[Advaita-l] In Rig-veda Agni Deva, the fire, is Brahman

Deosaran Bisnath deobisnath at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 7 14:15:18 CST 2005

Respected Sirs Ji's,
Pranams to you all.
Many thanks for such scholarly stuff.
I look forward to your contributions as 
I wend my way towards greater knowledge and 
If I may humbly inform, there seems to be 
repetition of messages, and as you know 
too much of a good thing is not advisable.




--- sidha at omkarananda-ashram.org wrote:

> In Rig-veda Agni Deva, the Fire, is Brahman
> Respected Shriparasukhananda Ji,
> >>>>>>I am highly impressed with your scholarly articles in the advitaL
> groop messages and understand your burning quest to know about the
> real knowledgr. I read your articles on the Sun and the fire,
> depicting them as Brahmam.
> Respected Sir, my inspiration has been the following passage from the
> Nirukta. Which would enable you to understand my direction. "When the
> humans saw the Rishis (Seers of the Mantras) departing from this earth,
> they asked the Devas, who would be our Rishi now? They gave them the Rishi
> Tarka, which is Logic or rationality." The second episode that has kept on
> inspiring me is the famous teaching of Buddha, "don't accept what I say
> because I'm saying it, but think and meditate upon it, and if it appeals
> to you only then accept it". The third term that has inspired me immensely
> is the term "oha-brahma" used in Rig-veda 10-71-8, which mean "those for
> whom Uha = Tarka Logic rationality is the greatest. However, as there is a
> saying "tarkaapratishthaanaat" there is no end to logic, my attitude
> towards that Tarka is the described again by Yaska in his final sentence
> of the Nirukta, "This Tarka is the combination of Shruti (hearing or
> studying the Vedas), Mati (Understanding them rationally) and Buddhi
> (realizing them), and one can only reach its end by austerity (the
> austerity that has been described in the 17th chapter of the Gita)". In
> ManuSmriti it is clearly mentioned (12-106) that "Only a person, who
> meditates upon the teachings of the Rishis with the help of Logic that is
> not against the Veda, knows the true essence of Dharma, no one else." This
> is the attitude that I keep in my mind. I might sound sometimes against
> the scriptures, I can be against all scriptures, but not the Vedas. That
> is for sure.
> While mentioning ManuSmriti here I would like to add that the attitude
> towards the interpretation of the Rig-Veda that I have adopted, or Agni,
> as in the article that has been rejected by you, is also mentioned in the
> Manu Smriti, "Some people call it Agni, others call it Manu, others call
> it Prajapati, some call it Indra, some call it Prana, others call it the
> ETERNAL BRAHMAN" (12-123).
> >>>>>>>>>>But in my opinion, none with a name and form can be given the
> status of Brahmam instantly, although every particle of the
> world is not different from the Brahmam.
> Brahman is itself a name that has been given by the Upanishads. OM is a
> name of that Brahman. Similarly Agni can be accepted simply as a name of
> that Supreme. A name that is particularly describing a very particular
> aspect of the Supreme, which is Light. The Supreme has manifested itself,
> and indeed it is its first manifestation in the process of creation, in
> the form of Light that is existing everywhere in this universe. In the
> Big-bang, In the center of a Galaxy, in the center of our solar system, in
> the center of our earth, in the center of our body. By taking this "Tejas"
> as a symbol, we are trying to worship and glorify that Supreme, which is
> not the least different from this Tejas.
> >>>>>>>>The Fire, as I know is the symbol of darkness in vedantha, and was
> placed in the lower Amedhya chakraas.
> I think we are confusing tantra with Vedanta. How on earth can Fire be the
> symbol of Darkness in any scripture at all? I can't recall any Vedantic
> scripture telling any similar thing, on the contrary the Shatapatha
> Brahmana, of which the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is a part, clearly states
> that "indeed Agni is Brahman" (10-4-1-5). Even the Gita (4-24,
> "brahmAgnau") could be interpreted in a similar way, even though such an
> interpretation has been condemned by Acharya Shankara. However, we
> shouldn't forget that his condemning of such an interpretation is not
> since the interpretation would be wrong, but simply because that wouldn't
> be appropriate to the particular context. That leaves some room for
> validity for such an interpretation.
