|God of Fire (energy)|
Agni, the fire god
|Tamil script||அக்னி தேவன்
|Mantra||Oṃ Agnidēvāya Namaḥ|
Agni (Sanskrit: अग्नि Agni), pronounced ” ăgˈnē “, is the Rigvedic deity of fire and the conveyor of sacrifices to the Gods. He is also a god of divine knowledge, who leads man to the gods. He was one of the most important of the Vedic gods.
- 3Vedic conception of Agni
- 4Textual appearance
- 9Relation with other gods
- 10Agni and Hindu astrology
- 12Ayurvedic conception
- 13See also
- 16External links
The word agni is Sanskrit for “fire” (noun), cognate with Latin ignis (the root of English ignite), Russian огонь (ogon), Polish “ogień”, Slovenian “ogenj”, Serbian oganj, and Lithuanian ugnis—all with the meaning “fire”, with the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European root being h₁égni-. Agni has three forms: ‘fire’, ‘lightning’ and ‘the Sun’.
Sthaulāśthīvi informs us that Agni is the drying agent which neither wets nor moistens anything. Śakapūṇi tells us that the word Agni is derived from three verbs – from ‘going’, from ‘shining or burning’, and from ‘leading’; the letter “a” (अ) is from root “i” which means ‘to go’, the letter “g” (ग्) is from the root “añj” meaning ‘to shine’ or “dah” meaning ‘to burn’, and the last letter is by itself the root “nī” (नी) which means ‘to lead’.
Yaskacharya explains that the fire-god is called अग्नि (Agni) because he is अग्रणी (Agrani), the forward leader who is the ever awake disseminator of knowledge and the first principle of thought which manifests as Speech; it is carried at the front in all ritualistic undertakings (yajnas).
Pippalāda, the sage of the Prashna Upanishad, merely highlights the एकायुः (Ekayu, the Sole person) status of Agni when he tells Kābandhi Katayāna – ” That very one, Surya who is Aditya, rises up who is Prana and Agni, who is identified with all creatures and who is possessed of all fame.”
The Rig Veda often says that Agni arises from water or dwells in the waters; the Vedic sage says that Agni manifesting in the waters and seated in the lap of the winding waters, flaming upward, increases; and that Agni was born by the prowess of Tvashtr (Rig Veda I.95.5). He may have originally been the same as Apam Napat, the supreme god of creation, who is also sometimes described as fire arising from water. Hydrogen burns easily and Oxygen is required to inflame the fire. This is the important physiological phenomenon in any living body, which in a natural explanation may have referred to flames from natural gas or oil seepages surfacing through water, or as the seven rays or seven bands of light of a rainbow. Other Rig-vedic names, epithets or aspects of Agni include Matarishvan, Jatavedas, or Bharata.
Vedic conception of Agni
Agni is the god of fire and sacrifice, of divine knowledge, and is also associated with water.[note 1] Agni, identified with energy and action, is the first emanation and the sacred spark hidden within all beings. Agni is second only to Indra in the power and importance attributed to him in Vedic mythology, with 218 out of 1,028 hymns of the Rigveda dedicated to him. WithVaruna and Indra he is one of the supreme gods in the Rig Veda.
Vedic god of fire and sacrifice
Sacrificial fire and high-priest
Agni is the personification of the sacrificial fire. He is associated with Vedic sacrifice, taking offerings to the other world in his fire. He is the priest of the gods, and the god of the priests. Through yajna he carries the oblations to the gods, to ensure the continuance of conditions favourable to mankind. No god is approachable without the medium of Agni, and no divinity is without the presence of Agni.[note 2]
Agni is the chief terrestrial deity personified by the sacrificial fire which is the centre of the ritual poetry of the Rig Veda. The earth enveloped in darkness and the sky, become visible when Agni is born; the acquisition of fire by man is regarded as a gift of the gods. Agni is only compared and not identified with the Sun.
Agni as the immortal guest is the witness of all actions, supremely powerful, all consuming and unresistible but who commands all earthly and heavenly riches i.e. all temporal good.
Agni is the receiver, holder and distributor of energy, who leads the devtas to victory in their battles against the asuras, and confers wealth of various kinds to the performers of yajnas. Born in the human aspirant he awakens the gods, and burns the opposing foes, the demons.
Jataveda and Kravyād
Agni has two forms: Jataveda and Kravyada:
- Jātaveda is invoked to burn and carry the offerings (except flesh) to the respective Gods, in which case Agni is light identified with knowledge and with Brahman.
- Kravyād is invoked to burn the flesh (corpses and animal parts) in the Pitri-yajna for which purpose Agni is obtained from the rays of the Sun.
In the Jātaveda form, “He who knows all creatures”, Agni acts as the divine model for the sacrificial priest. He is the messenger who carries the oblation from humans to the gods, bringing the Gods to sacrifice, and interceding between gods and humans (Rig Veda I.26.3). When Agni is pleased, the gods are generous. Agni represents the cultivated, cooked and cultured aspects of Vedic ritual. Together with Soma, Agni is invoked in the Rig Veda more than any other gods.
Kravyād (क्रव्याद) is the form of Agni which eats corpses, the fire of the funeral pyre; the fire that eats corpses can eat everything. This is the impure form which is much feared. In this form, after one’s death and at the time of cremation, Agni heats up and burns the body only, the body which is the impure human condition (SB 22.214.171.124).
Agni is Abhimāni, from Sanskrit: abhi (towards) + man (the verbal root man ‘to think’, ‘reflect upon’) meaning dignified, proud; longing for, thinking. Agni is the ‘Mystic Fire’, who leads man on the journey to God. Agni is worshipped as the symbol of piety and purity; as expression of two kinds of energy i.e. light and heat, he is the symbol of life and activity. Agni-rahasya, “the secret of fire,” is the key to all knowledge because Agni is the power of inner and outer illumination.
Agni is also called Arka, “water,” the accessory to worship, and the cause of fire that covers all food which covers all life(Yajurveda V.vii.5). Rishi Tritapti (Rig Veda X.v.3), in a mantra in praise of Agni, refers to the bearers of water, the most subtle and the most refined aspects of manifestations. In a subsequent mantra he says[note 3] that in the conditions prevalent prior to the formation of water, Agni, which was the first visible manifestation of the Unmanifested, was the giver and the taker, both, because as energy it had transformed into matter, beginning with water.
In the Vedic pantheon, Agni occupies, after Indra, the most important position. Agni occupies a prominent place in theVedas and particularly the Brahmanas. In the Rig Veda there are over 200 hymns addressed to and in praise of Agni. Agni is the Rishi (‘hymn-seer’) of Sukta X.124 of the Rig Veda, and along with Indra and Surya makes up the Vedic triad of deities.
I aspire intensely for Agni, the adorable, the leader who carries out the yajna; who does and gets done theyajna in due season, who is the summoning priest capable of bringing the gods to the yajna performed here, and the one who establishes excellent felicities in the aspirants.
In the Rig Veda (I.95.2), a Rishi prays – दशेमं त्वष्टुर्जनयन्त गर्भम – for the ten eternal powers to bless Tvashtr (the supreme mind which creates all things) with the birth of Agni, which is a reference to the ten undisclosed powers that nourish Agni.
Shatapatha Brahmana (SB 126.96.36.199) tells us that Prajapati was generated through the tapas of the rishis (equated with the non-existent of the Beginning), thereafter, through his own tapas Prajapati generated all the gods and all the creatures. He also generated Agni as the sacrificial fire and as the second self having wearied himself his glow and essence of him heated up and developed Agni (SB 10.6.5.2). Ritually Agni, as the altar built by the sacrifice, reconstitutes Prajapati.
The Isha Upanishad focuses on the tradition of Agni as the Divine Will and action. The sage of this Upanishad surrenders the lower egoistic human nature, and prays to Agni to guide and lead him to That (Brahman), the establishment, origin, and refuge of all that is (Isha Upanishad.18).
In the Kena Upanishad, Agni reveals his identity as the heat energy and the ever-burning flame of the conscious force in matter, that makes up the entire world. The gods sent first Agni to find out the nature of Brahman, which means it is Agni that releases the energy which is latent in all beings. Moreover, the sage of the Kena Upanishad refers to the functional differentiation and specialization of body parts, on which account the life-stream progresses, when he speaks of Agni becoming the speech and entering the mouth, and Vayu becoming breath and entering the nostrils.
The Chandogya Upanishad describes the Panchagni Vidya, the meditation on the five fires. It explains the interconnectivity of everything that exists, with creation as a kind of sacrifice. Each manifestation, the microcosm, is a manifestation ofPrakrti, the macrocosm.
In Hindu scriptures, Agni is depicted with two or seven hands, two heads and three legs. One head marks immortality, and the other marks an unknown symbol of life. He rides a ram or a chariot harnessed by fiery horses. Agni is represented as red and two-faced, suggesting both his destructive and beneficent qualities, and with black eyes and hair, three legs and seven arms. He rides a ram, or a chariot pulled by goats or, more rarely, parrots.
Agni has two mothers, or has two parts of the firedrill used to start the fire. He has ten servant maids, the fingers of the man who is lighting the fire or the ten undisclosed powers that nourish Agni.
Seven rays of light emanate from his body. One of his names is Saptajihva, “the one having seven tongues”. He has seven fiery tongues with which he licks the sacrificial butter. In the Mundaka Upanishad (I.ii.1-5) it is said that Agni, here meant the Āhavaniya Fire, has seven tongues or flames – Kālī (‘black’), Karālī (‘terrible’),Manojava (‘speedy as the mind’), Sulohita (‘very red’), Sudhumravarna (‘coloured like thick smoke’), Sphulingini (’emitting sparks’) and Vishwaruchi (‘having the fuel as the Sun’ – तस्मादग्निः समिधो यस्य सूर्यः (II.i.5)).
The ancient seers divided Agni into three parts – gārhapatya (for general domestic usage), āhavaniya (for inviting and welcoming a personage or deity) and dakshinagni (for fighting against all evil). Yāska states that his predecessor Sākapuṇi regarded the threefold existence of Agni as being in earth, air and heaven as stated by the Rig Veda, but a Brāhmana considered the third manifestation to be the Sun.
In the collection at Bharat Kalā Kendra (Benares Hindu University), there is a First century CE, red sandstone sculpture identifiable as Agni shown in the garb of a Brahmin, very much like sage Kashyapa, on the Govindanagar Rsyasrnga door-jamb. In the Panchala coins of Agnimitra there is deity with a halo of flames. On Kushana coins there is engraved an Iranian deity under the name of Athos (Agni?). In Gupta sculptures, Agni is shown as a Brahmanical deity with a halo of flames round the body and also with a beard, pot-bellied and holding amrtaghata (nectar-pot) in his right hand.
Agni is the eldest son of Brahma. In the Visnu Purana, Agni, called Abhimāni is said to have sprung from the mouth of theVirat purusha, the Cosmic Man. In another version, Agni is the son of Dharma (Eternal Law) and Vasubhāryā (daughter of Light).
A sage of the Rig Veda (Sukta IV.iii.11) states that the Sun became visible when Agni was born.
In some Hindu symbolism, Agni’s parents are said to be the two components of the firedrill used to start the fire, and when young he was said to be cared for by ten servants who are represented by the ten fingers of the man who starts the fire.
Agni hid from the gods, but Atharvan found him and raised him, thus combining the divine and the human worlds, transforming the sublime and the subtle to the gross and the material.
