The Vedas

 

Rig Veda

Together with creation certain laws developed to safeguard a life of harmony, abundance and peace on earth. The knowledge of these laws was heard once upon a time by wise rishis (seers) and passed on orally until it was captured in written form. This is how the Vedas emerged. The word Vedas comes from the Sanskrit root ‘Vid‘ and means knowledge.

The altogether four books that comprise the Vedas are regarded as the oldest treasure of knowledge known to mankind and are a world-wide heritage. The Vedic hymns were incorporated by UNESCO in 2003 into the collection of masterpieces of oral and immaterial heritage of mankind. Furthermore, in 2008 they were included in the representative list of the immaterial cultural heritage of mankind.

In the Vedas and in the Vedic literature profound secrets about all processes of life are revealed. For example, various scientific disciplines, such as the history of mankind, physics, medicine (Ayurveda), biology, astronomy, mathematics, sociology, psychology and philosophy are discussed. The elements and various types of energy are described alongside a path for the harmonious functioning of elements and energies. In addition, the Vedas contain ethical and moral principles and guidelines for the correct handling of higher powers and for the right devotion towards God.

Among other things, the Vedic sciences consist of the knowledge that all that is manifest is ultimately based on vibrations and therefore connected. Because of this it is possible to influence everything positively through the right resonance. Fire techniques (Homa, Yajna) are very significant in that respect. Fire has always been a medium between humans and the higher powers that influence our wellbeing.

The terms ‘Agni’ and ‘Hotaram’ as we know them through Agnihotra are already mentioned in the first line of the Rig Veda, the first book of the Vedas. The fire rituals are however not described in the way of technical instructions. The Vedas are complete knowledge. In the form of sound, they are the structures of consciousness and creation and arise from a high consciousness with the highest ethical code. The transmission of the high vibrations is paramount. The Vedas can and should only be transmitted to the practical level by individuals with the appropriate consciousness. It is therefore understandable that the Fivefold Path given by Shree as the quintessence of the Vedas should not be seen as mere theoretical instruction, but as a path of practice.

 

 

 

 

अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं
यज्ञस्य देवम् ऋत्विजं
होतारं रत्न धातमम्

Vedas and Mantras

The Sanskrit letterings correspond to the sounds that the human oral cavity can produce. This should guarantee a reproduction of the sounds that is as correct as possible. The emphasis with mantras is on sound, with which high vibrations are consciously created. When translated, the mantric meaning is reduced to match individual understanding and the corresponding state of consciousness. Vibration however works on the entire Being, no matter if human, animal, plant or stone.

 
 

The revival of the Vedas and of Agnihotra

 

Thousands of years ago, fire ceremonies (called Yajña or Homa in Sanskrit) were performed almost all over the world. Ancient lore and remnants of fire temples testify that fire ceremonies were a natural part of spiritual life. Among other things, these fire ceremonies served to express deference to a higher energy and order, with full knowledge that they were.

The knowledge around yajnyas, as well as many other aids and laws were written down at some point, and so the Vedas emerged. With the passing of time, they however vanished more and more into obscurity.

The revival of the Vedas was so extraordinary that it almost reads like a mythological narrative.

It was at the beginning of the last century that a wise Indian man named Bhao Saheb Shingavekar perceived the decay of spiritual life. He knew that the rejection of the eternal spiritual laws would eventually lead to catastrophic outer circumstances. He thought that to bring about a turn of events, it was necessary for a divine being to be born through a particularly pure mother. To this end, he started an intensive recitation of the Gayatri mantra, which he repeated for over two million times. As a result, the Divine Light in the form of the supreme being Gayatri appeared to him and promised to be born as his daughter. Gayatri is also deemed to be the Mother of the Vedas. About a year later, a girl was born and named Sonamata (Sona = gold) because of her golden radiance.

When she was at the appropriate age, Sonamata was married to Laxman Rajimwale. Both dedicated their entire lives to spiritual practices and to serving others. Sonamata was told in a vision that she would give life to the ‘Light of the Universe’. On 17th May 1918, she gave birth to a son who was named Gajanan Maharaj (mostly called Shree in short).

