Daily, after our Sanskrit morning chanting in the temple, we perform a sacred Havana (fire ceremony). Havana is a Tantric ritual in which offerings in the form of barley, black sesame, ghee, nuts etc. are charged with mantra and offered into the fire, after which the gross offerings transfer into subtle energy.
All our guests and students are welcome to witness our ritual.
Havana is also known as ‘Yajna’. The Sanskrit word ‘Yajna’ literally means ‘sacrifice, devotion, worship, offering’. Havana is a way to invoke the different Gods/Goddesses around as well as within, and balance all inner and surrounding energies. The ritual is performed to meditate upon the Divine, create auspiciousness and purify oneself. Different energies are installed and invoked inside the body, to make the body as a divine tool for these energies to serve. A fire ceremony purifies emotions and leaves us feeling lighter and free. By putting offerings in the fire, one simultaneously burns up all negativity and hindrances by surrendering to the fire of transformation. Only Vibhuti (sacred ash) is left behind and in the end applied as tika.
The offerings are given as a nourishment to the devas, which in turn nourish us. The yagna takes a very specific form, with the fire or ‘kund’ set up in line with detailed instructions. Offerings are made in a designated order, and with Sanskrit mantras chanted at the same time.
तद्गतश्चैकछित्तश्च शास्त्रोक्तविधिना सुधिः
देव्यास्तु पुरतो लक्षं हुत्वा लक्षत्रयं जपेत्
Tadgatashcaikacittashca Shastroktavidhina sudhih
Devyastu Purato Laksham Hutva Lakhsatrayam Japet
“Having firmly fixed his mind on the mantra, the wise yogi, according to the scriptures, should perform a fire sacrifice, offer one hundred thousand oblations and repeat the mantra three hundred thousand times in front of the Goddess Devi”.
कुण्डे योन्याकृते धीमाञ्जपान्ते जुहुयात्सुधीः
Kunde Yonyakrite Dhimanjapante Juhuyatsudhih
“The wise yogi, at the end of japa, should perform the fire sacrifice in a kunda (special hole in the ground made for fire sacrifice) having the shape of a yoni (the womb of the source), and offer oblation mixing sugar, milk, butter, and the flower of karavira together”.