Agni Puran' is a very old Puran. There is description of the prayer and worship of sun and trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Many scholars have said it to be the encyclopaedia of Indian culture on account of the subjects and topics covered in it. This Puran is a storehouse of a variety of experiences related with man's life.
The Puran-like visage of Lord Vishnu has been described in Padm Puran. In that, the eighteen Purans have been said to be the 18 parts of the Lord's body. According to that Puran- like description, 'Agni Puran' has been said to be the left feet of Lord Vishnu. The orator of this Puran is lord of Fire (Agnidev); therefore it is called Agni Puran'. First of all, lord of Fire (Agnidev) narrated this Puran to Maharshi Vashishtha. All the disciplines of knowledge have been incorporated in this Puran in spite of being too brief. From this viewpoint it becomes even more special and important.
Number of Verses and Sections
There are narrated a total of fifteen thousand and four hundred (15,400) verses in the Agni Puran. Not divided into skandh or section, this has been divided into three hundred and eighty three (383) chapters.
The Gist of Agni Puran
Along with all the subjects of learning 'Ramayan 'Mahabharat', 'Gita', and 'Harivansh Puran ' have been introduced in this Puran. Several famous and mythological discourses related with lilaavatar of lord Vishnu named Matsya, Koorm, Varah, Nrisingh etc. are described in this Puran. Besides, the appearance of God by the name of Harivansh, all the festivals of Mahabharat, and the description of the clan of Lord Shri Krishna are the important distinctions of this Puran.
Description of universe, procedure for worship during evening, procedure for holy offering to fire (homam), signs of postures, procedures for teaching and felicitation, method of observing different types of tents, tying of holy thread, method of Adhiwas, preparation for the process of emancipation, the art of temple building, commemoration of a project, signs of the idols of gods, characteristics of prasad, characteristics of ling and pindika, method of worshipping deities, method of infusing life in the stone idol, practice of art, practice of education, practice of peace, worship of man-made structure ( vaastu), learning of base knowledge, astronomy, glory of pilgrimage, post- funeral rites, and astrology etc. are described in detail in the Agni Puran.
Similarly the deep secret of the theory of victory in battle, theory of hypnotism, theory of epidemic, names of sanvatsars, varnashram dharma, mantra, medical science, different sins and their respective penitence, monthly vrat (fast), weekly vrat, daily vrat, donation, earthen lamp vrat, glory of charity, the dharma of a king, description of different dreams, good and bad omen, examination of gems, archery, good behaviour, table manners, method to quell misadventure have been clarified in this Puran.
Subsequently, details of Siddha medicines and syrups, medical treatment of horse, medical treatment of elephant, Ayurved of trees, proven mantras, category of snakes and the medical treatment for snakebite, child tantra, planetary mechanism, Narsingh mantra, Trailokyamohan mantra, Lakshmi worship mantra, salvation mantra for Aghorastra, mollifying Pashupat, mollifying Rudra, art of poetry, art of drama, vocabulary, grammar and figure of speech, identification of different poetry, description of yog, knowledge of Brahm, description of heaven and hell, description of annihilation, karmvipak, meaning of Bhagwat Gita, glory of Yam Gita etc. have been established in detail in this Puran.
The concept of 'soul' and 'body' has been explained separately in this Puran. According to this, the body made of five elements (panchbhoot) is totally separate from the soul. The senses of jeev are like a machine, which is run by the soul situated in the heart. The soul resides in the heart of living beings.
The dissolution of the speed of jeev-mind in Brahm is termed as yog and unification of soul and supreme soul is said to be the ultimate goal of life in this Puran.