By yoga instructor Adina Stoian
“Fire is eternal; visible or invisible, it is always present.”
Yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru
“Ignis natura renovatur integra.” – “All nature is fully regenerated and renewed through the occult power of fire.” or, in other words, “through fire, nature is reborn whole.”
In this Creation, the subtle fire (TEJAS or AGNI) is one of the five fundamental TATTVAs (formative ontological categories), known in the Kashmir Shaivism as MAHABHUTIs, or "major elements" - the subtle Earth, subtle Water, subtle Air and all encompassing Ether. They are the energy-information fields that create the actual physical universe as we - people with a normal level of consciousness - experience it. Because it is a manifestation of energy, the subtle fire implies polarity as well – thus it can be sublime (conveying beneficial energies) or demonic (even infernal) conveying in this case evil energies.
According to Chinese tradition, especially to the tradition of I Ching, the fire represents the YANG, male aspect, in correlation with the Sun, the power of transformation and purification. It corresponds to the South Pole, the colors red, orange and yellow (that makes up the flames and the sun's rays throughout the day), summer season, and in the physical body, to the heart region.
The mysterious fire – heart relationship is constant, when this element symbolizes elevated passions such as love, intense and profound amorous experiences, either when the fire symbolizes the spirit that is also the breath. In this case, the fire is related to the high intuitive knowledge that is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita, Chap. 4 sutras 27 and 10: “Lit by the burning aspiration of self achievement, aspirants offers to the purifying fire of mind, awakened by the practice of yoga, all the senses together with their actions as well as the breath of life and its functions.” “Thus, freed from attachment, fear and anger, completely absorbed in Me (the Supreme Being) many beings purified by knowledge and austerity reach loving devotion that makes them find their abode in Me.” We can notice in these sutras that the purifying fire of mind ensures the release of any attachments and fears, as well as the return to the Supreme Being.
In nature, besides the actual fires, the subtle element of fire is symbolized by the desert regions - because these are dry and very hot - and the mountains, as their shape is reminiscent of the triangle pointing up - the main alchemical symbol of the fire.
The beneficial aspect of subtle fire is called sublime fire due to its ability of purification and transformation of the human being through its deep resonances with freedom, with ascension, with assimilation, with resorption and sublimation. In the oriental esotericism the sublime inner fire is an important manifestation of BRAHMA (the creative aspect of the Supreme Being represented by the Eastern trinity: BRAHMA - the Creator, VISHNU – the Maintainer and SHIVA - the Destroyer).
The malefic aspect of fire is associated with the terrible fire of hell that continuously tortures the fallen beings, who are there for the atonement of the sins they committed, to the world of fallen angels, demons and even satanic spirits.
In one form or another, fire is present in all spiritual traditions of the world, as it is perhaps the most prized conquest of humanity, the one which marked the separation from the animal kingdom.
Fire is considered a symbol of the Ultimate Divine Spirit because it is associated with visible light and its source, as the Supreme Self’ ultimate nature is the Uncreated Light.
Traditionally, the subtle inner fire is considered the main agent of inner transformation, the one without which spiritual evolution would not be possible. From here comes the immense importance of the harmonious awakening of this aspect in the beings of all those aspiring to perfection.
Rise up to the blaze which doesn’t burn
This fire can occur at all levels of being. On the level of the physical body and bio-energetic body, the fire of the metabolism maintains life and even body temperature, facilitating the assimilation of food and the proper functioning of the entire body. We can call it the FIRE OF LIFE. Under the action of the subtle inner fire, our body manages to extract energy from matter (food) to insure survival. Thus, through the power of the sublime inner fire are achieved and maintained in the body certain states such as perfect health, harmony, youth and even inner purity. In what concerns the appearance of the body, the sublime inner fire gives even physical beauty, magnetism, charm, power of fascination (charisma). In the Indian tradition one of the blessed names chosen for boys is TEJAS, which in this context means "beautiful and healthy".
