Atyagnishtoma Mahasomayag was held from January 26-31st at the Homa Therapy Goshala in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, India, under the technical guidance of Fivefold Path Mission. This was the third in a series of seven such Somayags which are to be held at the Homa Therapy Goshala.
Somayag is a special medicinal Yajnya to be performed based on astronomic conditions. It would take an intelligent young person about twelve years to learn this technique with proper mantra chanting. The person has to follow strict disciplines. This Yajnya is called Somayag because soma juice is used as the main oblation. Soma is called the king of medicinal herbs. This special Yajnya provides a powerful boost of healing energy for the whole world. The beneficial effect of each of these Homas lasts for many years. Somayags make the atmosphere medicinal, nutritious and disease-free.
Generally speaking, Somayags are for the welfare of all, to bring balance to nature and the elements. The specific purpose of each of the seven Somayags is as follows:
- Agnishtoma–for the atmosphere
- Atyagnishtoma–for water
- Jyotirukta–for food
- Shodashi–for health
- Atiratra–longevity of life
- Aptoryam–well-being, prosperity of the whole society
- Vajpeya–peace of mind
These seven things comprise the essentials for all living things. The purposes of the Somayags are interrelated. For example, the Jyotirukta Somayag is for food, but this also includes atmosphere and water.
In watching the performance of Somayag, one is struck by the precise teamwork of the Somayag performers. Countless tasks and exact procedures are involved in preparing the altar areas, assembling and preparing the many tools and materials, and chanting and making offerings to fire.
Each pundit has specific responsibilities. Humorously, Somayagi Hari Bhau Apte commented, “Fire is a rich man. (The pundit who makes the offerings) is his cook. I am his chauffeur. And these (the rest of the pundits) are his personal assistants.” The varied duties are carried out in a spirit of devotion, unity and joy–an example to us all.