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Agni



(Picture: Marduk killing Tiamat)
(Sumerian seal)
                 Indra is an important deity of Vedic people and frequently invoked for rain and victory in war. He played dual role of rain maker as well as war god. In the old portion of Rig Veda, Indra is frequently invoked but later portions of Vedas, Indra’s importance gradually declines and gradually the priestly god Agni is highly praised and frequently invoked. It is possible that the shift in importance reflected the change in field realities. By the time Vedic people got settled in Indo-Gangetic plain, agriculture was given more importance than pastoralism.  

              Generally there is a view among historians of India that Aryans were nature worshippers and all the vedic gods reflect the various natural phenomena . Fine tuning the same opinion, it should be understood that it is not merely these vedic gods stood for certain natural phenomena, but their place is precise and specific in heaven as they represent specific star  constellation or planet. Then, all these vedic stories falls into a place and there is coherence in their stories.    
         
                 The second opinion on this issue is that all these vedic gods are calendar gods and change in calendar calculation results in changes of ascendancy or declination of certain gods. One common thread of all these vedic literatures is that it revolves around calendar and determining various seasons like rainy season and suitable date for sowing seeds. All these vedic gods described in Indian myths may be representing various star constellations. Because of changes in star positions due to " Precession " the calendar calculations also changes over period of time. As a consequence, changes in star position results in the changes of supremacy of some Gods over other Gods, Hence, this process of ascendancy of "Agni" over other gods should not be interpreted as ascendancy of Priests over other "Warrior classes". 

                 The fact that more importance is being given to Agni shows the ascendancy of priestly class over warrior class. A point to be noted here is that the Priest shown in this seal correlates with "Perseus constellation". In Indian context it could be "God Agni". It should be remembered here that "God Agni" is the chief priest of Gods of heaven. In that scenario "Agni " may be coinciding with "Pleiades constellation instead of "Perseus Constellation"
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