Agni in Vedavangmaya (अग्निः वेदवाङ्मये)

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Agni (Samskrit: अग्निः) is the devata for fire, yajnas and divine knowledge. A large number of mantras and suktas are devoted to describing and praising Agni in various texts. Kindling of Agni, which generically refers to lighting of fire, is one of the important aspects in all वैदिकयज्ञः (Srauta Yajnas or rituals prescribed in Vedas) and गह्ययज्ञः (Grhyayajnas, homas in domestic affairs such as that in samskaras). Agni carries the ahutis (oblations) of men to the devatas in heavenly worlds, who thereby pleased ensure the continuance of conditions favorable to mankind.

अग्निः ॥ Agni, as a devata important next to Indra, occupies a notable place as होत्र || hotr (the carrier of offerings in a yajna) and is significantly revered in the Rigveda with many suktas rendered to propitiate Him. Further as we gradually progress towards the Upanishads, Agni is personified as the ज्ञानिः || Jnani (Knower of Brahman). The three Fires (गार्हपत्यः ॥ Gaarhapatya, आहवनीयः॥ Aahavaniya, and दक्षिणाग्निः ॥ Dakshinaagni) expound brahmavidya to Upakosala (the student of Satyakama Jabali), in the Chandogya Upanishad.

Thus, starting with the sacred agnihotras tended by the householder, as the sacred bearer of offerings, to the feared Kravaaya form of Fire which is invoked to burn corpses, and finally to the inner subtle form as representative of Jnana, Agni is the crucial lifeline of a grihastha engaged in Bharateeya samskriti since vedic period.

Agni in Rigveda

Rigveda starts with Agnisukta and thereafter many mandalas have suktas related to and in praise of Agni. The very first word, mantra and sukta of the oldest veda, Rig veda starts with Agni as revealed to Rishi Madhuchchandah Vaishvamitah (Gaayatri chandas). Agni figures prominently in as many as 200 suktas of the Rig veda. Along with Indra and Surya, Agni is a significant deity of Rigveda. Agni is the Rishi or mantra drasta of many suktas in the 9th Mandala.

A very brief compilation of a few qualities of Agni based on the different mantras of Rig veda are presented below,

  • Rig Veda mantras (1.76.4) describes Agni as one who takes the offerings of humans through his mouth (वह्निरासा), who purifys and blesses one with sons (progeny), wealth and knowledge, that Agni is invited along with other devatas.[1]

    प्रजावता वचसा वह्निरासा च हुवे नि च सत्सीह देवैः । वेषि होत्रमुत पोत्रं यजत्र बोधि प्रयन्तर्जनितर्वसूनाम् ॥४॥ (Rig. Veda.1.76.4)[2]

    prajāvatā vacasā vahnirāsā ca huve ni ca satsīha devaiḥ । veṣi hotramuta potraṁ yajatra bodhi prayantarjanitarvasūnām ॥4॥ (Rig. Veda.1.76.4)

  • Rig Veda mantras (1.77.1 to 5) describes the role of Agni as the होता || Hota, who invites the other devatas, who carries the yajna offerings of the mortals to the deities, knows the desires of men and helps in fulfilling them.[1]

    यो अध्वरेषु शंतम ऋतावा होता तमू नमोभिरा कृणुध्वम् । अग्निर्यद्वेर्मर्ताय देवान्स चा बोधाति मनसा यजाति ॥२॥ (Rig. Veda.1.77.2)[3]

    yo adhvareṣu śaṁtama r̥tāvā hotā tamū namobhirā kr̥ṇudhvam । agniryadvermartāya devānsa cā bodhāti manasā yajāti ॥2॥ (Rig. Veda.1.77.2)

  • Agni is described as the अग्निर्जातवेदाः Jatavedaa, meaning one who has the knowledge of vedas and is a learned by birth. He is the witness to every deed (सर्वद्रष्टा) born in the lineage of Gautama[1]. Reference to Agni as Jataveda is made in many other places of Rig veda and other literatures.

