The industrial wastes, rapid urbanization, deforestation, air and water pollution, disturbances in the ozone layer - formation, radioactive waves etc., have destabilized the human, animal and plant life cycles. The ecological imbalance caused by these acts of ‘civilized men’ has resulted into disastrous threat not only to human survival but to the life as a whole on our planet.
Till recently it was accepted that research into science can furnish answer to all of man’s problems. Today we find increasing number of diseases including malfunctioning of body organs due to increasing severity of pollution in the atmosphere. Ozone layer depletion has been causing ailments like sunburn, skin cancer, cataracts and weakening of the immune system. Viruses are becoming drug-resistant and showing consistent growth trends.
Experimental studies show that the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and disease are reduced in the houses, where the Yagya (Agnihotra) is regularly performed because it creates a pure, nutritional and medicinal atmosphere. It renews the brain cells, revitalizes the skin, purifies blood and prevents growth of pathogenic organisms. Agnihotra is basically a healing process. ‘Heal the atmosphere and the healed atmosphere will heal you’- is the Modus Operandi. Purification of environment through the constituent electrons of the substances fumigated in the Yagya is an obvious effect of this process. The observation of some distinguished scientists is noteworthy in this regard.
Dr. Hafkine has mentioned that - “mixing ghee and sugar and burning them creates smoke which kills the germs of certain diseases and secretion takes place from some glands related to the wind-pipe, which fill our heart and mind with pleasure. Sugars present in Havishya have great power to purify the atmosphere. It kills the germs of T.B., measles, smallpox and cow-pox, remarks Prof. Tilward. According to Dr. Shirowich, a Russian scientist has remarked that (i) Cow’s milk contains great power of protection from atomic radiation;(ii) Houses having cow-dung covered floors enjoy complete protection from atomic radiation; (iii) If cow’s ghee is put into Yagya fire, its fumes lessen the effect of atomic radiation to a great extent.
The medicinal fumes emanating from Agnihotra have been observed by researchers in the field of microbiology to be clearly bacteria lethal in nature. These eradicate bacteria and other micro-organisms, which are the root cause of illness and diseases. This must be the reason why the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and diseases becomes less in the households, where Agnihotra is regularly performed.
Even without going into detailed chemical bacteriology, it can be stated that performance of Yagya leads to purification of air.
Removal of Foul Odours
Under steam volatilization, the various volatile oils get diffused in the surrounding atmosphere along with steam and smoke. Since these oils have distinct good smell, the foul odours are automatically replaced. This aroma can be experienced easily in the surroundings when Yagya is performed due to diffusion of substances like thymol, eugenol, pine, terpinol and oils of sandal-wood, camphor and clove.
Removal of Bacteria
The partial oxidation of hydrocarbons and decomposition of complex organic substances produce formal aldehyde which is a powerful antiseptic. It is also interesting to note that germicidal action of formaldehyde is only effective in the presence of water vapour which is also produced in large quantities in Yagya. The use of formaldehyde spray for disinfecting of walls, ceiling etc., is common and such a spray is automatically produced when Yagya is performed.
The oxidation of hydrocarbons also produces formic acid and acetic acid both of which are good disinfectants. Use of formic acid for preservation of fruits and that of acetic acid in preserving vinegar is a common practice.
The antiseptic and antibiotic effects of fumes of Yagya have also been examined by conducting suitable experiments on rabbits and mice and it has been established that fumes emitted in Yagya are powerful antibiotic. Agnihotra ash purifies and cleanses the water making it fit for drinking.
Removal of insects
There are non-bacterial parasites like flies, ringworm, dice, fleas etc., which are harmful to living beings but immune to bactericides. Such insects are generally immune to ordinary reagents; however they either get killed or are driven away, when they come in contact with the fumes of volatile oils like camphor diffused in the environment.
Effects on Plants and Vegetation
The disinfection of air is not only useful to animal life but also helps plant’s life, though the bacteria responsible for diseases in both may be different. The aromatic substances during Yagya get diffused in the air and offer protection to plant life against harmful organisms. This ensures healthy plant growth. Agnihotra’s atmosphere and ash can be used as adjutants in the ‘Natural farming’ methods - also known as the Agnihotra farming methods. It is a holistic concept of growing plants in a healthy atmosphere and maintaining ecological balance by performing Agnihotra (Yagya) in the middle of the farm and using the Yagya - ash as a fertilizer. It is not only safe and productive but also holistic in its approach towards the environment.
Role of CO2 generated in Yagya
Consignment of the wood and other organic maters to flames has been always controversial because of generation of CO and CO2, as well as the increase in consequent ‘green house’ effect. It had been argued that performance of Yagya also produces CO and CO2. It should be noted here that the way in which the Samidhas and Havishya are burnt in Yagya is a process of slow combustion at higher temperature. The burning of coal in factories or in the household fire involves rapid combustion, where oxygen is sucked in large quantities and enormous CO2 is emitted. However, in the slow combustion taking place in the process of Yagya, small quantity of O2 is utilized & a meagre CO2 is emitted that poses no threat to the environment. In fact, whatever CO2 is generated it is readily absorbed by the surrounding vegetation and the CO2 cycle is strengthened.
The other important aspect is the fact that CO2 produced in Yagya is not always free CO2 but it remains mixed with other aromatic oils and antiseptic products. It therefore, acts as a vehicle in transporting such products to distant surroundings. The use of CO2 as a cerebral stimulant to assist the patients suffering from lack of ventilation is common in medical world. Its use to control and cure many mental disorders is also known to medical science. Small amounts of CO2 inhaled by the persons performing Yagya acts as a stimulant and more and more aromatic fumes are inhaled which help in curing mental disorders. Particularly effective results with respect to the elimination or reduction in radiation were achieved through Yagya’s fire and ash. These observations are made by Dr. L. Maela Anatoninhowska of Poland after using P.S.I. techniques.