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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Great Sages of India... Bhargava Ganam ... Part 7

Apart from astrology and contribution to Vedas Sage Bhrigu also has contributions in Ayurveda, Bhriguvalli section in Taitropanishad, Sage Bhrigu - Bharadwaja samvadam in Maha Bharatha et al.

Agni as Sarva Pakshan (All consuming) :
One of the qualities of Agni (Fire), as we know today, is that it burns everything. In Vedas it is referred as Agni consuming / eating things. Can you believe that Agni once upon a time used to burn only things which were given as a part of Yagna and nothing otherwise? Sounds difficult to believe but there is a story to it, linked to Sage Bhrigu.

Sage Bhrigu was also married to Puloma (understandably he had many wives) who was very beautiful and a demon wanted to snatch her away from the Sage. Since the Sage was very powerful it was scared to do that and hence was waiting for the right time. Knowing the demon's intent the Sage used to keep Agni as the guard for his wife, if he has to go out of the ashram.

Once when the Sage went out with Agni as the guard, the demon entered the ashram and was trying to abduct Puloma. Agni could have prevented the demon but did not do it for whatever reason. At that time Puloma was pregnant and was about to deliver a baby. Just as the demon carried the pregnant Puloma from the ashram, the Sage returned and at the same time Puloma delivered a radiant baby boy which fell to the ground.

The radiance of the new born child just burnt the demon fully and saved his mother. Sage Bhrigu was so angry that he cursed Agni that you shall become Sarva Pakshan. This is a very demeaning curse for the devas since Agni was supposed to be pure and should consume only what is given as Havis in a yagna and nothing otherwise.

Since the Sage was very powerful and also angry at that time, even Lord Brahma (his father) could not pacify the Sage and reverse the curse. No doubt had there been no curse like this, we would have an Agni which is so different in its quality then we know today.

So a Sage who was in love with Agni and discovered him in water was also the one who cursed it to change its quality to burn everything instead of a selective few.

The boy who fell on the ground and burnt the demon with his radiance was called Sage Chayavanar. We will discuss about him in the next post.

Happy reading!

PS: You may think what about fire resistant / retardant products which are fire proof. If you read the fine print of any of the fire proof products or for that matter fire extinguishers it says that it is a matter of time that it can resist, the maximum temperature it can resist, the strength of the fire, of course being a function of all the three.

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