Ascension and family
Agni married Svāhā (invocation offering) and fathered three sons – Pāvaka (purifier), Pāvamāna (purifying) and Śuchi (purity) who in their turn had forty-five children, all different aspects of fire. Agni’s three sons, according to the Vayu Purana, stand for three different aspects of Agni (fire): Pāvaka is the electric fire, Pāvamanā is the fire produced by friction, and Śuchi is the solar fire. Every fire has a corresponding relation to one of the human psychic faculties. They also represent body, spirit and soul, and body. Abhimāni, his three sons, and their 45 sons constitute the 49 mystic fires of thePuranas, especially the Agni Purana.
The Khandava Forest
In the “Khandava-daha Parva” (Mahabharata CCXXV), Agni in the guise of a Brahmin is seen to approach Krishna andArjuna seeking sufficient food for gratification of his hunger; and on being asked about the kind of food which would gratify, Agni expressed the desire to consume the forest of Khandava protected by Indra for the sake of Takshaka, the chief of theNagas, Agni wanted to regain his own nature which him having drunk clarified butter for twelve years had dulled at the sacrifice of Swetaki. Aided by Krishna and Arjuna, Agni consumed the Khandava Forest, which burnt for fifteen days, sparing only Aswasena, Maya, and the four birds called sarangakas; later, as a boon Arjuna got all his weapons from Indra and also the bow, Gandiva, from Varuna.
The Puranas associate with Agni the origin of Krittika nakshatra (the Pleiades star-cluster) and the birth of Kartikeya. It is said that Agni received Shiva’s energy from Parvati as alms that he had to share with others, being the carrier of all oblations to the gods. Agni gave this energy to the six wives of the saptarishis, who wanted to warm themselves, and for this they were cursed by their husbands to become nakshatras, the six nakshatras that make up the Krittikas, the 3rd of the twenty-seven Lunar mansions. Thereafter, these six wives gave the energy they had received from Agni to the Himalayas, which then flowed down as one to be distributed to the reeds from which the six-headed boy, Kartikeya was born.
Another version of this legend states that Kartikeya was initially born from Shiva and Parvati’s combined power as an effulgent orb of energy, so radiant so as to burn the universe. Agni stole it so as to keep the child safe and kept running across the universe to escape the vile Asura Taraka who was to be destroyed by Kartikeya. Parvati awoke from her meditative state and found out that her son was missing. She was enraged and came rushing out of the cave to which she encountered the Devas and their preceptor, Brihaspati. They informed her that Agni had taken her son and only did so to ensure their son’s protection. This made Parvati extremely furious and she attained her Adishakti form which caused lightning and all other calamities to begin on Earth. In anger, she cursed the Devas that their wives would be infertile and never enjoy parental happiness furthermore. She cursed Agni that he would be an all-consumer, adding that he would be unable to differentiate between pure and impure and that all who touched him would turn into ash (bhasma) and because of the impurities in his food, he would be surrounded by thick black smoke forever. At the nick of time, Shiva came out of the cave and calmed down Parvati promising her that he himself would find their son. She assumed her normal form and went back inside the cave. Shiva later found Agni and blessed him that despite Parvati’s curse, he would always be holy.
There is the story about King Shibi who was tested by Agni assuming the form of a pigeon and by Indra assuming the form of a hawk; Shibi offered his own flesh to the hawk in exchange of pigeon’s life. The pigeon which had sought Shibi’s shelter was thus saved by the king’s sacrifice.
Agniparikshā or ‘the Fire ordeal’ has Agni as the witness. Sita was forced to undergo this ordeal to prove her virtue. Agni redeemed the original Sita from the wrath and condemnation of her husband and her community.
Vedic rituals all involve Agni. Agni is present in many phases of life such as honouring of a birth (diva lamp), prayers (diva lamp), at weddings (the yajna where the bride and groom circle the fire seven times) and at death (cremation).
Agnihotra yajna – sacrificial fire
The Agnihotra is the “sacrificial fire”. Agnihotra is believed to free the yajmāna (the performer of the yajna) from evil and death, both signified by Agni.Prajapati had to create milk as food for the hungry Agni and perform the first act of Agnihotra to avoid death and preserve his own existence.
The Agnihotris once maintained a perpetual fire in their homes. This ritual ceremony was conducted on important and auspicious occasions. In many homes prayers are still offered to Agni (fire).
The sage of the Atharvaveda (Sukta 19.55.3) prays to the fire for happiness and peace, for a happy temperament, resolve and good health, for strength and mental contentment, and as the ladder to spirituality. The sage also states that Agnihotradestroys enemies.[note 5]
Shatapatha Brahmana (SB 188.8.131.52) tells us that Agnihotra should be performed by the performer knowing that he will gain the strength and victories gained by Agni who conquered the earth, Vayu, the air and Surya, the sky, with whom he shares the world; and the same text further tells us that the Agnihotra, doubtless, is the Sun.
Contemporary fire ritual
Hindus consider it as the duty of a man to perform Agnihotra. The main offering is milk, and at the end, the sacrificer offers four water oblations, to the gods, to father and the fathers, to the seven seers and to Agni on earth.
The priest invokes Agni through Agni in his sacrificial form; the sacrificial form of Agni is the Sun which shining brightly appears to all men. The priest also invokes Vayu which is Agni’s own greatness. Therefore, Agni as the deity is treated differently from Agni, the messenger who carries oblations to the gods. The sacrificial form of Agni is Aditya and Vayu.
Ritual versus knowledge
Shankara in his commentary on the Brahma Sutras states that the rightful observance of the agnihotra and other rites are meant for those desirous of attaining Heaven and other enjoyments, and the understanding of the rightful doctrine of the Soul is meant for those desirous of emancipation.
Paśubandha – animal sacrifice
During Vedic times, Pasuyajña, animal sacrifices to propriate Agni, were frequently made. The animal to be sacrificed was tied to an octoganal wooden stake called yupa, be it a he-goat, a horse or a bull. The entire ceremony was supervised and co-ordinated by an adhvaryu, because this ritual called for the completeness of the sacrifice to meet the demands of the liturgical rules. Niruddha-pasubandhayajna involving immolation of a he-goat was an obligatory rite performed once in six months or once a year with the aid of six priests to appease Indra and Agni, with Surya and Prajapati as deities.