 

 

Shree Agnihotrapot

Already at the age of seven, Shree started to practice intensive spiritual disciplines, which he continued doing for the rest of his life. In 1944 he realized through a vision that the knowledge of the eternal spiritual laws that are grounded in the Vedas were about to become extinct. Therefore, he took an oath

“I will resuscitate the Vedas.”

After taking his oath, he was shown five guidelines, which comprise the quintessence of the Vedas in a simple way that can be followed by anyone. Later, these guidelines were called the “Fivefold Path“. One of these guidelines is Yajnya (Yajῆa). It is the umbrella term for fire ceremonies, of which Agnihotra is the most fundamental.

Through his presence and spiritual disciplines, Shree generated the necessary energy for this knowledge to spread. Soon enough people arrived who were ready to start the practical implementation of this task. Among them was Mr Mahanubhav Madhavji Potdar (1915-1974), generally known as Potdarsaheb, who reached Shree in 1954. Following his instructions, on 22nd February 1963 a priest called Shri Hiralal Sharma conducted the first Agnihotra in the form in which it is known on a worldwide basis today.

Potdarsaheb started with the propagation and prompted the first scientific research into Agnihotra – with spectacular results. Findings included the ascertainment of the bacteriostatic effect, the measuring of a stress-reducing impact, the positive influence on farming, health, mind, etc.

The global distribution took place from 1972 through Shri Vasant Paranjpe (1921-2008). Shree instructed him to pass on his words to people all over the world. From that moment on, until almost the end of his life, Shri Vasant travelled across each and every continent of the Earth while experiencing Shree’s constant guidance throughout.

In this way, he was guided to Germany and to Horst Heigl in 1974, who subsequently travelled to visit Shree in India straightaway. Several years later, Horst received instructions from Shree to train people in the Fivefold Path. He did this first privately, and later publicly at the Homa-Hof Heiligenberg. And so the Homa-Hof grew to be a centre for the dissemination of Shree’s work.

Further information:

The life and work of Shree is so extraordinary and remarkable that we created a website especially for it:
param-sadguru-shree-gajanan-maharaj.com

Two picture books about Shree’s main places of activity called Akkalkot“ und „Shivapuri“, which attend extensively to his life and work, also came into existence.

The Fivefold Path

 

At a time when the various religions often seem like irreconcilable opposites, the Fivefold Path has been given as an aid to enable a worldwide connection and better understanding. The guidelines of the Fivefold Path have been revealed to Shree as the quintessence of the millennia-old Vedas. Except yajnyas, these guidelines can essentially be found in every religion.

By focusing on these basic principles, we will be able to bridge today's antagonisms and to create a better world. The fire techniques (yajnyas) can be a connecting link between us all to clean and heal our planet together.

 

Agnihotra

 

1. Yajnya (Sanskrit: yajña, fire techniques)

Purification of the atmosphere in the visible and the invisible ranges by means of fire

All creatures on earth need air, water and food to live. But these resources are often polluted, which is a cause of many diseases.

The Vedas do not only emphasize the duty to keep one's life pure, but they also mention how an additional purification is possible. The purification primarily concerns the atmosphere, including the subtle aspect which influences our mind.

This purification process is possible through fire. Fire techniques were once known all over the world. However, their correct performance was no longer known, which is why they were abolished or forgotten.

Shree ensured that the pure, original fire techniques (Yajnya, Homa) were reintroduced. Their effects are based on the law of resonance:

Heal the atmosphere and the healed atmosphere will heal you..

The basic Yajnya is Agnihotra; It is carried out daily at sunrise and sunset. Yajnyas are a unique blessing for us and our environment.

 

Daan

 

2. Daan (Sanskrit: “dāna”, right giving)

Sharing of material goods with the inner attitude of humility

Clinging to material things and accumulation of property sometimes make us forget that every material thing is only a loan in time. To remind us, there is a simple way: sharing with others! For giving the right way, one should take the view that the recipient is the greater one, because he accepts our gift. The best thing to do is to give in secret, without expecting any thanks or gifts in return, and not only on special occasions. The "giving of alms" is anchored in almost all religions.

