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Agni: The fire PDF Print E-mail
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Understanding of Agni (The fire) is important for understanding the concept of Yagya. Fire is an important ingredient of any yagya. We can all say that we know all about fire. We see it burning in the bush and in the fire places. When it goes wild, it can destroy houses and large areas of forests. We use it our comforts in a controlled fashion. Is Krishna talking about this kind of fire or is he talking about a different kind.


Fire can be symbolic. It purifies. It travels up. Our chetna (consciousness) is also moving in an upward direction. We can purify our desires by offering them to fire and burning the non essential aspects of desires. Yagya also pays attention to how you construct the housing for the fire and it also is most suitably performed at certain timing. The whole eco-system is important. The environment ought to be auspicious. A yagya environment is created. The vibrations around has to change. The change within can happen. Burning fire in a discotheque place with music of a different kind will not work. It will not create the right atmosphere. Disco will also create its own surroundings with effects that we desire it to produce. We, through yagya, want to create a surrounding of a different kind. Right effect on the inside is only possible if the surrounding is right.

I met a motivational speaker Tom Atchison recently in Bar Harbor. He spoke elegantly. Everyone was so involved in his talk. He created the right atmosphere where everyone felt comfortable aligning with him. He talked about a farmer, his seeds and the soil where he plants the seeds. Health of the farmer and the seeds are important. However, the importance of eco system soil cannot be underestimated. The soil has to be right. Otherwise there is no chance for the seed to grow. If the seeds are planted in cement the seeds will remain seeds. The potential will remain a potential. It will never know that it would have become a tree.

The right eco system is important in case of yagya as well. The right kind of housing (yagya vedi), the right timing, the agni (fire), right mantras and the right persons involved; All of these are important for the yagya to be able to have an impact on the inside. What inside effects are we talking about? Is Krishna talking about this kind of fire or is he talking about other kinds of fire?

Krishna is talking about this kind of fire as well. But, in my view he is also talking about other kind of fires. He is talking about yoga agni (fire of yoga) and other kind of Agni as well here. Whenever we talk about fire we almost always associate it with some fire outside. We never stop to think about the fires that we experience inside. There seems to be only one kind of fire outside. There is qualitatively no difference in the fire that burns the forest and the one that cooks our food at home. One is controlled while the other is wild. There is no difference otherwise.

The fire within can be qualitatively different as well (to some extent). Let us examine some varieties of internal fires that we commonly experience. Have you ever fallen in love? Yes, I am talking about loving a girl or loving a boy. It does not matter. If you have, you ought to have felt that burning flame of love. It has great energy. You can feel the energy if there is a hindrance in the process. You love Sarah and James loves Sarah as well. Now there is a competition. And there is a problem as well. How far you will go will depend on what kind of person you are. It will also depend on how intense your fire is flaming. That becomes the driving force. You become jealous of James. The fire of jealousy may complement your fire of love. The two have a synergistic effect. The intensity of action is enhanced. There is difference in the qualitative energies of love and jealousy. Yet they are perfectly alright working together. The hindrance continues. James knows that you love Sarah. He becomes jealous as well. He has to show that he is ahead. He takes Sarah to a cinema hall. James knows that you will come. How do you feel now? Something intense is burning inside of you. You can not do anything. You become helpless. What has to happen? You can’t just give up. You think that Sarah loves you as well. You can not let her down. Anger arises. The fire of anger now is added in. The flame is now really burning. The three fires (love, jealousy and anger) although qualitatively different are working together. You happen to have a gun. The gun comes out and James is on the floor before you know it. The story continues. You think that this is a fiction. I know that it happened to a familis In Patna, India whom I know very well. The names were different and all of the three came from respectable and affluent families. There are different energies of fires within. They are powerful energies and help us shape our lives.

The example above may not be the best one for shaping of lives. The fact, however, remains that there are different varieties of fires within. We know some of them while we do not know the rest. Krishna is talking about existence of fires that we are not so familiar with. I mentioned the ones that we are familiar with in this column so that I can try to familiarize us all with the ones that Krishna is talking about in future columns.

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