    अभि त्वा गोतमा गिरा जातवेदो विचर्षणे | दयुम्नैरभि पर णोनुमः || (Rig. Veda.1.78.1)[4]

    जातवेदसे सुनवा मसोममरातीयतो नि दहाति वेदः | स नः पर्षदति दुर्गाणि विश्वा नावेव सिन्धुं दुरितात्यग्निः || (Rig. Veda. 1.99.1)[5]

    अग्निरस्मि जन्मना जातवेदा घर्तं मे चक्षुरमृतं म आसन | अर्कस्त्रिधातू रजसो विमानो.अजस्रो घर्मो हविरस्मि नाम || (Rig. Veda.3.26.7)[6]

    abhi tvā gotamā girā jātavedo vicarṣaṇe | dayumnairabhi para ṇonumaḥ || (Rig. Veda.1.78.1)

    jātavedase sunavā masomamarātīyato ni dahāti vedaḥ | sa naḥ parṣadati durgāṇi viśvā nāveva sindhuṁ duritātyagniḥ || (Rig. Veda. 1.99.1)

    agnirasmi janmanā jātavedā ghartaṁ me cakṣuramr̥taṁ ma āsana | arkastridhātū rajaso vimāno.ajasro gharmo havirasmi nāma || (Rig. Veda.3.26.7)

  • Rig Veda mantra 1.44.7 describes Agni as one who is विश्ववेदस् intellectual, illuminated by many people in their hearts (who perform havan) and praised for bringing along other distinguished jnanapradayaka devatas so that we are bestowed with jnana.[1][7]

    होतारं विश्ववेदसं सं हि त्वा विश इन्धते । स आ वह पुरुहूत प्रचेतसो ऽग्ने देवाँ इह द्रवत् ॥ (Rig. Veda.1.44.7)[8]

    hōtāraṁ viśvavēdasaṁ saṁ hi tvā viśa indhatē । sa ā vaha puruhūta pracētasō 'gnē dēvām̐ iha dravat ॥ (Rig. Veda.1.44.7)

  • Rig Veda mantra (1.27.10), addresses Agni as similar to Rudra (who destroys the bad qualities).[1]

    जराबोध तद्विविड्ढि विशेविशे यज्ञियाय | स्तोमं रुद्राय दृशिकम् || (Rig. Veda. 1.27.10)[9]

    jarābōdha tadviviḍḍhi viśēviśē yajñiyāya | stōmaṁ rudrāya dr̥śikam || (Rig. Veda. 1.27.10)

    Meaning : Agni similar to Rudra, is one who makes the enemies weep.[7]

  • Rig Veda mantra (2.1.6) directly addresses Agni as Rudra[10].

    त्वमग्नेरुद्रो असुरो महो दिवस्त्वं शर्धो मारुतं पृक्ष ईशिषे | (Rig. Veda. 2.1.6)[11]

    tvamagnērudrō asurō mahō divastvaṁ śardhō̱ mārutaṁ pr̥kṣa īśiṣē | (Rig. Veda. 2.1.6)

Agni in Brahmanas

The role of Agni in Brahmanas highlight the use of fire as the chief carrier of the havishya with the chanting of mantras. The ritualistic part is always associated with the mantras without which yajnas or ishtis are not possible.

Satapatabrahmanam (Madhyandina)

The Ukhasambharana kanda (6th Kanda) of Shatapatha Brahmana (Maadhyandina sakha) starts with the description of Agnichayana or building of the fire altar. This kanda describes the importance of Agni, the fire, who is identified with Prajapati, the Srustikarta, who is the source of life in this world.

