Agnihotra & grapes

Agnihotra and Grapes

Dr. B. G. Bhujbal, Research Officer Maharashtra State Grape Growers’ Association, Poona, India (Satsang Vol. 8, No. 17, 1981)

Grapes are a difficult crop to grow under Maharashtra’s climatic conditions and also equally difficult to study. I have been associated with research work on grapes while studying for my M.Sc. degree at the University of Poona, India since 1967. Various problems faced by the workers since then were finally put before the research workers at the Agricultural College, Poona.

Hybridization work with grapes had already commenced before my association with this work. I have been observing the results of that work. It was reported that the germination of hybrid grape seeds had been very late and low. When I conducted hundreds of crosses at the Ganeshkhind Fruit Experimental Station, Poona-7 and sowed the seeds after treatment by advanced techniques which included hormones, scarification, stratification etc., the results were discouraging. The germination percentage was very low, i.e. below 20 % and some of the seeds even took 300 days for germination.

Meanwhile I came to learn of Agnihotra and Homa Therapy farming and thought, Why not have a trial of this therapy in grape research? There was a solar eclipse on 16th of February 1980. I had also read previously that the no-moon day was the best day for seed treatment and sowing. With this background and not to miss the opportunity I collected seeds of the Anab-e-shahi, Pandhari Sahebi and Kali Sahebi varieties, local vinifera varieties, as well as some crossed seeds which were collected using the Thompson seedless variety as a male parent to make the cross. In order to conduct the experiment properly, I applied for leave on 20th of February 1980 in time for the treatment to commence on 16th of February, 1980. Some unrooted cuttings of local grape varieties were also collected for additional treatments.

Experimental Plot

All the seeds and the unrooted cuttings were kept in an environment open to Agnihotra fumes. As far as mantras were concerned, I began with the “Tryambakam” Mantra and Homa continued for 2 hours, after which the samples were treated with Agnihotra ash and then put into pots ready for planting. An untreated lot of samples served as a control.

Observations

It was indeed a surprise not only to me and my wife but also to friends who had been laughing at my experiments to observe the first seedlings sprouting on the 21st day of sowing. Some of the recorded observations are given in a table below. The second experiment concerned making raisins. At present, raisin-making is not carried out in Maharashtra except on an experimental basis using the dehydration and sun-drying methods. I collected a few bunches of grapes from growers and hung them in the environment where I was performing Agnihotra. Similar clusters were kept with the growers for making raisins using their own method of sun-drying. After 21 days the drying was almost complete, and after 35 days I collected the clusters and tested them. The raisins were very good in appearance and taste. Special interest rallied around the evidence that the raisins prepared from the Anabe-shahi variety and having low TSS contact were also good. Equally good results were obtained by the Thompson seedless variety growing in the Agnihotra environment as compared to those varieties generally available in the market.

Another experiment was performed in a grower’s field. Mr. Pundlik Khode, a small farmer from the village of Pimpalgaon-Baswant, Nasik District had been much worried about his crop and was doubtful regarding repayment of his bank loan obtained for the vineyard. Agnihotra was done regularly and Agnihotra ash was applied to his vines. The observations which were recorded at harvest time proved very good. The grower, Mr. Khode, had never believed in such a possibility until he saw the actual results. The individual berry as well as the cluster was superior in color, taste, sweetness and weight. About 150 observers said that the crop was the best in that locality.

EFFECTS
REGULAR FERTIZING PRACTICE
ONLY AGNIHOTRA
REGULAR PRACTICE AND AGNIHOTRA
Seed germination
More than 6 months required for germination
21 to 28 days required
***
Rooting of cutting
80 % rooting
100 % rooting
100 % rooting
Bunch development
Av. bunch wt. 0.45 Kg.
Av. bunch wt. 0.45 Kg.
Av. bunch wt. 0.525 Kg.
Disease
More disease
No disease
Less disease
Color
Green yellow
Golden yellow
Pale yellow
Quality
TSS 22 %
TSS 24 %
TSS 23 %

Effect of Agnihotra on Grapes

The above experiment was conducted in the vineyard of Mr. Pundlik Khode on Thompson seedless grapes at Pimpalgaon Baswant, Nasik, during the year 1979-80.

1. Agnihotra was performed by Dr. B. G, Bhujbal, Asst. Horticulturist, M, Phule Agricultural University. 2. Other Homas were performed by Mr. Ranade, Manager, State Bank of India.
3. Regular operations were carried out by Mr. Pundlik Khode, owner of the vineyard. Mr. Khode was very happy with the Agnihotra results.

Agnihotra was also performed for raisin-making. This was done in March 1980. Clusters were hung from the roof, and under the clusters Agnihotra was performed regularly, twice daily. In 21 days the grapes dried under room conditions and the quality of the grape raisins was excellent. The variety used was Thompson seedless.