- Myths on the origin of the rite
- The primeval agnihotra and creation
- The connection of Surya and Vayu with the agnihotra. The origin of the milk oblation
- The right time for the performance of the agnihotra
- The ingredient of the oblation milk
- Systematic treatment of the ritual
- The sacrificer yajamana and the performer of the agnihotra
- The keeping silent during the rite
- Why the agnihotra has no fast upavasa
- The agnihotra in relation and equalization with other sacrifices
- Substitution of the oblation, the fire or other ritual elements
- Symbolical agnihotras
- Interpretations of the agnihotra
- Agnihotra, agnyadhana and cremation
- The agnihotra performed after the agnyadhana (during twelve days)
- The vaisvadeva of the agnihotra milk
- The tarpana in the agnihotra
- The brahmodyas and the agnihotra. Appendix. Bibliography. General index. Index of Sanskrit terms. Index of Sanskrit text-places.
After P.E. Dumont Baltimore 1939 had presented a survey of the description of the Agnihotra ritual as found in the ritualistic sutras, this book originally published in 1976 offered a systematic treatment of the esoteric interpretations of this ritual as found in the Vedic prose texts including the relevant sections of the Yajurvedic Samhitas.
The Agnihotra formed the starting point for several important doctrines which were further developed in later texts. Apart from its ritualistic relevance it is therefore also of great importance for the early history of ideas in India.
The systematic arrangement of the sections translated here increases our knowledge about the network of parallel Vedic texts, their borrowings and relative chronology.