The Flood is a dire geological reality. It occurred at about 9,600 BC, precisely the date given by Plato for the destruction of Atlantis. In the tragic event, some 70% of all great mammals, and a multitude of other smaller species, became globally extinct.
Mammoths, cave-bears, saber-toothed tigers, mountain lions and hundreds of other such magnificent animals were smashed to bits by an unimaginably great cataclysm of global extent. Two species of Man, the Cro-Magnons and the Neanderthals, became extinct at about this occasion, and in all probability owe their demise to the catastrophe. Such is the event registered in myths as the Deluge or Flood, and in the geologic record as what the paleontologists call the Quaternary Extinctions.
Angiras is also known as Brihaspati, “the Lord of Prayer”. He is, as such, associated with the Sacrificial Pyre of the agnihotras, whose smoke rises to heaven itself establishing a link between the gods and the mortals. Indeed the smoke carries up the smell of burnt flesh, that of the sacrificial victims. And that giant pyre is no other than an allegory of Atlantis destroyed by fire.
The Incending of the Forest of Kandhava
More exactly, these sacrificial victims correspond to the creatures (humans included) burnt in the Conflagration that destroyed the world then, and to the Flood that eventually quenched it. Such is the real meaning of the Cosmogonic Hierogamy of Fire and Water. The Hindus vividly relate this tragic event in detail in many myths, the most impressive of which is that of The Incending of the Forest of Kandhava.
This magnificent myth seems to be the dual and fiery counterpart of the watery destruction of the Flood myth of Manu and the Fish. The Fish, (Matsya), was/is the first avatar of Vishnu. And Manu is the true archetype of Noah (or Manoah = Manu), as well as of all such Flood Heroes, including Utnapishtin, his Sumerian counterpart.
The giant pyre of Brihaspati corresponds to the sacrificial fire lit up by both Noah and Utnapishtin shortly after the Flood. The smoke of his sacrificial pyre also “rose up to the skies and attracted the gods as flies to a slaughterhouse”, just like the ones of the Bible and of the Sumero-Babylonian Flood myth. For, apparently, burnt sacrifices pleases the gods, particularly when they are of human victims.
The “fall” of Angiras prefigures that of Adam, whose skull became the Holy Mountain (Mt. Calvary), just as did that of Angiras. Other Judeo-Christian myths that are likewise related to the fall of Angiras as the vajra (or “thunderbolt”) are those of Christ and of Satan. These two also fall from the skies “like lightning bolts”. The Book of Revelation is full of similar relations. In it, both Michael and Satan the likes of Indra and Vritra also fall from the skies in like manner while they are fighting for hegemony.
The Vedic Sacrifice of the Agnishtoma
Another important Vedic ritual is the agnishtoma (“praise of Agni”). The agnishtoma corresponds to the Soma sacrifice in honor of Agni. It was performed in Spring, on the occasion of the New Year, and lasted several days. A sacrificial fire was lit up and kept for its entire duration. Soma was ritually prepared and drunk freely, as well as offered in libation to the fire. A goat was sacrificed in great pomp, just as in the Ashvamedha.
The agnishtoma was a fertility ritual. Both Agni and Indra are the personifications of Fire and Water or of the Conflagration and the Flood which periodically ravage the earth. These two gods were the main personages, the celebrants of the ritual. But all gods, with a single exception (Shiva) assembled for the great sacrifice, just as they do when the earth is to be destroyed by the Flood.
The agnishtoma ritual commemorates the renewal of Nature and the restoration of fertility. It was intended both to bring rains and to commemorate the lighting of fires for the New Year that was starting. The ceremony was also accompanied by ritual mating of both animals and people, just as in the Tantric rituals of modern India or the akitu festival of the Sumero-Babylonians.
The lighting of the New Fire was called Agnyadheya (“lighting of fires”) and was an important preliminary at all Vedic sacrifices. The holy fire was lit by means of the Vedic fire-drill (pramantha). The pramantha has been associated by Max Mueller and other Sanskritists with the myth and the name of Prometheus.