Rig Veda III.16.1, dedicated to AGNI, says:

ayamaghniḥ suvīryasyeśe mahaḥ saubhaghasya | rāya īśe svapatyasya ghomata īśe vṛtrahathānām ||

The translation of this mantra by H.H. Wilson(P.12) is as follows:

This AGNI is the lord of heroism and of great good fortune; he is the lord of wealth comprising progeny and cattle; he is the Lord of slayers of VRITRA

In Rig Veda it was mentioned at many places that Indra eliminated VRITRA.

In the mantra in question, it was mentioned that AGNI was the Lord of slayers of VRITRA. Please note that it was mentioned as slayers of VRITRA and that AGNI was eulogised as Lord of slayers of VRITRA. In Rig Veda it was mentioned that VISHNU only assisted Indra in slaying VRITRA.

My questions are:

  • Who are the other slayers of VRITRA, other than INDRA?

  • Why was AGNI was eulogised as Lord of slayers of VRITRA?

  • Wilson and Griffth are useless - not because they are "indologists" but because Rig Veda's highly abstruse Sanskrit was poorly understood in their time. Here Vritra is "obstacle" not the snake/monster. Brererton and Jamison is the gold standard from here on.@srimannarayana k v
    – S K
    Mar 6, 2020 at 23:26
  • Please post an answer, expressing your opinion @SK Mar 7, 2020 at 1:30
  • I have no interest in this question - since I find Vrtra (a metaphorical concept) a more sympathetic figure than his enemies - Indra and Vishnu. I just wanted to save you the trouble of using shoddy translations - ONLY use the gold standard - namely Brererton and Jamison academia.edu/30160889/…2014.pdf - there might be good Hindi translations you can use for double checking. @srimannarayana k v
    – S K
    Mar 7, 2020 at 1:39
  • @SK: I have checked up the translation of Brererton and Jamison. Agreed partially that Vritra indicates a type of obstacle, but not snake/monster, as commonly believed or understood. This concept of obstacle , I am already aware of. The question was posted for a discussion on SPIRITUAL lines rather than on scholarly line and for the usage of general members. Mar 7, 2020 at 5:58
  • Agni is an important God and this just seems normal henotheistic praise @srimannarayana k v . Vishnu's "parmam padam" is a theological foundation stone for vaishnavites, but Apam Napat also has a "paramam padam". A lot of Rig Veda is just metaphorical poetry.
    – S K
    Mar 7, 2020 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


वृत्र(Vritra) is not an evil person or devil. Read the following meanings of the word in Sanskrit Dictionary.

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So Vritra is a word used for other things like foe,enemy or stone. Read other translations by Griffith.

  1. THIS Agni is the Lord of great felicity and hero Strength; Lord of wealth in herds of kine; Lord of the battles with the foe.
  • I am aware of this aspect. I am expecting a deeper meaning, especially for the phrase īśe vṛtrahathānām, which also translates to Lord of persons, who overcame obstacles or foes Mar 7, 2020 at 7:12

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