Yoga is a ritual of fire in which we offer our body,mind & life into the flame of awareness that is our true Self. This inner fire takes us across the dark night of ignorance to the perpetual day of enlightenment. A great yogi is a living flame whose very presence fills us with light, warmth and vitality. The practice of yoga is all about creating the fire of yoga, which should be its foundation. This principle of fire in the universe is called agni in Sanskrit, meaning "the transforming force." It is not simply fire in the elemental sense but all potentials of heat, light and electricity. This divine fire is the origin of life, light and love - the powers of the soul that motivate us from within. The soul itself is our inner fire, the spiritual aspiration deep within us that accompanies us through all our births.
We are manifestations of this divine fire that is the Self of all. They teach us how the cosmic fireworks so that through it we can achieve all necessary balance and growth. The cosmic fire that exists outwardly on all planes of the universe, from gross matter to pure being, has its counterpart within us on all layers of our individual nature, from the physical body to our immortal consciousness. It is the catalytic force necessary for any evolutionary change to occur. Yoga emphasises the fires of prana and meditation as the means of enlightenment.
The Vedas teach an elaborate fire ritual called “Yajna” or sacrifice. Yajna refers to a redirection or transformation of energy, a change of substance from one level to another. The idea behind the yajna is that whatever one offers to the divine must be transformed to a higher level of manifestation. In the yajna a special fire is made according to a specific procedure. An altar or fire pit is constructed. Special wood is used as fuel and the fire is enkindled in a precise manner. In this sacred fire we place various offerings, like rice or ghee, that both feed the fire and are transformed by it into various essences. Along with these offerings we recite various prayers and mantras, seeking to fulfil our wishes and bring divine blessings into the world.
The fire is the messenger between the material world and higher spiritual realities, between man and the universe. What we offer in the fire is carried to the invisible realms where higher powers can recognise and act upon it, sending back their grace. Such a sacred fire serves to purify the environment, not only on a gross but on a subtle level. It works to purify the astral bodies of those who perform it regularly. Such a ritual should be done in each home or ashram on a regular basis. Fire offerings can be used to achieve the ordinary goals of life like health, wealth and prosperity.
They can be done for inner purposes of working out difficult karma, propitiating negative planetary influences, or consecrating various spiritual practices. They are part of a universal technology of inner evolution.
The most important times for fire rituals are sunrise, noon and sunset offerings, called “agnihotra” or fire invocations. New and full moon offerings are also important and, in Vedic times, various seasonal and yearly offerings were performed as well. Such transitional or juncture points, called joints or sandhis in Sanskrit, are times at which energy naturally changes and can be more easily worked upon and redirected.
Mantras for Fire Ceremony
Om gam ganapathaye namahj
I seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha also known as Ganapathi, who is the embodiment of auspiciousness, remover of all obstacles, dispeller of sorrow, and one who fulfills all desires.
Om Namaha Shivaya (Pronounced as Om Namaha shivaya)
I invoke the Grace and blessings of Lord Shiva, embodiment of auspiciousness and goodness. (Also I invoke the nature of my “Self” which is abode of all goodness and auspiciousness from within, which is Shiva)