H.T. Question 8:

In your Switzerland Ashram they have the practice of keeping the yagna, a sacred fire, burning continuously, and have maintained 24-hours vigil at the fire since 1974. This is very interesting to us, as the monks here also maintain a vigil at our Nataraja Temple 24 hours a day, in 3-hours shifts. Why do they do this? What is the meaning of it?




Yagna is one of the most effective forms of worship of the Divine. It has been practised for thousands of years by great saints and sages of India. Through the intonation of the special Vedic Mantras, we invoke the living, responding, dynamic presence of Fire-God, Agni-Devata, into the sacred Fire of the Yagna-Kunda, and offer into His hands our prayers, offerings, and so on, to be delivered to the Divinity of our devotion and meditation, and to other Gods and Goddesses. We offer our Mantras, prayers, offerings directly to the Heart of the Infinite and the Eternal in the form of Gods and Goddesses whose favours and Grace we desire, not through our hands, through the agency of our impure hearts or impure bodies, but through the agency of the purest thing that there is in all the world, Fire. Agni-Devata carries our prayers and offerings directly to the Divinities of our choosing.

When we recite Mantra, yes, the all-hearing God hears it. But if we offer the same Mantra-recitation through fire, it directly reaches the heart of God at once. That is a secret. This technique God Himself has revealed in sacred scriptures. We apply this technique of placing our prayers, our Mantra-recitation directly in the lap of the Divine, through the agency of Agni-Devata.

This Fire-Ceremony is a wonderful ceremony. It wields a tremendous influence on all mankind, on the whole of creation - on plants, on stars, on the whole earth, on visible and invisible entities - a beneficent effect, a blessing effect. Everything flourishes, everything blossoms. It is a wonderful ceremony. There are secrets within secrets in this ceremony.






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