By Swami Harshananda
Agniprākāra literally means ‘wall of fire’.
Worship gives a concrete shape to abstract philosophical principles and the basic convictions born out of them. It also elevates the mind of the worshiper to higher levels of spiritual experience and provides emotional satisfaction.
Several steps are prescribed in the process of worship. Some of these are just preliminaries which help in preparing the mind of the worshiper. ‘Agniprākāra’ is one such in which an imaginary wall of fire is erected round the worshiper by drawing three lines in the air about him with the right index finger or by sprinkling water all round. This is done with the recital of mantras like ‘raṃ’ or ‘sahasrāra huṃ phaṭ.’ This wall of fire is believed to act like a fort preventing evil spirits or passions from attacking the worshiper.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore