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Warning! This page contains spoilers for Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes.
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|“||The world became bleak when I started losing my luster. After all, I am the spark inside all living beings. I make things bright. I make things burn. It is my nature.||”|
–Aru Shah and the Song of Death
Agni (pronounced: "UHG-nee") is the Hindu god of fire and guardian of the southeast direction.
Agni is a son of Kashyapa and Aditi, making him one of the Adityas. He has many Hindu myths as fire is deeply important in many Hindu rituals. As ritual fire, Agni took messages from humans to the gods, his smoke indicating where sacrifices were being made, while the fire lit at funeral pyres carried the souls to heaven. He represents all aspects of fire, including lightning the domestic fire, they were all seen as his manifestations.
One day, an offended sage named Bhrigu cursed Agni to become the devourer of all things on earth because the god revealed to a rakshasa named Puloman that his wife, Puloma, was already married to him. But then Brahma, the god of creation, fixed it so that Agni will become the purifier of all things he touched.
His appetite was never satisfied, if he got sick then so does everything else as fire is a sacred part of every prayer. One day, he was really sick and nothing could cure him. Brahma told him to eat the Khandava Forest for the universe to be in balance again. After approaching the two in disguise, Krishna and the Pandavas helped him eat the forest.
Agni appeared as Sparky with Navdeep, Hira, an asura, and two others who sent by Lady M to prevent Aru Shah, Mini, Brynne Rao, and Aiden Acharya from entering the Ocean of Milk. When Aru used Vajra to catch them all in a net, Sparky was not caught and he made all their weapons disappear, he did not like fighting.
He decided to challenge Brynne to an eating contest much to her delight. Sparky made a long picnic table with a red-checked cloth appear, on it was steaming lentil soup, thick pieces of naan with fennel seeds and garlic, coconut and quince chutney, pickled mango, and hundreds of kinds of vegetable stew. There was even one Aru Shah's favorite snacks: savory disk-shaped rice cakes called idli. However, only Sparky and Brynne were allowed to eat anything, when he quickly moved Mini smelled fire. Sparky went to the the far end of the table with a fork and spoon in his hands and a napkin around his neck, Brynne sat opposite of him. While they ate, Sparky talked with Brynne how he once at ghee nonstop for twelve years. He also ate fifteen hundred dosas in fifteen minutes, but Brynne ignored him. When Sparky burped, he let out a belch of fire that burned the table. For dessert, he had filled the table with creamy rasmalai, one of Aru's favorite desserts, and carrot halwa. Sparky gobbled down a whole bowl of rasmalai and even ate the metal dish, he said he once had a bad stomachache that not even the sages could cure and he had to eat the ghee because a king wanted to conduct a ritual, he said even Paula Dean would run in the opposite direction. Aru noticed him changing his appearance as Sparky told them he ate a forest once, nothing can satisfy his hunger. Brynne was actually full, Sparky said that it's very hard to stop when he starts. But Brynne was happy that she at least lost to a god, Aru realized that Sparky was Agni, the god of fire.
The trees around them burned, yet Agni was still hungry. Mini threw a bottle of antacid pills at the god but they immediately melted. Raging inferno Agni demanded that the Pandavas helped him as he was starving and they had helped him in their past lives, his arms ended in fireballs. A wall of fire blocked the entrance to the Ocean of Milk, Aiden couldn't get Agni to move. In her backpack, Aru found a bottle containing a "bright idea" she got from Warehouse of Quest Materials. Agni's burning hand reached through the hall of flames and as he tried to swallow them all whole, Aru threw the bottle at him which he caught with his molten teeth. Agni struggled contorting himself and chewing furiously, then he shrank and the fire was gone. But the trees grew taller and became golden, the dirt became the rich brown of hot cocoa studded with jewels, and bright red flowers carpeted the areas. Even the returned picnic table was piled with jewels instead of food.