By practicing Daan, a spiritual principle is observed: giving and taking are balanced! A playful and joyful handling of material goods becomes possible; poverty can be countered. If Daan is properly practiced, it makes our mind free and independent of material things.

 

Tapa

 

3. Tapa (Self-discipline)

The basic concept for spiritual exercises and disciplines to train the mind to react to all circumstances with love.

Tapa is used to describe exercises that make it easier for us to achieve our goal. For this, it is necessary to strengthen our will and mind. Breaking of established habits or a temporary renouncement of luxury food can make sense. What initially seems difficult will create inner strength later on. The freer we are of mental and physical circumstances, the more comfortable we feel and the easier it is to turn to God.

Tapa exercises also include spiritual disciplines such as silence and meditation, prayer and recitation of mantras. Through Tapa, we can transform our weaknesses into strengths and first control our minds, but later even put us into a state where a lasting happiness becomes possible.

 

Karma

 


4. Karma (right action)

Karma is a term for the cosmic law of cause and effect:

"You reap what you sow."

It implies that every thought, every feeling, and every action will lead to a corresponding reaction, and thus we shape our destiny. To do everything in humility and with love for God and not to depend on the results can free us from the negative effects of our actions.

 

 

 

Svadhyaya

 


5. Swadhyaya (self-study)

Study of Self: Who Am I? Striving to know our true, divine nature

Self-study enables an honest and sincere life. Not-so-good features can be detected and changed. The study of sacred scriptures and exercises of silence will help to better recognize the truth. A spiritual teacher can be of great help to practice Swadhyaya.

Realization and profound knowledge lie beyond words and can only be experienced.

 

 

Shree: “The understanding and following of the Fivefold Path will lead to betterment and harmony for all created beings.“

 

The text on this page originates from the website param-sadguru-shree-gajanan-maharaj.com, which is dedicated to the exceptional life and work of Shree.

Books about the Fivefold Path (in German) are available in our online shop.

Horst Heigl

Initiator and Leader of the Homa-Hof Heiligenberg
 

 
Param Sadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj and Horst Heigl

Shree und Horst1jpg

 

Shri Vasant V. Paranjpe and Horst Heigl 1989

Horst und Vasant

 

 

In 1974 Horst Heigl was the first person in Germany to learn about Agnihotra. At that time, hardly anything was known about the manifold effects of Agnihotra. But Shri Vasant Paranjpe, the bearer of this knowledge, radiated such an extraordinary humility and sincerity that Horst immediately put into practice what he had heard. Shortly thereafter, he travelled to Shree, who had revived Agnihotra. This first encounter so deeply impressed and touched him that 32 more trips to Shree followed. In 1976, Shree instructed Horst to gather people around him and to tell them about the Fivefold Path. This was the beginning of Horst's lifelong task, to which he tirelessly and wholeheartedly has dedicated himself until today.

At that time, Horst already looked back on a dramatic and eventful life.

After Horst was born on 11.03.1936 in Berlin, he experienced a childhood scarred by war and post-war years with all their negative effects. They nurtured a great longing for love and peace in him, but above all he sought God. So it happened that he went through a total of 12 different religious denominations and communities though they did not really bring him closer to God.

His contact with yoga was the turning point, and some time later he travelled to India for the first time. Swami Hariharananda, disciple and successor of Paramahansa Yogananda, personally initiated him into meditation techniques. For the first time, he experienced a deep closeness to God and learned the exercises which help to reach this goal.

At that time he had built up a career as a technical draftsman, than as a technician. His job as a tool designer and later as a mechanical engineering designer did not satisfy him in any way. After a period of intensive practice, his yoga teacher instructed him to teach Hatha Yoga. Thereupon Horst risked to withdraw from a secure professional career and from 1971 on worked as Germany's first full-time yoga teacher. Soon after, he was empowered by Swami Hariharananda to pass on meditation techniques (Kriya yoga). For about 20 years Horst gave thousands of interested people access to Hatha yoga and meditation, in community colleges and privately in Southern Germany.

He has gone through almost all stages of meditation, has enjoyed fascinating experiences and visions, and finally realized that the highest state of consciousness that can be attained through meditation does not mean the end of human development. Only daily filing on one's own ego, the so-called "little self", will permanently bring us closer to the light.