The Rig Veda does not make a direct reference to animal sacrifice, but in Rig Veda mantra VIII.43.11,[note 6] which is addressed to Agni, rishi Virupa Angirasa invites all devout to pray to Agni, who is called ukshānna and vaśānna, that is, the eater of bulls (uksha) and barren cows (vaśā).[note 7]
The Shatapatha Brahmana (VI.ii.1.2-3) speaks about the five animals or sacrificial victims, man, bull, horse, ram and he-goat, which Agni enters and becomes. The same text explains that it is Agni who is sacrificed as animal victim (SB XIII.ii.7.13).
Agni-rahasya, “the secret of fire,” is the esoteric interpretation of the fire-altars. The fire-altars are re-interpreted as symbolic representations of the mind, and its connection the Absolute reality. In these interpretations, various meanings are stringes together, to reach a new understanding.
The terrestrial world, the air, the sky and the sun are spoken of as the fire-altars, with all things on and in them as various bricks, making up the whole of Agni. The tenth book of the Shatapatha Brahmana[note 8] says that the fire-altar is the mind, and that the mind is prior to breath (Prana) and speech (Vac). It also describes the benefits of the Vājapeya and the Rājasūya sacrifices, identifies the person residing in the sun with the person residing in the right eye, and proclaims the meditation on Brahman as the Mind.[note 9]
The Shatapatha Brahmana[note 10]) and the Aitareya Brahmana[note 11] speak of Tura Kāvasheya, the teacher of the Agni-rahasya doctrine, who built a fire-altar to the gods at Karoti. He was the purohit of Janamejaya, son of Parikshit, to whom the Mahabharata was recited. Tura Kavasheya had received this knowledge from Prajapati who had in his own turn received it from the self-existent Brahman. This knowledge finally teaches that the Ashvamedha is the yonder shining sun, which is Agni, which is Brahman; the year is his body; Agni is Arka and the worlds are his bodies; and both Arka andAshvamedha combine to become one deity, Death, knowing this one conquers Death.[note 12] 
The fire of the mind
The Brahmana tells us that “the mind saw itself as thirty-six thousand; it saw the adorable fires as belonging to itself, lighted up by the mind, and conceived as identical with the mental modes.”
There are thirty-six thousand mano-vrittis or ‘mental modes’, one for each day of life spanning one hundred years, which correlates to the mind-generated bricks of the altar. The fire is lighted up by the mind itself, thus establishing mental connection to the prescribed Vedic ritual acts or rites.
Badarayana[note 13] and Jaimini[note 14] both agree that the fires of the mind and speech of Agni-rahasya are not parts of any concrete ritual, but refer to conceptual fires, which are meditations, which are not subservient to rites.
One of Agni’s epithets is Abhimāni (from Sanskrit: abhi (towards) + man (the verbal root man ‘to think’, ‘reflect upon’) meaning dignified, proud; longing for, thinking. Agni is worshipped as the symbol of piety and purity; as expression of two kinds of energy i.e. light and heat, he is the symbol of life and activity.
Heat, combustion and energy is the realm of Agni which symbolizes the transformation of the gross to the subtle; Agni is the life-giving energy. Agnibija is the consciousness of tapas (proto-cosmic energy); agni (the energizing principle); the sun, representing the Reality (Brahman) and the Truth (Satya), is Rta, the order, the organizing principle of everything that is.
The one who knows
Agni, who is addressed as Atithi (‘guest’), is also called जातवेदसम्, meaning “the one who knows all things that are born, created or produced.” He is the god of will-power, united with wisdom. The Vedic people knew human will-power to be a feeble projection of this power which they believed could be strengthened by the Rig Vedic chants to Agni.
The Kanvasatpathabrahmanam (SB.IV.i.iv.11) calls Agni “wisdom” and the “ind.”[note 15] Rishi Bharadavaja Barhaspatya, in a mantra addressed to Agni Vaishvanara[note 16] calls Agni “the mind swiftest among (all) those that fly.”
Rishi Praskanva states that Agni represents great learning and enlightening wisdom, which ought to be sought, located and humbly approached. Agni excites Buddhi (reason and intellect), the perceiving and the determining factor, and by illuminating the mind it makes one understand and comprehend the truth – प्रचेतसोऽग्ने देवाँ इह द्रवत् (Rig Veda I.xliv.7).
Agni is the essence of the knowledge of Existence. The Vedic Rishis held Agni to be responsible for the manifestation of gods for the mortal beings, who then come to know them and worship them by the mind.[note 17] They pray[note 18] for Agni, which is the essence of the knowledge of existence, to increase its own strength or power, which is within all human beings, to enable them to cultivate strong conviction and belief, without which there cannot develop a meaningful faith and deep devotion to support a dedicated mind. With Agni’s increase ignorance and all delusions are wholly destroyed, without nescience to be taken for granted, and the human form assumed by Brahman is erased from the mind.
The Kena Upanishad says that Agni was the first to discover Brahman’s nature, limits and identity. The Vedic gods manifest themselves in man, and assume the appearance of human limitations. ‘Knowledge’, ‘faith’ and ‘works’, these three, because of their connection with human faculties, are not without their respective limitations, and it is the mortal body harbouring within it the individual self and the Universal Self that remains bound by limitations.
Agni symbolises the soul; it is the power of change that cannot be limited or overcome. Light, heat, colour and energy are merely its outer attributes; inwardly, agni impels consciousness, perception and discernment.
Raja Rishi Chitra, describing the path of Jnana, states “He (at the time of death), having reached the path of the gods, comes to the world of agni, to the world of vayu;”[note 19] this leads to the Brahmaloka, the sphere of Brahman. This is the path taken by the enlightened souls with transcendental knowledge.