Agni's appearance had changed and his vahana, a bright red ram, trotted at his side. Agni felt a food coma coming on and he belched scorching a patch of grass. He was still chewing on the bright idea like gum and he admitted to Aru that it was a smart idea. Agni said that they were technically all family, but seeing them horrified he admitted that he is destructive, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but not evil. He is the force of change, even purification, at his most elemental stage. He was just doing his duty burning, and long ago the gods tasked him to fulfil it against anyone who tried entering the Ocean of Milk. But since the Pandavas found a way to extinguish the fire, they are allowed to pass with his blessings, he gives them back their weapons. But first, Aru Shah asked Agni why he had to eat the Khandava forest, which resulted in the deaths of the community, friends, and family of Takshaka even though they didn't do anything wrong. Agni decided to tell them the story of Jaya and Vijaya, which proved that bad things happen to good people, who can sometimes do villainous things, and good things happen to bad people, who can do heroic things. Agni explained that while life may not be fair sometimes, things just don't happen without a reason. People just don't know what that reason is, they just need to be concerned with doing their duties. In spite of this, Aru Shah didn't understand at all, but Agni said that that was good because then she'd be omniscient. Since there is a large fight ahead, and he bestowed gifts to Arjuna and the original Pandavas, he decided to do the same for these reincarnations. Mini received a Night Flame so she would never be lost in the dark, Brynne Rao's wind mace received a new flaming ability, Aru Shah received an Incendiary Offers for Future Use coin so she can receive a weapons in the future, and Aiden Acharya's camera, Shadowfax, was added eternal memory and battery. The god of fire then disappeared leaving a burning ember where he was.
As Sparky, Agni was taller than both Navdeep and Hira. His skin was bit ruddy and his has was a rust color. He wore a black sweatshirt, obnoxious sunglasses with white stripes across the lenses that made his face inscrutable, and a red T-shirt with a ram on in that said LIT.
But over time, Agni grew taller by the second, he can grow to the size of an elephant and his voice got louder as his body got bigger. Faint shining corona was around his head, like how saints in old painting sometimes looked lie they were wearing fold astronaut helmets, gods like Agni were also depicted like that. His skin then reminded Aru of embers. His had looked multicolored-blue at the roots, orange in the middle, and yellow at the tips like a flame. Agni's eyes glowed like two fiery twin rubies, under his LIT shirt was a bright scarlet suit edged in flames that can gleam.
After consuming the bottle with a "bright idea" Aru Shah threw, he shrank from the size of a forest fire to that of a big, glowing man. His clothes smoldered and burned, and he became Sparky 2.0. He was tall but no longer monstrously so, his ugly shirt became a scarlet sherwani jacket edged in flame designs, and his cheap, plastic sunglasses were now a pair of Ray-Bans. A scarf of molten lava hung around his neck, and his hair looked like banked embers. The radiating heat from him was as comforting as a roaring hearth in the winter. His expression was warm and lovely, exuding coziness that draws families and friends together, and his eyes flickered with the kind of light that inspires stories.
- Pyrokinesis: As the god of fire, he has complete control over the element.
- Superhuman Speed: Agni can suddenly move ridiculously fast, like a flame erupting on a match stick.
- Agni is Sanskrit for "fire."
- The ram on "Sparky's" T-shirt is a reference to the god's vahana.
- Next to Indra, Agni is one of the most important gods in Vedic mythology.
- He exists in three forms: the sun in the sky, fire on earth and lightning in the atmosphere.
- Agni is often depicted with having three heads.
- Some versions of Hindu mythology say he is the son of Prithvi and Dyaus, Mother Earth and Father Sky. Others say her was born from the mouth of Purusha, the primal human, along with Indra, and still others say that Brahma is his father and Dyaus is his brother.
- His Greco-Roman counterpart is Hephaestus/Vulcan.
- His Maya counterpart is Hurakan.
- Aru Shah and the Song of Death, Glossary
- Myths and Legends: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings by Philip Wilkinson