I have been trying to read dharmasUtras and smRRitis about the daily and fortnightly yajnas. These are very rarely performed these days. They are definitely obligatory on some people according to these texts, but there are various qualifications for it. What qualifications make the agnihotra and darshapUrNamAsa obligatory? Please try to find a comprehensive list from dharmasUtras and smRRitis, including by varNa and Ashrama, as well as others.

  1. The agnihotra is not obligatory unless a couple choose to kindle their fires. for more details see this answer.
  2. For a person who is performing agnihotra, there are other mandatory occasional yajnas to be performed. The darshapurnamasas are the two primary ones there. There is no special extra qualification for the darshapurNamasa. It can be considered as a specialized form of the daily agnihotra to be performed twice a month.

You can read more about this topic in David Knipe's Monograph "Vedic Voices".

  • Are these all of the qualifications?: (1) mastered a Vedic shakha, (2) have a living son, (3) have a living wife, (4) black hair, (5) elder brother details mentioned in your post, (6) from upper three varnas, (7) not a sannyasi. If agnihotra is genuinely forbidden in Kaliyuga anyway, then this is no problem. – Vedavedya Mar 14 at 10:39
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    Regarding #1: It is a qualification in the same way mastering pharmacology is a qualification to be a physician. Now a general physician may not use more than 100 basic drugs in everyday practice, but they still yneed to learn about a lot more. Similarly agnihotra and related yajnas may involve only 10% of the shAkhA mantras but one still needs to learn all of it. Reg #2 only a son born is required. Doesn't have to be living. Although in practice, it is recommended that a father has at least 4 sons so that he doesn't have to depend on external ritviks for his yajnas. – hashable Mar 15 at 7:58
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    #3 - Living wife is a requirement as she participates in the ritual as well. #4 - Black hair is interpreted as "mostly black / few grey hairs". Yes, this is a requirement. #5 Yes. If an elder brother hasn't kindled his fires and doesn't permit the younger one to, the younger one cannot do AdhAna. #6 - Like I said, I am not sure about varNas other than brAhmaNas. #7 - To my knowledge, yes. There are other subtle requirements such as rearing a milch cow, having access to a well with water, having access to marshlands where darbha grass grows, etc. Too many to list them all. – hashable Mar 15 at 8:05
  • Thank you for this information. – Vedavedya Mar 15 at 16:58
  • btw I found some interesting information about agnihotra and Sri vaiShNavas like yourself here about the current ahobila jeeyar. After talking about how important and obligatory agnihotra is, the page says: "He was a Agnihotri of such a high calibre that the 45th Azhagiyasingar proudly proclaimed that in the nearly 700 years of the history of Ahobila Matam, Swamy was perhaps the first Nitya Agnihotri!" So even great AchAryas seem to not perform these rites (the 46th was an exception). – Vedavedya Apr 1 at 20:48

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