This knowledge can also be found in the Fivefold Path. When the Homa-Hof Heiligenberg was founded on Horst's initiative in 1988, from the beginning he attached great importance to the practice of all five guidelines. His extensive experience and deep knowledge are of great help for all seekers. With love, patience and enormous commitment he is there for the people, giving again and again life-practical, mental and spiritual assistance and suggestions to apply in daily life.

In 1987, Horst founded the publishing house “Verlag Horst Heigl“ with the aim to give as many interested people as possible access to this knowledge. In his books he passes on his own experienced knowledge and points out passable ways which may lead to the experience of the highest reality. Some of his books appeared under the name "Lozynski", his former surname, which he changed into “Heigl” by his marriage in 1990.

Finally, he also turned his love for music into reality. Originally the piano was his instrument, later he chose the keyboard to record interpretations or his own compositions. The aim was to bring the highest possible vibration into every piece of music, an energy that transmits itself to the listener and can considerably increase his well-being. Horst said:

"When music elevates the soul, temporarily freeing it from earthly burdens, it is like a healing balm."

Horst is still committed to helping all people in his environment. Charity and the practical Eucharist (change everything to the positive) are particularly close to his heart. He cares deeply about the unadulterated transmission of the Agnihotra and the simplicity of the Fivefold Path. Only then the path is an aid to all, regardless of faith, origin, financial and social status.

In 1976, Shree said about Horst: "He is Our man!"

Horst wrote about his extraordinary life and his many encounters with Shree in his book “Erfüllte Verheißungen” (Fulfilled Promises), an autobiographical work in two volumes. Its release is planned in 2018 for the 100th anniversary of Shree.

 

 

Birgitt Heigl

 


HorstuBi2

 

Horst and Birgitt Heigl give an example of the Fivefold Path in their living and working together, with the daily routine and the love and care for the Homa Hof community. They are the connecting and consistent link of the nearly 30-years-old community. We owe them the reliable, responsible sharing of the knowledge given by Shree, a knowledge that can elevate the spiritual and practical lives of people to a joyful, happy level.

Since the beginning in 1987, Birgitt has been decisively involved in the development of the publishing house Verlag Horst Heigl“. She primarily uses her talents for language and art in the editing and designing of texts and images. In 2008 she published her first book "Der kleine Fakir Namu und der Fünffache Pfad” (The little Fakir Namu and the Fivefold Path).

Birgitt was born in 1965 in Mühldorf am Inn (Upper Bavaria). She grew up in the Allgäu region (South Germany) where she finished an apprenticeship as a medical assistant. In 1985 she moved to Überlingen on Lake Constance. Here she attended the Hatha yoga and meditation classes of Horst and was trained as a yoga teacher. In 1990, Horst and Birgitt got married and since then have the surname Heigl. At the end of 1990 they moved to the Homa-Hof in Heiligenberg where they live today.


From childhood on Birgitt was searching for God. Only with her husband’s help did she learn that it is not the religious affiliation, but the degree of love for the divine that determines how much one can approach God. Years of yoga and meditation exercises and intensive spiritual training by her husband finally brought her to experience the omnipresence of God. Almost every day, she can experience the truth of the Bible words, which read as follows: "Seek first for the Kingdom of God and all things will be given to you."

Following her inspirations, she began to write, to draw, to paint - without having learned any of it, neither professionally nor in courses. But since God is omnipresent and all-pervasive, it is enough to turn to him intensely. If you let him work through you, everything will become possible.

In two volumes titled Der Schauspieler in Seinem Dienst“ (The actor in His service) Birgitt describes her life in search of God. Above all, the unusual training methods of Horst become clear, who like an actor took on different roles to promote her own experience. Important life questions are answered and many examples are given how to practice the Fivefold Path in daily life.

Homa-Hof

 

"There should be places with farm land where Homa fires are regularly performed to reveal the healing effects of Agnihotra on humans, animals and plants."

These were the approximate words that Shri Vasant Paranjpe who spread Agnihotra worldwide spoke in 1988. About fifty interested people had gathered at Horst Heigl to listen to Vasant’s speech. A place to practice the Homa fires together sounded good, but farming? None of us had any idea of farming, nor had anyone been interested in it.

