“agním īḷe puróhitaṃ
yajñásya devám ṛtvíjam
The first hymn of the Rig Veda, and so the Rig Veda also often says that Agni arises from water or dwells in the waters. He may have originally been the same as Apam Napat. This may have originally referred to flames from natural gas or oil seepages surfacing through water, as in a fire temple at Surakhany near Baku in Azerbaijan. Other Rigvedic names, epitheta or aspects of Agni include Matarishvan, Bharata and the Apris.
Agni is a deva, second only to Indra in the power and importance attributed to him in Vedic mythology, with 218 out of 1,028 hymns of the Rigveda dedicated to him. He is Indra’s twin, and therefore a son of Dyaus Pita and Prthivi. He is married to Svaha, “oblation” personified.
He is one of the Guardians of the directions, representing the southeast. Considered the messenger between the God and the Mortal, the Supreme and most essential part of any religious ceremonies, functions and duties in India, the Agni or Fire is considered one of the most powerful Vedic God and the main in Lord Indra’s (The King of Gods) companions and so with 218 out of 1,028 hymns of the Rigveda dedicated to him.
In Hindu art, Agni is depicted with two or seven hands, two heads and three legs. In each head , he has seven fiery tongues with which he licks sacrificial butter. He rides a ram or in a chariot harnessed by fiery horses. His attributes are an axe, torch, prayer beads and a flaming spear.
Agni is represented as red and two-faced, suggesting both his destructive and beneficent qualities, and with black eyes and hair, three legs and seven arms. He rides a ram, or a chariot pulled by goats or, more rarely, parrots. Seven rays of light emanate from his body. One of his names is Saptajihva, “having seven tongues”.