Sadhguru speaks about the three kinds of fire or agnis, during the Mahabharat program at the Isha Yoga Center in 2012.
Read in Telugu: మహాభారత కధ : జఠరాగ్ని, చితాగ్ని, భూతాగ్ని
Sadhguru: It is a part of the tradition that if you want to create the right kind of atmosphere, the first thing you do is light a lamp. If you light a lamp and simply sit there – you don’t have to believe in any God or gods – does it make a difference? The moment you light a lamp, around the flame, a certain etheric sphere naturally occurs. Where there is an etheric sphere, communication is better. Before you talk to God, you want to create the right kind of ambience, a certain amount of etheric sphere. Without that, it is as if you are talking to a wall. If you meditate enough, etheric content builds up around you.
If you have ever sat around a camp fire, you may have noticed stories told around the camp fire always have the maximum impact. The storytellers of yore knew this. These are simple ways to create a situation where you are at the best of your receptivity – both for the story and for the atmosphere.
Fire is of different kinds. Life is fire. It is the fire of the sun which facilitates life on the planet. Agni means fire. Fire can manifest in the human system as jatharagni. If you are hungry, it is because of the jatharagni, the fire of the belly and the fire of the groin. Only if your hunger is satisfied, the “groin fire” will burn. One who has not eaten is not bothered about sexuality. If you transform the jatharagni, it can become chittagni. You become intellectually sharp. You lose interest in sexuality and food, because your intellectual fire is on.
This chittagni can be transformed into bhutagni. Bhutagni is the elemental fire. A yogi is on elemental fire. You have heard of yogis being buried for some time – no breath, no heartbeat – or of yogis consuming mercury or venom. If they were not yogis, they would be dead if they did something like this. Unless your bhutagni is on, you cannot play with the elements. There is also something called sarvagni – we will not go into this now. Of the other three dimensions, everyone has jatharagni to some extent.
If chittagni arises, your intellect is like fire – it lights up your space. Even in comic books, if the character gets an idea, it is often depicted as a light bulb, because when the intellectual fire is on, suddenly there is light. You can even create heat out of it.
If your elemental fire is on, it is of a different nature – a cool fire. Once the elemental fire is on within you, you have mastery over the life process. You will choose how to be born, how to live, how to die or not to die. The beauty of having bhutagni or an elemental fire in you is, you don’t have to light a lamp, you don’t have to do a yagna or a homa, you don’t have to worship, you don’t have to enter a temple. I am not saying you should not – I am saying you need not, because once the elemental fire is on, you are existence itself.
In Mahabharat, you will face three kinds of people. There are people who are burning with immense jatharagni – wanting to eat, wanting to possess, wanting to copulate, wanting to conquer. Some others have phenomenal chittagni. Their intellect is such that they are able to see things that ordinary people would only see 1000 years later. There are other people who have bhutagni, which means they have complete mastery over their life – when to be born, how to be born, how to live, when to die. Even the choice of life and death is in their hands. When you meet these three types of people, don’t judge them. All of them have a role to play.
You will see Krishna moving and playing between these three aspects. When he wants to be jatharagni, he is all-out jatharagni – he eats, fights, and loves like no one else. When he wants to be chittagni, he is it totally – a visionary beyond compare. When he wants to be bhutagni, he is it absolutely. He plays all the three fields.