Shatapatabrahmana: Ukhasambharana (6 Kanda) Prathama Adhyaya Prathama Brahmana (अथाग्निचित्याब्राह्मणम् Agnichitya brahmanam) (6.1.1.5 and 11)[12]

स एव पुरुषः प्रजापतिरभवत् | स यः स पुरुषः प्रजापतिरभवत् - अयमेव सः योऽयमग्निश्चीयते || 5 काण्डिका

sa ēva puruṣaḥ prajāpatirabhavat | sa yaḥ sa puruṣaḥ prajāpatirabhavat - ayamēva saḥ yō'yamagniścīyatē || 5 kāṇḍikā

'सः' एषः सप्तभिः पुरुषैर्निपऩ्न एकः पुरुषः 'प्रजापतिः' विराट् अभूत् | एवं लिङ्गशरीराभिमानिहिरण्यगर्भकर्तृका विराडुत्पत्तिरुक्ता, तस्य विराजोऽग्निरूपतामाह - स यः पुरुषः इति | 'स प्रजापतिः' एव 'अयं चीयमानः अग्निः' इत्यर्थः || Saayana Bhashyam of 5 काण्डिका (Page no 63 of Reference [13])

'saḥ' ēṣaḥ saptabhiḥ puruṣairnipaऩna ēkaḥ puruṣaḥ 'prajāpatiḥ' virāṭ abhūt | ēvaṁ liṅgaśarīrābhimānihiraṇyagarbhakartr̥kā virāḍutpattiruktā, tasya virājō'gnirūpatāmāha - sa yaḥ puruṣaḥ iti | 'sa prajāpatiḥ' ēva 'ayaṁ cīyamānaḥ agniḥ' ityarthaḥ || Saayana Bhashyam of 5 kāṇḍikā

Meaning : That Prajapati is identified as Agni, formed from seven lustrous persons. That Agni covers all expanse. Prajapati as the Srustikarta creates all the celestial beings and heavenly bodies such as Aakasha, nakshtras. He also creates Agni as the sacrificial fire.

अथ यो गर्भोऽन्तरासीत् - सोऽग्निरसृज्यत | स यदस्य सर्वस्याग्रमसृज्यत - तस्मादग्निः | अग्निर्हवै तमग्निरित्याचक्षते परोऽक्षम् | परोऽक्षकामा हि देवाः |.... 11 काण्डिका

atha yō garbhō'ntarāsīt - sō'gnirasr̥jyata | sa yadasya sarvasyāgramasr̥jyata - tasmādagniḥ | agnirhavai tamagnirityācakṣatē parō'kṣam | parō'kṣakāmā hi dēvāḥ |.... 11 kāṇḍikā

ततः 'यः' जातगर्भः, 'सः' "अग्निः असृज्यत" तस्मात् सर्वस्य स्थूलप्रपञ्चस्य "अग्रम्" आदौ सृष्टत्वात् अग्निरित्युच्यते | तम् अग्रिम् इदानीन्तना अग्निनाम्ना व्यवहारं कुर्वन्ति | .... Saayana Bhashyam of 11 काण्डिका

tataḥ 'yaḥ' jātagarbhaḥ, 'saḥ' "agniḥ asr̥jyata" tasmāt sarvasya sthūlaprapañcasya "agram" ādau sr̥ṣṭatvāt agnirityucyatē | tam agrim idānīntanā agnināmnā vyavahāraṁ kurvanti | .... Saayana Bhashyam of 11 kāṇḍikā

Summary : Agni is described here as the form of heat which is the root of all creation. He is created first and forms the base for all gross creation until the present time. Hence Agni is called अग्रिम् || Agrim (first)

Satpathabrahmanam (Kanva)

It proclaims Agni as wisdom or discriminating power. The Adhvara (4th) kanda has 9 adhyayas each of which contains 4 brahmanas further divided into varying number of kaandikas. It describes the Agnistoma yajna wherein detailed procedures involving many "इष्टिः || isthis" (similar to a yajna) including the construction of the yagasala and invocation of Agni are given.[14]