Relation with other gods
Agni is often identified with other gods:
- Varuna and Mitra: in the evening he becomes Varuna, when he rises in the morning he becomes Mitra.
- Indra: Agni is Indra‘s twin, and therefore a son of Dyaus Pita and Prthivi. Agni is also called Vishva-Vedāh,[note 20] “dawn,” which refers both to Indra, the Protector, and to the all-knowing Agni.
- Rudra: in the Rig Veda Agni is addressed as Rudra, bringing together two distinct but destructive aspects of nature, namely storm and fire.[note 21][note 22] The Linga Purana tells us that a pillar of fire (stambha) appeared before Brahmaand Vishnu. The Shiva-linga represents that pillar of fire which is Agni.
- Sarama, the Goddess of Intuition: in a hymn in praise of Agni,[note 23] Rishi Parāśara Śāktya speaks of Saramā, the Goddess of Intuition, the forerunner of the dawn of Truth in the Human mind, who finds the Truth which is lost.[note 24] It is Saramā who is a power of the Truth, whose cows are the rays of the dawn of illumination and who awakens man who finds Agni standing in the supreme seat and goal.
- Vayu and Soma: in the Vedas, Agni, Vayu and Soma or ‘fire’ (light and heat), ‘air’ (energy and action) and ‘water’, are the principal deities. Agni brings the subject and the object together and establishes a relation between the two (sambandha); Vāyu causes that relation to evolve (abhidheya), and whose activity Soma directs converting forms into pleasure that consciousness enjoys (prayojna). These three shaktis are involved in all material and spiritual vedic rituals.
- Vayu and Jala: Agni, Vayu and Jala are three of the three-fold eight fundamental qualities of intelligence, i.e. eight in terms of the value of consciousness, eight in terms of the devata quality of consciousness and eight in terms of the chhandas quality of consciousness.
- Diti: in a sukta addressed to Agni,[note 25] Vamadeva calls Agni as Diti (दिति) which word is to be read as Aditi, the all devouring Death.[note 26] Aditi is an ancient Rig Vedic deity; she is the divine mother of all Vedic gods and therefore, is the source of all things. Her womb, protected by Vishnu, is the navel of prithvi. Aditi means boundlessness.
Agni and Hindu astrology
Jyotiśa, the study of astronomy and astrology, is one of the six vedangas or limbs of the Vedas. The first drekkana ofTaurus and Virgo sign is ruled by Agni, and the 10th shashtiamsa (1/60th part of the sign) is the Agni-amsa. Persons born in fiery signs ruled by Agni are enthusiastic, energetic but accident prone. The 3rd nakshatra (constellation) beginning with Ashvinī is ruled by Agni.
He joins these other eleven Devas of Buddhism, found in Japan and other parts of southeast Asia:
- Indra (Taishaku-ten),
- Agni (Ka-ten),
- Yama (Emma-ten),
- Nirrti (Rasetsu-ten),
- Vayu (Fu-ten),
- Ishana (Ishana-ten),
- Kubera (Tamon-ten),
- Varuna (Sui-ten)
- Brahma (Bon-ten),
- Prithvi (Chi-ten),
- Surya (Nit-ten),
- Chandra (Gat-ten).
Agni is an important entity in Ayurveda. Agni is the fiery metabolic energy of digestion, allows assimilation of food while ridding the body of waste and toxins, and transforms dense physical matter into subtle forms of energy the body needs.Jathar-agni determines the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, Bhuta-agni determines the production of bile in the liver, Kloma-agni determines the production of sugar-digesting pancreatic enzymes and so forth. The nature and quality of these agnis depend on one’s dosha which can be – vata, pitta or kapha.
Agni is also known as Vaisvanara, food.[note 27] Just as the illuminating power in the fire is a part of Agni’s own effulgence, even so the heating power in the foods digestive and appetizing power is also a part of Agni’s energy or potency.
Agni dev is the other name of Lord Agni which is best known as Lord of fire. Lord Agni has the second position in Hinduism after the Lord Indra. According to the Hindu mythology Agni is one of most significant God in the Vedic gods. The most importance role of Lord Agni is in fire give up and rituals. Due to consume fire for offerings to the gods, he is take part as the mediator in between heaven and earth. To give respect Lord Agni, Hindus are estimated to face fires in the correct direction for different purposes. When they facing East fire should be used for give up to the gods, when facing in South, the fire should be stand for sacrifices to the feelings of dead. And lastly Fires should face west when it used for cooking. They were born from a lotus created by Lord Brahma (the inventor in Hindu mythology).
In accordance to the Hindu mythology and Vedic scriptures Lord Agni as red hued, having three legs, seven tongues, seven hands, and two faces. These two faces of Lord Agni are indicative to beneficent and critical qualities. The Seven rays of light are comes from them. Lord Agni is a rider of ram and also the creator of a fire weapon called ‘agneyastra‘. Lord Agni is the custodian of Southeast direction. It is same as the fires as burns all impurities, the wearer will be eliminate of all sins and achieve purity of thought and endeavor. Lord Agni is one of three supreme deities of the Rig Veda, i.e. Agni, Vayu and Surya. All these three Gods control over earth, air and sky respectively.
Agni Gayatri Mantra | अग्नि गायत्री मंत्र
ऊँ महाज्वालाय विद्महे अग्नि मध्याय धीमहि |
तन्नो: अग्नि प्रचोदयात ||
Ohm Mahajwalay Vidmahe Agni Madhyay Dhimhi |
Tanoo: Agni Prachodayat ||
According to Hindu Mythology chanting of Agni Gayatri Mantra regularly is the most powerful way to please God Agni and get his blessing.
How to chant Agni Gayatri Mantra
To get the best result you should chant Agni Gayatri Mantra early morning after taking bath and in front of God Agni Idol or picture. You should first understand the Agni Gayatri Mantra meaning in hindi to maximize its effect.
