What is Agni Cayana? 10,800 Bricks in Five Layers!! (Post No.3029)

yaha kunda

Research Article written by london swaminathan

Date: 2nd  August 2016

Post No. 3029

Time uploaded in London :–  10-17 AM

( Thanks for the Pictures)




(for old articles go to tamilandvedas.com OR swamiindology.blogspot.com)


Vedic Hindus were great mathematicians. Even in the construction of Yaga kundas (Fire Altars for sacrifice) they used geometry. They wanted mathematical precision even in Fire sacrifices. Probably this is the reason Egyptians borrowed Hindu knowledge for constructing the Pyramids or actually imported Hindus for the construction (Please read my article ‘Did Indians build Egyptian Pyramids?’)


“Agni Cayana is a rite of piling the fire altar, included in Soma sacrifices, in five layers with bricks, on the uttaravedi for setting up the Ahavaniya; it is represented in the Satapata Brahmana as a human imitation of the cosmic world of the Prajapati.


The heads of five animals are built up into the altar, and the trunks are thrown into water. Bricks of the altar are prepared with this water. Anthill clay is mixed with the earth of a pit. The first brick is prepared by the sacrificer’s wife. The sacrifice prepares a fire pan and three bricks. There after other bricks are made and burnt.


After the diksha the building of the altar begins. The altar may be of several shapes e.g. suparna (eagle), syena (hawk), drone (trough). The bricks have different shapes: traiangular, oblong, square etc. the bricks are given different names. They are laid accompanied with mantras, and in a definite pattern, for which a knowledge of geometry is required.


Of the five layers, the first, third and fifth layers are of the same pattern, while the second and the fourth follow a different pattern. The ground on which the altar is erected is measured with a rope and ploughed.


At the lowest level a golden figure of a man is placed. The total number of bricks for all the five layers is 10,800; each layer is covered with thick mud.


A living tortoise is placed on a layer. Various other materials, e.g. mortar, pestle, pan, winnowing basket are placed in different positions.


The time taken for piling varies from 8th months to 12 months or five consecutive days.


The main authority on the rite is Satapata Brahmana which devotes five out of 14 kandas – more than one third of the book”.

–source: A Dictionary of Vedic Rituals


Tamil Mystery solved!

My comments: There is a verse in Sangam Tamil literature (Akananuru verse 361) where a simile about a tortoise is not explained by any one Tamil commentator correctly. After reading the above passage of placing a live tortoise on a layer, we know what the simile is about. Akananuru is a book which deals with family life and sex and so a simile about fire sacrifice and a tortoise going out of the fire altar to a cool pond has been a puzzle! Now it is solved!

Hermann's tortoise shutterstock_78129739

The reason for the poet to use such a simile in a lover’s song is the lover is compared to the tortoise and the arid area he was travelling was compared with the fire altar. The cool pond is his wife/lady love.


From this simile we come to know another thing, i.e. the tortoise is allowed to go free. It was not sacrificed in the fire. Otherwise the poet would not have used it in this context. It elucidates another thing as well. 2000 years ago all these fire sacrifices were a common place in the Tamil speaking world. Otherwise the poet wound not have used it in a lover’s song.


There is more significance to this Agnicayana rite. The Indus valley civilization used more bricks than any other civilization that too in a geometrical pattern. The Indus city streets and drainages were constructed in an orderly pattern. This shows the people who constructed mathematical fire altars and the buildings in the Indus cities were the same people. Already we have another proof in the Indus bull seals. The cow is praised sky high in the Vedas and the Bulls are shown more in the Indus seals, but the cow is completely absent. It has been a great mystery. Probably cow is considered holy and so the cow was not used in any images in the Indus- Saraswati valley civilization. This is another proof to show that the Vedic Hindus were the one who lived in the Indus-Saraswati valley.


10,800 has a great significance from the Vedic days until today. 1008 (Sahasranama) for every Hindu god is used in the temples. 108 (Ashtottara sata) names is used in houses for pujas. Added together it gives number 9 that has got lot of magical properties (please see my earlier article on this subject).

A lot of Vedic rituals are not explained or understood properly today. Unfortunately, we have very few scholars now to explain them correctly. Most of us read or have access only to the rubbish commentaries written by foreigners. I will try to unravel the Vedic secrets as far as possible.



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