Deva means "heavenly, anything of excellence", is one of the terms for a deity in Hinduism. Deva is a masculine term. In the earliest Vedic literature, all supernatural beings are called Asuras; the concepts and legends evolve in ancient Indian literature, by the late Vedic period, benevolent supernatural beings are referred to as Deva-Asuras. In post-Vedic texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas of Hinduism, the Devas represent the good, the Asuras the bad. In some medieval Indian literature, Devas are referred to as Suras and contrasted with their powerful but malevolent half-brothers, referred to as the Asuras. Devas, along with Asuras and Rakshasas are part of Indian mythology, Devas feature in one of many cosmological theories in Hinduism. Deva is a Sanskrit word found in Vedic literature of 2nd millennium BCE. Monier-Williams translates it as "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones"; the concept is used to refer to deity or god. The Sanskrit deva- derives from Indo-Iranian *daiv- which in turn descends from the Proto-Indo-European word, *deiwo- an adjective meaning "celestial" or "shining", a vrddhi derivative from the root *diw meaning "to shine" as the day-lit sky.
The feminine form of *deiwos is *deiwih2, which descends into Indic languages as devi, in that context meaning "female deity". Deriving from *deiwos, thus cognates of deva, are Lithuanian Dievas, Germanic Tiwaz and the related Old Norse Tivar, Latin deus "god" and divus "divine", from which the English words "divine", "deity", French "dieu", Portuguese "deus", Spanish "dios" and Italian "dio" "Zeys/Ζεύς" - "Dias/Δίας", the Greek father of the gods, are derived, it is related to *Dyeus which while from the same root, may have referred to the "heavenly shining father", hence to "Father Sky", the chief God of the Indo-European pantheon, continued in Sanskrit Dyaus. The bode of the Devas is Dyuloka. According to Douglas Harper, the etymological roots of Deva mean "a shining one," from *div- "to shine," and it is a cognate with Greek dios "divine" and Zeus, Latin deus "god". Deva is masculine, the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea; when capitalized, Devi or Mata refers to goddess as divine mother in Hinduism.
Deva is referred to as Devatā, while Devi as Devika. The word Deva is a proper name or part of name in Indian culture, where it refers to "one who wishes to excel, overcome" or the "seeker of, master of or a best among"; the Samhitas, which are the oldest layer of text in Vedas enumerate 33 devas, either 11 each for the three worlds, or as 12 Adityas, 11 Rudras, 8 Vasus and 2 Asvins in the Brahmanas layer of Vedic texts. The Rigveda states in hymn 1.139.11, Some devas represent the forces of nature and some represent moral values, each symbolizing the epitome of a specialized knowledge, creative energy and magical powers. The most referred to Devas in the Rig Veda are Indra and Soma, with "fire deity" called the friend of all humanity, it and Soma being the two celebrated in a yajna fire ritual that marks major Hindu ceremonies. Savitr, Vishnu and Prajapati are gods and hence Devas. Parvati and Durga are some goddesses. Many of the deities taken together are worshiped as the Vishvedevas. Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, Shiva the destroyer, Ganesha the god of intelligence, Hanuman the god of protector and bhakti, Kartikeya the god of wars, Narada the god of news, Vishwakarma the god of architect, Dhanvantari the god of doctors and ayurveda, Kubera the god of wealth, Dyaus the god of sky, Vayu the god of wind, Varuna the god of water, Agni the god of fire, Samudra the god of sea, Kamadeva the god of love, Bariyadeva the god of diseases, Chitradeva the god of art, Indra the king of gods and rain, Surya the god of sun and light, Chandra the god of moon and night, Mangala the god of Mars Budha the god of Mercury, Brihaspati the god of Jupiter and teacher of gods, Shukra the god of Venus and worship, Shani the god of Saturn and deeds, Rahu the god of Neptune, Ketu the god of Uranus, Yamaraja the god of Pluto and death and one of the shivagana.
