View Full Version : Agni is always welcome

17 May 2007, 08:05 PM
Hari Om


Can someone on the forum give me insight into Garhapatya-agni in the home. We have a candle always on as agni is aways welcome in our home. Can someone wish to round out this subject? what is proper and what is the correct way of doling this e.g the fires in one's home.


20 May 2007, 12:15 AM
Namaste Yajvan,

Agni in the Hindu Samskaras

Here are some details about agni in the Hindu Samskaras published in the Sringeri MaTham Website. I have only quoted selectively around the term gArhapatya agni. You might get further details here:

Vaidika Samskaras
S. Yegnasubramanian

... three groups of seven yajnas each are also prescribed as part of the forty samskAras. All these are fire-rituals and are very seldom done these days.

During the vivAha samskAra, a particular fire ritual known as vivAha homa is performed. That vivAha-homa-agni is supposed to be preserved till a person dies or takes to sannyAsa. All the above mentioned 21 yajnas are to be performed in that agni alone. (At the time of sannyAsa, the person renounces all karma and gives up all agnis, and so is called nirAgni.

The grihastha is supposed to perform a nitya karma known as aupAsana, twice a day, in that agni (This ritual can be considered as a replacement of samidh AdhAnam.). The same agni is used for all the later samskAras of the children – upnayana, vivAha etc. – and other karmas, like SrAddha etc. When the son gets married, the father’s vivAha agni goes to the son, and so, is supposed to be maintained eternally.

Since these agni samskAras are connected with the well being of the family, it is called grihya agni. This will vary from family to family; for example, for Rigvedis, it is prescribed by the AswalAyana grihya sutras; for yajurvedis, by the Apasthamba griya sutras; for sAmavedis, by the gobila griha sutras etc. These rituals are not given in Sruti (the Vedas), but prescribed by the Rishis in grihya sutras – from smritis. Since rituals prescribed in the smritis are performed in this agni, it is also called smArta agni, grihya agni, aupAsana agni etc.

It is in this smArta agni, the first set of seven pAka yajnas are performed.

As was mentioned earlier, the vivAha agni is also known as smArta agni. This agni is maintained in a circular kuNDa. A portion of this agni is taken to perform vedic rituals – srauta karmas – and is called srauta agni. The fourteen yajnas, namely the sapta-havir-yajnas and sapta-soma-yajnas, which are prescribed in the Vedas, are performed in the srauta agni, which should be preserved all the time.


The srauta agni is like the master of the griha – the grihapati - is supposed to protect from all calamities etc. and so is called the gArhapatya agni This is divided in to three, before the ritual. On the eastern side, a square kuNDa is established and a portion of the gArhapatya agni is transferred. There are prescriptions regarding the size of the kuNDa, the size of the bricks etc. This agni is called Ahavaneeya agni. On the southern side of the gArhapatya agni another kuNDa – semicircular in shape – is established. Another portion of fire from the gArhapatya agni is transferred to this kuNDA and is called dAkshiNAgni:.

Since the smArta agni is never divided, it is also called ekAgni, and, since the srauta agni is divided in to three, it is also called tretAgni.

Most of the srauta rituals are done in the Ahavaneeya agni. No ritual is actually done in the gArhapatya agni and is only a witness. After the performance of the ritual, the Ahavaneeya agni and dAkshiNAgni are joined back in to gArhapatya agni.

When a person dies, his cremation is performed using the srauta agni. The smArta agni is preserved for the wife. When the husband dies first, he will use up the srauta agni, and the smarta agni will be used to cremate the wife, which is supposed to give her svarga loka. If the wife dies first as a sumangali, part of the srauta agni will be used for her, which is believed to give her brahma loka. One should remember that these rituals are prescribed in the karma kANDa, only for those who are not jnAnis!

31 December 2007, 12:58 AM
It is interesting to me to note that no matter what religion one belongs to or even if one doesn't belong to a religion...'Agni' seems to be always welcome in one's life.

When I look around I see everyone using a candle or a diya invoking agni in their lives.

Jai Agni Deva!

Incidentally, our own Agnideva has been missing in action for a while, hope to see him back here soon.

01 January 2008, 01:38 PM
Hari Om

It is interesting to me to note that no matter what religion one belongs to or even if one doesn't belong to a religion...'Agni' seems to be always welcome in one's life.

Jai Agni Deva!

namaste satay,

Agni lifts up, agni in us is the Divine Will...

agnimilie purohitm yajnasya devam rtvijam
hotaram ratna dhatamam Rig Ved 1.1.1

Agni I adore ...

Agni I adore, the leader who carries out the yajna. He does and gets done the yajna in due season. He, as the summoning priest, is capable of bringing the devas ( shining ones) to the yajna performed here. He establishes excellent felicities in the aspirant ( sadhu or upasaka).


Eastern Mind
01 January 2008, 05:42 PM
There's just something about fire, or a flame. I can watch it for hours. Perhaps it is the 'seeing of the non-material that brings about a sense of the divine. Watch kids around campfires. They'll (some more than others) just sit and stare at it, almost in trance like states seemingly for no particular reason. Lord Nataraja dances in a ring of fire. Aum Namasivaya

01 January 2008, 08:17 PM
Hari Om

There's just something about fire, or a flame. I can watch it for hours.

Namaste EM,

Yes, I agree. It gives you light, warmth, and is directed up. The light of consciousness, the warmth of knowledge, the energy of motion, or life, and the flames are directed up, the direction of the devata.

There is no separating the light from the flame, yet is used a metaphor of siva and shakti. He is the flame she is the light. He is the pure consciousness, she is the energy. He is the unmanifest , she is prakriti.