In response to a question about the Agnihotra, Hindu fire ceremony, Gurudeva discusses the principle of not performing serious ritualistic worship after one has become angry. A 31-day cooling-off period is advised. An important message for temple trustees and priests.
A question from the United States, earthlink.net, from a cyberspace devotee "Why do we perform the Agnihotra?"
Well any worship ceremony should be performed by someone who has control of their emotions. There are many forms of fire worship and creating the Agni and the homa. Agnihotra is most simple but even so it can work two ways depending on who is performing the ceremony. What are the two ways? It can either be positive or it can be negative. It can either invoke the Devas from the Antaraloka or the Asuras and demons from the Narakaloka depending who is performing the function. Those who ring a bell, conduct a fire worship ceremony or even wave a lamp in front of a picture of a Deity blends himself within the inner world. There's an inner law that's often overlooked in today's world in the modern temples that are coming up throughout the world and that is 31 days must elapse in three cases: one the birth of a child, one does not go into the shrine room during the 31 days or the death of someone in the family, one does not go into the shrine room or attend the temple or if one becomes angry 31 days must pass before he passes the flame before the Deity, lights the fire or rings a bell. During the 31 days for an angry person, a cooling off period, he may perform just the dupa, waving the incense in front of the picture and that is all. Why is this? Because anger opens the chakra, two chakras below the Muladhara, opens the door to the world of the demons. It takes 31 days to close that chakra and have the higher chakra, the world of the devas available for use. When the demons are invoked, arguments come up within the home or within the temple, misunderstandings come up, unsolvable problems come up, small chaos happen here or there and everywhere and this is experienced in many temples whose trustees of the temple upset and anger the Priest, the Priests without knowing it are invoking the demonic forces and the family homes are in chaos. So it's not a question of why we perform the Agnihotra, it's who performs the Agnihotra, if they're qualified to contact the devonic worlds and qualified to invoke the divine spirits of the higher devonic people into the home or into the temple. So remember, a 31 day cooling off period for those who experience anger, before religious ceremony may be conducted, other than just waving some sweet smelling smoke before the image of the Deity.