Updated: Dec 11, 2020
I sat patiently, gazing at the fire hypnotically swirling in the pyramid, moments before sunset back in Chicago. My left palm holding my rice offering, cupped just in front off my heart. With the fingers of my right hand I scooped as much rice as my fingers could hold.
Counting down the seconds to the offering, there is a stillness like no other. Nature's breath seems to hold still for a moment.
My Agnihotra alarm rang broke the silence. I slipped into the familiar chant, offering my rice to the fire on the Swaahas.
As I finished the second offering and retracted my hand, I felt something so visceral and undeniable.
A heavy layer immediately lifted from my head and shoulders. With a welcome lightness, I immediately noticed my confidence return. The same confidence I felt before I left to my business trip in Dallas.
I scanned within to assess how I felt. Immediately, I realized the depression I had sank into during the week prior had completely dissipated. There was absolutely no trace of it.
Stunned, I stared at the fire. The realization dawned on me that Agnihotra pulled me out of my chronic depression and anxiety I had experienced years earlier.
Before the fire I began to reflect over the past seven years.
For so long I had been crediting my growth exclusively to meditation and its resulting inner expansion. But I realized Agnihotra's impact had been far more subtle than I could detect, and yet more profound than the meditation practice to which I had dedicated my life.
Stripped bare, I felt like a child who had been filled with misguided confidence, finally humbled.
I gazed into the fire. Like a wise teacher, it gave me this experience to understand the importance of a consistent Agnihotra practice, morning and evening.
Filled with gratitude for such a profound lesson, I resolved to never miss Agnihotra again.