The important features of the practice of Hinduism in our daily life are called
“ Pancha Maha Yajnas”. This includes the social service one is expected to do everyday. These are compulsorily to be practised by everyone.
This is regular worship of God in any way a person likes. This can be done in an elaborate manner like Vedic Yajnas, homams, agnihotra, aupasana etc. The simple form can be chanting a few prayers, offering flowers to the deities and doing namaskaras. This practice makes one God-conscious in daily activities.
It consists of Tarpana or oblations to departed souls and Srardha or annual religious rites performed for departed souls.
In Hindu culture the impact of the sentences
Matru devo bhava (Be one to whom the mother is a deity ) and Pitru devo bhava ( Be one to whom the father is a deity ) is considered very significant.
All are duty-bound to pay their debt to them. We must treat our parents with respect and do all that we can, to keep them in comfort. We cannot make sufficient recompense for all the sacrifices they make on our behalf. Worship of parents, not only those who are alive, but also of our forefathers is an important injunction, irrespective of the nature of the parents.
Respecting and taking care of living parents and unconditional reverence while they are alive, come under this yajna. Hence the concept of old age homes, does not fit in our culture at all !
One must contemplate on the teachings of the sages, holy men and our forefathers.
This practice is intended to serve as a reminder to preserve, enrich and continue our rich cultural heritage and family values.
Rishi-Yajna or Brahma Yajna
This includes the worship and study of vedas and scriptures. The best form is chanting and propogating them. So, merely keeping them in th puja room and showing deeparadhana on Saraswathi Puja day is not sufficient. We must learn them and give to the next generation. This practice refreshes our mind with sacred knowledge and helps to preserve and enrich such knowledge. Promotion of scriptural study falls under this yajna.