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By Swami Harshananda

Havis literally means ‘through this, it is given’, ‘oblatory material’.


Vedic sacrifices need several materials that could be offered into the duly consecrated fire as oblations. Such materials were called ‘havis’.

Materials Used as Havis

Five kinds of materials were recommended as havis:

  1. Auṣadha - products of trees and plants
  2. Payas - milk
  3. Paśu - animals
  4. Soma juice of the soma creeper
  5. Ājya - clarified butter

Materials Used as Auṣadhas

The materials included under the category of auṣadhas are:

  1. Rice
  2. Barley
  3. Caru - porridge
  4. Puroḍāśa - rice-cake


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore