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Maarkandeya Muni-10
Angiraa and Agni Dev

[3-216] Vaishampaayan Jee continued - "After listening to Braahman's account, Yudhishthir again asked Maarkandeya Jee - "Why did Agni Dev hid himself in water in olden times; and why is it that Maharshi Angiraa used to convey oblations during his dissolution. Although there is only one Fire but by its actions, it is seen dividing in many. I wish to know about them. How Kumaar (Kaarttikeya) was born, and how he came to be known as the son of Agni Dev; and how he was born to Rudra, Gangaa and Krittikaa?" Maarkandeya Jee said "In this connection, learned tell the story like this - "In olden times, once Maharshi Angiraa did a severe penance that he even excelled Agni Dev. At the same time, Agni Dev was also doing penance, but he was not happy with his own penance, at the same time he did not know what to do in this regard. Then he thought - "Brahmaa Jee has created another Agni Dev for the benefit of this Universe. As I have been doing penance, my duties must have been done by some other Agni Dev, so how can I re-establish myself as the Devtaa of Agni?" He saw the great Muni Angiraa spreading his effulgence like Agni, so he approached with fear. But Angiraa said to him - "You must quickly re-establish yourself, because you are well recognized in the three worlds, as you were the first created by Brahmaa Jee to dispel darkness." Agni Dev said - "My reputation is injured in this world, and you have become Agni Dev, so people know you as Agni Dev, not me. I have lost my status of Devatwa as Fire god. You become the main Fire god and I shall officiate you as Praajaapatya Fire." Angiraa said - "You become the Agni Dev, you dispel the darkness of the Universe, you take up your duty to carry food to Devtaa and you make me your first child." Maarkandeya Jee said - "Hearing this Agni Dev did as Angiraa Muni told him to do. Angiraa had a son named Brihaspati. Knowing him the first son of Angiraa by Agni, Devtaa came to him and asked him about this mystery. Angiraa Muni told them everything. Devtaa accepted his explanation. Now I will describe you the various types of Agni, which are mentioned in the Braahman by their respective uses."

Angiraa's Family

[3-217] Maarkandeya Jee continued - "O Kuru Bhooshan, Angiraa who was the third son of Brahmaa Jee, had a wife named Shubhaa. Listen to his children from her. His son Brihaspati was very famous, large hearted, he was genius and well learned. Bhaanumatee was his first-born daughter. She was the most beautiful child among all his children. Angiraa's second daughter was Raag (love). She was so named because she was the subject of all creature's love. Sineevaalee was his third daughter. She was so slender in her body that at one time she was visible while at another time she was invisible. She was like Rudra's daughter. Archishmatee was his fourth daughter. She was so named for her effulgence. His fifth daughter was Havishmatee. She was so named because she accepted Havishya. His sixth daughter was Maahishmatee - the pious. His seventh daughter was Mahaamatee who was always present at Yagya. His eighth daughter was named Kuhoo whose voice was very sweet.

[3-218] Maarkandeya Jee said - "Brihaspati had a wife named Taaraa. He had six sons and one daughter from her. In whose honor Ghee Aahuti are offered in the fire on Poornmaasee day, he is the son of Brihaspati. His name is Shamyu (KMG gives his name as Sanju). Even in Chaatur Maaas Period and at Ashwamedh sacrifice time animals are offered to him first and this powerful fire is indicated by numerous flames. Shamyu's wife's name is Satyaa and she is the daughter of Dharm. The blazing fire was his son and he had three daughters. The fire which is offered the first oblation is Shamyu's first son Bharadwaaj.

--His second son is Bharat to him is offered the Ghee Aahuti with the wooden ladle (Shruk) on all the Full Moon Yagya.

Besides these three sons of whom Bharat is the senior, he had a son named Bharat and a daughter named Bhaaratee. The Bharat Fire is the son of  Prajaapti Bharat Agni and because he is greatly honored, he is called great. Bharadwaaj's wife's name is Veeraa and she gave birth to Veer and it is said that he is worshipped like Som (Moon with the same hymns) with Ghee Aahuti. Veer joins Som with secondary oblations of Ghee and is called Rathprabhu, Rathdhwaan and Kumbharetaa. His wife's name is Sarayoo and they had a son named Siddhi. Veer enveloped the Sun in effulgence.

