Why do we regard the sacrificial fire of Yagya as purohit (a priest)? It inspires us to imbibe its five idealistic qualities in our life.
1. Fire has the characteristic of always being hot and bright. We are inspired to lead bright, radiant, active lives like fire, full of wisdom and brilliance.
2. The flame of fire always goes upwards. One may apply any amount of pressure but its flame never goes downwards. It teaches us that despite immense pressures of fear and temptations our flame of wisdom, and foresight should ever be kept-alight and up-turned.
3. Anything coming in contact with fire becomes fire itself. We should also have such a quality of excellence in our character, so that anyone coming in our contact may become refined.
4. Fire accumulates nothing. Whatever is offered in the fire is vaporized. It is scattered throughout in the atmosphere and becomes universal. We should also not accumulate possessions for our selfish ends but utilize all our resources and qualities for advancing the good of the people. We should be generous and lovingly kind.
5. The residue of the fire is ashes. Ultimately physical forms of all human beings are going to be reduced to a handful of ashes. The idea behind applying (ashes of Yagya) on the forehead is that man should always remember the inevitability of death and utilize each and every moment of his life in the best possible manner.
These five teachings are known as panchagnividya which the priest (purohit) in the form of fire teaches to every human being. A man is truly blessed if he imbibes these teachings in his daily life by performing symbolic worship in the form of Yagya.
The real purpose of Yagya is to imbibe virtues like self-sacrifice, self-restraint (sanyam), charity, beneficence, generosity, compassion etc. in our daily life. It inspires us to surrender everything, body, mind, ego and soul to God. A Sadhak on surrendering himself to God, who has been described as Yagya-purush in the scriptures, becomes one with Yagya, just as samidhas on being consumed in the sacrificial fire of Yagya become fire itself. In fact the real Yagya is to follow the directions and inspirations of our indwelling divinity and imbibe righteous tendencies. Constant remembrance of the Divine, keeping an attitude of detachment and remaining engrossed in regular sacred studies and devotion amounts to leading a Yagyiya life. Such a person sees the presence of God in everyone, everywhere and becomes free of evil deeds and sins.