This makes me wonder about the possible connections between throwing clarified butter and other edible items into a fire and the probability of a space shuttle re-entering earth without getting burnt up. The brilliant thing about it of course is that if a desired state of affairs is achieved, the Yagna will be declared a success and the presiding priests could go on to found an ashram (named Dera Sunita Sauda perhaps). If it doesn’t, the malefic influences of a misaligned Mars or the satanic skewing of subtle Saturn can be conveniently blamed.
Success breeds more superstition. Failure breeds more faith.
Damn. I should have gotten into this religion business. Then I could conduct Yagnas to eradicate starvation in India.