And the Fire Nishchyavan praises the Earth only, he never suffers in reputation and prosperity. The Satyaa Fire is his son, he is free from sin and the regulator of Time. Satyaa Fire has another name - Nishkriti, because he accomplished the Nishkriti (relief) of all creatures here. When properly worshipped, he vouchsafes good fortune. He has a son named Savan (KMG gives his name as Swaan), who creates all diseases. He inflicts people with severe sufferings for which people cry aloud.

--Brihaspati's third son is Vishwajeet.
--The fourth son of Brihaspati is known as Vishwabhuk - he helps digesting food inside he body of people [perhaps Jatharaagni] . He is Brahmchaaree, and worshipped at Paak Yagya. The sacred River Gomatee was his wife and many religious rites are performed at her.
--Brihaspati's fifth son is called Badavaa [perhaps Badavaanal] Who drinks the water of sea. This Braahmik Fire has the tendency of going upward that is why it is called Oordhwabhaag and is seated in the vital Air called Praan.
--His sixth son is Swishtaakrit, because by him the Aahuti become Swisht (su means excellent, and Isht means offered); and the Udagdhar oblations are always made in his honor.
--And when all creatures die, Manyauti named Fire becomes furious. This highly terrible Fire is the daughter of Brihaspati and is known as Swaahaa. She is present in all matters. By the three Gun - Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, Swaahaa has three sons. By the influence of the first Gun Sattwa, she has the son Kaam Dev who is equal to none in Dev Lok. By the influence of the second Gun Rajas, she has the son called Amogh (or invincible Fire) - the destroyer of all enemies. Assured of success he curbs his anger and is armed with a bow and seated on a chariot and adorned with wreaths of flowers. By the influence of the third Gun Tamas, she has a son, the great Uktha (the means of salvation) praised by (akin to) three Uktha [the body, the exciting Cause of our actions is an Uktha, the soul of the vivifier of the body is the second Uktha, and the Supreme Spirit, the inciter of the soul is the third Uktha]. He is the originator of the great word (word of God) and is therefore known as the Sama-swaas or the means of rest (salvation).


[3-219] Maarkandeya Jee continued - "Once Uktha performed a severe penance for many years with the intention to have son, like Brahmaa Jee. And when the invocation was made with the Vyaahriti hymns and with the aid of the five sacred fires - Kashyap, Vashishth, Praan, the son of Praan, Chyavan, the son of Angiraa, and Suvarchak - there arose a very bright energy (force) full of the animating (creative) principle, and of five different colors. Its head was of the color of the blazing fire, its arms were bright like the Sun and its skin and eyes were golden-colored and its feet were black. Its five colors were given to it by those five men through their great penance. This celestial being is therefore described as the mixture of five men, and he is the progenitor of five tribes. After having performed a penance for ten thousand years, that being of great ascetic merit produced the terrible fire appertaining to the Pitri (manes) in order to begin the work of creation, and from his head and mouth respectively he created Brihat and Rathantar (day and night) who quickly steal away [life etc through Time]. He also created Shiv from his navel, Indra from his might and wind and fire from his soul, and from his two arms sprang the hymns Udaatta and Anudaatta. He also produced the mind, and the five senses, and other creatures. Having created these, he produced the five sons of the Pitris. Of these 5 sons of Pitri, Pranidhi was the son of Brihadrath. Brihadrath was the son of Kashyap; Bhaanu was the godson of Chyavan; Saurabh was the son of Suvarchak, and Anudatt was the son of Praan. These 25 beings are reputed (to have been created by him).

