Almost 100 years ago Nicholas Roerich was a renaissance man. He was a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, public figure and founder of The Agni Yoga Society. His paintings have a special ethereal quality. One of the founders of Theosophy (the Master M.) contacted him, a series of extraordinary, esoteric books followed. Here is what Morya had to say about Deodar:
"Deodar oil has been called the balsam of the heart. Actually, some substances belong to Nature’s heart, and their noble quality is conducive to the purification of the human heart. Rose, musk, and amber are examples of this. I am naming substances with various properties in order to suggest the dimensions of Nature’s heart." Heart, 387.
"Not only is the odor of the deodar pleasant, but it helps to invigorate breathing and expel dark entities. Many oils have a purifying property, but not all have an influence on the Subtle World. The deodar has a significance in the Subtle World, and it is usually connected with places of sojourn of the Rishi. They know that the deodar possesses the quality of driving away evil entities." Fiery World II, 244.
"The inhalation of fire is practiced by certain yogis and is a purifying action. One should not understand this literally. One cannot inhale flames, but fiery emanations are useful. For such inhalation, the yogi chooses a quiet place, keeping his spine erect. Before him the yogi makes a fire of deodar wood, or, if deodar is unavailable, twigs of balu, so arranged that the smoke does not reach him. Then the yogi performs the usual pranayama, but in such a way that the emanations of the resin reach his breathing.
There are two results—first, a purification of the body; second, the strengthening of the Agni energy. Nothing so helps the kindling of Agni as the properties of deodar. As you know, insects cannot endure the strength of deodar resin. You also know that imperfect entities cannot approach a fire of this wood. Usually, deodars prefer a volcanic soil to grow in; in this way a significant kinship is manifested. Volcanic soil in general merits study, along with its vegetation. Not only has the inhalation of fire been practiced by the yogis but also lying on deodar planks so that the spine comes in contact with the heart of the wood.
Various records of antiquity indicate how ardently people have sought the fiery element. Experiments are necessary in order to understand the value of deodar. The significance of Fire should be remembered in order to understand volcanic soil. In the south of India sandalwood has also been used for fiery inhalation." Fiery World I, 430.