Agnihotra at Harvard Divinity School
Sustainable Living Department
Maharishi University of Management
Fairfield, Iowa, USA
I had an opportunity to demonstrate Agnihotra and present two talks at a conference on “The Spirit of Sustainable Agriculture,” held at the Harvard Divinity School from March 31 to April 1, 2016. The purpose of the conference was to bring together farmers, spiritual leaders and academics to explore the spirit of sustainable agriculture – past, present and future. There was an overwhelming response to the conference; the registrations had to be closed a couple of weeks before the event.
While the conference details were worked out a couple of months ago, I expressed my desire to perform Agnihotra at the conference, as the theme of the event was spirit in agriculture. What can be more profound than Homa, which connects spirituality and agriculture so well? The organizers were quite excited about it, but the security department of Harvard University was a bit concerned about the fire hazard. I convinced them that there would not be any fire hazard; I said that if they were too concerned, they could keep a fire extinguisher nearby during my demonstration.
With a lot of excitement the day prior to my travel, I started packing my Agnihotra kit with all the supplies for the demonstration. Consciously I pre-planned to answer any questions that the airport security may ask. Two new pyramids were chosen so that they looked like copper pots used for planting. Intentionally, I avoided the pyramid that I regularly use for Homa at home, due to the black soot. In the age of Kaliyug, I didn’t want to take a chance with the stressed airport security people who can imagine anything when they see some burnt metal container! The other ingredient was ghee or clarified butter, which was bit tricky. If the airport people had not allowed me to carry the ghee, I planned to buy organic butter from a grocery store in Boston and make it into ghee. During the security checking of my suitcase they noticed the ghee in their X-ray machine. I had to open my suitcase and told them that it was butter. Since it was not in a liquid state, there was no problem, which made me feel more relaxed in continuing my travel.
During the conference I delivered two talks, one on Biodynamic Agriculture and other on Organic Vedic Agriculture. In both these forms of agriculture there is a strong reference to cow manure. Biodynamic agriculture uses the manure of lactating cows to make a preparation to enliven the soil. Similarly, dry cow manure is the main ingredient for performing Homa. The importance of cow manure is much emphasized in the Vedic scriptures. The Vedic seers had recognized the fact that for anyone who knew the art and science of using cow manure, prosperity and fulfillment would dawn in their lives.
On the evening of 31st March I demonstrated Agnihotra. I never expected such a packed participation on a cold, windy day outside the Harvard Divinity School. About 150 people turned up for Agnihotra. The Agnihotra mantras and information about the Agnihotra supplies were distributed to everyone. It was very gratifying to see bliss and happiness in everyone.
I mentioned to all of them that Homa is an ancient Vedic science of healing the atmosphere; the healed atmosphere heals the biosphere. The Vedic seers knew that the plants feed quantitatively from the atmosphere and qualitatively from the soil, which is now demonstrated by modern science. The multiple uses of Homa in human and animal health, and agriculture were discussed.
When I mentioned to them that the Agnihotra ash can be consumed for healing our body, there was some hesitation. I consumed the ash first and told them that it has been found to heal the most dreaded health ailments. There was lot of interest among the participants. A young girl who was suffering from a skin rash on her palm and had tried all the known medicines was keen to try Agnihotra ash and ghee mixture. Some of them had digestive issues while others were carrying home Agnihotra ash for their loved ones. Many people expressed their gratitude to me for demonstrating Agnihotra at the conference.
I felt grateful to have the blessings of Shree Vasant and had the good fortune of meeting Him personally. The best service that we can offer to heal this planet is to perform Homa regularly and teach our friends this simple technique. May the fire of Homa burn away our ignorance and enlighten us to the path of healing our planet and people.
Dr.Thimmaiah has worked for the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), National Institute for Technology Transfer (INTA), Ministry of Agriculture, Costa Rica, and SNV Netherlands Development Organization. Dr. Thimmaiah was part of the team that led Bhutan to become the first nation to go 100% organic–a groundbreaking achievement.-Ed.