> The only thing that I have read in a few places in the Rig-veda is that
> Agni has been said to attain its "tejas" from the Sun while the Sun sets.
> In a way the Sun before setting "hands-over" its Tejas to Agni deva. That
> is totally logical since the true illumination of the physical Agni is
> only visible after the Sun sets. So, somehow it can be said to be in its
> full glory and radiance only in the night, but how that should lead to its
> being a symbol of darkness would be a total mystery for me. Is there any
> logical explanation you could give?
> Regarding chakraas, I'm totally ignorant in that field. I don't have any
> knowledge at all. However, I can't see their existence in any Vedic
> scripture. So, I'm not interested in them, since that doesn't come into my
> field. I want to remain pure Vedic, that is a complete thing in itself,
> based on the Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanishads. Even scriptures
> like Brahmasutra and Gita don't mention Chakras, so I don't feel any
> necessity in knowing more about them right now. Neither can I "relate" to
> them myself whenever I hear anything or read about them from anybody. For
> me, anatomy helps me more in my Vedic research. I'm more interested in
> things like Descartes telling us about the seat of soul, Pineal Gland,
> sort of stuff. That interests me very much, since at least I can relate to
> those things. Since they scientifically proved and I can freely get
> convinced from them. It is the same with Vedas. With as much as I have
> studied yet, I'm 100% convinced. I think this is a very great necessity,
> we can only be successful in a particular path when we are 100% convinced.
> Only then the power of truth (that has been described in the Chandogya
> Upanishad, "esha vaa ativadati, yah satyenaativadati") comes in our speech
> and life. Otherwise we shout things that we are secretly not sure
> ourselves. Sorry, I'm just giving my thoughts freely.
> Chakras have even not been mentioned in any traditional commentary of the
> Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. It is a very modern development, from scriptures
> like ShatchakraNirupana etc.
> >>>>>>>It is the place for all the worldly pleasures and mostly belongs to
> the aasuree pravritti..
> How can the fire be the place for all worldly pleasure? Yes, one can
> obtain beautiful concepts by worshiping the fire, he can obtain a
> particular attitude towards life, which if implied into practical world
> could lead a person to become a millionaire, I should say, just for an
> example. In this way the worship of the fire can bestow all types of
> wealth upon us, but why on earth should it be the place for worldly
> pleasures, I can't really understand. If you are talking about the Amedhya
> Chakra then I'm again totally ignorant. Please help me to understand, I'm
> ready and positive.
> Let me tell you that all the Devas, including Agni, are called "asura" in
> the Rig-veda. Asura is a great term of respect, if taken in the
> terminology of the Rig-veda. The word "Ahura Mazda" (God's name in
> Zoroastrianism) has been derived from the Vedic term "Asura". This is in
> fact again a name of Supreme Brahman in the Rig-veda, and it is the only
> underlying similarity between all the Devas. "devaanaam asuratvam ekam" as
> the Rig-veda says. Asu means knowledge, ra = to have, he who has the
> greatest Prajna, knowledge, is called Asura in the Rig-veda. You can see
> here how the ancient Vedic culture and terminology is different from
> today, even the way of thinking is very different, this is the ancient
> culture that I'm striving to rediscover. I'm only discussing all this in
> here to see what the scholars have to say against all this.
> >>>>>>>The agnimandala represents to the Adholokaas which are called
> Andhataamisra. These chakraas are also called as Siva Chakraas.
> I invite you towards a better understanding for such terms. I think one
> should look at them with a more logical and understandable interpretation.
> Let us be realistic, let us please talk about things that we at least can
> relate to in our daily life. These are all things that are fit for great
> scholars, but don't have any meaning in the external reality and in
> today's scientific world. What I love about the Veda that it has a perfect
> scientific context. These things don't  have in existence in today's
> scientific world-view.