In Vedic literature, Deva is not a monotheistic God, rather a "supernatural, divine" concept manifesting in various ideas and knowledge, in a form that combine excellence in some aspects, wrestling with weakness and questions in other aspects, heroic in their outlook and actions, yet tied up with emotions and desires. Max Muller states that the Vedic hymns are remarkable in calling every single of different devas as "the only one, the supreme, the greatest". Muller concluded that the Vedic ideas about devas is best understood neither as polytheism nor as monotheism, but as henotheism where gods are equivalent, different perspective, different aspects of reverence and spirituality, unified by principles of Ṛta and Dharma. Ananda Coomaraswamy states that Devas and Asuras in the Vedic lore are similar to the Olympian gods and Titans of Greek mythology. Both are powerful but have different orientations and inclinations, with the Devas representing the powers of Light and the Asuras representing the powers of Darkness in Hindu mythology.
According to Coomaraswamy's interpretation of Devas and Asuras, both these natures exist in each human being, both the tyrant and the angel. The best and the worst within each person struggles
The Saptarishi are the seven rishis in ancient India, who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and Jivan literature. The Vedic Samhitas never enumerate these rishis by name, though Vedic texts such as the Brahmanas and Upanisads do so, they are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion. The earliest list of the Seven Rishis is given by Jaiminiya Brahmana 2.218-221: Agastya, Bhardwaja, Jamadagni and Vishvamitra followed by Brihadaranyaka Upanisad 2.2.6 with a different list: Gautama and Bharadvaja and Jamadagni, Vashistha and Kashyapa and Atri, Bhrigu. The late Gopatha Brahmana 1.2.8 has Vashistha, Jamadagni, Bharadvaja, Agastya and Kashyapa. In post-Vedic texts, different lists appear. Other representations are Shiva as the Destroyer and Vishnu as the Preserver. Since these seven rishis were among the primary seven rishis, who were considered to be the ancestors of the Gotras of Brahmins, the birth of these rishis was mythicized. In ancient Indian astronomy, the constellation of the Big Dipper is called saptarishi, with the seven stars representing seven rishis, namely "Vashistha", "Marichi", "Pulastya", "Pulaha", "Atri", "Angiras" and "Kratu".
There is another star visible within it, known as "Arundhati". Arundhati is the wife of Vashistha. Vashishtha and Arundhati together form the Mizar double; as per legend, the seven Rishis in the next Manvantara will be Diptimat, Parashurama, Drauni or Ashwatthama and Rishyasringa. Saptarishis are the hierarchy working under the guidance of the highest creative intelligence, Paramatma; the present batch of the Saptarishis are Kashyapa, Vasistha, Gautama Maharishi and Bharadvaja. They bring down to the earth the required knowledge and energies to strengthen the processes of transition, they are the most evolved'light beings' in the creation and the guardians of the divine laws. In post-Vedic religion, Manvantara is the astronomical time within a Kalpa, a "day of Brahma", like the present Śveta Vārāha Kalpa, where again 14 Manvantaras add up to create one Kalpa; each Manvantara is ruled by a specific Manu. Apart from the omnipotent supreme almighty-Vishnu & next in line to brahma's place-Vayu. On, Vayu ascends the throne of Brahma and the process of creation thus begins again after the mahapralaya and their sons are born anew in each new Manvantara according to the Vishnu Purana.
The names of the current Saptarshis are: Kashyapa, Vasistha, Gautama Maharishi and Bharadvaja. The Saptarishis keep changing for every Yuga; as per Hindu Shastras, there are four yugas: Krita Yuga / Sat Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. We are at present in the Kali Yuga. Over all, 4,320,000 years termed as 1 Chaturyuga. 1000 Chaturyugas make the day of 12 hours for Brahma and during another 12 hours, Brahma takes rest and there is no creation during this period. Thus 1 day for Brahma constitutes 1000 Chaturyugas, thus 1 year constitutes 360 x 4,320,000,000 = 1,555,200,000,000 days. The valid avatar's clan will be named after Ashvamedh. At the end of every four ages there is a disappearance of the Vedas and it is the province of the seven Rishis to come down upon earth from heaven to give them currency again. 1. The Shatapatha Brahmana and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad acknowledge the names of seven rishis as: Atri Bharadvaja Gautama Maharishi Jamadagni Kashyapa Vasistha Vishwamitra2. Krishna Yajurveda in the Sandhya-Vandana Mantras has it as: Angiras Atri Bhrigu Gautama Maharishi Kashyapa Kutsa Vasistha3.
