A Universal Prayer
The havan or fire ceremony is an ancient ritual where prayers are offered into the fire which is considered
the mouth of God. It is used as a symbol for complete transformation of the material into ether. This version of the Sacha
Havan has been adapted for westerners by ShantiMayi from the more traditional Hindu ceremony. This is a prayer for the self
realization of all beings. Let everyone realize their enlightenment, receiving the grace of God.
- A havan kund which is made of copper, widely
square shaped on top, narrowing in size towards the bottom, and is the vessel that contains the fire. If not available, one
may create a container by building a brick base enclosed on four sides by several rows of bricks in a cleared space outdoors.
(This can be sealed with cow dung or mud). Some other appropriate container, e.g. a new iron or stainless steel wok or hibachi,
can also be used and should be purified first (sprinkled with Ganga water*). Make sure that there is good ventilation if the
kund is used indoors. Raise the kund off the ground on bricks or flat rocks. This honors the sacredness of the kund, and also
makes it easier to reach and work with the fire. Never place the kund directly on carpet or other material as that may burn
and start a fire.
- In Sacha Dham Ashram we use sacred cow dung
as the fuel. It is taken from our cows, which are considered holy, and mixed with straw and prayers, patted into a large,
flat pancake shape, then dried in the sun. Some places in the west also have access to cow dung used for havans. If not possible
use small pieces of wood.
- Camphor, ghee- amount depends on the length
of the ceremony and fire size. Amounts needed may range from over 8 ounces and up (always have more than less ghee available).
Small twigs, matches.
- Appropriate size bowl for ghee, teaspoon
for ghee. (If it’s a very large fire the teaspoon may be attached to a long stick)
- Bricks, flat rocks or whatever is available
to raise the ghee bowl and puja tray off the ground.
- Not mandatory but helps to evoke a sacred
environment is setting up an altar or puja area with pictures of ShantiMayi, Maharajji, the Sacha lineage, statues of deities:
e.g. Ganesh, Medicine Buddha etc. Whatever objects are felt to be sacred can be brought here. Flowers and candles may adorn
and honor the altar.
- Sandalwood paste made by rubbing in a circular
motion a piece of the wood on a flat stone wetted with Ganga water. Sandalwood powder diluted with the water can also be used.
If not available sandalwood oil may be used. Amount needed depends on the number of people attending. A little goes a long
- Puja tray placed within easy reach holding
lights and offerings.
- Offerings: 1. Small container and small
spoon (in India these are usually copper or brass) for holding Ganga water. *If Ganga water is not available use accessible
water and visualize drawing water out of the Ganges and placing it in your container. 2. Four flower heads. 3. Tiny bowl of
sandalwood paste. 4. One or more sticks of incense and incense holder. 5. Small light made from cotton and ghee, or a small
candle. 6. A bell. 7. Ghee lamp for the Arati with five lights, or a larger regular
candle. 8. Small dish with sweets- possible mixture of sugar, rice, raisins, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon.
- A small thin stick for moving and rearranging
- A hand towel, this can get messy sometimes.
- A mala for counting recitations of mantras.
- Prasad (divine gift of food, usually sweets)
can be distributed after the ceremony if wished.
Preparing for the Havan
performing any puja/ sacred ceremony you need to be bathed and dressed in clean clothes. The site of the havan should be cleaned
and made inviting for guests who might join. All implements used should also be cleaned and purified prior to the ceremony.
