The fire is the eternal purifier. All other elements are prone to
contamination, except fire. Fire burns everything and converts them into
ashes. Water, earth or air can be contaminated, while fire cannot be.
Cleansing by fire is considered to be much more powerful and effective than
cleansing by water. This is why along with offerings of various materials
for various deities, the effect of cleansing with fire through their aura
was experienced by people who performs fire rituals such as Agni hotra,
Yajna or Yaga. Fire is the element that helps our digestion too. (I am born in the fire of passion) Fire is also associated as the cause for emotions such as Anger,
Panchagni literally means five fires. People used to do repentance (Prayaschitta) or cleansing through five fires; four fires lit by us and the Sun as the fifth.. This means endurance and cleansing the conscience. Agni is the link between heaven and earth. The Mooladhara chakra that signifies the earth and the Sahasrara chakra, that signifies heaven is linked through Agni. Agni or fire always has its flames upwards. This is the motion of kundalini energy also. Kundalini energy when it goes through the fire of Agni, gets elevated to Sahasrara.
Agni burns everything that comes its way and elavates them or moves them upwards. Only ash remains on the earth. Ash represents elements or gross in this context. Sita, the Sakti element, went through agni pariksha (test by fire) before
she got united with Rama, the pure consciousness. Thus, Sakti or Sita who
was tested and tempted by ten headed Raavan (indicative of the five Jnanendriyas and five karmendriyas (five senses or perception and five senses of action – thus 10 heads of our daily temptation), had to cleanse herself in fire before she could reach Rama, the pure consciousness. Similarly, gross needs to be purified in fire to attain the pure energy. Kundalini rising up to Sahasrara, and Sita attaining Rama are all the same in this context. Pure consciousness did not come down. Sakti had to go up and meet Rama and heavy cleansing must occur before that meeting can happen.
The fundamental need for performing fire purification is Faith. Faith is the
key. Faith intensifies purification. Faith will create Devotion. Unfailing
devotion. This makes the transit easy for Sita to reach Rama. The elevation
also means elevation in Gunas. Tamas goes through Rajas and becomes Satwa.
Thus elimination of Tamas and attainment of Satwa through an action which is
Rajas can be compared to Ravana – the dark element Tamas, Sita the seeker and Rama then sought fire as the vehicle. Sita got released from the clutches of Ravana – kundalini gets liberated through sadhana and moves up through sushumna. Fire purifies Sita and Rama who has no Gunas, accepts Sita.
Kundalini Sakti transcends Gunas and attains Shiva, the pure consciousness. This means Moksha, salvation. Thus “Tamaso Ma Jyothirgamaya” ( From darkness to brightness) or from bondage to liberation is the same matter. Tamas is darkness or inertia. Light is liberation or Satwa Guna or even a state with no Gunas. Elevation is the key.
Manipura Chakra is the seat of Agni Tattwa. This is why we say Agni is in the Middle. This is the same agni that aids digestion of food etc. When Kundalini Sakti moves up through Manipura, located at the stomach centre, its purification through agni takes place. This is why, we often do the intense humming or AUM chanting based on Stomach centre, before meditation. This intensifies the agni element in the seeker. This helps purification faster. Cleansing becomes more powerful. Kundalini has to break through the Agni and
reach Sahasrara or go back to its old form.
Hanumanji burned the prestigious Lanka of Ravan. He infact burned the ego of
Ravan. When ego is hurt the immediate reaction is violence. The mind becomes
violent. When mind becomes vioent, buddhi or vivek (intellect or wisdom) disappears. Ego and emotion destroys the man. The same destroyed Raavan. Hanuman’s power was unfailing devotion to pure consciousness, Rama. Sita was
also craving to achieve Rama. Again, Agni played his role. We can even say that Agni became the the vehicle of Hanuman.
Ego torments a saint to some extent , even in Savikalpa Samadhi state. It keeps tormenting till he attains Nirvikalpa Samadhi state. Some saints opt for Panchagni Meditation to overcome this aspect of terrestrial binding. In Kathopanishad, Yama attributes three fold fire to Nachiketas, in recognition of his sincere seekership. They are Dhyaan (Meditation) , Daan (Charity) and Tapas (Austerity).
So, panchagni is four fires lit plus the fre from one sun. This is a test for purification. This is conducted either in Uttaraayan (Makar-Sankranti – Mid January) or Dashinaayan (Karka Sankranti- Mid July). The panchagni or five external fires is used for cleaning five internal fires such as passion, anger,greed, attachment and jealousy. The purpose is praayaschittha – repentance.This is also called Pashupati Vratha, dedicated to the supreme saint Shiva. The panchagni during Uttaraayan triggers light and liberation for the soul. Dakshinaayan denotes rebirth and return to life on earth. Uttaraayan helps the soul to leave the terrestrial clutches and hence the Great Bhishma chose his exit at that time. Trust this is clear.
God Bless All