मेधायै मनसेऽग्नये स्वाहेति मेधया वै मनसाभिगच्छति यजेयेति तदस्येतदमुभयमात्मन्येव यन्मेधा च मनश्च ते अस्मिन्नेते उभे देवते आत्मन्याधीते || (Kanva Shata. Brah. 4.1.4.11)

mēdhāyai manasē'gnayē svāhēti mēdhayā vai manasābhigacchati yajēyēti tadasyētadamubhayamātmanyēva yanmēdhā ca manaśca tē asminnētē ubhē dēvatē ātmanyādhītē || (Kanva Shata. Brah. 4.1.4.11)

Meaning : Yajamani chants " To wisdom, to mind, to Agni - Svaaha". He intends with his mind, " May I perform the yajna". These two - wisdom and mind are within himself. He meditates upon both these deities (intent) in his own mind.

Agni in Upanishads

Isavasyopanishad

In this Upanishad, the last two mantras, as given below are a prayer to Agni who is the divine witness to the actions of every life form

वायुरनिलममृतमथेदं भस्मान्तम् शरीरम् । ॐ क्रतो स्मर कृतम् स्मर क्रतो स्मर कृतम् स्मर ॥१७॥ (Isav. Upan. 17)[15]

vāyuranilamamr̥tamathedaṁ bhasmāntam śarīram ।oṁ krato smara kr̥tam smara krato smara kr̥tam smara ॥17॥ (Isav. Upan. 17)

अग्ने नय सुपथा राये अस्मान्विश्वानि देव वयुनानि विद्वान् । युयोध्यस्मज्जुहुराणमेनो भूयिष्ठां ते नम उक्तिं विधेम ॥१८॥ (Isav. Upan. 18)[15]

agne naya supathā rāye asmānviśvāni deva vayunāni vidvān ।yuyodhyasmajjuhurāṇameno bhūyiṣṭhāṁ te nama uktiṁ vidhema ॥18॥ (Isav. Upan. 18)

Summary : Let my vital force merge with the Immortal being or Hiranyagarbha and let the body be reduced to ashes, Om, O my mind (Fire is identified with the mind) remember your deeds. Let Agni, who knows all our deeds, lead us along the right path or the bright path of the Devas (Devayana path from where there is no return to mortality), remove from us all crooked sins.[16][17]

This is the prayer for the dissolution of the individual prana into the infinite prana. Agni is prayed to as the chief priest of the sacrifice and the divine witness of all actions done by the individual, when the body is being reduced to ashes. He is the principle intelligence which guides all thoughts and actions, a path to Universal Knowledge. Agni at the first step is like guide with a torch that illuminates the path of the soul.[18]

Kenopanishad

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. Agni in an attempt to know what makes up Brahman is sent to Yaksha swaroopa Brahman, who tests his abilities (Kenopanishad, Khanda 3[19]).

तेऽग्निमब्रुवन् जातवेद एतद्विजानीहि किमेतद्यक्षमिति तथेति ॥ ३॥ (Kena. Upan. 3.3)

te'gnimabruvan jātaveda etadvijānīhi kimetadyakṣamiti tatheti ॥ 3॥ (Kena. Upan. 3.3)

Summary: Upon seeing the illuminated form of the Yaksha (Brahman) all the celestial beings were amazed, so they chose the illumine form of devatas, Agni to approach Yaksha. They desirous of knowing It, instruct Agni "O Jataveda (omniscient), find out thoroughly about what this Yaksha is". Here Agni is considered as अग्रणीः or one who leads or takes everyone forward.[16]

तदभ्यद्रवत्तमभ्यवदत् कोऽसीत्यग्निर्वा अहमस्मीत्यब्रवीज्जातवेदा वा अहमस्मीति ॥ ४॥ (Kena. Upan. 3.4)

tadabhyadravattamabhyavadat ko'sītyagnirvā ahamasmītyabravījjātavedā vā ahamasmīti ॥ 4॥ (Kena. Upan. 3.4)

Summary : With great pride Agni announces "अहम अग्निः अस्मि, इति". I am that Agni that illumines the visible objects, showing his self-importance. Every shape and form of any particular object is visible form of me, जातवेदाः Jatavedas!

