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MARKANDEYA PURANA

Bhagwan Shiv

Bhouthya last Manu-Prayers by Shanti to Agni Deva to rekindle Nitya Agni

Sage Bhuti was the ever-angry disciple of Angirasa Maha Muni who was dreaded by one and all for any minor irritation that might attract a curse to the victims. He had no children and that was one of the causes for his annoyance and frustration. Even Surya Deva desists from being too hot in the Ashram of Sage Bhuti, and Vayu Deva, Varuna Deva and Chandra could ill-afford to display their extreme features! Bhuti Muni had a brother called Suvarcha who also did not have a child and desired to perform one Yagna and entrusted the task of organising it to Bhuti. The responsibility of managing the Ashram was entrusted to one of Bhuti’s disciples named Shanti and Bhuti made special mention of maintaining ‘Nithya Agni’ or Constant Fire at the Ashram.

As Shanti went out of the Ashram to fetch Samidhas (Dried pieces of wood), flowers and fruits to maintain the daily chores at the Ashram, Shanti went out once and the ‘Nitya Agni’ was found put off on return. Shanti was frightened of the consequences as Bhuti Muni would certainly tear him down; the Guru would also come to know if the Nitya Agni in the Ashram was re-kindled by his remote sense. Not knowing what to do, the disciple could only seek refuge from Agni Deva and entreat Him with high concentration and Agni Stuti is as follows:

Om Sarva Bhutaanaam Sadhanaaya Mahatmaney,
Eka dwi panchadhishinyaya Rajasuye Shadaatmaney/
Namah Samasta Devaanaam Vritthidaaya Suvarchasey,
Shukra rupaaya Jagataamaseshaanaam Sthithih pradah /
Twam Mukham Sarva Devaanaam Twayaanti Bhagavahnivih,
preenayasyakhilaam Devaamstath praanaah Sarva Devataah /

( My sincere respects to You Mahtama! You are the facilitator of all human beings with a single or two or five Rupas or Forms, but with Six Murtis at Rajasuya Yagnas; You are the ‘Mukha Rupa’ or the Facial Form of all the Devas engaging them with their respective occupations as also Suvarcha or the Sparkle as the Shukra Rupa, the Preserver of the Universe and Satisfier of Devas through oblations of ‘Ghee’ (classified butter) and as such the Life to them!) 

Hanthu havisthavyyanala medhatwamupagacchhati,
tattascha jalarupena parinaamupaiti yat /
thenaakhiloushadhee janma bhavatyanilasaarathey,
Aoushadheebhira sheshaabhih Sukham jeevanti jantawah/
Vitanvathey naraa Yagnaamstvatsrushtaasvoshadheeshu cha,
Yagnairdevastatha Daityaasta dvandrakshaamsi pavaka/
Aapyaayanthey cha they Yagnaastvaadhaaraa Hutaashana,
Atah Sarvasya Yonistwam vahney sarvamayas tatha/
Devatha Daanavaa Yakshaa Daityaa Gandharva Raakshasaah,
Maanushaa Pashavo Vrikshaa Mriga Pakshisareesrupaah/
Aaapyayyanthey twayaa sarvey samvarthantheycha Paavaka,
 Twattha yodbhavam yaanthi twayyanthey cha tathaa layam/

( You convert ‘Havis’into ‘Medhatva’or Brain Power which takes the Form of Water as that produces ‘Aushadhis’ or Medicines and humanity is happy and healthy as a result. When human beings enjoy themselves with contentment, they perform Yagnas and these Sacred Rituals enabled by You (Anila Saarathey!) satisfy Devas, Daityas, Rakshasas and so on; thus Hutashana! You are the Adhara Swarup or the Fulcrum, the Utpanna Karta or the Creator and Sarvamaya or the Omni Present! In other words, the whole Universe comprising Devatas, Danavas, Yakshas, Daithyas, Gandharvas, Rakshasas, Human Beings, Animals, Trees, Birds, Reptiles is indeed the ‘Srishti’ of Almighty! You are the conduit or the Great Medium of Srishti, Stithi and Laya)

Apah srujaasi devatvam twamatsi punarevata,
pachyamaanaastwaya taascha praaninaam pushti –kaaranam /
Deveshu tejorupena kaantatya siddheshvavasthitah,
visharupena Nageshu Vaayurupah patatrishu/
Manujeshu bhavaankrodho mohah pakshi mrimaadishu,
Avashtambhosi tarusha kaathinyam twam Mahiprati/
Jale dravas Bhagavaajjva rupi tadhhaniley,
vyapitvena tadhaivaagney nabhaasitwam vyavasthitah /
Twamagney Sarva bhutaan antascharaasi paalayan,
twamekamaahuh kavayastvaamaahus trividha punah 

