Homam is a Sanskrit word which typically means performing spiritual prayers or making offerings to fire. In many places, homam is known as Havan or Yagnam. As per Hindu mythology, homam is a way - to renounce one's sins, to acquire peach of mind and to get a special purpose fulfilled. An individual or group of individuals can perform an homam depending on the kind of homam being undertaken. The ritual of Homam dates back to almost 5000 years when various well-versed sages and saints taught the significance and process of homam to purify body, mind and soul. Fire is believed to form an integral component of worshipping in Hinduism. As the holy smoke from a Homa permeates our dwellings, it not only eradicates all ill effects and negativity from such dwellings, but it also brings with it peace, happiness, prosperity wealth and contentment. A significant aspect of Homa is the mantra uttered by priests while performing the ritual. They ask the performer of the Homa to offer the ahuti or puja material into the fire and to chant "idam na mama "meaning this is not mine. When the possessive mama, meaning mine is eradicated from our thinking ahankar or ego too gets destroyed. This is the essence of Sanatana Dharma. It appeals to man to forsake his self-centeredness and offer himself to the service of others. Over the course of history, the Homa has spread out from the Indian subcontinent into several different religious cultures and in addition to south Asia, it is also found in central Asia, East Asia, South-East Asia as well as now in Europe and America.
The practice of homam was started to perform worship to a particular God and Goddess for getting desires fulfilled or improve the state of well-being for self or family. The procedure of performing a homam might differ depending upon the deity and occasion but generally, the major characteristics like chanting of the mantras, kindling and consecrating the fire, invoking of one or more deities, form the major components of a homam ritual. In Hinduism, any major activity, such as buying a new house, laying the foundation for a new business, naming a child, acquiring wealth and house prosperity and even having a marriage is done while performing a homam.
A priest or group of priests generally facilitate a homam. Homam is performed in a square-shapedHavan Kund which is made up of bricks (Vedi) and a holy fire is lit up inside it. All the devotees and priests sit around the fire. The priest chants mantras and offers samagris to the fire. A samagri is a sacred offering which is made up of various natural herbs and pure products. The homam samagri is considered as the food for deities for whom a homam is being performed. It is believed that while chanting mantras during a homam and making offerings to the fire, a special energy is created in the environment through which one can re-energized the chakaras which eventually help in rejuvenating body and alleviates peace of mind. It is also beneficial in purifying the atmosphere in and around the homam location.
The human race has always been intrigued by the presence of a divine superpower that forms the very basis of its existence. Offering prayers or worshipping is an act of showing gratefulness or being thankful to the supreme almighty for giving this life. As per Hindu mythology, there are millions of ways a life can exist on this planet. Getting born as a human being in itself is a once in a million-years opportunity given to human by God.
Pooja literally means "honour." This is important, because the practice and beliefs behind puja involve not just a formal veneration of the Gods and Goddesses, but also signifies entering into a particular sort of relationship with them. Puja involves the reception and honouring a deity. Through pooja, a personal relationship, often a very affectionate relationship, is formed with God. It also helps in restoring our faith and detaching us from harmful worldly materialistic things. So, it is imperative to value the life that has been given to you by almighty and pooja is a subtle way of thanking him. In the moments of despair, one seems to remember God. But in an ideal situation, one should be praying Gods on all sort of days, good or bad, ugly or beautiful, dark or bright as everything is owned and created by God. Fundamentally, pooja involves bhakti, in that one must approach and treat God with selfless love; indeed, this is the way in which bhakti is most typically put into practice. There is a purpose that we exist, and offering prayers bring us closer to our purpose and help in attaining nirvana.
Over the centuries, our ancestors have been performing pooja through different ways. Some through yagnas, homam, japam etc. To be spiritual is the way of life. Moments aligned in the service of God fill us with positivity and make our conscience active. In a pooja ceremony, we use certain objects, mantras and methods of worship. Outwardly, they are meant to propitiate or appease the deity who is being worshipped. Inwardly, they are meant to establish a deeper connection with him and earn his grace. The idea is that by using them in our worship we gain the grace and goodwill of God. The offerings to God should not also be made for personal gain but to express love and devotion without any specific objective. The significance of a pooja gets enhanced when performing with proper rituals and procedures as mentioned in our ancient mythology.
At Mookambika temple, there are various poojas and homam once can undertake to relinquish pain, difficulties, illness and achieve a state of well being and happiness. To find a predicament from misery, once can offer extensive prayers at Mookambika temple, as it is believed that Goddess Mookambika fulfils all the desires and wishes of her true devotes. One can obtain the services of old temple purohit or priests who have vast and widespread knowledge of pertinent chants and mantras related to a specific pooja or homam. The pious environment and positive energy of the temple make it easy for creating a resonating series of mantras which provide peace and ensure the authenticity of the ritual.