तस्मिंस्त्वयि किं वीर्यमित्यपीदं सर्वं दहेयं यदिदं पृथिव्यामिति ॥५॥ (Kena. Upan. 3.5)

tasmiṁstvayi kiṁ vīryamityapīdaṁ sarvaṁ daheyaṁ yadidaṁ pr̥thivyāmiti ॥5॥ (Kena. Upan. 3.5)

Summary : Hearing the conceited words of Agni, Yaksha questions him about his valour and capability. Agni replies saying - I can burn and destroy all the things on earth.[20]

तस्मै तृणं निदधावेतद्दहेति तदुपप्रेयाय सर्वजवेन तन्न शशाक दग्धुम् । स तत एवनिववृते नैतदशकं विज्ञातुं यदेतद्यक्षमिति ॥ ६॥ (Kena. Upan. 3.6)

tasmai tr̥ṇaṁ nidadhāvetaddaheti tadupapreyāya sarvajavena tanna śaśāka dagdhum । sa tata eva
nivavr̥te naitadaśakaṁ vijñātuṁ yadetadyakṣamiti ॥ 6॥ (Kena. Upan. 3.6)

Summary : Destroying the pride of Agni, Yaksha questions him if he can destroy the blade of grass placed before him which he could not destroy with his full force. Agreeing his inadequacy, Agni returns to the devatas claiming ignorance of the Brahman. Then he learns about the Parabrahma tattva.

Kenopanishad expounds brahmavidya based on the principles that Jivatma and Paramatma are different and Brahman has to be realized by sadhana.

Katha Upanishad 

Kathopanishad given by कठमहर्षिः Katha maharshi is about the dialogue between Yama and Nachiketa, where the esoteric significance is about spiritual practice of the mankind. Nachiketa is given away to Yama (Mrityu devata or god of death) by his father Uddalaka as part of charity during a yajna. Nachiketa reaches Yamapuri and is informed that Yamadevata is not available so he fasts and keeps vigil at the gates awaiting the return of Yama. Seeing him Yama grants three boons to Nachiketa. As the second boon Nachiketa asks Yama as follows

स त्वमग्निं स्वर्ग्यमध्येषि मृत्यो, प्रब्रूहि त्वं श्रद्दधानाय मह्यम् । स्वर्गलोका अमृतत्वं भजन्त एतद् द्वितीयेन वृणे वरेण ॥ १३॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.1.13)[21]

sa tvamagniṁ svargyamadhyeṣi mr̥tyo, prabrūhi tvaṁ śraddadhānāya mahyam । svargalokā amr̥tatvaṁ bhajanta etad dvitīyena vr̥ṇe vareṇa ॥ 13॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.1.13)

Meaning : "Oh Mrityu, you know very well that Agni (sacred fire) is the means of attainment of heaven. Explain to me as I have asked you earnestly, by which the liberated souls attain immortality. This is the second boon I choose."[16]

प्र ते ब्रवीमि तदु मे निबोध स्वर्ग्यमग्निं नचिकेतः प्रजानन् । अनन्तलोकाप्तिमथो प्रतिष्ठां विद्धि त्वमेतं निहितं गुहायाम् ॥ १४॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.1.14)

pra te bravīmi tadu me nibodha svargyamagniṁ naciketaḥ prajānan । anantalokāptimatho pratiṣṭhāṁ viddhi tvametaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām ॥ 14॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.1.14)

Yama replies " O Nachiketa! I know about the sacred fire and I shall explain it to you. Know that Agni is the means to attain all worlds and in it lies the greatness of the people performing vedic rites."

