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What is the definition of Bhuta Yajna?

Who should do it and how?

What is to sacrifice in this yajna?

Is it part of the daily rituals?

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Bhuta Yajna is feeding the animals, birds insects, wandering outcastes and beings of the invisible world.

Everybody should do it by serving them with food on ground and drinking water.

The sacrifice is the food items and water that are offered.

Yes, it is a daily ritual, being a part of the pancha-mahayajnas.

In Manu-Samhita we get :

"Let him gently place on the ground [food] for dogs, outcastes, svapachas, those diseased from sins, crows and insects. (3.92)..

  • @KailashChandraPolai you are most welcome. – user17294 Mar 5 at 16:41
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Bhuta can mean all beings in this context or the spirits. Bhuta Yajna is basically done to satisfy the spirits but animals and all other beings also receive their shares of the Bali.

What is the definition of Bhuta Yajna?

It's the Bali offering to the spirits i.e. the goblins and also to all the beings.

One should know, as great Sacrifices, those that are performed successively for the Deities, the Spirits, the' departed Manes, for Brahma and for mankind. (2)

To deliver religious instructions, is the Brahmayajna ; to offer watery oblations, is the Pitriyajna ; to offer oblations of clarified butter to the Fire, is the Devayajna ; to offer Valis (offerings)) is the Bhutayajna ; and to treat guests, is the Nriyajna. (3)

Katyayana Smriti, Chapter 13

One more further reference from the Baudhayana Dharma Sutras 2.11.1-5:

Now, these are the five great sacrifices, which are the same as those called great sacrificial sessions, namely, sacrifice to gods, sacrifice to ancestors, Bali sacrifice to beings, sacrifice to humans, and sacrifice to the Veda.

2 Every day he should make an offering to the gods with the ritual exclamation ‘Svaha’, even if it is just a piece of firewood. In this way he fulfils that sacrifice to gods.

3 Every day he should make an offering to the ancestors with the ritual exclamation ‘Svadha’, even if it is just a cup of water. In this way he fulfils that sacrifice to ancestors.

4 Every day he should pay homage, even if it is with just some flowers. In this way he fulfills that Bali sacrifice to beings.

5 Every day he should give food to Brahmins, even if it is just some roots, fruits, or vegetables. In this way he fulfills that sacrifice to humans.


Is it part of the daily rituals?

Yes, as you can see from the Baudhayana quote (See the use of the words "Every day" all throughout). It is a Nitya Karma - one that needs to be performed without fail on a daily basis.

Who should do it and how?

"How" part is already addressed. Here are a few more verses from Manu Smriti:

3.90. Let him throw up into the air a Bali for all the gods, and (in the day-time one) for the goblins roaming about by day, (and in the evening one) for the goblins that walk at night

3.91. In the upper story let him offer a Bali to Sarvatmabhuti; but let him throw what remains (from these offerings) in a southerly direction for the manes.

3.92. Let him gently place on the ground (some food) for dogs, outcasts, Kandalas (Svapak), those afflicted with diseases that are punishments of former sins, crows, and insects.

Now, coming to the "Who" part - Householders, belonging to any of the 4 castes, must perform it. Shudras are allowed to perform all five Yajnas as per Yajnavalkya Smriti:

[He should be](i.e a Shudra should be) devotedly attached to his wife, be of pure conduct, a protector of servants and given to the performance of Sraddha. With the recitation of the Mantra "Namas", he should perform the five Yajnas.

Yajnavalkya Smriti 1.121


What is to sacrifice in this yajna?

This already answered in one or more of the above quotes.

  • 1
    +1 for very nice explanations with all five yajnas. fulfilled answer..! Thanks for your time. – Kailash Chandra Polai Mar 6 at 10:34

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