The Concept of Yagna and Vedic Cultural Values

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Introduction Vedic tradition promotes sacrifice (yajna) as one of the essential concepts in people's lives, as people believed that it assisted people in connecting with the divine. This would enable individuals to complete the purpose of living: to worship divinity and accept its role as the creator of the universe. Sacrifice is generally regarded by Vedic tradition as having the mission to bring harmony and stabilize conditions in nature. In addition to this, harmony is also believed to assist individuals in achieving harmony with themselves, as they would apparently experience harmony if they performed sacrifice. Sacrifice was often used with the purpose of assisting kings and their families care for state affairs and being able to deal with demanding situations that the community came across. Background Yajna was a concept that needed to be looked at from two perspectives, as in addition to having to perform the process in accordance with cultural values, individuals also had to go through great efforts in order to influence divinity to accept their sacrifices. "Now, as for many other peoples, for the Vedic people too, the 'means' through which sacrifice must pass to be brought to its fulfillment is fire" (Vesci 14). The God Agni is one of the principal figures in Vedic tradition that has the purpose of assisting people in connecting with the divine. The fact that even his name stands as a reference to fire demonstrates that fire holds a particularly

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