Benefits of Agni Gayatri Mantra
Regular chanting of Agni Gayatri Mantra gives peace of mind and keeps away all the evil from your life and makes you healthy, wealthy and prosperous.
Agni Gayatri Mantra in Tamil/Telgu/Gujrati/Marathi/English
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हवन / यज्ञ/ अग्निहोत्र मनुष्यों के साथ सदा से चला आया है। हिन्दू धर्म में सर्वोच्च स्थान पर विराजमान यह हवन आज प्रायः एक आम आदमी से दूर है। दुर्भाग्य से इसे केवल कुछ वर्ग, जाति और धर्म तक सीमित कर दिया गया है। कोई यज्ञ पर प्रश्न कर रहा है तो कोई मजाक। इस लेख का उद्देश्य जनमानस को यह याद दिलाना है कि हवन क्यों इतना पवित्र है, क्यों यज्ञ करना न सिर्फ हर इंसान का अधिकार है बल्कि कर्त्तव्य भी है. यह लेख किसी विद्वान का नहीं, किसी सन्यासी का नहीं, यह लेख १०० करोड़ हिंदुओं ही नहीं बल्कि ७ अरब मनुष्यों के प्रतिनिधि एक साधारण से इंसान का है जिसमें हर नेक इंसान अपनी छवि देख सकता है. यह लेख आप ही के जैसे एक इंसान के हृदय की आवाज है जिसे आप भी अपने हृदय में महसूस कर सकेंगे..
हवन- मेरी आस्था
हिंदू धर्म में सर्वोपरि पूजनीय वेदों और ब्राह्मण ग्रंथों में यज्ञ/हवन की क्या महिमा है, उसकी कुछ झलक इन मन्त्रों में मिलती है-
अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवमृत्विजम्. होतारं रत्नधातमम् [ ऋग्वेद १/१/१/]
समिधाग्निं दुवस्यत घृतैः बोधयतातिथिं. आस्मिन् हव्या जुहोतन. [यजुर्वेद 3/1]
अग्निं दूतं पुरो दधे हव्यवाहमुप ब्रुवे. [यजुर्वेद 22/17]
सायंसायं गृहपतिर्नो अग्निः प्रातः प्रातः सौमनस्य दाता. [अथर्ववेद 19/7/3]
प्रातः प्रातः गृहपतिर्नो अग्निः सायं सायं सौमनस्य दाता. [अथर्ववेद 19/7/4]
तं यज्ञं बर्हिषि प्रौक्षन् पुरुषं जातमग्रतः [यजुर्वेद 31/9]
अस्मिन् यज्ञे स्वधया मदन्तोधि ब्रुवन्तु तेवन्त्वस्मान [यजुर्वेद 19/58]
यज्ञो वै श्रेष्ठतमं कर्म [शतपथ ब्राह्मण 1/7/1/5]
यज्ञो हि श्रेष्ठतमं कर्म [तैत्तिरीय 3/2/1/4]
यज्ञो अपि तस्यै जनतायै कल्पते, यत्रैवं विद्वान होता भवति [ऐतरेय ब्राह्मण १/२/१]
यदैवतः स यज्ञो वा यज्याङ्गं वा.. [निरुक्त ७/४]
इन मन्त्रों में निहित अर्थ और प्रार्थनाएं इस लेख के अंत में दिए जायेंगे जिन्हें पढकर कोई भी व्यक्ति खुद हवन करके अपना और औरों का भला कर सकता है. पर इन मन्त्रों का निचोड़ यह है कि ईश्वर मनुष्यों को आदेश करता है कि हवन/यज्ञ संसार का सर्वोत्तम कर्म है, पवित्र कर्म है जिसके करने से सुख ही सुख बरसता है.
यही नहीं, भगवान श्रीराम को रामायण में स्थान स्थान पर ‘यज्ञ करने वाला’ कहा गया है. महाभारत मेंश्रीकृष्ण सब कुछ छोड़ सकते हैं पर हवन नहीं छोड़ सकते. हस्तिनापुर जाने के लिए अपने रथ पर निकल पड़ते हैं, रास्ते में शाम होती है तो रथ रोक कर हवन करते हैं. अगले दिन कौरवों की राजसभा में हुंकार भरने से पहले अपनी कुटी में हवन करते हैं. अभिमन्यु के बलिदान जैसी भीषण घटना होने पर भी सबको साथ लेकर पहले यज्ञ करते हैं. श्रीकृष्ण के जीवन का एक एक क्षण जैसे आने वाले युगों को यह सन्देश दे रहा था कि चाहे कुछ हो जाए, यज्ञ करना कभी न छोड़ना.
जिस कर्म को भगवान स्वयं श्रेष्ठतम कर्म कहकर करने का आदेश दें, वो कर्म कर्म नहीं धर्म है. उसका न करना अधर्म है.
हवन- मेरा जीवन
मेरा जन्म हुआ तो हवन हुआ. पहली बार मेरे केश कटे तो हवन हुआ. मेरा नामकरण हुआ तो हवन हुआ. जन्मदिन पर हवन हुआ, गृह प्रवेश पर हवन हुआ, मेरे व्यवसाय का आरम्भ हुआ तो हवन हुआ, मेरी शादी हुई तो हवन हुआ, बच्चे हुए तो हवन हुआ, संकट आया तो हवन हुआ, खुशियाँ आईं तो हवन हुआ. एक तरह से देखूं तो हर बड़ा काम करने से पहले हवन हुआ. किस लिए? क्योंकि मेरी एक आस्था है कि हवन कर लूँगा तो भगवान साथ होंगे. मैं कहीं भी रहूँगा, भगवान साथ होंगे. कितनी भी कठिन परिस्थिति हों, भगवान मुझे हारने नहीं देंगे. हवन कुंड में डाली गयी एक एक आहुति मेरे जीवन रूपी अग्नि को और विस्तार देगी, उसे ऊंचा उठाएगी. इस जीवन की अग्नि में सारे पाप जलकर स्वाहा होंगे और मेरे सत्कर्मों की सुगंधि सब दिशाओं में फैलेगी. मैं हार और विफलताओं के सारे बीज इस हवन कुंड की अग्नि में जलाकर भस्म कर डालता हूँ ताकि जीत और सफलता मेरे जीवन के हिस्से हों. इस विश्वास के साथ हवन मेरे जीवन के हर काम में साथ होता है.
