey Jaatavedasey, Sarvaloka hitaarthaaya Naivedyam pratiguhnataam/ (Yagnapati Jaataveda! You are the Almighty and the Supreme Source of Propitiousness; This Naivedya or offering of ‘Anna Prashad’is being proffered to You for the contenment of the whole Universe); besides these there are more Services offered to Agni Deva such as Mantra Pushpam, Pradakhisna, Mangala Arati, Veda Parayana and Swasti. Purnahuti denotes the successful conclusion of any Agni Karya, without which the holy task remains inconclusive and fruitless. Recital of relevant Mantras at the Purnahuti normally covers ‘Sapta tey’--, ‘Dehi mey’--, ‘Purnaa darvi’--, ‘Punantum’ etc. Purnahuti needs to be performed while standing, but never seated. Also, depending on the type of the Yagna, the relevant Mantras describing the concerned Rishis, Chanda and Devatas invoked would be essential. During the Japa-sessions, count of the necessary number of the Mantras is crucial too. The number of Ritvijas is also as prescribed. The purpose for which the Yagnas are performed should be fulfilled indeed, if executed as prescribed.

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