Mahabharata gives the Seven Rishis' names: Marichi Atri Pulaha Pulastya Kratu Vasistha Kashyapaetc. 4. Brihat Samhita gives the Seven Rishis' names as: Marichi Vasistha Angiras Atri Pulastya Pulaha Kratu In Jainism it is stated that, "Once at Mathura situated in Uttar Pradesh Seven Riddhidhari Digamber saints having'Aakaashgamini Vidhya' came during the rainy season for chaturmaas whose names were 1.) Surmanyu, 2.) Shrimanyu, 3.) Shrinichay, 4.) Sarvasundar, 5.) Jayvaan, 6.) Vinaylaala and 7.) Jaymitra. They all were sons of King Shri Nandan of queen Dharini. Shri Nandan king took diksha becoming shishya of Omniscient Pritinkar Muniraaj and attained salvation; because of great tapcharan of these seven digamber munis the'Mahamaari' disease stopped its evil effect and they all gained the name as'Saptrishi'. Many idols of these seven munis were made after that event by King Shatrughna in all four directions of the city." Yogini wife of Jogi Nachiketa Dhruva
Zoroastrianism, or Mazdayasna, is one of the world's oldest religions that remains active. It is a monotheistic faith, centered in a dualistic cosmology of good and evil and an eschatology predicting the ultimate destruction of evil. Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster, it exalts a deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda, as its Supreme Being. Major features of Zoroastrianism, such as messianism, judgment after death and hell, free will may have influenced other religious systems, including Second Temple Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism. With possible roots dating back to the second millennium BCE, Zoroastrianism enters recorded history in the 5th century BCE. Along with a Mithraic Median prototype and a Zurvanist Sassanid successor, it served as the state religion of the pre-Islamic Iranian empires for more than a millennium, from around 600 BCE to 650 CE. Zoroastrianism was suppressed from the 7th century onwards following the Muslim conquest of Persia of 633–654. Recent estimates place the current number of Zoroastrians at around 190,000, with most living in India and in Iran.
However, in 2015, there were reports of up to 100,000 converts in Iraqi Kurdistan. Besides the Zoroastrian diaspora, the older Mithraic faith Yazdânism is still practised amongst Kurds; the most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, which includes the writings of Zoroaster known as the Gathas, enigmatic poems that define the religion's precepts, the Yasna, the scripture. The full name by which Zoroaster addressed the deity is: Ahura, The Lord Creator, Mazda, Supremely Wise; the religious philosophy of Zoroaster divided the early Iranian gods of Proto-Indo-Iranian tradition, but focused on responsibility, did not create a devil per se. Zoroaster proclaimed that there is only one God, the singularly creative and sustaining force of the Universe, that human beings are given a right of choice; because of cause and effect, they are responsible for the consequences of their choices. The contesting force to Ahura Mazda was called angry spirit. Post-Zoroastrian scripture introduced the concept of Ahriman, the Devil, a personification of Angra Mainyu.
Zoroastrianism's creator Ahura Mazda, through the Spenta Mainyu is an all-good "father" of Asha, in opposition to Druj and no evil originates from "him". "He" and his works are evident to humanity through the six primary Amesha Spentas and the host of other Yazatas, through whom worship of Mazda is directed. Spenta Mainyu adjoined unto "truth", oppose the Spirit's opposite, Angra Mainyu and its forces born of Akəm Manah. Zoroastrianism has no major theological divisions. In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to "be among those who renew the world...to make the world progress towards perfection". Its basic maxims include: Humata, Huvarshta, which mean: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. There is only one path and, the path of Truth. Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, all beneficial rewards will come to you also; the name Zoroaster is a Greek rendering of the name Zarathustra. He is known as Zardosht in Persian and Zaratosht in Gujarati; the Zoroastrian name of the religion is Mazdayasna, which combines Mazda- with the Avestan language word yasna, meaning "worship, devotion".
