Can we vegan-ise homas, yagnas and other rituals? Totally!

Anger and Defensiveness: “I refuse to participate in this homa/yagna because non-vegan ingredients like ghee and milk are used!”

Helplessness and Sadness: “It breaks my heart to be involved in this religious ritual that uses animal based products, but I had to compromise on my ethical principles to please the elders.”

If you’ve experienced either of these emotions during religious ceremonies and occasions, then this post is for you.

Close up of religious yagna/homa ritual fire. Hands putting offerings into the fire.
Photo by Rajesh Mishra on Unsplash

“Can Homas and Yagnas be veganised?”

Most certainly! You can ensure that the entire ritual is done without the use of animal products. Are you aware of any religious rule that says you cannot make kinder, more conscious choices? Often it’s a simple matter of opting for plant based curds and mylk in place of their cruel animal based counterparts, and sesame/gingelly oil in place of ghee.

“But while invoking certain specific deities don’t we have to pour ghee into the sacred fire to appease them?”

I’ve heard that too but I find that claim dubious. Firstly, the content of what’s ghee today isn’t anywhere near what it used to be those thousands of years ago when these religious rules were being made. Besides, which wise, kind, loving God/Goddess would even want to be offered products of terrible cruelty and suffering that dairy has become?

But fine, just for the sake of argument let’s say that’s a thing. We simply cannot do a homa/yagna for certain deities without ghee. Well, do you know HOW many Gods/Goddesses and their different avatars we have in Hinduism? 33 Crores! (There are many speculations surrounding this number, but basically we have lots and lots of them. *grins*)

So if any God/ Goddess traditionally must have animal products in the ritual…just pick another one! There are plenty of them to choose from.

A good, capable priest will adapt easily and find a way to make your religious rituals completely vegan. After all, prayers and rituals are ultimately about your devotion, intention and love. They’re not about being orthodox out of fear, and forcing yourself to be involved in actions that upset you.

So the next time you find yourself needing to do any Homa/Yagna/Havan, don’t hesitate to ask your priest about not using animal products. They’ll either change the ingredients that go into the fire, or suggest a ritual for a different deity or avatar.

Often, solutions are a lot simpler than we imagine! 😌

I’m a spiritual person, and not really religious. However, there have been a handful of rituals I’ve participated in over the years, and I didn’t compromise on my vegan principles for any of them. You just need to work with the kind of priest who understands your concerns and offers creative solutions.

The truly good ones know that the Mantras and Shlokas have power, without a need to be rigid or stuck to outdated systems.

Traditions keep evolving. It’s up to us to help them evolve into a more compassionate path.

Susmitha Veganosaurus

Shorth haired Indian lady, beaming a wide smile. Flowers in the background. Vegan business coach and chef Susmitha Veganosaurus

“I’m a Spiritual Vegan Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur. I read voraciously, find humour in most things, and believe kindness and authenticity can make this world a happier, loving place.

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