लोकादिमग्निं तमुवाच तस्मै या इष्टका यावतीर्वा यथा वा । स चापि तत्प्रत्यवदद्यथोक्तं अथास्य मृत्युः पुनरेवाह तुष्टः ॥ १५॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.1.15)

lokādimagniṁ tamuvāca tasmai yā iṣṭakā yāvatīrvā yathā vā । sa cāpi tatpratyavadadyathoktaṁ athāsya mr̥tyuḥ punarevāha tuṣṭaḥ ॥ 15॥ (Kath. Upan. 1.1.15)

Yama expounds to Nachiketa the secrets of Agni that leads to heaven and the number and mode of setting of fire bricks required to build the altar.[16][20]

Kaushitaki Upanishad

Kaushitaki Upanishad associated with the Rig Veda describes the role of Agni in the transit of soul in Devayana marga.[22][23]

स एतं देवयानं पन्थानमापद्याग्निलोकमागच्छतिस वायुलोकं स आदित्यलोकं (Kaus. Upan. 1.3)[24]

sa etaṁ devayānaṁ panthānamāpadyāgnilokamāgacchatisa vāyulokaṁ sa ādityalokaṁ (Kaus. Upan. 1.3)

Chandogya Upanishad 

Chandogya upanishad (Chap 5 and 6) describes Panchagnividya, the meditation on the five fires (symbolic). Panchagnividya, however, is not actually fires in the physical sense, or an outward sacrificial activity, nor a penance or tapas but deals with the knowledge or meditation to know the inner meaning of the common phenomenon of birth and death.

It is a method of meditation wherein evolution and the cycle of samsara-chakra is understood such that a householder frees himself from the bondage of the samsara-chakra. This all inclusiveness and comprehension of various aspects of the world and their relationship to the Universe is the secret of the meditation that is Panchagnividya. It explains the interconnectivity of everything that exists, with creation as a kind of sacrifice. Each manifestation, the microcosm, is a manifestation of Prakrti, the macrocosm.

The Dialogue of the Three Fires with Upakosala, the student of Satyakama Jabali, reveals Agni's knowledge of the Brahman. Upakosala was sitting sorrowfully and quietly in the yajnashala after Satyakama Jabali left without teaching him the science of brahmavidya.[20][25]

अथ हाग्नय: समूदिरे, तप्तो ब्रह्मचारी कुशलं न: पर्यचारीद्धन्तास्मै प्रब्रवामेति तस्मै होचु: ॥ ४ ॥ (Chan. Upan. 4.10.4)

atha hāgnaya: samūdire, tapto brahmacārī kuśalaṁ na: paryacārīddhantāsmai prabravāmeti tasmai hocu: ॥ 4 ॥ (Chan. Upan. 4.10.4)

Meaning: The 3 fires then said among themselves: "this brahmachari has performed his penances and has tended us (fires) very well. let us teach him (about Brahman). " So saying they talk about breath and akasha and their being connected with brahman. Each fire (garhapatya, ahvaneeya and daakshina) explain to him about his own particular philosophy.

अथ हैनं गार्हपत्योऽनु शशास  पृथिव्यग्निरन्नमादित्य इति य । एष आदित्ये पुरुषो दृश्यते सोऽहमस्मि स एवाहमस्मीति ॥ १ ॥ (Chan. Upan. 4.11.1)

atha hainaṁ gārhapatyo'nu śaśāsa  pr̥thivyagnirannamāditya iti ya । eṣa āditye puruṣo dr̥śyate so'hamasmi sa evāhamasmīti ॥ 1 ॥ (Chan. Upan. 4.11.1)

Meaning : The gaarhapatya fire taught him " the earth, fire, food and sun - these are my four forms (bodies). And the person seen in the sun (personification) that I am, that I am indeed!". One who understands and meditates upon it, becomes invincible and lives a complete life.

The vyahiritis to be performed if the sacrificial fires are injured are mentioned very beautifully in this Upanishad.[16]

Mundaka Upanishad 

Mundakopanishad (1.2.1-5) describes the role of Agni in Karmakanda before a householder rises up in the Jnanamarga. The procedure to light Agni as a nityakarma and the consequences of not conducting it is explained in detail in this Mundaka.[26]

यदा लेलायते हृार्चि: समिद्धे हव्यवाहने | तदाज्यभागावन्तरेणाहुती: प्रतिपादयेत् || (Mund. Upan. 1.2.2)

yadā lelāyate hr̥ārci: samiddhe havyavāhane | adājyabhāgāvantareṇāhutī: pratipādayet || (Mund. Upan. 1.2.2)

Meaning : When the flames of the bearer of the havisya offerings (fire) are bright and high, let the offerings (of sacrificial ghee) be given, with faith, between the two (tongues) flares of the fire.