In English, an adherent of the faith is called a Zoroastrian or a Zarathustrian. An older expression still used today is Behdin, meaning "The best Religion | Beh < Middle Persian Weh + Din < Middle Persian dēn < Avestan Daēnā". In Zoroastrian liturgy the term is used as a title for an individual, formally inducted into the religion in a Navjote ceremony; the term Mazdaism is a typical 19th century construct, taking Mazda- from the name Ahura Mazda and adding the suffix -ism to suggest a belief system. The March 2001 draft edition of the Oxford English Dictionary records an alternate form, Mazdeism derived from the French Mazdéisme, which first appeared in 1871. Zoroastrian philosophy is identified as having been known to Italian Renaissance Europe through an image of Zoroaster in Raphael's "School of Athens" by Giorgio Vasari in 1550; the first surviving reference to Zoroaster in English scholarship is attributed to Thomas Browne, who refers to the prophet in his 1643 Religio Medici, followed by the Oxford English Dictionary's record of the 1743.
The Oxford English Dictionary records use of the term Zoroastrianism in 1874 in Archibald Sayce's Principles of Comparative Philology. Zoroastrians believe that there is one universal, supreme God, Ahura Mazda, or the "Wise Lord".. Zoroaster keeps the two attributes separate as two different concepts in most of the Gathas and consciously uses a masculine word for one concept and a feminine for the other, as if to distract from an anthropomorphism of his divinity. Zoroaster claimed. Other scholars assert that since Zoroastrianism's divinity covers both being and mind as immanent entities, it is better described as a belief in an immanent self-creating universe with consciousness as its special attribute, thereby putting Zoroastrianism in the pantheistic fold where it can be traced to i
Brahma is a creator god in Hinduism. He is known as Svayambhu or the creative aspect of Vishnu, Vāgīśa, the creator of the four Vedas, one from each of his mouths. Brahma is consort of Saraswati and he is the father of Four Kumaras, Daksha and many more. Brahma is sometimes identified with the Vedic god Prajapati, he is known as Vedanatha, Chaturmukha Svayambhu, etc, as well as linked to Kama and Hiranyagarbha, he is more prominently mentioned in the mythologies in the Puranas. In the epics, he is conflated with Purusha. Although, Brahma is part of the Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva Trimurti, ancient Hindu scriptures mention multiple other trinities of gods or goddesses which do not include Brahma. Several Puranas describe him as emerging from a lotus, connected to the navel of Lord Vishnu. Other Puranas suggest that he is born from Shiva or his aspects, or he is a supreme god in diverse versions of Hindu mythology. Brahma, along with other deities, is sometimes viewed as a form of the otherwise formless Brahman, the ultimate metaphysical reality in Vedantic Hinduism.
In an alternate version, some Puranas state him to be the father of Prajapatis. According to some, Brahma does not enjoy popular worship in present-age Hinduism and has lesser importance than the other members of the Trimurti and Shiva. Brahma is revered in ancient texts, yet worshiped as a primary deity in India. Few temples dedicated to him exist in India. Brahma temples are found outside India, such as at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok; the origins of Brahma are uncertain, in part because several related words such as one for Ultimate Reality, priest are found in the Vedic literature. The existence of a distinct deity named. A distinction between spiritual concept of Brahman, deity Brahma, is that the former is a genderless abstract metaphysical concept in Hinduism, while the latter is one of the many masculine gods in Hindu tradition; the spiritual concept of Brahman is far older, some scholars suggest deity Brahma may have emerged as a personal conception and visible icon of the impersonal universal principle called Brahman.
