|[aras-image:7Ap.018,,10,,,Figure 5 God Agni seated on lotus pedestal.]|
As Rudra, Shiva personifies anger, and, "First among the forms of destruction come fire. Agni, the lord of fire, is thus a manifestation of Rudra...Agni is one of the most important deities of the Vedas. He is the mediator between men and gods, the protector of men and their homes, the witness of their actions, invoked on all solemn occasions. He presides over all sacraments, all the great events of life. The shining quality of anything is the quality of Agni, hence worshipping him, man gains the brilliance of intelligence, of strength, health and beauty... He has four arms, which carry an ax, a torch, a fan, and a spoon, and sometimes also a rosary and a flaming spear (shakti). Adorned with flames, he is dressed in black... The fire of destruction, Agni's most fearful form, was born of the primeval waters and remains hidden under the sea, ever ready to destroy the world."