This series of articles on the Vedas began with the Gayatri Mantra and a hymn to the Lord of the Heavens, Indra. This article presents two short hymns to Agni, also known as Fire, or the primordial energy. The presence of Agni is essential for the completion of all pujas or prayer sessions in Hinduism.

The first hymn to Agni is from the Rigveda:

Agne pavasva svapaa asme varchassuveeryam. dadhdriyaM mayi posham

अग्ने पवस्व स्वपा अस्मे वर्चस्सुवीर्यम् । दधद्रयिं मयि पोषम् ।।

O Agni, The God of true deeds! Give us righteous valor and splendor of mind. Give to me Your riches and Your sustenance.

Rigveda 9.66.21

The second hymn to Agniis the opening hymn of the Saamaveda. The word ‘Saama’ was derived from the word ‘Saaman’ ~ which means ‘prayers for singing’. The Samaveda consists of over 1800 hymns set in musical patterns. Scholars believe that these patterns of music in Samaveda emanate from vibrations of the cosmos itself. The chanting of these hymns was designed to bring peace of mind to the chanter.

Agn Aa yaahi vitaye griNaano havyadaatye. ni hotaa satsi bahirshi.

अग्न अा याहि वीतये गृणानो हव्यदात्ये । नि होता सति्स बहिर्षि ।।

O Agni! Come, accept our offerings. You are the One to whom we sing our songs. Convey our offerings to the Gods. You are the Priest for whom we have prepared the seat in our hearts.

Update: December 25th 2011. Added brief audio extract ~ AUM Agn A yAhi ~ a beautiful rendition in the traditional sAmavedA style. Do listen. (from the CD “Hinduism” by Times Music, Sung by Sri Sriram, Sri Sudarshana Soutigal of Sri Rajaveda Kavya Paathshaala, Kumbakonam)

To quote my good friend Wayne Mcevilly, a great practitioner of the Saamaveda: “You must do Saama. Let us begin“.

Indeed. Let us begin. Let us explore our great spiritual heritage, our inheritance. Let us be loyal to it.

How does Agni feature in your daily spiritual practice? Do share with us in the comments. Thank you!
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