Ahuti - the oblation offered in the sacrificial fire.
Akñata - unbroken rice grains mixed with tumeric, used in the svasti väcana.
Caru - oppulent, thick sweet-rice cooked with rice, milk, ghee, raisins, cashews, sugar, etc.; used as oblations in the yajïa. Before offering, plenty of warm ghee should be poured on the top.
Dakñiëä - the donation offered by the yajamäna to the priests who perform the sacrifice.
Dürva - a type of grass that is considered sacred and is praised throughout the Vedas and Puräëas.
Éçänakona - the North-East corner.
Khadéra - jackfruit wood.
Kuça - a sacred grass Agnikona - the South-East corner. used in Vedic ceremonies. The Puräëas mention that kuça is the bodily hair of Yajïa-Varäha.
Kuçandikä - the opening rituals of a yajïa.
Pradeça - a measurement of twelve fingers (aprox.nine inches) measured from the tip of the small finger to the tip of the thumb of the out-stretched palm.
Prokñana - païcarätrika method of purifying objects by sprinkling with sanctified water.
Saìkalpa - a vow or determination to please the Lord by the performance of a ceremony, in which the reciter promises to complete on a certain month, tithi, day, etc Agnikona - the South-East corner..
Udicya karma - the closing rites of a yajïa.
Viniyoga - when uttering any vedic mantra, as a rule one should first identify it by the åñi who preserved it, by the chandaù (metre), by the Deity being invoked in the mantra, and by the present application of the mantra. The purpose of this system is to guarantee that one understands the meaning, function, heritage and correct intonation of the mantra. This use of the viniyoga is optionally chanted during a ceremony, however, it will not be recited during performance of a yajïa according to the N Agnikona - the South-East corner.äräda Saàhitä.
Yajïa And Its Origins
“Yajïa” is the Vedic method of worshipping Viñëu by offerings of ghee, grains, spices, fruit, etc. into the sacred fire accompanied by the chanting of mantras. According to the Amar-koça, the word “yajïa” is derived from the Sanskrit root “yaja” - to worship. In the Puruña Sükta (Åg Veda 10.19.16), we read that when the demigods, after being created by the Lord, desired to worship Him through the system of yajïa. By their will and contemplation, they offered the Lord Himself as the first oblation for the creation of Agnikona - the South-East corner. the universe; this was the first yajïa (“yat puruñena haviñä devä yajïam atanvata”) and from it emerged the first elements of life (“täni dharmäni prathamän yä san”). Furthermore, the Puräëas describe how all yajïas have their basis in the Supreme Lord; “yajïa varähasya çaréram yajïatam ägat”, all varieties of yajïas emerged from the body of Yajïa-Varäha.
Yajïa involves the installation and worship of the fire-god, Agni. The first mantra of the Åg Veda addresses him as “Hota” or “the chief sacrificial Agnikona - the South-East corner. priest”. It is his service to act as the mouth of Viñëu, the consuming agent, who carries the offerings to the Lord. It is thus described, that the wood of the fire is Agnideva’s ears, the smoke his nostrils, the small flames his eyes, the coals his head and the fully blazing flames his tongue. Thus, the best offering is to Agni’s tongue.
The fire for the yajïa , may come from a brähmaëa's house (meaning from his daily household yajïa), from the lamp in the Deity-room, produced by the Agnikona - the South-East corner. chanting of mantra, churned from the araëi sticks or by placing camphor on a pure bell-metal plate and igniting it by the use of a magnifying glass directing light from the sun.
During the kuçandikä rites, for various ceremonies and saàskäras, different forms of Agni are called to carry the oblations to the Lord -
Viväha (marriage) - Yojaka Agni
Cathurthé Homa (establishing household yajïa) - Çikhi Agni
Dhåti Homa (conclusion of marriage)- Dhåti Agni
Puàsavana (rites to beget a male child) - Candra Agni
Sémantonnayanam (parting the wife’s hair) - Maìgala Agni
Çoñyanté Homa (rites before Agnikona - the South-East corner. childbirth) - Maìgala Agni
Näma Karaëa (name-giving ceremony) - Pärthiva Agni
Pauñöika Karma (ceremony for the child’s health) - Balada Agni
Anna Präçana (first grains) - Suci Agni
Cuòä Karaëa (hair cutting) - Satya Agni
Upanayanam (sacred thread)- Samüdbhava Agni
Samävartana (graduation from the gurukula before marriage)- Tejaù Agni
Udicya Karma (concluding rites of the yajïa)- Vidhu Agni
Västu Homa (entering or building a new residence)- Prajäpati Agni
Dékñä Homa (initiation)- Vaiñëavägni
Nitya Homa (daily Deity worship yajïa) - Vaiñëavägni
The maëòapa is the place where the yajïa-kuëòa is Agnikona - the South-East corner. situated and the ceremony will be performed. The maëòapa should be sprinkled with pure water, cleaned with a mixture of cow-dung and water and decorated with designs on the floor, banana trees, leaves, garlands, flags and “maìgala-ghaöas” (auspicious pots that have been installed by mantra) in the eight directions, and the four Vedas installed in pots in the four cardinal directions.
In the maëòapa a square pit is built measuring one “hasta“ (the distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, approx. 18 inches) with a one “muñ Agnikona - the South-East corner.öi“ (the width of the fist, approx. 3 inches) step on each side. The size of the kuëòa, according to convenience, may be larger depending upon the area available, the ceremony, number of guests, etc. The pit may be surrounded by one or three step walls. If a kuëòa cannot be constructed, one can perform the yajïa on a bed of sand of the same dimensions (this is known as a “sthandila“). In the Kåñëa Yajur Veda Saàhita it is stated:
vediç ca samamärjanoddananädibhiù saàskäraiù saàskåta bhümiù
“When Agnikona - the South-East corner. a yajïa-kuëòa is built, everything becomes well established - wealth, welfare, energy, health, and spiritual knowledge.”
The wood should be cut to the size of the kuëòa and some should be cut to one “prädeça” length (aprox. 9 inches). One should avoid using any type of second-hand wood (i.e. orange-crates and old chairs etc), wet wood, wood from a dirty place, wood contaminated by impure items, wood eaten by worms, wood with thorns, or wood with bitter, milky or sour sap (such as ném, banyan, or pine-wood).