When in the body predominates the subtle inner fire (TEJAS TATTVA) and has an upward direction, it’s subliming and oriented towards the spiritualization of the being, the human being has very special shapes, with a pronounced waist and a specific smooth suppleness (for example, as seen in some of the representations of tantric art). If, on the contrary, this sublime fire is weak and disharmonious, then you may see two complementary phenomena: either excessive weight gain, when around the waist are forming unaesthetically fat deposits (accompanied by accelerated aging phenomena, dullness, loss of inner dynamism and enthusiasm, etc.) or excessive weight loss (accompanied by the "drying" of the being leading also to accelerated aging, etc.).
On an astral level, the sublime inner fire is present by showing elevated passions (burning love which exalts, elevated erotic passion, intensity of aspiration, creative effervescence etc.) and by awakening certain spiritual essential qualities, even virtues, such as the state of spiritual nobility, courage, heroism, devotion, inner motivation, determination, inner dynamism, an ability for self-control, discipline and self-discipline, optimism, ardent enthusiasm, action power, harmonious will, the ability of dedication to an ideal, power of abandonment of our individual will to the divine will, an immutable state of self-confidence, humor and a constant good mood.
At the mental level, the sublime inner fire is associated with intuitive mental processes, because intuition is a phenomenon of instant entering into the unknown that illuminates it as the light that enters into a dark place banishes away the darkness. At this level the fire of mind controlled through focus and meditation is the one that purifies the subconscious and prepares the enlightenment through processes that elevates the consciousness which occur spontaneously, mediated by its subtle energy. These inner purification processes can be felt very painfully by the selfish beings that cling stubbornly to their petty attachments.
The suffering perceived by people is often described as a burning fire inside them ("my heart burns with pain"), but this is a characteristic only of those who oppose transformation and are ignorant. Those humble disciples and with a pure heart perceive this sublime inner fire as a divine blessing and gladly accept, even enthusiastically, the changes it brings to their lives.
To the mysterious sacrificial fire of Hinduism, Buddha associates the enigmatic inner fire that when is activated in the human being brings the penetrating knowledge and awakens the superior divine intuition, which shows that it is in a mysterious connection with VIJNANA MAYA KOSHA, the supra-mental sheath of the human being.
But above all is the Fire of the Spirit, often associated with immortality - "the fire that does not burn" and whose presence is felt even outside, in the manifested world. About this fire speaks the Hebrew tradition when it tells of "the blazing bush from where the divine voice was heard and that has not been consumed by fire." In this case, the sublime inner fire is a symbol of divine blessing.
Give yourself to this ardor – you’ll live cascading miracles
These esoteric and symbolic aspects help us better understand the enormous value of the awakening of the sublime inner fire in our being as aspirants on a spiritual path. When this sublime mysterious inner fire is amplified by occult resonance processes with the fire energies sources that exist in the Macrocosm, it creates profound and rapid inner transformations, spiritual evolution, and it purifies us on all levels of existence.
Through the accumulation of the sublime fire in the microcosm of our being we create the preconditions of the state of superior pervasive omniscience and foster the occurrence of overwhelming and deep states of illumination and even miracles.
By the help of this sublime interior fire we destroy by inner burning all traumas, stress and spiritual wounds. For this kind of fire causes true states of catharsis accompanied at times, especially for women, by a purifying, regenerative weeping, showing the burning and annihilation of toxic subtle energies that lasted for a long time in their inner universe, causing tension, pain, seclusion and even disease. Such a fire, however, destroys and annihilates forever all impurities, all mental misery, and all ills.
The sublime inner fire helps the harmonious functioning of the solar plexus, awakens and make it work flawlessly the so-called "abdominal brain" (the true energy plant of our being, the engine of inner transformation), makes us optimistic, self-confident, charismatic; make the women strongly magnetic and men - strongly electric and even electrifying.
In addition to all this, the awakening and the activation of this sublime inner fire supports the occurrence of a conspicuous bracing humor, contagious good mood, miraculously annihilating stress and tensions that occur in the abdominal area, makes the human being extremely attractive to the opposite sex and helps making disappear forever the tormenting states of obsessive jealousy.
The awakening and harmonious activation of this sublime inner fire brings dozens of benefits and crystallizes spiritual virtues and physical, psychological, mental and spiritual qualities - on one condition: the presence in our lives of that gram of practice. Only intense personal practice will help us discover the wonders produced by the presence of subtle inner fire and all the extraordinary transformations that it makes possible!