Agni is the Hindu god of fire. He is regarded as the friend and protector of humanity, in particular, he safeguards the home. Various forms of fire are associated with Agni and include the sun, lightning, comets, sacrificial fire, domestic fires, the fire of the funeral pyre, and the digestive fire which is within all humans. Agni was especially important in the Vedic period (1500-500 BCE), and the Vedas contains more hymns to him than to any other deity. He is still considered today omnipresent though not directly worshipped. Agni knows the thoughts of all people and is a witness to all important actions, hence the use of fire in many important Hindu ceremonies such as marriages. He is also referred to in sacred texts such as the Mahabharata as the 'Oblation-devourer' and the 'Purifier'. With flaming hair and riding a goat, he is easily identified in Hindu art.

More about: Agni


  • c. 1500 BCE - c. 500 BCE
    Indian scholars of the so-called Vedic Period commit the Vedas to written form; basic tenets of Hinduism are established.