In Sanskrit grammar, the noun stem. Contrasted to the neuter noun is the masculine noun brahmán, whose nominative singular form is Brahma; this singular form is used as the proper name of Brahma. One of the earliest mentions of Brahma with Vishnu and Shiva is in the fifth Prapathaka of the Maitrayaniya Upanishad composed in late 1st millennium BCE. Brahma is first discussed in verse 5,1 called the Kutsayana Hymn, expounded in verse 5,2. In the pantheistic Kutsayana Hymn, the Upanishad asserts that one's Soul is Brahman, this Ultimate Reality, Cosmic Universal or God is within each living being, it equates the Atman within to be Brahma and various alternate manifestations of Brahman, as follows, "Thou art Brahma, thou art Vishnu, thou art Rudra, thou art Agni, Vayu, thou art All."In the verse, Brahma and Shiva are mapped into the theory of Guṇa, qualities and innate tendencies the text describes can be found in all living beings. This chapter of the Maitri Upanishad asserts that the universe emerged from darkness, first as passion characterized by action qua action, which refined and differentiated into purity and goodness.
Of these three qualities, Rajas is mapped to Brahma, as follows: While the Maitri Upanishad maps Brahma with one of the elements of Guṇa theory of Hinduism, the text does not depict him as one of the trifunctional elements of the Hindu Trimurti idea found in Puranic literature. The post-Vedic texts of Hinduism offer multiple theories of cosmogony; these include Sarga and Visarga, ideas related to the Indian thought that there are two levels of reality, one primary, unchanging and other secondary, always changing, that all observed reality of the latter is in an endless repeating cycle of existence, that cosmos and life we experience is continually created, dissolved and re-created. The primary creator is extensively discussed in Vedic cosmogonies with Brahman or Purusha or Devi among the terms used for the primary creator, while the Vedic and post-Vedic texts name different gods and goddesses as secondary creators, in some cases a different god or goddess is the secondary creator at the start of each cosmic cycle.
Brahma is a "secondary creator" as described in the Mahabharata and Puranas, among the most studied and described. Born from a lotus emerging from the navel of Vishnu after emerging on order of Shiva, Brahma creates all the forms in the universe, but not the primordial universe itself. In contrast, the Shiva-focussed Puranas describe Brahma and Vishnu to have been created by Ardhanarishvara, half Shiva and half Parvati, thus in most Puranic texts, Brahma's creative activity depends on the presence and power of a higher god. In the Bhagavata Purana, Brahma is portrayed several times as the one who rises from the "Ocean of Causes
Asuras are a class of divine beings or power-seeking deities related to the more benevolent Devas in Hinduism. Asuras are sometimes considered nature spirits, they battle with the devas. Asuras are described in Indian texts as powerful superhuman demigods with bad qualities; the good Asuras are called Adityas and are led by Varuna, while the malevolent ones are called Danavas and are led by Vritra. In the earliest layer of Vedic texts Agni and other gods are called Asuras, in the sense of them being "lords" of their respective domains and abilities. In Vedic and post-Vedic texts, the benevolent gods are called Devas, while malevolent Asuras compete against these Devas and are considered "enemy of the gods". Asuras are part of Indian mythology along with Devas and Rakshasas. Asuras feature in one of many cosmological theories in Hinduism. Monier-Williams traces the etymological roots of Asura to Asu, which means life of the spiritual world or departed spirits. In the oldest verses of the Samhita layer of Vedic texts, the Asuras are any spiritual, divine beings including those with good or bad intentions, constructive or destructive inclinations or nature.
