The Pancha Yagna (also known as Pancha Maha Yagna) are:
Every family should perform the Pancha Yagna everyday. [+]
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 [+]
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
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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