How to Perform Agnihotra (Instructions)

This page will instruct you in how to perform Agnihotra and prepare the necessary materials yourself. If you do not wish to prepare the materials yourself, you can buy supplies from these suppliers.

Agnihotra requires these materials:
– Copper pyramid of specific shape and size
– Dried cow dung
– Ghee (clarified unsalted butter from cow’s milk)
– Whole grain raw brown rice
Agnihotra Mantras
Timings of sunrise/sunset for your area

Preparing the Offerings
Use brown rice. Highly polished rice loses nutritional value. We recommend organic grain.
Only unbroken grains of rice should be used for Agnihotra. If rice is broken, the subtle energy structure around the grain is altered; therefore, the ash is not suitable for healing. You will need two pinches of the rice, with broken grains removed, for the offerings. The amount of rice for each offering is the amount you can hold in your fingertips. Place this in a small dish, and mix it with a little ghee–just enough to moisten the grains.

Building The Agnihotra Fire
Arrange the cowdung pieces to allow for good air flow.  Many people find the following method helpful:

Spread a little ghee on each piece of dung. Place a small piece of dried dung in the bottom of the pyramid (see #1 below). Add two small pieces in opposing corners (#2). Continue adding pieces in alternating corners, using larger pieces as the pile grows (#3, 4, & 5).

Starting the Fire

To light the dung, spread ghee on a narrow piece of dung, ignite it, and place it flame downward in the center of the layers.

Light the fire a few minutes before the scheduled time, so the dung will be fully ablaze at Agnihotra time. Do not use lighters (i.e. objects with lighter fluid) or gas stoves to start the fire. Be sure your fire is blazing enough to burn the rice and ghee quickly and completely. If not, you may add more dung and/or ghee before chanting the Mantras and  offering the rice and ghee.

Agnihotra Mantras
There are vibrations that exist everywhere. Where there is vibration there is also sound.
When we do these Mantras, the sounds we utter activate these special vibrations that will
create certain atmosphere of effects. Then the desired results are realized. These vibrations
exist for everything, so anything can be activated, controlled or changed by Mantras. When one with a pure mind speaks the Mantra into the Agnihotra pyramid at the correct time,
the ash retains that energy and the healing properties of the ash become more powerful.

Agnihotra Mantras:

At Sunrise:

Sooryáya Sváhá
(add the first portion of rice)
Sooryáya Idam Na Mama

Prajápataye Sváhá
(add the second portion of rice)
Prajápataye Idam Na Mama

At Sunset:

Agnaye Sváhá
(add the first portion of rice)
Agnaye Idam Na Mama

Prajápataye Sváhá
(add the second portion of rice)
Prajápataye Idam Na Mama

(á is pronounced as ‘a’ in father)

At the exact timing for sunrise or sunset, utter the first Mantra and give the first offering of rice and ghee to the fire, after the word  Sváhá. Then chant the second Mantra and give the second offering after the word Sváhá. Say the Mantras once only. If you miss the timing, it is not Agnihotra and you will not have the healing effects.

After each Agnihotra try to spare as many minutes as you can for meditation. You can sit in silence at least until the fire extinguishes itself.

After the Mantras have been uttered and the rice offerings given, it is best not to disturb the fire, due to the interplay of subtle energies. If possible, avoid moving the pyramid until the next time you prepare for Agnihotra.

A larger fire using more dried cowdung amplifies the healing effects and produces a greater quantity of healing ash.

Keep the Agnihotra ash in a container made of earthenware, glass or wood. DO NOT keep Agnihotra ash in a container made of plastic or metals other than copper or gold. Agnihotra ash can be used as fertilizer for plants or for making folk medicines for animals and humans. In South America it is called “miracle ash”.



Collecting the dung
Use fresh manure from male or female progeny of cow. Use rubber gloves so that you can pick up the dung without getting any dirt, grass or rocks in it. Think good thoughts while collecting dung, as this heightens its healing effect.

Drying Dung
There are several ways to dry cowdung. Following are some suggestions for cold climate areas. The main point is that the dung should be dry, and if it is thin it will be easier to start the fires.

Use 4 pieces of 2″ x 2″ x 36″ lumber for each screen. Nail them together into a square frame and cover with 1″ chicken wire, 36 ” wide, using wire staples to hold it down. Place a piece of fiberglass window screen on top of this frame, but do not fasten it on. Place this frame over a piece of plywood ( 32″ x 32″ ) cut to fit inside the 2 x 2’s. This gives you a flat surface on which to spread the dung. Place the plywood up on cinder blocks or other raised surface on which to work.

Spread the dung about 1/2″ thick on the screen. Raise the frame up off the board for good air circulation and place it in full sun. Keep the dung from getting wet and it should dry in about four days, depending upon your climate. When you think it’s dry, break a thicker piece and check the inside. Dry dung sounds hollow when you tap it with your finger.

Making Ghee
Ghee can be made from unsalted butter in an electric slow cooker (called a “crock pot”), or on a stove on very low heat. On the stove, let the pan be about two inches above the source of heat. The idea is that the butter heats very gently until all the white foam is cooked out and has risen to the surface. Whey also separates from the ghee, stays on the bottom of the pan and looks like water. Ghee is the golden liquid. The foam that collects on the surface can be spooned off and fed to animals. When the ghee has turned perfectly clear it is ready, and can be strained through cotton cloth, a coffee filter, or three white paper towels. Be careful not to mix in any of the clear liquid that is on the bottom of the pan.

Once you have removed as much ghee as possible without including any of the watery liquid, there will still be some ghee near the bottom of the pan which you do not want to waste. Refrigerate what is left in the pan, and when the ghee has hardened you can break it off the surface and add it to the next batch of ghee you make. Properly made ghee does not need to be refrigerated.

In Ayurveda, aged ghee (five years old or more) is used to treat burns.