Angels and demons reside within each one of us. When we fuel the positive or negative traits in us, they transpose as our character eventually contributing to our personality.
For instance, the Hindu way of living believes that we feed strength to our Gods which happen to be the goodness in us through Yagas and Yajnas.
The Gods who have to be pleased could be either forces or nature or could be presiding over various qualities that we desire to acquire. During these times, the performer of the Yajna follows certain disciplines.
He has to be truthful, abstain from alcohol and cooked food, uphold integrity, and espouse celibacy, apart from reposing faith and belief in the action that he has proposed to perform.
In other words, the Yajaman, the performer of the Yajna cleanses himself physically, mentally and spiritually before setting out to empower the Gods or the natural elements, who actually reside within him.
Then an individual or a team of Yajniks, light a ceremonial fire in a spot which is conducive and feed it with Havis. Havis, is usually pure ghee sourced from cow’s milk cream and is poured in to feed the sacrificial fire.
This action is accompanied by appropriate acoustics by way of mantras invoking the Gods or the forces of nature in a sincere manner. When this action is performed for a couple of hours over a few days, the smoke emanating from the fire and the complementary sound bytes will have an effect on the overhanging clouds. They will get charged which will result in rains.
The periodic rains in an agricultural society will ensure bumper crops. This in turn will usher in prosperity followed by contentment, peace and harmony. Naturally the citizens of the country who live in such an atmosphere will develop a penchant for the development of self and society. Arts, science and commerce will thrive, paving the way for a better standard of living.
The logic behind Yagas and Yajnas has been lost on us for lack of comprehension. Even if people who do understand the underlying principle perform them by the book, the altered environment punctuated with pollution and deforestation seldom fetches the desired results.
However, the new age should not deter us from feeding the God within us.
Yajna can be interpreted as a metaphor. It is an exercise which can help understand that the means are as important if not more as the ends we hope to arrive at. Any project taken up with discipline, passion and perseverance is equivalent to a Yajna which is perfectly capable of delivering the results we look forward to achieve.