> Adholokas for me only mean people that live in a lower realm of
> consciousness, like those living with extremely selfish motif. How should
> they be represented by the Agnimandala, I can't understand!
> Andhataamisra, the way I understand it, is only a synonym for Abhinivesha,
> described in the Yoga Sutras 2-9, the fear of death that we see in the
> form of the common instinct to protect ourselves, the fear of total
> elimination. This has been called "andhataamistra" in Veda Vyasa's
> commentary on the Yoga Sutra 1-8, and also has been clearly mentioned in
> Vishnupurana 1-5-5. This is also an effect of Avidya. Any other
> interpretation seems not at all logical, rational and scientific to me.
> Please clarify.
> >>>>>>“Chaturasraprakritikam Siva Chakra chatushtayathmakam.” This Agni is
> considered as Rudra. Himself.
> I know that Agni is also mentioned in many places as Rudra, but that is
> mainly the Agni existing in the thunderbolt. I know that the whole Shri
> Rudram (in the Yajur Veda) is nothing else but a prayer to that Agni,
> Vaidyutaagni or Madhyamaagni. "rauti iti rudrah" (Nirukta 10-7-3), it is
> called Rudra since in makes a great sound, like a Vrishabha, a bull.
> Durga's commentary on the Nirukta also adds that since it kills the
> sinners or makes them to weep, it is called Rudra. Prana is also praised
> in various places as "Rudra" since it makes our relatives to weep when the
> Prana departs. However, according to the Nighantu, on which Yaska's
> Nirukta is a commentary, says that the term Rudra also means a stotaa, one
> who prays to the Lord, a worshipper. Since he also creates divine sound.
> >>>>>>>“AgnirVay Rudrah” Rudra is a god who makes every one cry and weep
> by immersing one in the samsaara and compels him to immerse in the
> worldly pleasures and suffer eternally.
> I can't find any Vedic proof for this interpretation. I should rather say
> that Brahman in the form of "the Destroyer" of this creation, as mentioned
> in many upanishads and also the 2nd Sutra of the BrahmaSutra, is Rudra.
> So, Rudra is just one aspect of that Supreme Brahman. I would like to tell
> you that I have seen many Shlokas (but not Mantras to be clear) in which
> Brahma Vishnu and Rudra have been described as being the three faces of
> Bhagavan Surya Deva.
> >>>>>>>>>>> “Sahasraani sahasraso ye rudraa adhibhoomyaam-
> theShagum sahasra yojane avadhanvaanithanmasi.”
> Rudra is only one, "eka eva rudro na dvitiiyo'vatasthe", there is only one
> Rudra, not a second one. This is what one Mantra says. The second Mantra
> quoted by you says very clearly that there are sahasra (i.e. endless)
> Rudras. This apparent contradiction in the Veda is reconciled by
> interpreting the endlessness of Rudra through His manifestations. There
> are many such apparent contradictions existing in the Veda, which can only
> be understood in the light of a spiritual interpretation of the Veda. For
> example one Mantra says, "Indra doesn't have any enemy" while one other
> Mantra clearly mentions that "Indra conquered hundreds of His enemies".
> >>>>>>>>>Unless the Rudra is associated with the Sakthi he does deserve to
> be honoured at all.
> He can not be called Siva.
> Why not? In many places Rudra, i.e. Agni is called Shiva. Shiva just means
> Kalyana kara, one who is auspicious, divine. It means "bhadra". According
> to the Nighantu "shiva" means "sukha, ananda" i.e. bliss. It is in many
> places of the Veda just mentioned as an attribute to Agni. The word Shiva
> also sometimes becomes "sheva" in Rig-veda meaning the same (bliss).
> Please have a look at Monior Williams Dictionary. The first few meaning of
> the word Shiva are its Vedic meanings. It is in this meaning that I used
> that term in my previous article.
> >>>>>Agni is also called Jaathavedah.
> Jaatavedas in the Veda means "one who knows all that have come into
> existence". Agni is called so because he lies in every womb giving birth
> to every creature. Isn't it the warmth and heat of the mother, from which
> the child gets nourished. Even the egg needs heat to develop. Agni Deva is
> doing its work for every creature to be born, this is what is meant by
> Jaatavedas.
