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What Is Viraja Homa? – Yagna To Prepare Vibhuti Or Bhasma

The article originally written and contributed by Sarma Sastrigal. It is found in the book titled ‘The Great  Hindu Tradition’ written by Sarma Sastrigal.

Viraja Homa is performed primarily to prepare Vibhuti from pure cow dung. This yagna is conducted every month on the Shivratri Day generally (Chaturdashi Tithi). During this Homa some portions from the Mahanarayanopanishad are chanted with related prayogas as prescribed.

Lingaraj Temple - Bhubaneswar - Odisha
The mantras chanted are very powerful and comprise prayers for our atma-vicharana, atma-vidya and Brahma jnana. This homa is also part of the Sanyasa Deeksha Sweekarana (monastic initiation) rituals.  Some parts of the mantras are recited by upasakas of Sri Vidya during their atma-puja and so on.

Vibhuti only out of cow dung

It is a fact that the performance of Viraja Homa has become very rare these days, but we should strive to get the Vibhuti from pure cow dung only, even without the homa, instead of buying the counterfeit Vibhuti packets available in stores everywhere. Vibhuti has to be made only out of cow dung cakes completely burnt and converted to ash.

What passes for Vibhuti these days – with fragrances and chemicals added to boot – is not to be used as vibhuti. It is made out of flour and not burnt cow dung. This is unacceptable and should be rejected.