Dr Aarushi Sadhotra Manhas
Havan has a significant role in Indian culture. Be it a marriage, birthday, grihapravesh or bhumi Pujan, Havan is performed incontestably. But have you ever wondered what are the reasons behind performing this ritual? Is it just an age old ritual, a superstition or is it something really meaningful with an incredible outcome, which is losing its importance with each passing day.
Essentially Havana is an extraordinarily powerful means of generating creative energies of deeper and higher dominions of subtle and invisible dimensions of consciousness. The chanting of mantras, the purity of feelings, the determination and the discipline required for performing yagna, have such a tremendous power that they can generate a mass of blazing energy which can easily burn all the impurities in and around our body. Yagna, wherein mixture of herbal things is used, has been in vogue ever since there is life on earth. Yagna means selfless sacrifice for some noble cause. Sacrifice could be of immoralities or materialistic attachment. Yagna teaches us the way to promote the humane values in society, it brings unity in the mankind and creates an ideal human culture, which is indeed the need of the hour. With a rich spiritual and religious background that our culture possesses, it should not be a surprise for us to learn that “importance of medicinal plants has been shared by east but mostly in use by west. Perhaps, every civilisation has been using medicinal plants, one way or the other. Few of them take out extracts and drink juices, few make a paste and apply on body, few burn them and inhale the smoke.
God has gifted mankind with various herbs for primary health care. Few herbs when collectively burnt releases the smoke, which not only cleanses the environment but also disinfects the atmosphere, this mixture is called “Havan Saamagri”. Since all the ingredients in the mix are natural, the positive effect is immense, without any side effects and it has been scientifically proven. Shantikunj in Haridwar conducted a research on Havana samagri, which consists of portions from all medicinal trees and plants, when burnt together produces various gases, which is easily dispersed in the atmosphere and increases its potency further.
The environment that we have been polluting with human waste, bad breath, industrial smoke, can be effectively cleaned with the help of Yagna. No need to spend millions of dollars on artificial rains and various other expensive methods to reduce air pollution. National botanical research institute in Lucknow verified the effect of Havana on indoor air quality and found out that smoke emitting from Havana had the strength to eliminate unhealthy germs after burning havan saamagri with at least 1.5kg of mango wood, which is anytime better than using insecticides which is further harmful to human and the environment. In olden days, yagya used be the only way to prevent the spread of epidemics. The purified air arising out of yagya spreads in far and wide areas and cleanses the environment. The heat generated by the fire blesses the innermost core of human beings performing the Yagya and those who visit it even latter. Just imagine your feelings when you visit a relative’s house,where yagya has just been performed. The feelings and thoughts generated are always positive. Other than spiritual benefits, the environmental benefits that Yagna offers is in the form of rain. Smoke arising out of yagna, fertilizes clouds which then burst and rains acts as natural fertiliser for the plants.
Mango wood is the major ingredient used in havan as it is easily available and quite inexpensive, howeversandalwood, agar, tagar,deodar, belva, peepal and bargad tree wood can also be used to perform Yagna. Mango wood when burnt releases “formic aldehyde”, a gas which kills bacteria. Likewise, different wood releases different gases which works as a great disinfectant.Other materials used in havan are odoriferous substances like saffron, musk, agar and tagar, sandalwood powder, cardamom, nutmeg, jaivitri, camphor. Camphor used in yagna acts as an antibacterial agent. Infectious diseases like flu, cold are warded off,various respiratory disease are treated with camphor, it also helps in calming down nerves disorders and convulsions. Cow dung cake which contains menthol, ammonia, phenol-formalin, provides curative properties. Desi ghee made from cow milk has immense power to protect from atomic radiations. Elaichi,tulsi cinnamon, alovera, neem, chandan, ajwain, lobaan are added special components of Havana. Different combination of this material is used in yagna which releases vaporised products diffused in atmosphere which are further exposed to the sunlight and continue the photochemical reaction, resulting in photochemical decomposition, oxidation and reduction reaction. It is a common myth that havan produces CO2, whereas slow combustion of samidhas releases CO2 in such small quantity that it is readily absorbed by surrounding plants, further strengthening the CO2 cycle. In-fact CO2 is reduced upto some extent due to Havana.Secondly CO2 released is not free CO2, it is mixed with the vapour of so many aromatic oils and antiseptic products, which when inhaled by humans & animals, treats them physically and mentally. Not only human, havan treats many diseases associated with plants also. Havan keeps insects away from plants and crops and ashes from havan acts as fertilisers for them.
We must take pride in belonging to such an amazing culture with rituals,which are backed with scientific logics, and have the power to take the spiritual and physical wellbeing of anyone to the next level. Let’s keep ourselves well acquainted with that goodness and glorify it to the extent that every individual is consciously aware of the advantages of nature and its elements.