The process of yajna, divine discipline and yajna sansad

8 Idols of elephants symbolizing eight Digpalas (the guardian deities of different quarters) are established in eight directions. Invisible Digpalas are established in the directions of Akasha and Patala. A description of construction of yajna kundas of different shapes in different directions is given in the next article. It is prescribed to place the idols of Sapta-—shi (seven prominent sages) and Arundhati in the eight directions. The direction-wise placements are as follows - the idol of Gautama in North; that of Bharadvaja in North-east, Vishvamitra in East, Kashyapa in South-east, Jamadagni in South, Vashishtha in South-west, Atri in West and Arundhati in North-west. The location of Deva-vedi(s) (platforms) in the Yajnashala is also fixed. ‘Sarvatobhadra’ is established in front of the Deva- manca (the main stage) in the East. On the two sides of this are established Shodasha Matrika and ‘Dvadasha Vinayaka Cakra.’ -The Tatva Vedi(s) are located as follows. The symbol of Akasha tatva (ether) in the form of swastika is placed near Deva-manca in the East. The symbols of Agni tatva (fire) in South-east, Prithvi-tatva (earth) in South-west, Vayu-tatva (air) in North-west, and Jala-tatva (water) in Noth-east, are established on the vedi(s) placed there. Navagraha Cakra in the middle of Yajnashala, Panchomkara vedi in the North-east; Kshetrapala-cakra in North-west, Yogini cakra in South-east, and Vastu vedika in South-west are also established. All these placements are shown in the figure given at the end of this article. These are not for mere decoration. The inspirations and the powers hidden in these idols are explained during the ‘karmakand’ of Yajna. The act of Yajna and the emotions and thoughts of ‘yajakas’ are moulded accordingly. Yajna Sansad - The Hub of Discipline: In order that the Yajna is conducted according to the prescribed rules, a team of experts is appointed. It is called Yajna-Sansad. The responsibilities of the different experts and their titles are as follows: Yajnacharya – In Rudrayamal, ‘Acharya’ has been called as the chief patron of the Yajna. A qualified and competent ‘Acharya’ has to be searched according to the objective to be accomplished through Yajna. ‘Acharya’ used to have not only the knowledge of all the streams of rituals of Yajna but he also used to possess enormous power of Tapa according to the requirement of the task. It is only on the basis of the Tapa that it is possible to attract and invite the divine powers and then generate the subtle flow of their energies according to the requirements of the objective. The story of the Putreshti Yajna of king Dasharatha is well known. In those days, Maharshi Vashishtha was the most revered among all the —shis, but in order to fulfill the desired objective he made young sage —shyashranga, who was instinct with the power of Tapa, the ‘Acharya’ of that Yajna. That Yajna produced pre-eminently results just because of the active association of his power of Tapa.

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