Although the word ‘yajna’ stands for ‘activity’, not all activities can be termed ‘yajna’. It is only those activities that lead to the purity of the physical body, of the senses, and of the ego, and those activities that are performed not because of any worldly desire but for the realization of the Ultimate Reality that are called ‘yajna’.
There was a time when yajna, in its real form, was respected by everyone. However, today because of the lack of deep knowledge, and the non-observance of the proper rules for performing rituals, yajnas retain just their outward form. A yajna performed within the parameters of the rules of the scriptures, and with devotion to the Lord, is the highest example of nishkam karma. This kind of karma does not cause bondage, while the bondages that already exist, are weakened (Gita 3.9 and 4.22). If a yajna is performed correctly then, at the end, Mahajnana, or Ultimate Knowledge, can be achieved.
The inspiration for the Atirudra Mahayajna first arose in the mind of Sw. Purnananda. With the co-operation of the Ashram sisters, and by Shri Shri Anandamayee Ma’s kheyal, the Atirudra Mahayajna, was completed in all perfection. Moreover, every person who was present at the Yajna, gained spiritually from it.
Shri Shri Ma said, “Such a yajna takes place in Satyuga.” She used to say, “Everything is in everything. Kaliyuga is in Satyuga, and Satyuga is in Kaliyuga. Shri Shri Ma also said, “A yajna such as this may have never taken place in the past and may not take place in the future.”
At the beginning of the Yajna, Shri Shri Ma said that I was to be the yajman of this Yajna, an honour that was granted to me only by Her grace. Shri Shri Ma’s kheyal, Sw. Purnanandaji’s resolve to do everything as perfectly as possible, and the co-operation of the Ashram sisters, all of which were evident from the beginning of the Yajna up to its purnahuti, were instrumental in the successful completion of this unparalleled Yajna. For this, Sw. Purnananda and the other brahmacharinis deserve our gratitude.
Where Purna-brahma-narayana is present in the form of Yajna-narayana, there is also present Puma, Puma, and Purna.
Those who want to perform a yajna will get much information and guidance from this book. May Bhagavan Ashutosh and Shri Shri Ma shower their divine blessings upon everyone! sarve bhavantu sukhinah sarve santu niramayah I sarve bhadr&i payantu ma kas’cidth4ikhabhag bhavet I I May all be happy! May all be without disease! May all perceive the auspicious! May no one partake of sorrow!
This book has been compiled by Rohini Purang based on the following sources:
1. Books: Akhanda Mahayajna by Gurupriya Devi, Shri Shri Anandamayee Charitable Society, Calcutta; Yagya-mimansa by Pandit Veniramsharma Gaur, Vaidik Pustakalaya, Varanasi; Atirudrayajna Mahotsava by Pandit Vamadeva Mishra, a booklet printed on the occasion by Shri Shri Ma Anandamayee Ashram, Kankhal
2. Articles: Rudratatva tatha Rudrayajna by Km. Gauri Banerjee, Ma ka Aishwarya by Km. Gunita, Ma ka Punya Smaran by Shri Kamlapati Tripathi, The Ati Rudra Mahayajna at Kankhal by Shri R. K. Baneijee, all of which appeared in Ananda Varta, as well as Dr. Padma Misra’s unpublished, handwritten article.
3. Recollections of a few participating pandits: Dr. Vyas Mishra, Dr. Rama Krishna Mandalikar (Munnuji), Dr. Kailash Chandra Sharma Dave, Dr. Hridaya Ranjan Sharma, Dr. Narayan Mishra, Dr. Kimj Behari Pande, Shri Om Prakash, and Shri Ambarish Kala.
4. Further inputs from the members of the Atirudra Mahayajna Committee, as well as Smt. Vamadeva Mishra, Dr. Patanjali Mishra, Dr. Surya Narayana Nanda, and Dr. Balaji Satpathy.
An Atirudra Mahayajna was conducted in the year 1981, in the presence of Shri Shri Anandamayee Ma, and with her blessings, in the Shri Shri Ma Anandamayee Ashram in Kankhal. It commenced on the 6th of May, which was the Shuklapaksha Tritiya of the month of Vaisakh, also called Akshay Tritiya2, and conduced eleven days later, on the 16th of May. This Yajna was conducted with the aim of seeking the blessings of Rudra3 for the welfare of all Creation.
Several mahatmas, heads of religious organizations, and hundreds of devotees and religious-minded people attended this function. The pradhanacharya4 , Pandit Vamadeva Mishra, along with a hundred and thirty-fourother ritviks5 , conducted the pujas and havans that formed a part of this grand ritual-worship of Rudra. Accompanied by the mantras of the Rudra Ashtadhyayi6, the yajman7, Brahmachari Bhaskarananda, and the ritviks offered oblations into the eleven kundas8 of tle specially constructed Sushlisht mandap9. Those who carried out the rituals, as well as others who were involved in their preparation and organisation, took utmost care tosnaintain the highest possible standards of scriptural accuracy and ritual purity at all times. These two factors are extremely vital for the efficacy of karmakanda, or the ceremonies and rituals prescribed in the Vedas.
Emphasising upon the uniqueness of the Yajna, Ma said, “A Yajna like this takes place in Satyuga. You all have seen many big yajnas in the past and will see many in the future, but you may not be able to see one like this. Many yugas pass but a Yajna like this cannot be seen. A yajna such as this may have never taken place in the past, and may not take place in the future. You all are very fortunate that you are present in this Yajna. Whoever has come to have darshan of it has some connection with it.” Ma said many other things too, on other occasions, which indicated the great ritual, spiritual and religious significance of this Yajna.
The proximity of the Anandamayee Ashram to the ancient Daksheshwar Templet° in Kankhal was of Significance too. Shankaracharya Abhinavsachchidananda Tirtha, head of the Dwarika Sharada Peetha arid a special invitee to the function, remarked that by honouring Shiva in this Yajna, Ma had done something that Daksha1’ had failed to do at his yajna in ancient times.
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