The tradition of Yagya in Hinduism dates back to the Vedic period. There are many contexts for performing Yagyas in religious texts to fulfill wishes and avoid any bad incidents. In Ramayana and Mahabharata, a description of many such kings is found, who had performed many great yagnas. There is also a tradition of performing yagya to please the deities.
Major types of Yagya
This Yagya is performed with the desire to have a son. This was what Maharaj Dasharatha did, as a result of which four sons including Shriram were born. This yagya of King Dasharatha was performed by Rishi Rishyasringa.
This Yagya was organized to become Chakravarti Samrat. In this Yagya, a king used to send his horse to the borders of other states. The states from which the horse passed unhindered were deemed to have surrendered and the king who captured the horse had to fight with the king who wished to become the Chakravarti Samrat. According to the scriptures, one who performs this yajna a hundred times attains the position of Indra.
This Yagya was performed by a king to increase his fame and the boundaries of the kingdom. Under this, a mighty king himself or his followers used to send taxes (money, etc.) from other states. Those who paid taxes easily were treated friendly, and those who did not were forced to fight and collect taxes from them.
This is to conquer the world. Fulfills all wishes. Maharaj Raghu, the ancestor of Shri Ram, had performed this Yagya.
It is done with the desire for the welfare of all. Most are done in the modern era.
This Yagya is performed with the wish of rain. This Yagya is performed even today. Apart from this, Vishnu Yagya, Shatchandi Yagya, Rudra Yagya, Ganesh Yagya, etc. are performed. All these are in tradition.
Why is Yagya performed ?
The glory of Yagya has been sung a lot in the scriptures. There is complete information about Yagyas in the Vedas also. God is pleased by Yajna, it has been said in the scriptures. Along with man, Brahma also created Yagya and said to the man that he will progress only through this Yagya. Yagya will fulfill all your wishes and needs. You please the gods with yagya, they will make you progress.
Benefits of Yagya
According to religious texts, every wish can be fulfilled through Yagya. To get wealth, to atone for one’s deeds, to prevent evil, and to convert misfortune into good fortune, there is a law to perform Yagya for the prevention of diseases. Yajnas are also performed to please the deities and for more yield of wealth and grains etc. Yagya is also essential in Gayatri worship. Gayatri has been called the mother and Yagya the father. Due to the combination of these, the spiritual birth of a man takes place.
Famous Yagyas done in ancient India
Lord Shriram performed Ashwamedha Yagya. According to Valmiki Ramayana, Shri Ram wanted to perform Rajasuya Yajna, and Bharat also agreed to it, but Lakshmana told Shri Ram that the glory of Ashwamedha Yajna is much more. It was only on the advice of Laxman that Shri Ram performed the Ashwamedha Yagya.
Yudhishthira performed both Rajasuya and Ashwamedha Yagya. When Pandavas made Indraprastha their capital and started ruling there religiously. After that Yudhishthira performed Rajasuya Yagya. After the end of the Mahabharata war, Yudhishthira also performed Ashwamedha Yagya at the behest of Shri Krishna.
According to the Mahabharata, Svetaki was a mighty and famous king. He was a lover of sacrifice, he performed many big sacrifices. He used to perform so many yagyas that even Brahmins and priests used to get tired and bored while performing them. Once he got a great yajna performed by sage Durvasa. The king satisfied the Brahmins by giving Dakshina the first 12 and then 100 years of yagya. As a result of this Yagya, King Svetaki attained heaven.
Arjuna’s grandson Janamejaya performed a snake sacrifice yagya to avenge the death of his father Parikshit. When Janamejaya came to know that his father had died after being bitten by a Takshak snake, he performed this yagya. Many snakes were burnt to ashes in this yagya. Janamejaya did not complete this Yagya on the advice of Astik Muni.
According to Mahabharata, King Yayati had performed hundred Rajasuya, hundred Ashwamedha, thousand Pundrik Yag, hundred Vajpeya, thousand Atiratra Yag and Chaturmasya and Agnishtom,
According to the Mahabharata, King Suhotra performed one thousand Ashwamedha, one hundred Rajasuya, and many Kshatriya Yajnas with lots of Dakshina.
Brahma created the Yagya
According to the religious texts, the Yagya was first created by the Supreme Father Brahma. The complete description of Yagya is found in the Vedas. Another name for Yagya is Agni Puja. Gods can be pleased by sacrifice. Along with this, the desired fruit can also be obtained. In religious texts, fire has been considered as the face of God. Whatever is fed (sacrificed) in this is Brahmabhoj. To put oblations in the mouth of Yagya is to feed God. Undoubtedly, the deities are welcomed in the Yagya.
It is said in Gita- That is, all living beings are born from food and food is produced from rain. Rain comes from Yagya and that Yagya is done by Karma.
Science of Yagya
Yagya is an important science. The trees whose compounds are used in this have special qualities. There is also a science of which type of material is put for which experiment. The mixture of those substances creates a special property, which when burnt produces a specific effect in the atmosphere. That effect is further enhanced by the power of chanting of Veda mantras. It has a great impact on the person who participates in that Yagya and on the nearby atmosphere. Scientists have not yet been successful in making artificial rain, but the experiments of rain through Yagya are often successful. Big sacrifices are required for widespread happiness, rain, health, and peace, but small havans also benefit us.
What is the difference between Havan and Yagya ?
Havan is a shortened form of Yagyas. After any worship or chanting, the process of sacrifice given in the fire is prevalent in the form of Havan. Yagyas is a sacrifice offered to a particular deity for a specific purpose. Deity, Ahuti, Veda Mantra, Ritvik, and Dakshina are essential in this. Havan is a ritual of purification in Hinduism. Havan is the process of bringing the oblation near the deity through the fire in the kund. After lighting the fire in the Havan Kund, fruits, honey, ghee, wood (wood), etc. are the main sacrifices in this holy fire. It is believed that if there is an influence of any evil spirit etc. around you, then the Havan process liberates you from it. Havan is also performed for good luck, health, prosperity etc in Pooja on occasions.