हवन- मेरी मुक्ति
हवन कुंड की आग, उसमें स्वाहा होती आहुतियाँ और आहुति से और प्रचंड होने वाली अग्नि. जीवन का तेज, उसमें डाली गयीं शुभ कर्मों की आहुतियाँ और उनसे और अधिक चमकता जीवन! क्या समानता है! हवन क्या है? अपने जीवन को उजले कर्मों से और चमकाने का संकल्प! अपने सब पाप, छल, विफलता, रोग, झूठ, दुर्भाग्य आदि को इस दिव्य अग्नि में जला डालने का संकल्प! हर नए दिन में एक नयी उड़ान भरने का संकल्प, हर नयी रात में नए सपने देखने का संकल्प! उस ईश्वर रूपी अग्नि में खुद को आहुति बनाके उसका हो जाने का संकल्प, उस दिव्य लौ में अपनी लौ लगाने का संकल्प और इस संसार के दुखों से छूट कर अग्नि के समान ऊपर उठ मुक्त होने का संकल्प! हवन मेरी सफलता का आर्ग है. हवन मेरी मुक्ति का मार्ग है, ईश्वर से मिलाने का मार्ग है. मेरे इस मार्ग को कोई रोक नहीं सकता.
हवन- मेरा भाग्य
लोग अशुभ से डरते हैं. किसी पर साया है तो किसी पर भूत प्रेत. किसी पर किसी ने जादू कर दिया है तो किसी के ग्रह खराब हैं. किसी का भाग्य साथ नहीं देता तो कोई असफलताओं का मारा है. क्यों? क्योंकि जीवन में संकल्प नहीं है. हवन कुंड के सामने बैठ कर उसकी अग्नि में आहुति डालते हुए इदं न मम कहकर एक बार अपने सब अच्छे बुरे कर्मों को उस ईश्वर को समर्पित कर दो. अपनी जीत हार उस ईश्वर के पल्ले बाँध दो. एक बार पवित्र अग्नि के सामने अपने संकल्प की घोषणा कर दो. एक बार कह दो कि अब हार भी उसकी और जीत भी उसकी, मैंने तो अपना सब उसे सौंप दिया. तुम्हारी हर हार जीत में न बदल जाए तो कहना. हर सुबह हवन की अग्नि में इदं न मम कहकर अपने काम शुरू करना और फिर अगर तुम्हे दुःख हो तो कहना. जिस घर में हवन की अग्नि हर दिन प्रज्ज्वलित होती है वहाँ अशुभ और हार के अँधेरे कभी नहीं टिकते. जिस घर में पवित्र अग्नि विराजमान हो उस घर में विनाश/अनिष्ट कभी नहीं हो सकता.
हवन- मेरा स्वास्थ्य
आस्था और भक्ति के प्रतीक हवन को करने के विचार मन में आते ही आत्मा में उमड़ने वाला ईश्वर प्रेम वैसा ही है जैसे एक माँ के लिए उसके गर्भस्थ अजन्मे बच्चे के प्रति भाव! न जिसको कभी देखा न सुना, तो भी उसके साथ एक कभी न टूटने वाला रिश्ता बन गया है, यही सोच सोच कर मानसिक आनंद की जो अवस्था एक माँ की होती है वही अवस्था एक भक्त की होती है. इस हवन के माध्यम से वह अपने अजन्मे अदृश्य ईश्वर के प्रति भाव पैदा करता है और उस अवस्था में मानसिक आनंद के चरम को पहुँचता है. इस चरम आनंद के फलस्वरूप मन विकार मुक्त हो जाता है. मस्तिष्क और शरीर में श्रेष्ठ रसों (होर्मोंस) का स्राव होता है जो पुराने रोगों का निदान करता है और नए रोगों को आने नहीं देता. हवन करने वाले के मानसिक रोग दस पांच दिनों से ज्यादा नहीं टिक सकते.
हवन में डाली जाने वाली सामग्री (ध्यान रहे, यह सामग्री आयुर्वेद के अनुसार औषधि आदि गुणों से युक्त जड़ी बूटियों से बनी हो) अग्नि में पड़कर सर्वत्र व्याप्त हो जाती है. घर के हर कोने में फ़ैल कर रोग के कीटाणुओं का विनाश करती है. वैज्ञानिक शोध से पता चला है कि हवन से निकलने वाला धुआँ हवा से फैलने वाली बीमारियों के कारक इन्फेक्शन करने वाले बैक्टीरिया (विषाणु) को नष्ट कर देता है. अधिक जानकारी के लिए इस लिंक पर जाइए– http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-08-17/health/28188655_1_medicinal-herbs-havan-nbri
विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन (WHO) के अनुसार दुनिया भर में साल भर में होने वाली ५७ मिलियन मौत में से अकेली १५ मिलियन (२५% से ज्यादा) मौत इन्ही इन्फेक्शन फैलाने वाले विषाणुओं से होती हैं! हवन करने से केवल ये बीमारियाँ ही नहीं, और भी बहुत सी बीमारी खत्म होती हैं, जैसे-
२. हर तरह का बुखार
३. मधुमेह (डायबिटीज/शुगर)
४. टीबी (क्षय रोग)
५. हर तरह का सिर दर्द
६. कमजोर हड्डियां
७. निम्न/उच्च रक्तचाप
८. अवसाद (डिप्रेशन)
इन रोगों के साथ साथ विषम रोगों में भी हवन अद्वितीय है, जैसे
९. मूत्र संबंधी रोग
१०. श्वास/खाद्य नली संबंधी रोग
११. स्प्लेनिक अब्सेस
१२. यकृत संबंधी रोग
१३. श्वेत रक्त कोशिका कैंसर
१४. Infections by Enterobacter Aerogenes
१५. Nosocomial Infections
१६. Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis
१७. nosocomial non-life-threatening infections
और यह सूची अंतहीन है! सौ से भी ज्यादा आम और खास रोग यज्ञ थैरेपी से ठीक होते हैं! सबसे बढ़कर हवन से शरीर, मन, वातावरण, परिस्थितियों और भाग्य पर अद्भुत प्रभाव होता है. घर परिवार, बच्चे बड़े सबके उत्तम स्वास्थ्य, आरोग्य और भाग्य के लिए यज्ञ से बढ़कर कुछ नहीं हो सकता! दिन अगर यज्ञ से शुरू हो तो कुछ अशुभ हो नहीं सकता, कोई रोग नहीं हो सकता.
