Significance of Pujas, Homas, Yagnas, and Chanting in Today's Life

There are two types of knowledge - Para Vidya and Apara Vidya. Apara Vidya includes homas, yagnas, and mantras (chants) and Para Vidya includes meditation and grace. Death can be postponed through Apara Vidya, while immortality can be attained through Para Vidya. That is why both are required in life.

Para Vidya can be attained only through grace. This does not mean that we have to perform the yagnas ourselves. It is alright if we just sit in the yagnas with some devotion in our heart. E.g., when we want to fight a case in the court, we don't fight it ourselves. What do we do? We sign the papers, and give the case to a lawyer who knows the rules, and fights on our behalf. Don't we do this?
Similarly, we only take the sankalpa in yagnas; the rest of the work is done by the knowledgeable pundits, who do the chanting and the rituals. But the benefits of yagnas is only when there is a meditative atmosphere!

Have you noticed, there is such a big difference in the pujas that happen here and at other places? Pujas happen in so many temples, but people don't go into meditation, they don't meditate. When you don't meditate, then the puja has no impact. That is why it is written in the Vedas, "Yo jagara tam richa kamayante, yo jagara tam u samani yanti", which means -- the Samaveda mantras run towards those who are awake in their consciousness, who do sadhana, who meditate, and do kriya; mantras work for these people.

All of you must have attended pujas and satsangs earlier. Did you start enjoying them after you started doing Sudarshan Kriya or not? Many of you have started enjoying bhajans (devotional songs) after doing kriya and meditation. Do you know why? This is because, when your consciousness has opened up and you have experienced the inner space, then you immensely enjoy the mantras and bhajans.

Similarly, when you heard the Samaveda, many of you started feeling meditative. This is because wherever meditation happens and where a Guru is present, there is a significance to the yagnas and homas happening there.

We should follow a bit of rituals but we don't need to get involved in it deeply. Did you understand this? If you don't do certain rituals correctly it can also have the opposite impact. That is why it is important that only the people who are well trained conduct the ritual.