No deep understanding of RV is possible without having a clear perception of the two most widely occurring words in the RV namely deva and yajna. Deva occurs in about thirteen hundred verses. Since Agni, Indra and so on, are characterized as devas, almost every verse in RV refers to a deva directly or implicitly. Deva is derived from the word div, to shine or illumine. The devas are beings endowed with consciousness, but without a physical body like the humans. Thus they are supra-physical beings endowed both with knowledge and power. The sages of RV were great observers of not only nature external to them like the mountains, rivers, etc. but also were aware of the world within them. They recognized different types of powers pulsating behind and within all aspects of manifestation. Behind each cosmic power, they divined the presence of a conscious being denoted as deva or devi. Each deva is a distinct cosmic power. Even though RV mentions thousands of devas, about thirty of them get detailed attention like Agni, Indra, Sarasvati, to mention a few. RV gives a picture of the qualities common to all devas in the forty hymns dedicated to the vishve-devah, the collectivity of all devas. Individual devas are described in different suktas. Indra is described in two hundred forty hymns or roughly twenty five thousand verses. Even though devas like Agni or Indra are mentioned in Puranic texts also, they are quite different from the devas in RV. There is no need to bring in the stories of Purana to describe the events of RV. A careful reading of RV can answer all the questions regarding the devas. To get an idea of a deva, consider Indra. The sages of RV were aware that the minds of the individual human beings are not completely isolated. They are all projections of the cosmic mind, the deity or deva behind it being Indra. Thus Indra is the Lord of the Divine Mind. Note the adjective divine qualifying the mind. The ordinary human mind has several imperfections due to many reasons such as its close association with the material human body. The divine mind is free of all these imperfections. Similarly, Agni is the cosmic power of heat and light in the manifested universe. But he is not confined to them. He is also the power of the Divine Will connected with Wisdom which vitalizes the entire human beings. All the devas are considered as the children of the devi Aditi, the goddess of infinity, whose power is aptly described in the verse RV (1.89.10). Aditi is the earliest known conception of infinity which encompasses everything. Then What is the relationship between these devas and the Supreme Being, termed as the One ekah or tat, That or ekam sat, That One Truth as was done in the later Upanishad texts? These devas are the limbs of the Supreme Being. Each deva is a distinct power and personality of the Supreme. The Divine consciousness and force which permeates every aspect of manifestation, living or non-living is termed as Vaishvanara Agni, the Universal Force, described in about ten hymns of RV. Even a stone is endowed with consciousness according to RV (1.70.2). A unique feature of the Rig Vedic Gods is their camaraderie with the humans. The different Vedic Gods do not support different human beings and cause them to fight one another as the Greek Gods do in books like Iliad. The Vedic Gods are eager to help a person and manifest their power in him provided the person expresses his aspiration by recognizing the delight of existence present everywhere, releases it by his/her activities and offers it to the Gods. The Gods like Indra manifest in the human, remove the effects of hostile forces like Vrtra in the inner life of the person and promote the all-round growth and happiness of the person. RV does not associate a distinct deva with each human being or animal or plant. Each human being has a soul in him/her called as jiva or atma and this is not regarded as a deva. The different devas manifest their powers in the various aspects of the manifested nature. The functions associated with the different animals or plants are possible only because of the power given by the corresponding devas. By means of the practices described in Rigveda, she/he comes in contact with these cosmic powers that are called as Agni, Indra, Ashvin, Soma etc. She/he tries to reach that state of consciousness or contact directly these universal powers. This is called as the ascent mentioned in several places. The first power to be contacted is the Agni power. Hence Agni is called the First God.