Forms of Agni

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There are ten forms of Agni — 5 natural and five rituals.

  1. Agni as the common earthly fire (laukika agni).
  2. Indra (or Vayu) the power of the lightning the source of conflagrations and forest fires (dāvāgni)
  3. Sūrya as the celestial fire (Divya-agni)
  4. Vaiśvānara — the inner power of digestion which makes it possible for all living things to ingest and digest food. It is the support of life.
  5. The fire of destruction — Agn’s most fearful form and remains hidden under the sea ever ready to destroy the planet. bāḍava-agni or vāḍava (“to dive”). It lies dormant in the mouth of a volcano.
  6. Brahma-agni — fire-of-the-immensity. This fire is born when the churning of the fire-sticks (araṇi) occurs.
  7. prajāpatya-agni — fire-of-the-lord-of-progeny. This fire is given to the brahmacāri when he is invested with the sacred thread and has to offer daily samidha-dānam.
  8. The fire of total destruction — Agn’s most fearful form and remains hidden under the sea ever ready to destroy the planet. bāḍava-agni or vāḍava (“to dive”). It lies dormant in the mouth of a volcano.
  9. Brahma-agni — fire-of-the-immensity. This fire is born when the churning of the fire-sticks (araṇi) occurs.
  10. prajāpatya-agni — fire-of-the-lord-of-progeny. This fire is given to the brahmacāri when he is invested with the sacred thread and has to offer daily samidha-dānam
  11. gārhapatya-agni — fire-of-the-householder. This is the fire which is kindled at the time of marriage and brought home to be worshipped every day for the rest of one’s life.
  12. dakṣiṇā-agni — fire-of-the-ancestors. This is the fire into which offerings are made to the ancestors and rituals of excorcism (abhicāra-yajña) are performed.
  13. kravyāda-agni — fire-of-the-cremation. Is lit when the body is cremated — it should always be respected but avoided.

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