In verses of the Samhita layer of Vedic texts, Monier Williams states the Asuras are "evil spirits and opponents of the gods". Asuras connote the chaos-creating evil, in Hindu and Persian mythology about the battle between good and evil. Bhargava states the word, including its variants and asura, occurs "88 times in the Rigveda, 71 times in the singular number, four times in the dual, 10 times in the plural, three times as the first member of a compound. In this, the feminine form, asuryaa, is included twice; the word, has been used 19 times as an abstract noun, while the abstract form asuratva occurs 24 times, 22 times in each of the 22 times of one hymn and twice in the other two hymns". Asura is used as an adjective meaning "powerful" or "mighty". In the Rigveda, two generous kings, as well as some priests, have been described as asuras. One hymn requests a son, an asura. In nine hymns, Indra is described as asura. Five times, he is said to possess asurya, once he is said to possess asuratva.
Agni has total of 12 asura descriptions, Varuna has 10, Mitra has eight, Rudra has six. Bhargava gives a count of the word usage for every Vedic deity; the Book 1 of Rig Veda describes Savitr as an Asura, a "kind leader". In texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas with the embedded Bhagavad Gita, the Devas represent the good, the Asuras the bad. According to the Bhagavad Gita, all beings in the universe have both the divine qualities and the demonic qualities within each; the sixteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita states that pure god-like saints are rare and pure demon-like evil are rare among human beings, the bulk of humanity is multi-charactered with a few or many faults. According to Jeaneane Fowler, the Gita states that desires, greed, emotions in various forms "are facets of ordinary lives", it is only when they turn to lust, cravings, conceit, harshness, hypocrisy and such negativity- and destruction-inclined that natural human inclinations metamorphose into something demonic. Asko Parpola traces the etymological root of Asura to *asera- of Uralic languages, where it means "lord, prince".
Scholars have disagreed on the nature and evolution of the Asura concept in ancient Indian literature. The most studied scholarly views on Asura concept are those of FBJ Kuiper, W Norman Brown, von Bradke, Benveniste, Rajwade, Darmesteter and Raja, Banerji-Sastri, Skoeld, SC Roy, Shamasastry, Schroeder, Hillebrandt, Lommel, Segerstedt, Gerschevitch, Macdonnell, Hermann Oldenberg, Geldner and Jan Gonda. Kuiper calls Asuras a special group of gods in one of major Vedic theories of creation of the universe, their role changes only during and after the earth and living beings have been created. The sky world becomes that of Devas, the underworld becomes that of Asuras. Deity Indra is the protagonist of the good and the Devas, while dragon Vrtra, one of asuras is the protagonist of the evil. During this battle between good and evil and destruction, some powerful Asuras side with the good and are called Devas, other powerful Asuras side with the evil and thereafter called Asuras; this is the first major dualism to emerge in the nature of everything in the Universe.
Hale, in his review, states that Kuiper theory on Asura is plausible but weak because the Vedas never call Vrtra an Asura as the texts describe many other powerful beings. Secondly, Rigveda never classifies Asura as "group of gods" states Hale, this is a presumption of Kuiper. Many scholars describe Asuras to be "lords" with different specialized knowledge, magical powers and special abilities, which only choose to deploy these for good, constructive reasons or for evil, destructive reasons; the former become known as Asura in the sense of Devas, the as Asura in the sense of demons. Kuiper, Brown and others are in this school. Asuras believed in their own powers. Ananda Coomaraswamy suggested that Devas and Asuras can be best understood as Angels-Theoi-Gods and Titans of Greek mythology, both are powerful but have different orientations and inclinations
Agni is a Sanskrit word meaning fire, connotes the Vedic fire god of Hinduism. He is the guardian deity of the southeast direction, is found in southeast corners of Hindu temples. In the classical cosmology of the Indian religions, Agni as fire is one of the five inert impermanent constituents along with space, water and earth, the five combining to form the empirically perceived material existence. In Vedic literature, Agni is a oft-invoked god along with Indra and Soma. Agni is considered the mouth of the gods and goddesses, the medium that conveys offerings to them in a homa, he is conceptualized in ancient Hindu texts to exist at three levels, on earth as fire, in the atmosphere as lightning, in the sky as the sun. This triple presence connects him as the messenger between gods and human beings in the Vedic thought; the relative importance of Agni declined in the post-Vedic era, as he was internalized and his identity evolved to metaphorically represent all transformative energy and knowledge in the Upanishads and Hindu literature.