Immediately Horst picked up the idea and we were also quickly inspired. In the same year, a farm with 20 ha of land was acquired near Heiligenberg, and was called Homa-Hof (= Homa Farm). We founded an association to organize, manage and finance the project. This association is recognized as a non-profit organization in the field of environmental protection and is called today “Verein für Homa-Therapie” (Association for Homa Therapy).

The dwelling house had room for two families only; so we--all the other members--went to the Homa-Hof in our spare time whenever possible. The organization of the daily yajnyas was the first challenge: the first yajnya started at five o'clock in the morning, the last one at 9 p.m.

 

 
Yagna
Moehrenernte

 

 


Without having detailed knowledge we started to farm parts of the fields (12 ha were leased). How amazed we were about the wonderful results! At that time, people imagined organic food as wrinkled apples with a worm in the middle, not palm-sized, red-cheeked fruits with a shiny, firm look. We were delighted about the abundant harvest, as our customers also were at the weekly market, and so we earned enough money to slowly start paying back the loan for the farm.

The next big challenge was ourselves. It took a while for us to see our diversity as a benefit. The great help of Horst was decisive for this. Together with his wife Birgitt he has been living at the Homa-Hof since 1990. He had once been instructed by Shree to train people in the Fivefold Path, and the Homa-Hof was perfect to practice it. Only then did it become clear how diverse and helpful these guidelines are and that they are indeed sufficient for a life of peace, inner freedom and great abundance.

Horst always reminded us to take nothing for granted, but to always thank our Creator and align our consciousness to Him. This is also a basic idea of the yajnyas, and we should also implement it in every activity, be it in planting, weeding, harvesting or renovating.

In between we frequently met (and still do today) to cultivate fellowship, to celebrate together, to laugh, to have meaningful discussions, to support each other. Charity is one of the highest virtues and Horst doesn’t cease to amaze us with the consistency and fineness with which he lives and transmits it.

Since many of us knew a bit about meditation, we were able to see and feel that the subtle energy (vibration) rose more and more in an increasingly larger radius. The Homa-Hof became a place of power from which this vibration radiates.

  Mittwochstreffen

 

semniar

 

 

Soon we all wanted to share our many wonderful experiences with others. So we organized free lectures and seminars at the Homa-Hof, which became more and more popular. Above all, the "Homa farming" was very well received, because you can see the results with plants very quickly, and illusion is not possible. They are a visible proof of the effectiveness of the Homa fires.

Even if there are other aids and methods, we do not apply them on the Homa farm. This ensures that the results are actually due to the Homa fires and enables us to make clear statements.

It is a great pleasure for us to contribute to spreading the ancient Vedic wisdom. The yajnyas set off a harmonious cycle of giving and receiving and help to bring nature and all life back into a state of harmony.

Many of the founding members are still there today (after 30 years). Most of them had the great opportunity to meet Shree in person, who revived Agnihotra for today. So we received our knowledge first hand! We know what a blessing the guidelines given by Him are, in their clarity and universality - with unimaginable effects on all levels. We see the Fivefold Path as a connecting link between cultures, denominations and social strata. That is why it is important for us to add nothing, to make no conditions and to preserve it in its simplicity. At the Homa-Hof we see how different characters with different views can accomplish great things together, if they share a common goal: the will to selflessly help our world with everything that lives in it; initially in a small frame, but then spreading more and more like a pleasant scent. That's how Shree once described it.

  Brezelfruehstueck

 

 

We kindly invite you to visit us, to participate, help, learn, apply, to share. We have listed various options on the page “participate“ . If you feel at home with us, if you feel better internally and externally, if you gain new abilities and these change your life positively, then this makes us happy, it shows that our commitment is not only of value to the environment, but also for our fellow human beings. You are welcome.

 

In our German annual magazine Agnihotra Aktuell“ No. 3 and No. 7 you will learn more about our community and in the books Der Schauspieler in Seinem Dienst“ you can read about the background of the Homa-Hof and the practical implementation of the Fivefold Path.