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|| Pancha Maha Yajna ||

“यज्ञो वै श्रेष्ठतमं कर्म” (शतपथ ब्राह्मण 1/7/1/5) means Yajna is the best of all deeds. Yajna is performing virtuous karmas at all three levels: thoughts, words and deeds as well as helping others achieve the same goal.
In the Rigveda Mantra (1/13/12)

Parmeshwar has given a command to perform a Yajna by saying ‘स्वाहा यज्ञं कृणोतन’॥

Manusmriti the first 'मानव धर्मशास्त्र' describes five type of yajya:
अध्यापनं ब्रह्मयज्ञः पितृयज्ञस्तु तर्पणम्।
होमो दैवो बलिर्भौतो नृयज्ञोऽतिथिपूजनम्॥ 3/70

The पंचयज्ञ include Brahmayajna- teaching of Vedas, Pitrayajna - devoted to forefathers, Devyajna - devoted to the Deva, Bhootyajna - devoted to charity, and Atithiyajna - devoted to guests.
1.) Brahma Yajna (ब्रह्म यज्ञ) is a daily individual (personal) meditation called Ishwara - Stuti - Prarthana - Upasana, Sandhya or Sandhya Yog-Upasana.
Brahmayajna pertains to reading the Vedas and other Dharmic texts and teaching them to others. The study increases wisdom, and discussion during teaching helps one have a better interpretation of intricate details. This motivates one to go into deeper study.
2.) Deva Yajna (देवयज्ञ) i.e. Havan or Agnihotra is a group activity including family and others as described earlier.
3.) Pitri Yajna (पितृ यज्ञ) is serving with devotion one’s living mother, father and family elders.
4.) Balivaishvadeva Yajna (बलिवैश्वदेवयज्ञ) is offering food and taking care of helpless human beings and other beings e.g. animals, birds who are dependent on us.
5.) Atithi Yajna (अतिथि यज्ञ) is honoring and serving learned virtuous guests who visit us.
Ultimate purpose of all Yajnas in life as per the Vedas and related shastra is attainment of Parmeshwar realization.

Om Namo Nārāyaṇaya
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