Mythology 15 Mar 2018
Once Agni, the Fire God cast his eyes on waters. “May I pair with them”, he thought. He came together and became one with water, and his seed became gold. Being Agni’s semen, the gold shines like fire! Hence, gold is found in water, for he poured himself in it – One of the reasons why one cannot cleanse oneself with it, nor can do anything else with it. He acts as the divine model for the sacrificial priest, a messenger who can carry oblation and mediate between humans and Gods, and also bring Gods to sacrifice. Gods are generous when Agni is pleased.
Agni is a Hindu deity, one of the most important Vedic Gods. He is the purest of earthly things for it burns away all that is dark, foul and inauspicious. As he is re-lit every day, he is ever young, bright and brilliant. He is a sacramental symbol of immortality, light and fire. Having twin ideas – immortality and symbol of life, Agni represents the cultivated, cooked and cultural aspects of Vedic rituals.
There are several mentions about Gold as the seed of Agni in Satapatha Brahmana, a prose text that describes the history, Vedic rituals and mythology connected to the Śukla Yajurveda. It explains in fine detail how the altars are prepared, about ritual recitations, ceremonial objects, Soma libation (Vedic ritual drink for immortality) and the symbolic aspect of every ritual.
This text has a passage that has a strange alchemical significance, about the marriage of water and fire. Surprisingly, it was written half a millennium ago before the birth of alchemy.
There’s another version of the story in Satapatha Brahmana which says when Indra killed Visvarupa, Tvashtri’s son, the latter burst Indra into fragments and “from his seed, his form flowed and became Gold”, a metal that was, without a doubt, a form of God. With gold, they cleanse themselves. For both Gold and fire represent light and immortality. The text further speaks about the magical power of that seed while performing a sacrificial fire. It says that if the sacrificial fire goes out after first Soma libation is offered, the sacrificer can either throw a handy log of wood or if his heart is apprehensive, he can offer gold, a doubtless Agni seed: as the father and son are same.
Polki jewellery is made by beating gold into thin sheets. The sheets are filled with lac and then uncut or rose diamonds are set on it. Polki is also jadau jewellery like kundan. This art form of jewellery makiing reached its peak in the Mughal era. It was originally a speciality of Bikaner and later became famous across the country.
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