The Pañcamahāyajñas – A General Study
According to the Vedic tradition and culture, yajña literally means sacrifice, devotion, worship, offering etc. In the various scriptures of the Vedic literature, the Vedic sacrifices are described in detail. From the ancient Vedic times the five daily observances or sacrifices were prescribed as the Pañcamahayajñas. The combinations of five great sacrifices are called here the Pañcamahayajñas pañcanam mahayajñanam samahara pañcamahayajñam . The Satapatha Brahma a and Taittiriyara yaka mention about the Pañcamahayajñas at length while these five great yajñas take a very important place in the G hyasutras and the Dharmasutras. These five great sacrifices should be performed daily by householders which have some importance of the Indian cultural heritage as well as the Vedic traditions. They are viz., the Brahmayajña, i.e. the worship of Brahman or knowledge the Devayajña, i.e. the worship of gods the Bhutayajña, i.e. the worship of other beings the Pit yajña, i.e. the worship to ones forefathers the Manu yayajña, i.e. the worship to fellow humans. These above five daily sacrifices are performed very easily by the householders, i.e. Brahmayajña is done by the daily recitation of the Vedic texts, Devayajña is by offering the oblation to gods through Agni Bhutayajña is by giving food and other needful things to the animals, birds, insects etc. Pit yajña is by offering rice pi am or water to the forefathers Manu yayajña is by serving or helping other human being. The performances of these great Pañcamahayajñas have signified the value and ethics of humanity during the Vedic civilization, which are still relevant in the modern society. This research paper is a general study about to know the significance of the five great Vedic sacrifices and their relevance in the modern society and a comprehensive description has been aimed at.