> >>>>>>>>>>Jaathavedasi is Durga. “Jaathavedase sunavaama somam”. She is
> the nectar or the Water.
> Durgaa has nowhere in the Samhita parts of the Veda mentioned as a
> goddess. That is a later pauranic development of Maayaa. The term
> Jaatavedasi doesn't even exist in Vedic literature according to my
> knowledge. I doubt if it exists anywhere else. It would be a great help to
> me if you could point out any reference. I haven't come across any such
> reference in the past 20 years, since I have been studying Sanskrit. In
> the mantra that you have quoted, it is only the 4th case of "jaatavedas",
> i.e. we bow down to Jatavedas, the fire.
> Even in the following Mantra "taam agnivarnaam tapasaa" etc. Durga has
> been mentioned as being radiant and burning like the fire, which rules out
> the possibility of its meaning "water". However, this is the only place
> where she has been mentioned, in the last part of the Taittiriya Aranyaka,
> in it "Khila", which is like an appendix. The Aranyaka itself is the last
> part of the Taiitiriya Brahmana, which in turn is the last part of
> Taittiriya Samhita. Sayana clearly indicates here in the commentary that
> Durga has been only mentioned in the Kalpa Sutras apart from here. She is
> not at all a Vedic goddess. The rest Mantras of the Sukta are only praises
> to Agni, nothing to do with Durga. Just the word occurs, that too in
> neutral gender, nothing to do with Goddess Durga.
> >>>>>>>>Both these water and Fire are an inseparable duel like Siva and
> Parvathi,
> I'm sorry but I'm really unable to understand what you mean by this? And
> have you come to this conclusion? Is there any such statement that has led
> you to this conclusion?
> >>>>>>>> “Apsu jyothih pratishthitam” “ “JyoteenShyaapah pratisthithaah”,
> “Adhbhyo agnih”.
> The first two quotations are from the Taitttiriya 3-8. I would like to
> have a clear reference to the third one, since I think that quotation is
> "agneraapah. adbhyah prithivii" (Taittiriya 2-1).
> The first two quotation simply say that there is fire is established in
> the waters (one can see that in the clouds) and there is water in the
> fire. H2O = water. Hydrogen is highly flammable, and also oxygen is a must
> for combustion. However, the context there in the Upanishad is that "water
> is the food, and fire is the one who eats the food", this is how they are
> mutually existing within each other. There are two more such similar
> examples in that context, Prana exists in the body and body exists in the
> Prana, i.e. body is depended on the Prana; or the earth is existing in the
> ether, i.e. it is the ether that is bearing the earth, and the ether is
> existing in the earth. What is meant is that in a similar way "water
> exists in the fire" since fire is the cause of water, and "fire exists in
> the water" in the same way like clay exists in a clay-pot.
> Traditional scholars like Sayana comment upon it in a different way. He
> says, "fire is existing in the water, because we see fire in the form of
> thunderbolt in the waters of the clouds. And water is existing in the
> fire, because we see that when the body is heated, it starts to perspire".
> One thing is for sure, that this shruti doesn't in any way proof that
> water and fire are inseparable duel or something like that. That is a very
> different context.
> >>>>>We cant say which is first in the evolution.
> It is clear from the correct third quotation that fire comes first
> according to the Srishtikrama of the Upanishads, accepted by all
> philosophers and water comes after fire.
> >>>>>>>>“Yopaamaayatanam veda aayatanavaan bhavathi
> agnirva apaamaayatanam aayathanavaan bhavathi
> yo agneraayathanam veda aayathanavaan bhavathi
> aapova agneraayathanam aayathanavan bhavathi
> ya evam veda||”
> Sayana explains this thus: The cause of the waters is the fire, that is
> why they are established in the fire. However, since the entire creation
> is said be existing in the beginning in the form of "apas" or "salila"
> which is a mixture of all objects, also translated as a sort of water, but
> indeed not the physical water, here the term "water" just has been used to
> denote a particular type of mixture. In which even the fire is existing.
