A Homam is a ritual peformed with fire. It is also called “Havan”or “Yajna”. Our body is considered to be made up of five elements – Earth, Fire, Water, Sky and Wind. Of these, “Fire” is considered as the symbol of energy which brings forth creation and life. Hence, worship of “Fire” or “Agni” has been practiced by our ancestors since the Vedic ages. It is believed that Gods come into the fire and receive the prayers and offerings that are poured into the sacred fire.
All of us are endowed with a Gross body i.e the one that can be seen and felt as well as a subtle body which functions within. The body has many fires burning within. There is the “Jathara Agni or the digestive fire which helps to digest all the food that is ingested. There is also the “Bhuta Agni” which is the inner transformative power – it can be thought of as a fire that helps to digest all the mental/emotional learning that we take in. The subtle body is sustained by the Bhuta Agni which then helps to attain spiritual awakening.
Over time, the “Bhuta Agni” is weakened due to clogs caused by feelings such as desire, anger, greed, ego, lust and jealousy. This needs to be cleaned by spiritual thought, one-pointed devotion, positive emotions such as love, compassion and generosity. It is considered that the “Homam” or ritual with the external fire helps to strengthen/rekindle and energize this “Bhuta Agni” towards the spiritual goals.
Lord Ganesha is always worshipped before starting any Pooja or Homa and on all auspicious occasions. Lord Ganesha is also known as ‘Vigneshwara’ [vigna + Eswara] which means the lord who removes all obstructions (Vighna). Lord Ganesha or Mahaganapathi is believed to remove obstacles not only in the material world but also in one’s spiritual progress. Mahaganapathi is also worshipped as a very important deity for Kundalini awakening and Kundalini rise, which is the first step in self-realization. The Mahaganapathi homam is performed by people desiring progress in various material pursuits as well as those seeking liberation and spiritual awakening.
Ganapathy Homam should be performed in the early morning and Poornahuthi to be offered during sunrise. To perform Ganapathy Homam the following materials are required – Ghee, Modhaka (a kind of sweet prepared with coconut, jaggery and rice flour or wheat flour), durva (a kind of grass). The Ahuti / offering into the fire is called Ashta Dravya which is a mixture of the following eight materials – 1.Coconut, 2.Banana, 3.Honey, 4.Sugarcane, 5.Ghee, 6.Modhaka, 7.Jaggery, 8.Puffed rice.
The detailed procedure for the Homam is now available in our site in multiple Indian scripts (Thanks to Aksharamukha transliterator). Please see the links below for the pdf file of your choice:
While it is good to follow the procedure faithfully, what is even more important to offer ones “Ego” to be melted into the sacred fire. Complete devotion and single-minded focus on deity/mantra/procedure and burning one’s ego leads to full satisfaction and peace on performing the Homam.