हवन- मेरा सबकुछ
यज्ञ/हवन से सम्बंधित कुछ मन्त्रों के भाव सरल शब्दों में कुछ ऐसे हैं
– इस सृष्टि को रच कर जैसे ईश्वर हवन कर रहा है वैसे मैं भी करता हूँ.
– यह यज्ञ धनों का देने वाला है, इसे प्रतिदिन भक्ति से करो, उन्नति करो.
– हर दिन इस पवित्र अग्नि का आधान मेरे संकल्प को बढाता है.
– मैं इस हवन कुंड की अग्नि में अपने पाप और दुःख फूंक डालता हूँ.
– इस अग्नि की ज्वाला के समान सदा ऊपर को उठता हूँ.
– इस अग्नि के समान स्वतन्त्र विचरता हूँ, कोई मुझे बाँध नहीं सकता.
– अग्नि के तेज से मेरा मुखमंडल चमक उठा है, यह दिव्य तेज है.
– हवन कुंड की यह अग्नि मेरी रक्षा करती है.
– यज्ञ की इस अग्नि ने मेरी नसों में जान डाल दी है.
– एक हाथ से यज्ञ करता हूँ, दूसरे से सफलता ग्रहण करता हूँ.
– हवन के ये दिव्य मन्त्र मेरी जीत की घोषणा हैं.
– मेरा जीवन हवन कुंड की अग्नि है, कर्मों की आहुति से इसे और प्रचंड करता हूँ.
– प्रज्ज्वलित हुई हे हवन की अग्नि! तू मोक्ष के मार्ग में पहला पग है.
– यह अग्नि मेरा संकल्प है. हार और दुर्भाग्य इस हवन कुंड में राख बने पड़े हैं.
– हे सर्वत्र फैलती हवन की अग्नि! मेरी प्रसिद्धि का समाचार जन जन तक पहुँचा दे!
– इस हवन की अग्नि को मैंने हृदय में धारण किया है, अब कोई अँधेरा नहीं.
– यज्ञ और अशुभ वैसे ही हैं जैसे प्रकाश और अँधेरा. दोनों एक साथ नहीं रह सकते.
– भाग्य कर्म से बनते हैं और कर्म यज्ञ से. यज्ञ कर और भाग्य चमका ले!
– इस यज्ञ की अग्नि की रगड़ से बुद्धियाँ प्रज्ज्वलित हो उठती हैं.
– यह ऊपर को उठती अग्नि मुझे भी उठाती है.
– हे अग्नि! तू मेरे प्रिय जनों की रक्षा कर!
– हे अग्नि! तू मुझे प्रेम करने वाला साथी दे. शुभ गुणों से युक्त संतान दे!
– हे अग्नि! तू समस्त रोगों को जड़ से काट दे!
– अब यह हवन की अग्नि मेरे सीने में धधकती है, यह कभी नहीं बुझ सकती.
– नया दिन, नयी अग्नि और नयी जीत.
हे मानवमात्र! हृदय पर हाथ रखकर कहना, क्या दुनिया में कोई दूसरी चीज इन शब्दों का मुकाबला कर सकती है? इस तरह के न जाने कितने चमत्कारी, रोगनाशक, बलवर्धक और जीत के मन्त्रों से यह हवन की प्रक्रिया भरी पड़ी है. जिंदगी की सब समस्याओं का नाश करने वाली और सुखों का अमृत पिलाने वाली यह हवन क्रिया मेरी संस्कृति का हिस्सा है, धर्म का हिस्सा है, आध्यात्म का हिस्सा है, यह सोच कर गर्व से सीना फूल जाता है. हवन मेरे लिए कोई कर्मकांड नहीं है. यह परमेश्वर का आदेश है, श्रीराम की मर्यादा की धरोहर है. श्रीकृष्ण की बंसी की तान है, रण क्षेत्र में पाञ्चजन्य शंख की गुंजार है, अधर्म पर धर्म की जीत की घोषणा है. हवन मेरी जीत का संकल्प है, मेरी जीत की मुहर है. मैं इसे कभी नहीं छोडूंगा.
अग्निवीर घोषणा करता है कि अब हम हर घर में हवन करेंगे और करवाएंगे. न जाति का बंधन होगा और न मजहब की बेडियाँ. न रंग न नस्ल न स्त्री पुरुष का भेद. अब हर इंसान हवन करेगा, सुखी होगा!
जो कोई भी व्यक्ति- हिन्दू, मुस्लिम, सिख, ईसाई, बौद्ध, यहूदी, नास्तिक या कोई भी, हवन करना चाहता है, संकल्प करना चाहता है, वह कर सकता है। कोई जाति धर्म- मजहब या लिंग का भेद नहीं है।
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