Ashram Activities

ASHRAM ACTIVITIES

 Agnihotra

Agnihotra is a healing fire from the ancient science of Ayurveda. It is a process of purifying the atmosphere through a specially prepared fire performed at sunrise and sunset daily. Anyone in any walk of life can do Agnihotra and heal the atmosphere in his/her own home. Thousands of people all over the world have experienced that Agnihotra reduces stress, leads to greater clarity of thought, improves overall health, gives one increased energy, and makes the mind more full of love. It is a great aid to drug and alcohol deaddiction. Agnihotra also nourishes plant life and neutralizes harmful radiation and pathogenic bacteria. It harmonizes the functioning of Prana (life energy) and can be used to purify water resources.
 
Agnihotra is an ancient science given in Sanskrit language at the time of creation. Sanskrit was never anyone’s mother tongue; it is a language of vibration. We can make changes in the atmosphere with Sanskrit mantras and fire prepared with specific organic substances, timed to the sunrise/sunset biorhythm. The fire is prepared in a small copper pyramid of specific size and shape. Brown rice, dried cowdung (manure) and ghee (clarified unsalted butter) are the substances burned. Exactly at sunrise or sunset the mantras are spoken and a small amount of rice and ghee is given to the fire. There is not just energy from the fire; subtle energies are created by the rhythms and mantras. These energies are generated or thrust into the atmosphere by fire. This, in addition to the qualities of the materials burned, produces the full effect of this healing HOMA (healing fire). Much healing energy emanates from the Agnihotra pyramid.
 
Tremendous amounts of energy are gathered around the Agnihotra copper pyramid just at Agnihotra time. A magnetic-type field is created, which neutralizes negative energies and reinforces positive energies. Therefore, a positive pattern is created by one who does Agnihotra merely by his/her performance. Agnihotra purifies the atmosphere of pollutants and neutralizes harmful radiation. The resultant atmosphere gives nourishment to plant life.
 
Agnihotra and Plants: The ghee is thrust into the atmosphere and attaches itself to the molecular structure of the soil, allowing the soil to retain more moisture. Plants grown in Agnihotra atmosphere are better able to withstand droughts. Agnihotra causes a change in the cellular structure of the plant which sends more nutrients to the fruit of the plant and less to the leaves, stem and roots. Many people have found that the size, taste, texture and yield of fruits and vegetables grown in Agnihotra atmosphere are superior. Performance of Agnihotra in the garden reduces pest problems and organic gardening and farming are made easier by using Homa (healing fire) techniques.
 
Medicinal properties of Agnihotra: Agnihotra renews the brain cells, revitalizes the skin and purifies the blood. It is the holistic approach to life. Many people who are normally allergic to smoke experience a healing effect by sitting in Agnihotra atmosphere. The healing effects of Agnihotra are locked in the resultant ash. Thousands of people in different parts of the world have experienced wonderful healings of all types of ailments by using Agnihotra ash.        

Kirtan

Kirtan is a form of devotional chanting whose roots go back over 500 years to India. It is a form of Bhakti Yoga (yoga of devotion) and has the power to open the heart. The singing is accompanied by musical instruments and rhythmic drumming and the audience is encouraged to participate by chanting, clapping and dancing. You will not be able to resist the urge to join in! In its heartfelt expression kirtan can induce profound states of meditation, bliss and ecstasy.

There is a sweet sound vibration that permeates through all layers of coverings and makes God dance. That sound vibration is Kirtan. It is a mysterious connection that draws people to each other.
In a simple word, Kirtan is relief. It has been described as the beating of the heart of the soul. For the twenty-first century person living in the west, life is all about the pursuit of happiness. We are guaranteed life and liberty, but kirtan is the means and end toward achieving the happiness that people are searching for. Through the chanting of the names of God, kirtan awakens the soul to its natural position, connects with God, clears the heart of all the distractions that can stress one living in this high tech age, and at the very least, make a person feel better about their day through the wonderful music.

Kirtan is not exclusive to simply those in Indian attire or those who practice yoga. Anyone can join in at any time and joyfully sing along, clap their hands and become a key musician to this age-old art form. We strive to awaken the entire world to Kirtan. It can be performed anywhere that someone is willing to do it. A willingness to perform the Kirtan is the only requirement. Kirtan is a scientific study in the pursuit of happiness. If by the end of a thirty minute kirtan, one feels happier, then it has been a success.

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga means to perform work to the best of our ability and with awareness, without being overly attached to the outcome or the results (or to the fruits, the term used in Yoga and in the Bhagavad Gita (The Bhagavat Gita is the classical text on Karma Yoga). Ideally, moment to moment, work is an end in itself, the sense of self-importance diminished and work is done more and more without the obsessive sense of ‘me’, ‘I’ and ‘mine’. One becomes an instrument of action.

In fact, Karma Yoga flies in the face of what we have been conditioned to expect from work since the day we were born: payment, a pat on the back, self-expression, a sense of achievement. Yoga is not saying that we shouldn’t be paid, nor that we shouldn’t enjoy our work or develop our talents. All this is a natural part of life.

Karma Yoga is doing, but with a difference: it is doing to the best of our ability, with awareness, whilst being in the present moment, without attachment to the outcome of our actions. Easy to say, difficult to do! But, despite our imperfections, limitations and weaknesses, we can, at least, aspire and try.
A person who performs actions with attachment uses any means which serve his, or her, purpose and, in this selfishness, tends to cause unnecessary harm to others. People on the path of Karma Yoga may appear to be goal-orientated like everyone else, but inside they are peaceful since they are unattached.
KarmaYoga is very effective in:

  • Going beyond the ego
  • Removing mental and emotional blockages
  • Developing will and concentration
  • Living slowly in full awareness

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