One of the one thousand and eight names of Śiva-Mahādeva (Shiva-Mahadeva). The annotator Nīlakaṇṭha (Nilakantha), to explain the meaning of the word agravara, has said— agravaraḥ agre bṛṇoti yajñabhāgādikamityagravaraḥ.
Agravara is the god of gods, and thus, he is superior in both greatness and dignity compared to the other gods. During the age of Purāṇas (Puranas), the trinity of Brahmā-Viṣṇu-Maheśvara (Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwara) grew in eminence. It was perhaps from this time that the custom of offering Śiva the first oblation at any yajña (yajna) came into practice. Ever since Śiva’s preeminence was established after the great yajña performed by Dakṣa (Daksha), he became the first to be felicitated and offered the first oblation at a yajña. It is for this reason that Mahādeva is famously known as Agravara. More than once has Śiva been envisioned to be unified in spirit with Agni. It is through Agni himself that all the gods are invoked at the altar of yajña. Moreover, it is Agni who accepts oblations on behalf of all gods. This is another reason why Mahādeva, a representative form of Agni, is renowned as Agravara. Yāska (Yaska), the author of Nirukta, an encyclopedia of Vedic terms, while defining and explaining the meaning of the word agni, wrote, “Why do we say the word agni?” He then answered, “It is because he is the one who leads everybody and needs to be evoked first at any yajña”— “agniḥ kasmāt? agraṇīrbhavatī. agraṃ yajñeṣu praṇīyate.” Agni’s nature of being at the forefront and him being enkindled first are characteristics that have been conferred upon Śiva. He is the god who stays ahead of all the other gods and he is the god to whom the first offerings are made at a yajña— hence he is the greatest among gods who are first offered oblations to at a yajña. Therefore, he is agravara, and has been also called Agravara.