649 – Fire

Fire is a symbol of purity and brightness.

The story of fire is that when man first met fire, he was afraid. He tried to protect himself from it. He was burnt by the embers the first time and then he discovered its power.

Legends are many. Zeus the Greek God kept fire under his authority in the heavens. Prometheus, who was associated with fire and the creation of mortals, wanted to benefit the people. The people were shivering to death. So, he stole the fire from Mount Olympus and distributed it. He was tortured to death. And then man sanctified fire and recognized it as a protector. The holy fire cult was seen in Persians history and then fire worship was acknowledged as Zoroastrianism. There were and are fire temples used as places of worship.

Divine Power

In the Vedas fire is recognized as a divine power, Agni. Agni was thought to be one of the most important Vedic Deities. He was believed to have ruled over earth. Agni is one of the 33 gods. He is compared to the sun with its glory and like the lightning of the rain cloud. Further description is like the dawn and that even at night it removes the cover of darkness with its flames. Agni is still worshipped for wealth and long life.

There are many traditions and ceremonies which are followed in the Hindu faith. When a child is born, the fire is made in a havan kund (a rectangular or square copper pot), which is inside a house and the child is brought into contact with the smoke of the fire. The belief is that all evil spirits are expelled from the home. Fire is an essential part of the wedding ceremony. The couple sit behind the sacred fire pit. Rice and prayers are poured into the fire and then the bride and groom walk around the fire and make commitments to each other. A lamp is lit in a home daily symbolizing the removal of darkness and ignorance.

Fire plays an important role in cremation ceremonies which are called ‘Antyeshti Sanskar’. The performed ceremony plays an important role in passing of the soul of the deceased into another body (re-incarnation) or easily attaining salvation in later life.

What has happened now? Fire is on a rampaging spree in all over the world. What can we do? We can pray and offer help to the victims of the fires.

Aim Hrim Klim


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