> This is a very deep science, which has to be understood deeply and
> mystically. Only then all this can be understood. If you are interested,
> in further understanding of this quotation according to Shvetashvatara
> etc. please let me know, I would search you out all the needed quotations
> to make my point clear. They are just not popping up into my mind right
> now.
> >>>>>>>“Ashrutaa sashrutaa sascha yajwaano ye apyajwanah
> swaryantho naapyapekshatha indramagnincha ye viduh
> sikathaa iva samyanthi rasmibhih samudeerithaa
> asmaallokaadamusha chyetyapahaarunikee srutih||”
> We have to meditate upon both the agni and water together in a combined
> form and not separately. Here Indra means the lord of waters. If you say
> Agni is Brahma, it can not be the truth.
> Please give clear references to the above quotation. Since I have mainly
> focused my studies on the Rig-veda, I'm unable to locate the above
> quotation. I'm unable to comment until I don't see the context. Indra
> nowhere in the Veda is the lord of waters. That is again a later Pauranic
> development, totally not heard about in the Vedas. If at all, but that too
> only to some extent, the God of waters is "Varuna". Indra and Agni have
> been glorified in a combined form in a very few Suktas in the Rig-veda.
> All other Suktas glorify them differently.
> >>>>>>>>In the same way, the Sun god also cannot be considered as Brahma.
> The Sun is not a reality at all.
> There are so many Surya Suktas in the Rig-veda.
> >>>>>>> It is the admixture of ”agneeshomathmakam” and having no
> individuality at all.
> Please give a clear reference stating that!
> >>>>>>>The golden coloured rays of the Agni (having the nature of rising
> upwards) while ascending towards the moon, and the white silvery
> rays of the moon decending downwards, both met and mixed up in the
> Chathurdasa bhuvanaatmaka chaturdasaara chakra and formed as a
> round circle there.
> Any Vedic proof?
> >>>>>>It is described in sreesuuktha as “Suvarna rajatha srajaam”.
> That is a description of Lakshmi. Nothing to do with all the stuff you
> have mentioned in the above paragraph.
> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Just as the universe of the fourteen worlds is considered
> as Midhyaa, this Sun also should be considered as Midhya.
> It is, eventually everything is Mithya. Even the Ishvara in Vedanta is
> Mithya. When there is no creation, there can be no creator. But still we
> say that Ishvara is Sopadhika Brahman. It is the same with the Sun. It is
> a manifestation, but what I mean to say is that in many places in the
> Rig-veda that Supreme God has been praised by calling it "Sun". I don't
> mean to say that this physical sun that is visible to our eyes, is
> Brahman. This is just a manifestation.
> >>>>>>>>>>>Have you ever seen any authority in vedaas that the rays of the
> sun going to the moon? The vedaas recognized the moon only as
> Swayamprakasaka. And not the Sun god at all. The Sun represents
> the universe which is Jada, cannot be equelled with the
> Brahman.
> A total misunderstanding. Please read the following words from an article
> by me recently published in a magazine.
> "One particular ray of Surya Bhagavan (the Sun) has been mentioned in the
> Shukla Yajur Veda 18-40, called "SushumNa", i.e. great bliss ("sushumNaH
> sushThusukhah" as Acarya Durga, the commentator of the Nirukta interprets
> it in Sanskrit). This particular ray is said to give light to the moon,
> clearly indicating that Vedic Seers knew very well that the light seen in
> the moon, is not its own, but it simply reflects the light of the Sun.
> That is why one of the name of the moon in the Veda is "Gandharva", i.e.
> the bearer of a ray (from the Sun)."
> In the end, before concluding I would like to thank you very much for
> taking the pains to consider my exhaustive article. I thank you very much
> and would feel very sorry if I heart anybody's feelings with this
> free-minded article. This is just for a better understanding of the
> scripture. I could be totally wrong, but this was what seemed correct to
> me.
> With all my Love and respect, Pranams to you, and thank you very much once
> more,
> Siddhartha Krishna
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