the kund in a central location, easy to be seen by participants. Place your cushion or seat close enough so that it is easy
to reach and work with the fire. Place around your seat in a way that is most convenient for you: a basket or some kind of
container for the cow dung broken into pieces or a supply of wood, matches, the puja tray filled with the offerings and lights,
the mala, a hand towel, and prasad ( always kept off the ground and covered for protection from ants if outside). Next to
the kund place the bowl of ghee and the spoon. The ghee can either be melted before the havan on a stove or once the fire
begins quickly place the bowl over it melting the ghee. Also have handy the thin stick for working with the fire. In the bottom
of the kund you may build up the small twigs, scattering among them small pieces of camphor and wooden matches. If the ghee
has already been melted, a few pieces of cow dung may be stood up surrounding the twigs, coating them with a few spoonfuls
Introducing the Havan
all the above mentioned has been put into place and the participants, if any, have arrived,
you may wish to explain the meaning of the havan to newcomers and have them look at the text in English. If the havan is being
performed with a particular prayer in mind, e.g. the long Medicine Buddha Mantra for healing on all levels, you might wish
to guide them in a brief meditation where they can become clear on their intention, or what blessing they wish. Names of people
needing healing or prayers for them may be written on small slips of paper and folded. These may be collected in a bowl and
when the long Medicine Buddha Mantra is chanted one paper is placed in the fire on each “SWAHA”. As you are already
adding ghee at this time and holding the mala counting, you might ask someone else to sit close to the kund and place the
papers in the fire. Explain that unless otherwise mentioned the following mantras are performed alone by the havan pujari.
Tending the Fire
fire can now be lit, with the matches and camphor igniting the wood. This initial fire will then ignite the ghee which will
then set off the cow dung or wood, whichever is used. During the havan whenever the syllables Swaha are chanted (usually at
the end of a prayer or blessing) a few drops of ghee must be then added to the fire. This is feeding the fire. Swaha means
“let it be” or that our prayer has been offered and is now relinquished to existence to manifest as it will. It
is offering the prayer with an open hand, not grasping for results. There are many “Swahas” throughout the course
of the havan, each Swaha receives a small
spoonful of ghee.
Guests also chant together with you
for each “Swaha”. While adding ghee keeps
the fire going you must also be aware of when it becomes necessary to add on fresh pieces of dung or wood. Sometimes more
oxygen is required and pieces need to be moved around to open up the fire. If it appears to be going out fanning the embers
can bring it back to life, but NEVER blow into the fire. Adding more ghee and lit matches also can help in those moments.
With practice you can become adept at spooning ghee and feeding and arranging the fire with your right hand and counting mantra
recitations on your mala with your left hand. By the time the Arati is finished the fire is no longer fed until the havan
has concluded and all remaining ghee lights, incense and sweets are placed in the fire left to burn to ash.
1. Purification Mantras
During the chanting, small spoonfuls of water are gently tossed out into the different directions
around the havan site as an appeal to purify the area. On the last line, during the word 'suchi' empty one spoonful over your
SARVA AVASTANGATO PI-VA
(Sipping of water for inner purification, a spoon of water is in the
2. OM KESHWAYA NAMAHA:
OM MADHWAYA NAMAHA:
OM NARAYANAYA NAMAHA:
OM HRISHIKESHAYA NAMAHA:
(Establishing the deities in the fire)
3. OM AGNIM LAXMI NARAYANAYA ESTHAP’YAMI
Each of the following may be chanted 1, 3 or 5 times. Offerings should be made with the right hand,
with the left hand touching the right hand or arm.
(Offerings to the fire and the deities)
4. OM SNANAM SAMARP’YAMI
(Cleansing and relaxing bath for the fire, a few drops sprinkled into the fire)
OM PUSHPAM SAMARP’YAMI
(Offer of flowers, place around the kund)
OM CHANDANAM SAMARP’YAMI
(Offer of sandalwood, tilak, flicking motion into the fire)
OM DOOPAM SAMARP’YAMI
(Offer of incense, gently wave around the fire)
OM DEEPAM DARSYAMI
(Offer of light, wave small light clockwise around the fire)
Ring the bell with the right hand. This signifies a calling for all allies and guides to give support,
and for all to Awaken.
