Visual Guide to Performing Agnihotra
Preparing the Agnihotra fire:
Place one piece of cowdung on the bottom of the pyramid, and place more pieces with ghee on them around the inside of the pyramid, leaving an opening in the middle. For fires done in apartments and other indoor locations a small fire will suffice, but for agricultural purposes where a lot of ash is desired, it is preferable to build a larger fire.
Apply ghee to both sides of the piece of dung which will be placed in the center.
The rice offering consists of two pinches of raw brown rice (a pinch is the amount you can hold in your fingertips). Place in a dish and remove the broken pieces.
Add enough ghee to moisten the rice. Separate the rice into two portions.
Light the fire several minutes before the time on the timesheet, so the dung will be fully ablaze at the exact time. A large fire will need to be started earlier than a small one. Thicker dung needs more time to fully ignite.
At the time on the sheet, begin the mantra, adding one of the portions of rice and ghee after “Swaha”. Continue the mantras, adding the second offering after “Swaha” .
This completes Agnihotra. It is preferable to sit quietly or meditate until the fire goes out.
For the maximum effect of the interplay of subtle energies of Agnihotra, one should not disturb the pyramid or add ghee after the mantras have been chanted and rice and ghee have been added to the fire. If circumstances permit, it is best not to disturb the pyramid until it is time to set up for the next performance of Agnihotra.