Agni, fire, is the first word of Rig Veda — the oldest text in any language. Out of the five elements that make up Creation, fire is the only one that cannot be polluted. In fact, anything that goes into fire gets cleansed.
Human life is defined by the discovery of fire, but even that came much later. Agni exists inside us in various forms — we use it for digestion, sexual activities, anger, passion, basically anything that produces heat in the body. Then there’s the sun, the source of all life on the planet, which is a huge flaming ball of fire. Even the Earth’s core is fire. Every star, every planet, every living creature exists because of this Agni.
Special minerals, herbs and waters also contain properties of fire. Hot springs, mountain streams, herbs like ashwagandha, ginseng, shilajit are among these.
It is therefore understandable that the importance of this element to all cultures since the beginning of Creation has been supreme.
In the vedic period, this Agni was harnessed by rishis during havans and yagyas to communicate with divine energies. The fire in havans has the effect of purifying the environment around.
The sacred fire is therefore the spiritual ancestor to all people, races, religions and continents. It has the ability to transcend dimensions. It is no wonder, therefore, that every religion across the world uses fire in some form while worshipping — whether it is candles, diyas, fire pots or eternal flames.
The holiest site of the Greeks — the temple of Delphi — had a designated place for the ‘Central Fire’ at the apex of its famous pyramidal symbol. In fact, Greek philosopher Heraclitus created an entire sacred philosophy of fire. Romans as well as other ancient Europeans had their sacred fires. Fire is also the ancient Celtic God of wisdom – gyan — which is a property of the sun (fire).
Lithuanians have even now preserved their pagan religion based on worship of fire. And even the Bible talks about fire offerings given to the Lord at the great temple of Jerusalem.
It is a well-known fact that fire holds prime importance in Chinese culture, where it plays an important role in spirituality, astrology and even ancient Chinese medicine.
We will not go into the details of worship in different cultures and religions here, as it will be too expansive and beyond the scope of this article.
However, we must dwell on the fact that our ancestors were not fools to worship fire, or other aspects of nature. They understood the importance of this element and knew how to harness its energy, across cultures and geographical boundaries.
That is why for thousands of years they preserved earth in its purest form and we in only the last 50 years have nearly destroyed everything.