यस्याग्निहोत्रमदर्शमपौर्णमासमचातुर्मास्यमनाग्रयणमतिथिवर्जितं च | अहुतमवैश्वदेवमविधिना हुतमाससप्तमां स्तस्य लोकान्हिनस्ति || (Mund. Upan. 1.2.3)

yasyāgnihotramadarśamapaurṇamāsamacāturmāsyamanāgrayaṇamatithivarjitaṁ ca | ahutamavaiśvadevamavidhinā hutamāsasaptamāṁ stasya lokānhinasti || (Mund. Upan. 1.2.3)

One (householder) whose Agnihotra is devoid of the Darsa, Paurnamaasa Chaaturmasya (four autumnal observances) sacrifices, is not attended by the Atithi (uninvited guest), is without Vaisvedeva (offerings to the animals and birds) or is not performed without proper procedures or not performed at all (that Agnihotra) will destroy the seven worlds (of the householder).[26]

काली कराली च मनोजवा च सुलोहिता या च सुधूम्रवर्णा | स्फुलिङ्गिनीं विश्वरुची च देवी लेलायमाना इति सप्त जिह्वा: || (Mund. Upan. 1.2.4)

kālī karālī ca manojavā ca sulohitā yā ca sudhūmravarṇā | sphuliṅginīṁ viśvarucī ca devī lelāyamānā iti sapta jihvā: || (Mund. Upan. 1.2.4)

Meaning : That Agni, devours with his seven tongues or flames namely 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)[27]

Verses and Meanings

अग्निसूक्त - ९ मधुच्छन्दा वैश्वामित्रः ऋषिः । अग्निः देवता।  गायत्री छन्दः। प्रथमं मण्डलम्।[28]

agnisūkta - 9 madhucchandā vaiśvāmitraḥ r̥ṣiḥ । agniḥ devatā।  gāyatrī chandaḥ। prathamaṁ maṇḍalam। (Rig. Veda. 1.1.1 to 9)

अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवमृत्विजम् । होतारं रत्नधातमम् ॥१

