After I had written my note on tapas, C. called over and told me about Ardor by Roberto Calasso. Ardor is Calasso’s translation of the word tapas staying close to the latin ‘ardor’ meaning ‘heat’, ‘brightness’. C. hadn’t read my post so it seemed like a finger post to a reading. Add to that a Xmas present of a 20€ book token issued by the shop where C. had bought his copy - ‘there’s one left’- and the sychronicity was complete. So I got it and I’m reading it. To balance Calasso I have got the true vedic lowdown from the Sage of Kanchi, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati aka Shankaracarya Jagath Guru. In his book The Vedas he writes:
We perform Yajnas to give more power to the Devas. The oblations we give constitute the food for Devas. Only things that we offer renouncing our right in them reach the Devas. Things consigned to the fire should unequivocally be offered to the Devas. That is why when offering an oblation we say “na mama” - “not for me”. The path that the food for Devas takes is through Agni. Similarly through Agni and Veda mantras we give offerings to the spirits of our departed ancestors.