Agnihotra and Microbes, A Laboratory Experience

Dr. Arvind D. Mondkar M.Sc; Ph.D (Micro)
Agnihotra Effect on Bacterial Population

A preliminary experiment was carried out to study the effect of Agnihotra on the bacterial population in a room where Agnihotra was performed. For this study, two rooms of equal dimensions (13¼’ x 8’ x 11’) were selected. In both rooms fire was prepared from dried cowdung cakes in copper pyramids and the basal reading of number of microorganisms in both the rooms was taken by exposing blood agar plates at four corners of the room for 10 minutes. This was done exactly half an hour before Agnihotra time. Agnihotra was performed exactly at sunset in one of the rooms. Bacterial counts were taken again in both the rooms in a similar manner at half hour intervals. Thus readings were taken in both the rooms up to two hours after performance of Agnihotra. It was quite interesting to note that microbial counts in the room where Agnihotra was performed were reduced by 91.4% whereas the room where only fire was generated did not show appreciable changes in the microbial counts. This leads one to think that it was the process of Agnihotra which was responsible for the reduction of bacterial counts and not the mere presence of fire.

Two other similar experiments revealed similar findings. The phenomenon could be explained by giving two reasons :

Agnihotra fumes are rich in formaldehyde and other substances which have inhibitory effect on microorganisms.
A phenomenon like smog formation and its diffusion in the upper strata might be a likely postulation.

In the regions of North and South poles, many times, carbon particles accumulate to form a layer called “smog”. When fire is lit the hot currents push the smog into the upper strata and it is diffused in such a way that the carbon particles are no longer harmful in the residual concentration. In the present study perhaps Agnihotra fumes might have dissociated the microorganisms in such a way that the residual population was no more harmful and was well within tolerable limit to human beings.

Agnihotra Effects on Bioenergetic Systems of Individual Microorganisms :

This kindled our interest and it was decided to study the effect of Agnihotra on the bioenergetic systems of individual microorganisms. A strain of Staphylococci pyogenes isolated from a pus sample was selected for the study. The strain showed all the characteristics of a pathogen. It was isolated from a lesion, produced beta haemolyses on blood agar, showed a positive coagulase test and fermented mannitol with the production of acid. The strain was innoculated on a pair of blood agar plates, one of which was kept away from the Agnihotra atmosphere (control plate). The other one was exposed to Agnihotra fumes for five minutes and was allowed to remain in that atmosphere till next Agnihotra was performed (approximately 12 hours).

Agnihotra is to be performed on the biorhythm of sunrise/sunset. Surprisingly, it was observed that the plate exposed to Agnihotra (test plate) showed a tremendous reduction in the zone of haemolysis as against a wide zone of haemolysis in the control plate.

Organisms from both the plates were then subjected to coagulase test. The organisms from the test plate showed a negative coagulase test demonstrating their inability to produce coagulase. Finally, the organisms from both the plates were emulsified in one ml. of normal saline separately to give suspensions of equal strength. This was achieved by use of Brown’s opacity tube no. 3. The suspensions were then injected intradermally into the thighs of an albino mouse. The mouse was kept under observation for five days.

It was very interesting to note that the suspension from the test plate failed to produce any lesion in the mouse wheras the suspension from the control plate produced typical abscess. These results suggest that Agnihotra played a pivotal role in controlling the metabolic activities of this microorganism. In this case, a pathogenic strain of Staphylococcus pyogenes showed characteristics of a nonpathogenic strain ofter exposure to Agnihotra atmosphere.

This was just an observation and triggered quite a number of questions in the mind :

Is this effect phenotypic or genotypic?
Is it necessary to expose the strain for a prolonged time interval or will a short exposure cause a similar effect?
Will the progeny of these microorganisms behave in a similar manner?
Does the small or microdose of substances released from Agnihotra process Boost the immunity mechanism of the patient to get rid of the infection or does the infecting agent lose its virulence? Perhaps both the effects go hand in hand.

Answers to these questions are still beyond sight and show a need for further experimentation in this field.

Therapeutic Effect of Agnihotra Ash :

An attempt was then made to study the therapeutic use of Agnihotra ash against scabies in rabbits. Rabbits are quite often infected with scabies marked by snow white crust formations on their nose, ear margins and skin. The infection then becomes systemic and the animal dies. Normally this sort of scabies is cured by daily application of benzyl benzoate and salicylic acid for about 6 to 8 days, depending upon the severity of the infection.

In one study, Agnihotra ash was homogenized with an equal volume of cow’s ghee (clarified unsalted butter) and applied over the infected area above the nostrils of a rabbit. Agnihotra ash worked extremely well and the crust was detached on the third day of application and that too with a single application.

With benzyl benzoate and salicylic acid, it took five days for the crust to detach itself from the control rabbit. Another notable advantage of this was that the preparation was not irritating like benzyl bezoate or salicylic acid. The rabbits always lick that application because of irritation and the young ones die of poisoning. This risk could be avoided with Agnihotra ash. These results promise a solution to microbial pollution by the performance of Agnihotra and ingestion of Agnihotra ash medicines.
Agnihotra and Grapes

Dr. B. G. Bhujbal, Research Officer Maharashtra State Grape Growers' Association, Pune, India (Satsang Vol. 8, No. 17, 1981)

Another experiment was performed in a grower's field. Mr. Pundlik Khode, a small farmer from the village of Pimpalgaon-Baswant, Nasik District had been much worried about his crop and was doubtful regarding repayment of his bank loan obtained for the vineyard. Agnihotra was done regularly and Agnihotra ash was applied to his vines. The observations which were recorded at harvest time proved very good. The grower, Mr. Khode, had never believed in such a possibility until he saw the actual results. The individual berry as well as the cluster was superior in colour, taste, sweetness and weight. About 150 observers said that the crop was the best in that locality.

Effects of regular fertilizing practice, only Agnihotra regular practice and Agnihotra :

Regular Fertilizing Practice
Only Agnihotra
Regular Practice and Agnihotra
Seed More than 6 months required 21 to 28 days ***
Germination for germination required ***
Rooting of cutting 80 % rooting 100 % rooting 100 % rooting
Bunch development Av. bunch wt. 0.45 Kg. Av. bunch wt. 0.45 Kg. Av. bunch wt. 0.525 Kg.
Disease More disease No disease Less disease
Colour Green yellow Golden yellow Pale yellow
Quality TSS 22 % TSS 24 %
TSS 23 %
Loss of harvest About 30 % loss No loss
10 % loss