Wednesday, February 22, 2017
TYPES OF AGNI IN VEDAS
A friend asked that he has heard of three names of Agni and wanted to know the 8 names. I had named the 8 Agni and explained them with modern science in this forum a few days ego, which is recirculated here. Vedas should not be taken literally. What you say about Agni is true in a different context. These three are: आहवनीय, गार्हपत्य दक्षिणाग्नि - three types of Agni used in यज्ञ. Based on their placement, Yaska in his Nirukta also classifies them into three categories. This is sometimes described as three faces of Agni. But this cannot be true, as Agni is known to have 7 tongues namely: काली, कराली, मनोजवा, सुलोहिता, सुधूम्रवर्णा, स्फुलिङ्गिनी, विश्वरूची, and देवी लेलायमाना ।. Three faces cannot have 7 tongues - सप्तजिह्वा. Thus, these are aspects and not faces. कोटि does not mean 10 million, but class or group here. Hence the number of देवाः is only 33 types. I will discuss these separately. Regarding the eight names of Agni, तैत्तिरीय आरण्यकम् says: अग्निश्च जातवेदाश्च । सहोजा अजिराप्रभुः । वैश्वानरो नर्यापाश्च । पङ्क्तिराधाश्च सप्तमः । विसर्पेवाऽष्टमोऽग्निनाम् । एतेऽष्टौ वसवः क्षिता इति । We must remember that Vedas have three different aspects and their interpretations: mass interpretation (अधिभूत), energy interpretation (अधिदैव) and Conscious interpretation (आध्यात्म). Our body is the mass part. Longevity is dependent on the flow of energy in the body. Our actions and freewill are regulated by our Consciousness. The same is true for even atoms to the universe (यत् पिण्डे तत् ब्रह्माण्ढे). Here the 8 Agni refers to the eight GLUONS of Standard Model of Particle Physics, that holds the quarks together (अग्निचयन) in a process known as confinement (अन्तर्याम सम्बन्ध) to create protons and neutrons that constitute atoms - hence everything in the universe (वसवः क्षिता). Hence they have been called वसु, because, as बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद defines them: वसयति इति वसवः - they are called वसु because they constitute everything in the universe.