The river Indus, the five rivers (of the Punjab), the Sone, the Devika, the Saraswati, the Ganga, the Satakumbha, the Sarayu, the Gandaki, the Charmanwati, the Mahi, the Medha, the Medhatithi, the three rivers Tamravati, the Vetravati, and the Kausiki; the Tamasa, the Narmada, the Godavari, the Vena, the Upavena, the Bhima, the Vadawa, the Bharati, the Suprayoga, the Kaveri, the Murmura, the Tungavenna, the Krishnavenna and the Kapila, these rivers, O Bharata, are said to be the mothers of the fires! The fire called Adbhuta had a wife of the name of Priya, and Vibhu was the eldest of his sons by her. There are as many different kinds of Soma sacrifices as the number of fires mentioned before. All this race of fires, first-born of the spirit of Brahma, sprang also from the race of Atri. Atri in his own mind conceived these sons, desirous of extending the creation. By this act, the fires came out of his own Brahmic frame. I have thus narrated to thee the history of the origin of these fires. They are great, resplendent, and unrivalled in power, and they are the destroyers of darkness. Know that the powers of those fires are the same as those of the Adbhuta fire as related in the Vedas. For all these fires are one and same. This adorable being, the first born fire, must be considered as one. For like the Jyotishtoma sacrifice he came out of Angiras body in various forms. I have thus described to thee the history of the great race of Agni (fires) who when duly worshipped with the various hymns, carry the oblations of all creatures to the gods.
“Markandeya continued, ’O sinless scion of Kuru’s race, I have described to thee the various branches of the race of Agni. Listen now to the story of the birth of the intelligent Kartikeya. I shall tell thee of that wonderful and famous and highly energetic son of the Adbhuta fire begotten of the wives of the Brahmarshis. In ancient times the gods and Asuras were very active in destroying one another. And the terrible Asuras always succeeded in defeating the gods. And Purandara (Indra) beholding the great slaughter of his armies by them