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Shatapatha Brahmana 1.4.1 mentions how Agni was chosen by the gods as their messenger:

  1. He recites [the eighth sâmidhenî]: 'Agni we choose as messenger!' Now the gods and the Asuras, both of them sprang from Pragâpati, were contending for superiority. When they were thus contending, the gâyatrî stood between them. That gâyatrî was the same as this earth, and this earth indeed lay between them. Now both of them knew that whichever she would side with, they would be victorious and the others would be defeated. Both parties then invited her secretly to come to them. Agni acted as messenger for the gods; and an Asura-Rakshas, named Saharakshas, for the Asuras.

We know about Agni acting as a messenger for the gods but I am more interested in the Asura who was chosen by his side. So my question is: Who is this Sahar-akshas, the messenger of the Asuras and what is his story?

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According to Vayu Purana, Chapter 29, Saharaksha is the son of Pavaka and serve as the Agni for the Asuras.

पवमानात्मजश्चैव कव्यवाहन उच्यते।
पावकात्सहरक्षस्तु हव्यवाहः शुचेः सुतः॥४॥

The son of Pavamāna was known as Kavyavāhana and from Pāvaka was born Saharakşa and Havyavāha was the son of Suci.

देवानां हव्यवाहोऽग्निः पितृणां कव्यवाहनः।
सहरक्षोऽसुराणां तु त्रयाणां तु त्रयोऽग्न्यः।।५।।

Havyaväha is the fire of Devas, Kavyavāha is the fire of manes, Saharakṣa is the fire of demons. Thus, these are the three fires pertaining to three, viz. Devas, Pitṛs and Asuras respectively.

So, basically Saharaksha is not an Asura but is from lineage of Agni.

  • 2
    Fabulous find! This is the first of the few Shatapatha Brahman questions I have posed in the past few days to actually get an answer so thanks for reaffirming my faith in this site :) – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Sep 24 '18 at 12:47

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