Flames and aromatic fumes rose from a small pit as a family gathered around the Agnihotra, a sacrificial fire and special ceremony held Sunday at the Arya Samaj Greater Houston and Vedic Culture Center.
The whole temple chanted traditional mantras, verses from the Veda, the four sacred and ancient books of Hinduism, specifically related to mother earth, as the family fed the fire with special, traditional ingredients.
“In India, families perform this every day, sometimes twice a day,” said Dev Mahajan, 76, who noted that this ceremony was focusing on Earth Day.
Every Sunday, the Hindu service at the temple begins with a fire ceremony, followed by hymns, the pravachan – a sermon given by the Acharya Ji, or Hindu priest – and concluding with the Shanti prayers, where people ask for universal peace.
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