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While explaining the origin of gold, Vasishta says

It is well-known that gold is the offspring of Agni. When fire is not obtainable (for the purposes of a sacrifice), gold is used as substitute. Guided by the indications afforded by the auditions of the Veda, one that is conversant with authorities and that knows the identity of gold with fire, acts in this way. Placing a piece of gold on some blades of Kusa grass spread out on the ground, the sacrificer pours libations upon it.

My questions are around applicability and practicality of using gold as substitute.

  1. Are there any examples where gold was used? I can see in modern flats where homa fire is not possible one could use this substitute. But I have never seen/heard anything like this.
  2. What will happen to the offering poured on gold? If it's real fire, it burns away. Here, what should one do with those offerings? Discard like any nirmalya?
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    Even in fire Homa, we have to discard burnt offerings and the ashes carefully as nirmalya.
    – Rickross
    Nov 19, 2021 at 5:42
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    Why this is not in practice to use good instead of fire? Especially the people living flats and small homes, and unable to have real fire sacrifice. Never seen anyone use gold.
    – Kanthri
    Nov 19, 2021 at 14:21
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    Since fire is very easy to create using gold is not an option for any one. I think this is reason. Secondly many might not be aware of this scriptural injunction. Thirdly gold is expensive.
    – Rickross
    Nov 19, 2021 at 15:48

1 Answer 1

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Gold is an off spring of Agni (Fire) as mentioned in scriptures. So that is probably the connection which allows gold to be used as a substitute of fire.

For example see:


16 Gold is the firstborn of Fire; land is the daughter of Visnu; and cows are the children of Sun. A man who gives gifts of gold, land, or cows obtains an eternal reward.

Vashishta Dharma Sutras 28.16

and, the following verse from Manu Smriti:


5.113. From the union of water and fire arose the glittering gold and silver; those two, therefore, are best purified by (the elements) from which they sprang

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  • thanks but this only confirms that good is offspring of Agni; doesn't explain the practice of using as fire alternative...
    – Kanthri
    Nov 19, 2021 at 14:23
  • Yes my answer is incomplete but I posted it as this reference of gold being the off spring of fire might be useful knowledge for others @Kanthri
    – Rickross
    Nov 19, 2021 at 15:39
  • @Rickross then all rituals including fire can be performed with gold? Like one can do even homa with gold(which is for mantra puruscharan) and also gold in which form(jewelleries or any specific form)?
    – Rudra
    Dec 11, 2021 at 10:13
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    Fire is so easy to avail and gold is expensive so I don't think anyone ever has used this substitute but it's not wrong to use gold in place of fire @Rudra
    – Rickross
    Dec 11, 2021 at 12:04

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