- Ganesha Mantra
Om Parvati Pataye’
Hara hara hara Mahadev
Uma sutam shoka
(Chant call and response while holding a spoonful of water in the right hand, or directly cupping the
water in the palm of the right hand, the left hand is touching the right arm. After the last line release the water to the
He’ Paramatma apni jan kari
Tatha bhakti ka prakash karo
Avarandosh vikar ka ant karo
Annapurna Laxmi roopa ho kar
Sahej swa bhavik prakash karo
Tatha varanashram vedic
Strishti roop se vivashtitho
Iss prakar dhukantak khel ka anta
Sukantak khel ka prakash
Sarva sarvatra roop me ho kar
Sarva sarvatra roop ho kar karo
Apna Sankulp ap purna karo
Apna prakash ap karo
7. OM SRI GANESHAYA NAMAHA SWAHA
(Offer oblation to Ganesh, 5 repetitions)
OM SRI GURUVE NAMAHA SWAHA
(Offer oblation to Guru, 5 repetitions)
8. OM AMBE’ AMBIKE’ AMBALIKE’
SASTYSWAKAHA SUBHADRIKAM KAMPEEL VASHNEEM SWAHA
chants the mantras #9 through #12 together.
9. Gayatri Mantra 108x
OM BHUR BHUVAH SWAH
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM BHARGO
DEVASYA DHEEMAHI DHIYO YONAH
(Swaha is added at the end only during the havan)
*If this is a Medicine Buddha havan, chant the Gayatri 9x, then the long version
Medicine Buddha Mantra 98x
OM NAMO BHAGAVATE BHAISHAJYA GURU VAIDURYA PRABHA RAJAYA TATHAGATAYA ARHATE SAMYAKSAM BUDDHAYA TAYATA OM BEKHAJYE BEKHAJYE MAHA BEKHAJYE BEKHAJYE RAJAYA SAMUNGATE SVAHA
10. TAYATA OM BEKANDZE BEKANDZE
MAHABEKANDZE RADZA SAMUDGATE’ SOHA
If there are participants you can explain that you will first alone inwardly chant the
Guru Mantra and then outwardly “SWAHA”. They will come in following you chanting inwardly the Guru Mantra (or
OM SACHA if they wish) and then outwardly “SWAHA”. It moves very quickly and fluidly as a dance “SWAHA”,
“SWAHA”, and so on with almost no gap between them. You are quickly adding ghee with your right hand almost continuously
while counting on the mala with your left.
11. SEED Beej (Guru Mantra) 108x or OM SACHA - inwardly
12. GATE’ GATE’ PARAGATE’ PARASAMGATE’ BODHISWAHA (9 repetitions)
13. OM TAT PURUSHAYA VIDMAHI
MAHA DEWAYA DEMAHI
14. OM JOONG SAHSWAHA
(The waving of the lights clockwise around the fire. Chanted call and response)
ARATI SRI SACHA SWAROOPA KI
APA ROOPA ADA BHODA
NIJA BHODA ROOPA
PRARABDHA BHOOPA KI
PURUSHART ROOPA KI
SWAYAM SWAROOPA KI
ARATI SRI SACHA SWAROOPA KI
ARATI NIJA SATYA SWAROOPA KI
ARATI SRI SACHA SWAROOPA KI
All chant #16 and #17 together
16. OM SARBE BHAWANTU
SARBE SANTU NIRAMAYA
SARBE BHADRANI PASHANTU
MAHA KASHID DUKHA
17. OM POORNAM IDAHA
You chant the first parts of #18 alone and all come in with each “Jay Ho” or “Prakash
18. OM SRI SACHA MAHA PREBHU KI
PARAMATMA KI JAY
ANNAPURNA LAXMI KA
AGNIM LAXMI NARAYANAYA KI
AGNIM SWAROOPA KI
GURUDEV BHAGWAN KI
SRI SACHA MAHA PREBHU KI
You chant #19 alone. All chant #20
(Offerings to please Narayan and Laxmi. Gently toss small amounts of the sweets:
sugar, rice etc. into the fire on each repetition)
19. OM NARAYANA PAN MASTU
20. OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI
Inwardly, a universal prayer for awakening humanity
With the ring finger of the right hand place a tiny amount of sandalwood paste on each person’s
third eye (including yours). Prasad may then be distributed (with your right hand). Place the following in the fire: ghee
lights, remaining incense, flowers, sweets. Allow the fire to burn down completely turning all to ash. When the ashes have
cooled, those who wish may take them as a sacred remembrance of the havan, or the ashes may be sprinkled over a garden or
in a body of water.
