From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Araṇi literally means ‘that which is turned round’.
The fire in which Vedic sacrifices are performed, should be generated by attrition. The two pieces of wood is used for this purpose are called ‘araṇis.’
- ‘Adharāraṇi,’ - The lower piece is rectangular in shape and has an indentation called ‘devayoni,’ the origin of the god of fire. It should be of the aśvattha (Ficus religiosa) which is softer, the size being 16 aṅgulas long, 12 aṅgulas wide and 4 aṅgulas in height.
- ‘Uttarāraṇi’ - The upper piece is in the form of a drill, which is inserted into the indentation of the adharāraṇi. It should be made from the wood of the śamī tree (Prosopis specigera) which is hard.
Fire is generated by vigorous churning while chanting of appropriate ṛks. The lower araṇi is sometimes figuratively called the ‘mother,’ the upper araṇi the father and agni the fire, as the offspring.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore