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agniravamo...

From: venkatakrishnan santhanagopalan (venkatkrishnanks_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Wed Jul 04 2001 - 06:51:23 PDT

This mail is to record my views in response to the mail sent by TA venkatesh 
regarding the quote "agniravamo devatanam vishnu: parama:". A better 
explanation will be as :

agni is the nearest of the devatA-s to us, and vishNu is the farthest 
(taittirIya samhitA 5.5.1).

The importance of agni in the vedas can be understood from the number of 
rituals which are done wherein agni serves as the communicator between the 
human and the devatas. This includes the marriage of the perumal with thayar 
in the temples in the presence of Agni.

The "CHAMAKAM" prasnam in TaittirIya Samhita, which is a prayer requesting 
for many things for us, starts with an invocation to Agni & vishnu. This 
term "Agnavishnu" is quite often used in the vedas.

Also, of all the devatas agni is the Pratyaksha one, rest fall under the 
category of Paroksha.

When performing a ritual, we pour the ghee into the fire so that it can 
reach other devatas. A basic question arises here as to how the small amount 
of ghee is sufficient for the devatas. Herein, comes the might of agni who 
transforms it into the amount required by the devatas. This can be 
substantiated by the fact that the earth provides a huge amount of grain 
when a grain is sown in it. Prithvi evolved from appu which inturn evolved 
from Agni. Thus when earth can convert one into many, the agni also does the 
same thing for the devatas.

Though PUNARAADHEYAM needs to be done for Agni on a periodic basis, it is HE 
who helps us to establish links with other devatas.

The vedas by themselves doesn't make any decisions on the superiority of one 
devata over the other. The role of each devata and the way of approaching 
them are well defined. There were also mention about Devasura wars wherein 
the devatas were defeated by asuras and viceversa.

The role of Agni can never be undermined and it was very much hurting to 
read such a misinterpretaion of texts.

Venkatakrishnan.
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