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Havan Kund Puja

This ritual outline comes from a traditional Hindu source. It is very basic, as it adheres to the classical Vedantic perspective that most ritual worship should be performed by trained priests. However, as it is simple, it makes an excellent introductory fire sacrifice for IndoPagans.
 
Please remember to always observe fire-safety regulations and common-sense when working with a live fire.

Indiayogi has received many requests for instructions on how to perform simple pujas with the havan kund. While pujas are best performed under expert supervision of a Brahmin who knows the rites and rituals, we could suggest a simple and extremely powerful space clearing puja that can be done at the times of sunrise or sunset.
 
This puja should not be done at any other time.
 
This particular puja is to be performed exactly at the stroke of sunrise or sunset. Ascertain the correct local time from the almanac or the local newspapers that usually provide this service. The fire is to be started up two minutes before the actual moment of sunrise or sunset so that it is burning brightly at the moment of offering.
 
You need to have four sets of three grains of rice each [unbroken ones!], which you offer into the fire repeating the mantras. The fire is to be made up of whatever material you feel is appropriate. Use agarbatti [incense sticks], camphor, paper, ghee [clarified butter], cotton, and above, all wood. Get wood from trees near your home, wash it well, dry it out and then offer the twigs and bark too as part of the fire. The real Agni Hayavadhana, god of fire who carries the intent and prayer to the spiritual realm, is always found in the wood.
 
Other traditional offerings in India normally include yoghurt, honey, sugar, flowers, fruits and herbs. Smudge sticks of the American native traditions consist of dried collections of sage, mint, pine, cedar, sweetgrass and so on. They are tremendously effective in this puja too. However, be warned that all organic offerings create large amounts of smoke, so have an open space to conduct it in.
 
The havan kund is not water-proof either, as the traditional design requires that excess liquid run out of the bottom. So do not place it upon an inflammable surface like wood or plastic tables. A stone platform or a small metal tripod or stool are ideal to place it upon and they clean up easily too.
 
 
Sunrise puja:
IMPORTANT: You must be facing the direction of the rising sun and it is best if you can actually see it coming up.
 
The mantras for the Sunrise puja:
Suryahah Swaha
 
While chanting this, make the first offering into the fire of the three grains dipped in ghee at the exact moment of sunrise. Hold the three grains between your thumb and third finger [ring finger] of the right hand and drop it into the flame each time.
 
Make the second offering while chanting
Suryahah Idam Namamah
 
Then, you offer the third set of grains while chanting
Prajapataye Swaha
 
And, the fourth set while chanting
Prajapataye Idam Namamah
 
Then you wait for the fire to die out naturally. Gaze into the leaping flames intently visualizing what you wish to accomplish for self and family. As the smoke swirls around mentally send it to all parts of the house, cleaning it of all negative energy.
 
The same procedure applies for the Sunset puja.
 
Sunset puja:
IMPORTANT: You must be facing the direction of the setting sun and it is best if you can actually see it setting.
 
The mantras for the Sunset puja:
Agneya Swaha
 
While chanting this, make the first offering into the fire of the three grains dipped in ghee at the exact moment of sunset. Hold the three grains between your thumb and third finger (ring finger) of the right hand and drop it into the flame each time.
 
Make the second offering while chanting
Agneya Idam Namamah
 
Then, you offer the third set of grains while chanting
Prajapataye Swaha
 
And, the fourth set while chanting
Prajapateye Idam Namamah
 
The rest as for the Sunrise puja. The Sunset puja is more likely to happen regularly. Try and make sure you will not be interrupted. There is no need to do so daily but whenever you feel the energies in the house are down or not good, do the puja. Fire is tremendously cleansing and energetic.
 
More complex pujas, as mentioned earlier, are best done under expert supervision.

OM GAM Ganapatiye Namaha! OM DUM Durgaye Namaha!

Devi Spring, author and compiling editor. Copyright Devi Spring 2006.