Ashtalingams – Agnilingam – South-East

  • Agni is the hindu god of fire and is revered as the acceptor of sacrifices. He thus serves as the envoy from and to the other gods and as well as the envoy from humans to the gods. Because the fires of agni are lit everyday, he is ever rejuvenated and thus remains ever youthful and immortal.

    Even though Agni is the god of fire who presides over the earth, he still has a strong foothold in the hindu realm of gods. Along with Vayu and Indra who rule over the air and sky, he is one of the supreme gods in the Rig Veda. Serving as the link between heaven and earth, he plays a primary role in all Homas and Havans (vedic sacrificial worship with fire in order to gain special benefits from the gods).

    Among the Ashta lingams, Agni lingam governs the south-eastern direction. The shrine of Agni lingam can be found while walking on the outer girivalam on Seshadri street which is a few metres before Seshadri ashram. There is huge theertham called Agni theertham which can be seen from the Chengam road itself and this usually overflows during the monsoon making the road into a lake.

    Today, the Agnilingam shrine presents a derelict appearance and attracts very few devotees on regular days. A sad-faced priest does puja in a subdued manner probably because he has not much audience. The special benefits that Agni lingam worship is believed to confer on devotees are protection from evil and reduction of harmful effects from past karmas.