(Deva, You produce water and also consume it; all ‘Pranis’ or Animate Beings are sustained, fit and dynamic. You are the Tejo Swarupa of Devatas, Buddhi Rupas of Siddhas, Visha Rupas or of Poisonous Forms of Nagas, Vayu Rupas ( Forms of Wind) of Birds, Krodha Rupas or Forms of Antagonism of human beings, ‘Moha Rupas’ ( Passionate Forms ) of Animals, ‘Sthita Rupas’ ( Forms of Steadiness) of Vrikshas (Trees), ‘Kathinyata’ or Endurance of Earth, ‘Drava Rupa’ (fluidity) of Water, Vega Rupa (Speed) of Vayu ( Wind), ‘Vyapti Swarupa’(All Encompassing Form) of Akash (Sky); but Agni Deva! You administer all the Beings and mobilise the inner consciousness of all and also end up the Universe; that is why Poets depict You as one entity but also describe You as Three, since You perform all the Three Acts of Srishti, Sthiti and Laya! )

Thwaamashtadha kalpayitva Yagnamaahamakalpayan
twaya shrishtimidam viswam vadanti paramarshyah/
twaamrutehi jagatsarvam sadyo nashyadyutaashana,
thubhyam krutvaa Dwijah pujaam swakarma vihitaam gatim /
Prayanti havyakavyadyaih  Swadhaa Swahabhaabhyu -deeranaat,
Parinaaamatma veeryaani ninaamamaraarchita/ 
Dahanti sarva bhutaani tatho Nishkramya hetah,
Jaatavedastavyai vedam vishwam srashtam Mahaadyutey/
Tavaiva Vaidikam karma Sarva bhutaatmakam jagat,
Namastonala Pingaaksha Namastestu Hutaashana/
Paavakaadya Namastesthu Namasthey Havya -vaahana
twameva bhukta peetaanaam paachanaadvishwa paachakah/ 

(Agni Deva! Poets actually describe You in Eight Forms right from Yagnas onwards till destruction; Brahmanas through the ‘Havya- Kavya’ recitations and oblations by the Mantras of Swaha and Swadha which fulfil all the required rituals and take steps forward to Realisation of the Almighty; Your ‘Agni Sikhas’ from the Homa Kundas and destroy Bhuta ganas, Jaataveda, Hutashana, Adya, Pavaka! My sincere respects to You, the materials that You absorb by way of ‘bhukta’ and ‘Peeta dravya’ (by eating or intaking) and clean up the World.)
 Shanti continued his Stuti:

Sasyaanaam paaka karta twam poshta twam Jagatastatha,
Twameva Meghastwam Vaayustwam Beejam sasyahetukam/
Poshaaya Sarva bhutaanaam, Bhuta Bhavya Bhavodyasi,
Twam Jyotih Sarva bhuteshu Twamaadityo Vibhaavasuh/
Twamahastvam tatha Raatriubhey Sandhey tatha Bhavaan,
Hiranyaretastwam Vahney Hiranyodbhava kaaranam/
Hiranya garbhascha Bhavaan-hiranyasadrusha prabhah,
Twam Muhurtam Kshanascha Twam Twam Trutistvam tatha Lavah/
Kalakaashtaa nimeshaadi paapebhya Ihikaachya Maha bhayat,
Karaalee nama ya jihvaMaha Pralaya kaaranam/
Tatha nah paahi Paapebhya Ihikaaccha Maha Bhayaat,
Karoti kaamam Bhutebhyo ya the Jihva Sulohitaa/
tayaa nah paahi  Paapebhya Ihikacchha Maha Bhayat/

(You are the Bija Swarupa enabling farming, You are the Preserver, You are the Megha or Clouds, the Vayu or Air; the Past, Present and the Future; the Jyoti Rupa, the Aditya Surya; the Dawn, Dusk and Night; You are the Golden Sperm, the Golden Belly, the Gold-like Swarupa; You are the measurements like  Muhurta, Kshana, Triti and Lava. You are the Kaala Kaashta Nimesha Rupas or Forms and of Eternal Time; Please save us from the changes of Time, from the fear of ‘Ihika’ or the on-going Life by the grace of Your Fiery Tongue named ‘Manojava’; also provide boons by another tongue of Yours called ‘Sulohita’; may another tongue called ‘Sudhumra -varna’demolish our illnesses; may ‘Sphulingini’named tongue secure us from ‘Samsara Bhaya’; and may ‘Viswa’ named tongue bestow propitiousness to humanity.) Pingaaksha Lohitagreeva Krishna Varna Hutaashana,
traahimaam sarva doshobhyah samsaaraadudhareha maam/
Praseeda Vahney Saptaarchi Krushaano Havyavahana,
Agni Pavaka Shukraadi naamaashtaabhirudeeritah/
Agneygrey Sarva Bhutaanaam Samutpakttir Vibhaavaso,
Praseeda Havyavaahaasya abhishtuth mayaavya,
Twamakshayo Vahniraachintya rupah
samruddhimandushprasahoti teevratah/
thavyayam Bhimamashesha loka
samvardhakam hanthyathati viryam,
twamutthamam tatvamashe satvathrutpundareekastha mananthameediam/
Tatvaa tam Vishva midam Charaacharam Hutaashanaiko Bahudhaa twamatra/