Agni remains an integral part of Hindu traditions, such as being the central witness of the rite-of-passage ritual in traditional Hindu weddings called Saptapadi or Agnipradakshinam, as well being part of Diya in festivals such as Divali and Aarti in Puja. Agni is a term that appears extensively in Buddhist texts, in the literature related to the Senika heresy debate within the Buddhist traditions. In the ancient Jainism thought, Agni contains soul and fire-bodied beings, additionally appears as Agni-kumara or "fire princes" in its theory of rebirth and a class of reincarnated beings, is discussed in its texts with the equivalent term Tejas; the Sanskrit word Agni means "fire". In the early Vedic literature, Agni connotes the fire as a god, one reflecting the primordial powers to consume and convey, yet the term is used with the meaning of a Mahabhuta, one of five that the earliest Vedic thinkers believed to constitute material existence, that Vedic thinkers such as Kanada and Kapila expanded namely Akasha, Vayu, Ap, Prithvi and Agni.
The word Agni is used in many contexts, ranging from the fire in stomach, the cooking fire in a home, the sacrificial fire in an altar, the fire of cremation, the fire of rebirth, the fire in the energetic saps concealed within plants, the atmospheric fire in lightning and the celestial fire in the sun. In the Brahmanas layer of the Vedas, such as in section 5.2.3 of Shatapatha Brahmana, Agni represents all the gods, all concepts of spiritual energy that permeates everything in the universe. In the Upanishads and post-Vedic literature, Agni additionally became a metaphor for immortal principle in man, any energy or knowledge that consumes and dispels a state of darkness and procreates an enlightened state of existence; the etymology of Agni is uncertain and contested. Significant proposals include: from agnir, which means "leader, going in front", based on the Vedic premise that fire leads and is the chaplain of the gods, he is the divine priest, who connects and brings the gods and men together, the first among all gods whose presence can be felt and who attends a ceremony, the first among all priests around whom other priests gather, he is the one who leads and guides all men.
From agri, the root of which means "first", referring to "that first in the universe to arise" or "fire" according to Shatapatha Brahmana section 6.1.1. According to the 5th-century BCE Sanskrit text Nirukta-Nighantu in section 7.14, sage Śakapūṇi states the word Agni is derived from three verbs – from'going', from'shining or burning', from'leading'. From Indo-European root Ag or "to move", with the cognates Latin ignis, Sclavonian ogni. There are many theories about the origins of the god Agni, some tracing it to Indo-European mythologies, others tracing to mythologies within the Indian tradition; the origin myth found in many Indo-European cultures is one of a bird, or bird like being, that carries or brings fire from the gods to mankind. Alternatively, this messenger brings an elixir of immortality from heaven to earth. In either case, the bird returns everyday with sacrificial offerings for the gods, but sometimes the bird hides or disappears without trace. Agni is molded in similar mythical themes, in some hymns with the phrase the "heavenly bird that flies".
The earliest layers of the Vedic texts of Hinduism, such as section 6.1 of Kathaka Samhita and section 1.8.1 of Maitrayani Samhita state that the universe began with nothing, neither night nor day existed, what existed was just Prajapati. Agni originated from the forehead of Prajapati, assert these texts. With the creation of Agni came light, with that were created day and night. Agni, state these Samhitas, is the same as the Brahman, the truth, the eye of the manifested
Friedrich Max Müller known as Max Müller, was a German-born philologist and Orientalist, who lived and studied in Britain for most of his life. He was one of the founders of the western academic field of Indian studies and the discipline of comparative religion. Müller wrote both popular works on the subject of Indology; the Sacred Books of the East, a 50-volume set of English translations, was prepared under his direction. He promoted the idea of a Turanian family of languages. Friedrich Max Müller was born into a cultured family on 6 December 1823 in Dessau, the son of Wilhelm Müller, a lyric poet whose verse Franz Schubert had set to music in his song-cycles Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise, his mother, Adelheid Müller, was the eldest daughter of a prime minister of Anhalt-Dessau. Carl Maria von Weber was a godfather. Müller was named after his mother's elder brother and after the central character, Max, in Weber's opera Der Freischütz. In life, he adopted Max as a part of his surname, believing that the prevalence of Müller as a name made it too common.
