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Vaishvanara Agni In Vedas – Information About Agni In Vedas

Vaishvanara is one of the synonyms of Agni, the fire god in Hinduism. Some of the Rig Vedic mantras (IX.66) are associated with Vaishvanara Agni. He is regarded as water-born, cow-born, law-born, born from the sky, from the breath etc. and even his three births in the sea, heaven and waters are referred to in early literature.

The birth of Vaishvanara Agni from ten young women is figurative of his creation from Aranis with the help of ten fingers. He has various forms and lives in three abodes. He is described as having seven red tongues (also seven red steeds), seven faces, a huge mouth, redneck, tawny eyes, bright hair and golden seed.

Vaishvanara Agni is the first dispeller of darkness. Literature has several references to his varied names and epithets, allegorical and metaphorical also, which bespeak of his appearance, functions, relations, and distinctive features: Saptajihva (having seven tongues), Pingaksha (tawny red), Aranisuta (son of Aranis), Kumarasu (father of Kumara), Dahana (burner), Plavanga (leaper), Sikhin (pointed), Arka (light), Dhumaketu (smoke-bannered), Pavana and Pavaka (purifier), Suci and Sukra (pure),Hutabhuj (eater of oblations), Havyavaha (conveyor of oblations) and so on.

Vaishvanara is identified and associated with numerous gods and animals. He destroys demons and hostile powers, possesses excellent qualities and transcendental powers. He is connected with Vedas and Vedic studies, and many philosophical speculations are connected with him. Sometimes he is invoked as a witness also. He is the all consuming lord of the world and the creator. He is the source of energy and a great force himself.

Vaishvanara is Anala, the son of Anila, the wind god. As per Skanda Purana, he was born in the town called Jyotismati as the son of a Brahmin couple, Vishvanara and Sucismati, by the grace of Lord Shiva. The boy was directed to perform penance to avoid bad luck that would fall on him. The boy performed penance addressing Shiva. But Indra, the king of gods, appeared before this boy and asked him to seek the boon. The boy refused the grace of Indra.  Indra got angry and was about to strike him down. At that time, Lord Shiva appeared and blessed the boy. As per Shiva’s grace, the boy was given the portfolio of the ruler ship of the southeast (agneya dik dikpalakatva) under the control of Indra.

On introducing himself to Shibi, Vaishvanara Agni says “I am Vaishvanara Jvalana Dhumaketu” and to the Pandavas he says “I am Pavaka Agni.” According to the Bhagavad Gita (XV-14), Lord Krishna declares that he is residing in all the beings in the form of the fire (the pranic force) called Vaishvanara and digests the food inputs. This is a recapitulation of a Vedic passage, which states that fire by the name of Vaishvanara resides in the stomach of each being; this is combined with the life force in the forms of prana and apana, causing the activity of digestion and assimilation of food. According to one interpretation in the Vedanta, describing the states of consciousness, the ‘Vishwa’ state is symbolically indicated by Vaishvanara.