Warm greetings to you and best wishes for a Happy Holidays. Lama D and I recently took part in a delightful and breathtaking ritual here in Bali. The purpose of the event was to clear negative energies in the earth and infuse it with divine love. It was held here at Keramas Sacred River Village. We did two evenings of chanting and prayer infused with the sound of divine bells, chimes, and Tibetan singing bowls. You can hear them in the video below. This is a traditional Balinese Hindu ceremony that is nowadays quite rare. The practitioners were very skilled and I felt fortunate to participate. The Agni Hotra Fire Blessing is a ceremony for purification and cleansing the world.
What is an Agni Hotra Ceremony?
This is an ancient fire tradition originating from the sacred Vedic Hindu texts. Agni means “fire” and Hotra means “healing”. This healing fire blessing is considered one of the highest Vedic rituals. Specially trained priests make offerings of ghee and grains into the fire while reciting Sanskrit mantras to invoke blessings of health and abundance. Participants are also invited to join the priests with offerings of rice into the fire, as symbol of divine light. The ritual is for energizing and purifying the environment, healing both the participants and those living in the area. It is an opportunity for everyone for renewal, to throw off all old negativity from the environment and the mind.
In Bali, the tradition of Agni Hotra in Bali is infused with animistic images from its deep roots of shamanism. The result is an uplifting ceremony that heals and transports gently to a loftier atmosphere you can inhabit all the time. We can heal the past, the future, the land, our memories, everything and everyone on the Earth.
We invite you to see our Agni Hotra ceremony to steep yourself in the atmosphere of this sacred tradition, experience its healing benefits and infuse in the spirit of Oneness.
This is the priest and leader of the Agni Hotra. His name is Ida Pandita MPU Saatya, the main person leading the chants.
The fire begins with ghee and offerings from the earth.
The priests chant blessings for Keramas Sacred River Village, the owners and the community.
Chanting and clapping to the traditional chants is part of the Agni Hotra ceremony.
As the chants increase and the fire grows larger, Ketut throws more offerings into the flames.
In the Bali tradition, we chant specific mantras for the Agni Hotra. These are powerful sacred texts in Sanskrit. We make offerings such as nuts, seeds, ghee and flowers, which we throw into the fire to set our intentions allowing the flames to radiate its power. During the ceremony, everyone receives a 3-color string bracelet (benang tridatu) of the symbolic colours red, white and black to protect from negative energy. This bracelet is worn until it loses itself and comes off. A coconut is used during the ceremony to represent the heart that must crack open to soften the selfish ego. As the fire grows in brightness, we make more offerings for the God of Fire, to clean and clear away problems, and to open ourselves to change.
Some of the mantras used in the Agni Hotra include:
- Om Gam Ganapataye Svaahaa – to invoke Ganesha, or the Faculty of Wisdom. Ganesha is also known as the Remover of Obstacles as well as the Lord of Obstacles. By invoking Ganesha, we affirm our faith in the Divine Wisdom, “Please remove all obstacles from my path, if this is the path I must tread; at the same time, do please create obstacles, should this be not the rightful course of action for me.”
- Om Suryaaya Svaahaa (for the morning ceremony)Om Agniye Namah (for the evening ceremony) – to invoke the Source of Energy within each one of us.
- Om Prajaapataye Svaahaa – to invoke Vishnu, the Eternal Preserver, in His Divine Form as the Caretaker of the Universe, “Endow me, o Lord, with the ability to share my blessings with one and all.”
- Om Hrim Krim Dum Durgaaya Svaahaa – to invoke Mother Goddess Durga, “Please burn all my negativities.”
- Om Hum Hanumate Svaahaa – to invoke Hanuman, “Please endow me with devotion and creativity.” (For more information, please refer to our book ‘The Hanuman Factor’)
- Om Shri Saai Naathaaya Svaahaa – honoring the Spiritual Mother, The Spiritual Father and Mother of the spiritual aspirants.
- Om Klim Klesha-Naashaaya Klim Phat Svaahaa – “Please remove all my inflictions, Sufferings, ill fate, etc.”
- Gaayatri Mahaa-Mantra – to bless us with the necessary intelligence and the ability to act discreetly and rightfully, while avoiding all unrighteous actions.
- Om Hrim Shrim Klim Krishnaaya Govindaaya Gopijanna-Wallabhaaya Svaahaa – “I seek refuge in Lord Krishna, the lord of all beings, the Beloved of all devoted souls, the Granter of Moksha or Ultimate Freedom, Liberation.”
After the ceremony, we all feel tired and also relieved. For some strange reason, during the ceremony many old difficult memories surfaced in my mind one after the next. I just took the opportunity and threw them into the fire. Whew! A beautiful experience.
For more information:
Keramas Sacred River Village