Tap also created 15 other gods who obstruct sacrifices. They are Subheem, Bheem, Atibheem, Bheemabal, Abal, Sumitra, Mitravant, Mitragya (KMG writes the name Mitasina), Mitravardhan and Mitradharmaan, and Surapraveer, Veer, Suvek, Suravarchas and Surahantri. These gods are divided into three classes of five each. Located here in this world, they destroy the sacrifices of the gods in heaven; they frustrate their objects and spoil their oblations of clarified butter. They do this only to spite the sacred fires carrying oblations to the gods. If the officiating priests are careful, they place the oblations in their honor outside of the sacrificial altar. To that particular place where the sacred fire may be placed, they cannot go. They carry the oblation of their votaries by means of wings. When appeased by hymns, they do not frustrate the sacrificial rites. Brihadukth, another son of Tap, belongs to the Earth. He is worshipped here in this world by pious men performing Agnihotra sacrifices. Of the son of Tap who is known as Rathantar, it is said by officiating priests that the sacrificial oblation offered in his honor is offered to Mitravindaa. The celebrated Tap was thus very happy with his sons."

In Hindu Mythology there are no gods who destroy sacrifices. It is only the Asur who do so. The Burdwan translator renders this passage,--"fifteen other gods belonging to western nations or Asur." It is noticeable that the beings that were denounced as Asur by the Hindu were worshipped as Gods (Asur) by the followers of Zarathustra.

[3-220] Maarkandeya Jee said - "The fire called Bharat had to follow several rules of asceticism. Pushtimatee is another name of his fire because when he is pleased he promises Pushti (development) of all creatures. For the same reason he is called Bharat (cherisher) also. The other fire named Shiv is the worshipper of Shakti and he relieves the suffering of all creatures, that is why he is called Shiv (the giver of good).

After Tap had done great penance, an intelligent son named Purandar was born to him with the same qualities. Another son was also born to him named Ooshmaa. This fire is observed in the vapor of all the matters. A third son was also born to him, named Manu. He became the Prajaapti. Then there was a fire called Shambhoo. Then there is a bright fire named Aavasathya. Thus Tap created five Oorjaa (strength) giver fires - all bright as gold. These all fires share the Som Ras in Yagya.

When the Sun is tired [after his day's labor] is known as Prashaant fire. he created Asur and other creatures on the Earth.

Angiraa also created Prajaapati Bhaanu, the son of Tap. He is also called Brihadbhaanu (the greater Bhaanu). Bhaanu married Suprajaa, and Brihadbhaanu, the daughter of Soorya (the Sun god). They had 6 sons. Now you listen to their names - the fire which gives strength to weak is called Balad - he is the first son of Bhaanu. The other fire which looks terrible when all the elements are in tranquil state is called Manyumaan fire - he is the second son of Bhaanu. In whom the Aahuti of Ghee are offered in Darsh and Paurnmaasya Yagya, he is called Vishnu in this world - he is the third son of Bhaanu and is called Angiraa or Dhritimaan. And the fire which is offered to Indra is called Aagrayan fire - he is the fourth son of Bhaanu. The fifth son of Bhaanu is Agrah who is the source of oblations made daily to do Chaatur Maas rites. And Stuv is the sixth son of Bhaanu.

Nishaa was the name of another wife of that Manu who is known as Bhaanu. She gave birth to one daughter, two Agnishom and five other fire gods. The fire god who is worshipped with the presiding Deity of the clouds is called Vaishwaanar. The other fire is the Lord of all the world and is called Vishwapati - the second son of Manu. The daughter of Manu was called Savishtkrit because by offering oblations to her one could acquire great merits. Though she was the daughter of Hiranyakashyap, she became his wife because of her evil deeds. She is, however, one of the Prajaapati. The other fire which resides in the vital air of all creatures' bodies is called Sannihit. It helps us to percept sound and form. That Divine spirit whose course is of white and black stains, who is the supporter of fire, who accomplishes the desired Karm and whom the wise regard as a Rishi is called Kapil - the propounder of Saankhya Yog. The fire through whom the elementary spirits receive the offerings called Agra, made by other creatures to do all kinds of peculiar rites in this world, is called Agraani. These other bright fires of the world were created for the rectification of the Agnihotra rites if there happened to be any mistake.