agnimīḻe purohitaṁ yajñasya devamr̥tvijam । hotāraṁ ratnadhātamam ॥1

अग्निः पूर्वेभिर्ऋषिभिरीड्यो नूतनैरुत । स देवाँ एह वक्षति ॥२

agniḥ pūrvebhirr̥ṣibhirīḍyo nūtanairuta । sa devām̐ eha vakṣati ॥2

अग्निना रयिमश्नवत् पोषमेव दिवेदिवे । यशसं वीरवत्तमम् ॥३

agninā rayimaśnavat poṣameva divedive । yaśasaṁ vīravattamam ॥3

अग्ने यं यज्ञमध्वरं विश्वत: परिभूरसि । स इद् देवेषु गच्छति ॥४

agne yaṁ yajñamadhvaraṁ viśvata: paribhūrasi । sa id deveṣu gacchati ॥4

अग्निर्होता कविक्रतुः सत्यश्चित्रश्रवस्तमः । देवो देवेभिरा गमत् ॥५

agnirhotā kavikratuḥ satyaścitraśravastamaḥ । devo devebhirā gamat ॥5

यदङ्ग दाशुषे त्वमग्ने भद्रं करिष्यसि । तवेत् तत् सत्यमङ्गिरः ॥६

yadaṅga dāśuṣe tvamagne bhadraṁ kariṣyasi । tavet tat satyamaṅgiraḥ ॥6 

उप त्वाग्ने दिवेदिवे दोषावस्तर्धिया वयम् । नमो भरन्त एमसि ॥७

upa tvāgne divedive doṣāvastardhiyā vayam । namo bharanta emasi ॥7

राजन्तमध्वराणां गोपामृतस्य दीदिविम् । वर्धमानं स्वे दमे ॥८

rājantamadhvarāṇāṁ gopāmr̥tasya dīdivim । vardhamānaṁ sve dame ॥8

स न: पितेव सूनवे ऽग्ने सूपायनो भव । सचस्वा नः स्वस्तये ॥९

sa na: piteva sūnave 'gne sūpāyano bhava । sacasvā naḥ svastaye ॥9 

Summary : Agni, the chosen one as the minister of yajnas (sacrifice), is worthy to be praised for he brings along other deities with him (He is the bearer of sacrificial offerings from the Yajamani or the Performer of the Yajna). Agni bestows his worshiper with boundless riches and wealth. Indeed greatly revered is Agni, the dispeller of darkness.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Pt. Sripada Damodara Satavalekar. (1985). Rigved ka Subodh Bhashya, Volume 1, Parady: Svadhyaya Mandali
  2. Rig Veda (Mandala 1, Sukta 76)
  3. Rig Veda (Mandala 1. Sukta 77)
  4. Rig Veda (Mandala 1. Sukta 78)
  5. Rig Veda (Mandala 1, Sukta 99)
  6. Rig Veda (Mandala 3 Sukta 26)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Siddhantalankar, Pt. Harisharan. (2009) Rigvedabhashyam, Volume 1 Rajasthan : Sri Ghudhmal Prahladkumar Arya Dharmarth Nyasa
  8. Rig Veda (Mandala 1 Sukta 44)
  9. Rig Veda (Mandala 1 Sukta 27)
  10. Siddhantalankar, Pt. Harisharan. (2010) Rigvedabhashyam, Volume 2 Rajasthan : Sri Ghudhmal Prahladkumar Arya Dharmarth Nyasa
  11. Rig Veda (Mandala 2 Sukta 1)
  12. Shatapatha Brahmana (Ukhasambharana Kanda 6 Agnichitya Brahmanam 1)
  13. Shukla Yajurveda, Madhyandina Shaka, Sayana Bhashyam of Shatapatabrahmana (6.1.1.5 and 11)
  14. Swaminathan. C. R. (2000). Kanvasatapathabrahmanam, Third Volume, New Delhi : Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts and Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd
  15. 15.0 15.1 Isavasyopanishad (Mantras 17 and 18)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Swami Gambhiranand, (1957) Eight Upanishads, With the Commentary of Sankaracarya, Vol 1. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama http://estudantedavedanta.net/Eight-Upanisads-Vol-1.pdf
  17. Swami Sharvananda (1943) Isavasyopanishad Madras:Sri Ramakrishna Math
  18. Swami Krishnananda's Essays on the Upanishads, Isavasyopanishad
  19. Kenopanishad (Khanda 3)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Saraswati, Swami Sivananda, (1936). Dialogues from Upanishads.Amritsar: Em. Airi, Editor Ideal Home Magazine.
  21. Kathopanishad from Vedic Heritage Portal, New Delhi
  22. Warrier, Krishna A. G. Kaushitaki Brahmana-Upanishad Chennai:The Theosophical Publishing House
  23. Kaushitaki Upanishad : http://cincinnatitemple.com/downloads/KaushitakiUpanishad.pdf
  24. Kausihitaki Brahmana-Upanishad
  25. Ganganatha, Jha. (1923). The Chandogya Upanishad and Sri Sankara's Commentary, Fourth Volume, Madras: The India Printing Works
  26. 26.0 26.1 Swami Sharvananda. (1920) Mundaka and Mandukya Upanishads Madras : Sri Ramakrishna Math
  27. Chadha, Prem Nath. (1980). Nine Upanishads Delhi : Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha
  28. Rig Veda (Mandala 1, Sukta 1)