His name was recorded as "Maximilian" on several official documents, on some of his honours and in some other publications. Müller entered the gymnasium at Dessau. In 1829, after the death of his grandfather, he was sent to the Nicolai School at Leipzig, where he continued to his studies of music and classics, it was during his time in Leipzig that he met Felix Mendelssohn. In need of a scholarship to attend Leipzig University, Müller sat his abitur examination at Zerbst. While preparing, he found that the syllabus differed from what he had been taught, necessitating that he learn mathematics, modern languages and science, he entered Leipzig University in 1841 to study philology, leaving behind his early interest in music and poetry. Müller received his degree in 1843, his final dissertation was on Spinoza's Ethics. He displayed an aptitude for classical languages, learning Greek, Arabic and Sanskrit. In 1850 Müller was appointed deputy Taylorian professor of modern European languages at Oxford University.
In the following year, at the suggestion of Thomas Gaisford, he was made an honorary M. A. and a member of the college of Christ Church, Oxford. On succeeding to the full professorship in 1854, he received the full degree of M. A. by Decree of Convocation. In 1858 he was elected to a life fellowship at All Souls' College, he was defeated in the 1860 election for the Boden Professor of Sanskrit, a "keen disappointment" to him. Müller was far better qualified for the post than the other candidate, but his broad theological views, his Lutheranism, his German birth and lack of practical first-hand knowledge of India told against him. After the election he wrote to his mother, "all the best people voted for me, the Professors unanimously, but the vulgus profanum made the majority". In 1868, Müller became Oxford's first Professor of Comparative Philology, a position founded on his behalf, he held this chair until his death, although he retired from its active duties in 1875. In 1844, prior to commencing his academic career at Oxford, Müller studied in Berlin with Friedrich Schelling.
He began to translate the Upanishads for Schelling, continued to research Sanskrit under Franz Bopp, the first systematic scholar of the Indo-European languages. Schelling led Müller to relate the history of language to the history of religion. At this time, Müller published his first book, a German translation of the Hitopadesa, a collection of Indian fables. In 1845 Müller moved to Paris to study Sanskrit under Eugène Burnouf. Burnouf encouraged him to publish the complete Rigveda, making use of the manuscripts available in England, he moved to England in 1846 to study Sanskrit texts in the collection of the East India Company. He supported himself at first with his novel German Love being popular in its day. Müller's connections with the East India Company and with Sanskritists based at Oxford University led to a career in Britain, where he became the leading intellectual commentator on the culture of India. At the time, Britain controlled this territory as part of its Empire; this led to complex exchanges between Indian and British intellectual culture through Müller's links with the Brahmo Samaj.
Müller's Sanskrit studies came at a time when scholars had started to see language development in relation to cultural development. The recent discovery of the Indo-European language group had started to lead to much speculation about the relationship between Greco-Roman cultures and those of more ancient peoples. In particular the Vedic culture of India was thought to have been the ancestor of European Classical cultures. Scholars sought to compare the genetically related European and Asian languages to reconstruct the earliest form of the root-language; the Vedic language, was thought to be the oldest of the IE languages. Müller devoted himself to the study of this language, becoming one of the major Sanskrit scholars of his day, he believed that the earliest documents of Vedic culture should be studied to provide the key to the development of pagan European religions, of religious belief in general. To this end, Müller sought to understand the most ancient of the Rig-Veda. Müller was impressed by Ramakrishna Paramhansa, his contemporary and proponent of Vedantic philosophy, wrote several essays and books about him.
For Müller, the study of the language had to relate to the study of the culture in which it had been used. He came to the view that