Ashtaakpaal Rites

If the fires interlap each other because of the wind, then the rectification must be made with the Ashtaakpaal rites in the honor of the fire Shuchi. And if the southern fire comes ion contact with the two other fires, then the rectification must be made by with the Ashtaakpaal rites in the honor of the fire Veeti. If the fire, in their place, called Nivesh comes in the contact with the fire called Devaagni, then the Asht akpaal's rites should be performed in the honor of fire called Dasyumaan. If at the time of the performance of this Agnihotra rites the death of any creature is spoken of, or if animals die, then rectification must be made with the performance of the Ashtakpaal rites in honor of the Suraman fire. The Braahman, who while suffering from a disease is unable to offer oblations to the sacred fire for three nights, must make amends for the same by performing the Ashtaakpaal rites in honor of the northern fire. He who has performed the Darsh and the Paurn-maasya rites must make the rectification with the performance of the Ashtaakpaal rites in honor of the Pathikrit fire. If the fire of a lying-in room comes in contact with the perpetual sacred fire, then rectification must be made with the performance of Ashta kpaal rites in honor of the Agnimaan fire."

[3-221] Maarkandeya Jee continued - "Muditaa, The favorite wife of the Fire Swaahaa used to live in water. She had a son named Adwant. Learned Braahman say that this fire is the soul of all creatures. And that fire, under the name of Grihapati, is always worshipped. That great son of Swaahaa, the Adbhut Fire, is the soul of the waters. His son Bharat Fire consumes the dead bodies of all creatures. His first Kratu is known as Niyat at the performance of the Agnishtom Yagya. The powerful prime Fire Swaahaa is always missed by the gods, when Swaahaa sees Niyat approaching him, he hides in the sea from fear of contamination. Once searching for him everywhere the gods could not find him. Swaahaa seeing Atharvaa Fire in front of him said to him - "You carry the oblations to gods, I am very weak, please do me this favor." and Swaahaa went to some other place. But his hiding place was known by the finny tribe, so Fire cursed them - "You shall be the food of all creatures in various ways." So the carrier of oblations spoke to Atharvaa as before. But in spite of gods' warning the carrier of oblations did not agree to carry oblations. he became insensible and left his body. Then he entered the bowels of the Earth. Coming into the contact of the Earth he created many metals. Force and scent arose from his pus. The Devdaar (pine tree) came out from his bones, glass from his phlegm, Marakat (Pannaa) from his bile, and the black iron from his liver. And all the world was filled with three substances - wood, stone and iron. The clouds were made from his nails, corals from his veins. Thus leaving his material body, he meditated. He was roused by the penance of Bhrigu and Angiraa.

With this penance his fire started blazing. But seeing Atharvaa, he again sought his watery refuge. The Fire got extinguished, the world got frightened and sought the protection of Atharvaa. They started worsship him. he found out the fire in the sea and started creation himself. Thus in the olden times the Fire was destroyed and called back by Atharvaa, but now he invariably carries the oblation to gods. When the Fire was living in the sea, he created many fires mentioned in the Ved. The River Indua (Sindhu), the five rivers [of Panjaab], the Son, the Devikaa, the Saraswatee,, The Shatakumbhaa, the Sarayoo, the Gandakee, the Charmanvatee, the Maahee, the Medhaa, the Medhaatithi, the three rivers Taamravatee, the Vetravatee, the Kaushikee, the Tamasaa, the Narmadaa, the Godaavaree, the Ven, the Upaven, the Bheem, the Badavaa, the Bhaaratee, the Suprayog, the Kaaveree, the Murmuraa, the Tungvennaa, the Krishnvennaa, the Kapilaa - these rivers are said to be the mothers of Fire.

The Fire called Adbhut had a wife named Priyaa, and Vibhu was the eldest of their sons. There are as many kinds of Som Yagya as many kinds of Fires have been mentioned. All this race of fires came from Atri. They are Atri's brain children to start the creation, so the fire came out of his Braahmik frame.

I have told you the story of origin of Fire. They all are great and unrivalled in power. They destroy the darkness. The powers of all fires are the same as of Adbhut Fire. Like the Jyotishtom Yagya, he came out of Angiraa's body in various forms.


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 02/10/13