( May Your orange coloured eyes, red coloured neck and Krishna Varna Form safeguard me from performing ‘doshas’ or sins. You are the Saptarchi, Havyavahana, Krushanu, Agni, Shukra, Pavaka and such other Eight Names. You were the far earlier Creation to all Beings; Vibhavasu! Avyaa Havya Vaha! May I extol You so that You receive my ‘Stuti’ and grant me equanimity; You are the ‘Akshaya’ (Never Diminishing), ‘Achintya’ or Beyond Sorrow of any kind,
‘Samruddhi Sampanna’ (Epitome of Abundance), the Shelter-Point, Balashaali, ‘Avyaya’ or Inexhaustible, Bhima Rupa, Protector and Destroyer, the Satva Swarupa, Lotus-heart of all the Beings, the revered Brahma Swarupa, the Sarva Vyapi or the Encompasser of the Universe, the Singular Entity displayed in multiple Images and the Omni- Present).

Twakshayah sagiri vanaa Vasundhara Nabhah Sasomaarkamahadimvaakhilam, Mahodadherjatharagatascha vaadav bhavaanvibhuvuh pibati prayaamsi Paavaka/Hutashanaastwamiti sadaabhi pujyasey Mahaa kratou niyamaparair maharshibhih, Abhishtutah pibasi cha Soma madhvareyvashatkrutaanyapi cha harshamshi Bhutaye/
Twam Vipraih SatatamihejyasePhallartham Vedangyoshvatha Sakaleshu geeyase twam, Tadvetoryajana parayana Dwijendra Vedaangaanyadhi gamayanthi Sarva Kaale/Twam Brahma yajanaparasthaiva Vishnu Bhuteshah Surapatir Yamaa Jaleshah,
Suryendu Sakala Suraasuraischa Havyaih Santhoshaamata phalaanya-thatpruvanti/
Archibhih Paraamoghapaghata drushtam sampushtam tava Shuchi –jaayatey samastam, Snaanaaam Paramamathiva Bhasmaanaa Sat Sanandhyaayam  Munibhirateeva sewasye tat/
Tat krutwa Tridivamavaapnuvanti Lokaah sadbhaktya Sukhaniyataah samuhi gatim,
Praseeda Vahney Shuchi naamadheya Praseeda Vayo Vimalaati deeptye/
Praseeda me Paavaka Vaidhyutaabha Praseeda Havyashana Paahi maam twam,
Yattey Vahney Shivam rupam ye cha tey Saptahetayah The paahi na stuto Deva Pita putramivaatmajam/

(Anila Deva! You are Eternal, You have the Swarupa of Prithvi along with coutless Mountains, the ‘Akaash Swarupa’or of the Form of Sky with Sun and Moon; the ‘Kaala Swarupa’ of Days and Nights; the ‘Badabagni’or the Mammoth Fire outside of the Massive Oceans; the Recipient of Huta Havis as Food due to which reason Maharshis performing ‘Maha Yagnas’ pay spontaneous tributes to You; You are the Consumer of Somarasa and Havis along with Vashatkaar; You are the Unique Entity who is constantly praised by ‘Yagna paraayana’ Brahmanas, through the Medium of Vedangas; You are Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara, Devarajendra, Yama, Varuna, Surya, Chandra and all other Devaganas; the Purifier of any and every material by the touch of Your blazes as the best method of sanitization among all types of ‘Snanaas’ (baths) is by converting any object into ‘Bhasma’ or ash! Vahni Deva, You are the Unique Cleanser of the entire Srishti! If a Human Being adopts this method of purification, then Vayu Deva would oblige the transfer of the Being from Bhuloka to Swarga loka at Great Speed! Let the same velocity be assumed by Vayu Deva to bring Agni Deva to the Ashram of Sage Bhuti and let Vahni Deva take note of my sincere appeal to save me from my great predicament and bless me to materialize His very kind appearance in the ‘Homa Kunda’as ‘Nitya agni’and pardon my carelessness and foolishness just as a father would do to his son.

By being immensely pleased with the earnest Stuti, Agni Deva appeared before Shanti and granted the boons of re-kindling the Everlasting Fire at the Homa Kunda at the Ashram of Maha Muni Bhuti, providing an Illustrious Son to the Sage who would be the ensuing Manu to be called Bhoutya as his Manvantar would be acclaimed as Epoch-Making as also blessed Shanti who did not wish for any boon displaying his self-lessness and sincere devotion; Agni Deva sanctioned the fulfillment of generic desires to humanity as contained in the ‘Stuti’ by Shanti. He assured Shanti that whoever reads or hears the above ‘Stotra’, especially during Yagnas, Festival Days, Tirtha Yatras, Eclipses, Mangala Karyas like weddings, Vratas, and Purnima and Amavaasyas or at any time during night or daytimings would be provided security from Fire hazards, illnesses, poverty, want of good progeny and discontentment. During the regime of Bhoutya Manu, the Deva Ganas would be Chakshusa, Kanishtha, Pavitra, Swajira and Dhaaraavruka. Indra would be called Shuchi. Agnighna, Agni baahu, Shuchi, Mukta, Madhava, Shakra and Ajita would be the Sapta Rishis.

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