Home Page | Dictionaries | Glossary of terms in Sri Aurobindo`s writings




1. the godhead of fire, [psychologically]: the divine will perfectly inspired by divine Wisdom, and indeed one with it, which is the active and effective power of the Truth-Consciousness.

2. [one of the five bhutas]: fire; the formatory principle of intension, represented to our senses in matter as heat, light and fire.


The word Agnis is composed of the root ag, the suffix ni and the case-ending s. The root ag occurs in other words of [the] hymn [of Rigveda], aṅga and aṅgiraḥ. Its most common meaning is love, force or excellence. The original root a of which it is a primary derivative meant existence. The addition of g adds the sense of force or power. To exist in force or power is ag in its initial sense and all other meanings are derivative or deductive from the initial sense. The sound n is added to roots with an adjectival force as in ratna from rat, yajña from yaj. It may have adherent to it either a, i or u, and may be pure or preceded by the enclitics a, i or u or their prolonged forms, ā, ī, ū. Thus karaṇa, śayāna, balin, rājan, varuṇa, iṣṇu, viṣṇu etc. Agni means one who exists in force or power. Cf. the Greek άγαν, [agan] exceedingly, άγαϐός [agathos], good, originally meaning strong, powerful, brave. From the same sense of power, force, excellence comes various senses of άγω [agō], the Latin ago, lead, drive, act etc. On the other hand the insertion of the nasal sound between a and g gives the sense of love, sweetness, softness, beauty, as the particular kind of force or excellence implied in the root.