1. All are blessed when remembering the lotus-eyed Vishnu, one becomes purified
and fit to perform puja.
2. We bow to Lord Vishnu in the form of Keshwa.
We bow to Lord Vishnu who killed the demon Madhu.
We bow to Lord Vishnu who reclines on a bed of Naga.
We bow to Lord Vishnu who is victorious over the senses.
3. We request and establish Goddess Laxmi and Lord Narayanin, the form of
Agnim by reciting this mantra.
4. We offer the fire this gift of a cleansing and relaxing bath.
We offer the fire this gift of flowers.
We offer the fire this gift of
We offer the fire incense for scent and purification of the
We offer the light as a medium between our heart, the fire
and the heart of
5. Ganesha Mantra
O elephant-faced god, Ganesha
You are served by the attendants of Shiva and you eat forest apples and blackberries. You are Uma’s
son, the destroyer of sorrows.
I bow to the lotus feet of
the remover of obstacles.
Oh Lord wake up, shine your light of love and wisdom upon the
Remove ignorance, evil, and the
veil of illusion.
As goddess Laxmi, provide the
food and plenty.
Fulfill the world with prosperity everywhere.
Establish harmony in society
according to the Vedas.
Withdraw the play of pain and
ignorance, and bring forth the joy of unity and understanding
within and without.
7. I pour oblation for Sri Ganesh,
the Lord of Obstacles.
I pour oblation for the Blessing of the Guru upon this puja.
8. Ambe’, Ambike’, Ambalike’ (three matrika shaktis),
bless this havan.
Lift our prayers into Brahma Lok,
We make offering to them.
9. Gayatri Mantra
Throughout all realms of experience
‘That’ essential nature illuminating existence
is the Adorable ONE.
May all beings perceive through subtle and meditative intellect,
the magnificent brilliance
of enlightened awareness.
Long version of the Medicine Buddha Mantra
Auspicious one! I prostrate to you, King of lapis lazuli, who has conquered the cycle of birth,
aging, sickness and death, who has gone to the state of the Buddhas, the supreme physician, who is perfectly awakened, the
enlightened One, Medicine Buddha, King of all physicians.
10. It is like
this…do away with illness, do away with illness, do away with the great illness…ignorance of “Truth”
Medicine Buddha, King beyond the highest, this prayer is relinquished to you
11. Seed Beej (Guru Mantra or Om Sacha)
12. Go! Go! Beyond, beyond the highest.
Beyond the highest Reality,
Beyond the highest degrees of enlightenment.
13. We pay respects to Rudrah
(the great god Shiva)
who appears as the cosmic man.
May the world receive his
May he preserve in maintenance
God‘s light in the hearts of men,
and protect us.
14. May we transcend death through divine understanding.
I wave the light to the divine form of the venerable truth.
You are within all forms as the
May our link never be broken.
The great truth is Self-realization, and is to be realized.
It is the master of nature. It is the master of all that is past and present in our lives.
It is the master of all activity.
The truth is all-encompassing and
everywhere at all times.
Let us wave the light to that truth.
Let us wave the light that we may realize God within ourselves.
16. May all beings be happy
May existence supply their needs
May all find God from within.
17. This is perfect That is
From the perfect springs the perfect
Take the perfect from the perfect
And only the perfect remains. (Perfect also means whole, complete, absolute)
18. The Line of Victory
(We recognize and revere all who support our great work)
Victory to the great Truth,
God within you.
Victory to ‘That’ which is
beyond all limits.
19. Offering of sweets for Narayan
20. In your life may there be
peace, peace, peace