Pancha Yagna-Worshipping Our Providers

Pancha Yagna. Image showing - Deva Yagna, Pitr Yagna, Bhuta Yagna, Manushya Yagna, Bramha Yagna.Pancha Yagna (clockwise, from centre) - Deva Yagna, Pitr Yagna, Bhuta Yagna, Manushya Yagna, Bramha Yagna. (Ramanarayanadatta astri)

The Pancha Yagna (also known as Pancha Maha Yagna) are:

  1. Deva Yagna (worship of Devas)
  2. Pitr Yagna (worship of ones forefathers)
  3. Bhuta Yagna (worship of other beings)
  4. Manushya Yagna (worship of fellow humans)
  5. Bramha Yagna (worship of knowledge)

Every family should perform the Pancha Yagna everyday. [+]

How does one worship each of these five ?

Giving is the mode of worship.

Offering to Devas through Agni is Deva Yagna.

Offering rice (pindam) or water to our forefathers is Pitr Yagna.

Giving food and other needful to animals, birds, insects, etc is Bhuta Yagna.

Giving whatever one has to fellow beings is Manushya Yagna.

Offering ones knowledge to others as well as learning for self is Bramha Yagna [+]

Why do Pancha Yagna ?

1. To make up for our everyday himsa

Everyday we do himsa (violence) during our cooking, cutting, etc. To make up for these unavoidable himsa, one should do the Pancha Maha Yagna. [*]

2. To express our gratitude

Our well being is dependent on these five entities.

It is the blessing of the Devatas, that we are able to live on Earth.
(We are unable to live on Mars or on Venus or even on the Moon). So, we should express our gratitude to the Devas by doing Deva Yagna.

It is due to our parents and forefathers, that we have this body. So, Pitr Yagna is an expression of our gratitude to them.

We are dependent on a daily basis to living beings as big as the cow for its milk and as small as the bacteria for converting the milk to curd.

It is the fruits of our fellow beings' work that we enjoy - ranging from
the food on our plates to the internet on our hands !

Knowledge, be it on the material level or on the spiritual level, is
what enables us to reach our goals. 

So, these five entities deserve our gratitude.

3. To please, to be pleased and be Supreme

Krishna says in the Gita:
“By worshipping the Devas, the Devas are pleased, who in turn please us. Thus, in the process of pleasing each other,
we become the Supreme.” [#]

Krishna says this to illustrate the value of Deva Yagna.
This holds true for the other four kinds of worship too. Hence, this five part daily worship is a path to the Supreme.

[+] Apastamba Dharma Sutra 1:4:12:15
[*] Manu Smriti 3:68-69
[#] Bhagavad Gita 3:11

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