Pooja, Homa, Japa, Tarpana, Dana and Yagya are the common forms of Vedic remedies. Westerners know these all as “Yagya”, however differences do exist.
This is a simple form used in daily practice for everyone. A Lord is worshipped by 16 forms (Upacharas) of deities. The pooja ranges from a simple, short daily ritual at home to an elaborate one in a temple.
Homa (also known as Homam or Havan) is a small fire to which offerings are made.
Japa is the regular meditative repetition of a Sanskrit mantra of name of God for a specific number of times. The time period for Japa ranges from brief to very long. Japa enhances the spiritual strength of the person chanting.
Tarpanam is the recitation of the related mantra done to a Deity while placing some grains of rice along with holy water on a plate. The plate sits in front of a picture or statue of the Deity. The water is then left in a river or near any plant or tree where it then merges into the environment and blends with the overall level of consciousness. Nature supports the intention (Sankalpa) and achieves the desired effect.
Dana is making an offering at the end of the Yagya to a deity or planet. The Yagya’s energy is then transmitted to the sponsor.
Yagya is a very powerful fire ceremony and comes in many different forms. A specially trained vedic pandit chants sacred mantras and prayers over the fire. This is a very Saatvik (peaceful,balanced) and divine way to eliminate future worldly difficulties or to fulfill a particular wish.