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Spirituality, Nature and the Offering.

by Yogi Baba Prem

 

Historically, spirituality and nature are one of the more consistent themes found in very ancient traditions.  Modern-day spirituality is slowing moving to embrace the concept of the sacred earth. Though this is commonly addressed in Greek terms such as Gaia, in the older traditions such the Vedas and even up to modern Hinduism, one would find terms such a Bhu, Bhumi, Bhudevi and Prithvi more commonly used.  As the foundation for yoga, the Vedas underscore the importance of our relationship with the sacred earth.  

 

While common in India, the Vedic/yogic/Hindu Yajna is not as commonly known in the west.  The yajna is a fire offering often consisting of ghee (clarified butter), seeds, herbs or herbal/plant-based formulas.  It is easy to dismiss the offerings as purely material offerings.  At this level of understanding, it is easy to miss the deeper message and teachings of the offerings.  To expand into a deeper understanding of the offerings, think of the fire offerings as representing various forms of energy (shakti) or spiritual power.  In this light, the offerings take on a deeper and more practical meaning within one’s life.  One might be so bold to say that the offering is an intention of strengthening the shakti within our being that the plant material represents.  The material is the physical manifestation, and it connects with an ethereal energy within the astral world.  The offering stimulates the astral energy and aid to bring it through to the physical body, strengthening the physical and/or mental bodies.  

 

This concept is beautifully reflected in a Vedic verse:

 

May these forces manifest within me, the vital essence, knowledge, the power of speech and the abounding force.  

 May I achieve mental clarity, nectar, food, divine companionship.

 May I achieve the shakti to make the effort, nourishing energy, conquest, and victory.

May I achieve wealth, riches, and growth and comfort 

May I achieve awareness of my all-prevailing essence, my lordship, and awareness of my true being.

 May I achieve completeness and plenitude and realization of imperishable nature.

 May I achieve this through small grains, food, and freedom from hunger.

 May I achieve this through rice, barley, and beans.

 May I achieve this through Sesame seeds, kidney beans, and vetches.

 May I achieve this through wheat and lentils.

 May I achieve this through millet and fine paddy.

 May I achieve this through grass and wild rice.  

KYVTS 4.7.4

 

In the last few lines, it becomes clear that the grains, etc. represent the various spiritual qualities the aspirant seeks (outlined in the initial lines.)  In light of the verse, the offering (samagri) can be seen in a new light and brings one more into the sacredness of action. More importantly, it illustrates the important subtle effects of ritual and its importance, not only in one’s spiritual well-being but the link between the physical and spiritual.   

 

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Yogi Baba Prem

  • Yogi Baba Prem has two books published in India, and has written numerous other books published by Universal Yoga. 

 

  • His articles have appeared in several traditional magazines and a variety of e-magazines.