I tried to worship Pauranic gods like Shiva, Durga, Vishnu but it doesn't click with me. I am from a family of priests but we are modern and practise the rituals on special occasions only. Everywhere I see that Hindus follow the puranas or agamas, and pure Vedic ways have vanished. The smritis and grihya sutras make things more difficult by making Vedas so inaccessible in modern times with all their rules and technicalities. But I think they are not the ultimate authority.

What I mean to ask is that is there a simple way to practise fire worship more suited to modern times but purely Vedic with all the unnecessary things removed?

For example, the essence of Sandhya vandan is praising Savita, Mitra, Varuna at dawn and dusk with the Savitri while pouring libations of water. That is what I do without worrying about nyasa, mudra, pranayama, copper vessel and other trivial things. Of course, I ensure correct pronunciation and intonation of the savitri.

So can you please tell me what are the essential things in a fire ritual for daily practice? I really want to worship this way, but there are so many obstacles like time constraints, purity constraints, travel, unavailability of material, suspicious people thinking I am doing black magic, etc. So maybe I would not be able to do it daily but surely try to on Amavasya and Purnima nights at least.

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    Perhaps you can check out the practices followed by the Arya Samaj that are mostly simplified versions of Vedic practices. Arya Samaj also rejects the authority of the later scriptures like Purans and does not belive in idol worship. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal May 6 '20 at 17:00
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    To say nothing of the risk of setting off fire alarms in those parts of the world where fire alarms are a thing... – iruvar May 7 '20 at 3:14

Rituals, code of conduct, etc were formulated to suit a particular region.They are not universal. You have the liberty to modify the rituals in a minor ways but can't change them in totality.

There is nothing known or called as Modern Priest. For example, in India having the most modern car doesnt allow you to drive on right side. Similarly you cant drive it on left side in U.S.A.

In south India, majority of men walk around bare chested, but the weather will permit them to do same in north during winter. So ritual is modified allowing them to wear clothes to keep them warm.

You stated - "practise the rituals on special occasions only." This is the most ridiculous statement I have come across. Remember you are either pregnant or not pregnant. You cant be half pregnant.

Read Rg Veda to understand how to pray to nature.

  • We don't practise daily agnihotra or sandhyavandan. By special occasions I meant the 16 sanskars like marriage, birth, death, etc. Apart from that whatever little rituals are done in my family are by my mother and me. I am all for modernity and progressiveness but I don't want to end up following a foreign desert cult. So I am striving to stick to the basic aspects of our ancient heritage without all the complexity it has taken on over the years. – Ba'al Ahab May 7 '20 at 19:01
  • Also, Rigveda doesn't mention any ritualistic details apart from offering the now-unavailable Soma in the fire. There are so many commentaries and interpretations. The different grihya sutras are also not uniform. I just wish to find out the common and essential parts of the rituals so that we can adapt them in our modern lifestyle. – Ba'al Ahab May 7 '20 at 19:08

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