O God Agni, lead us on to prosperity by a good path ( Path of light – Uttarayana marga) , judging all our deeds. Take away ugly sin from us. We shall say many prayers unto thee.
A person becomes jivanmukta if he is established in SELF. In case of such a person, the mind has merged with the SELF while he is alive and hence there is no concept of rebirth or higher level loka.
In this sloka, the soul purified by karma, nishkama karma and jnana but not fully established in SELF knowledge is praying to his deity – agni deva to take him to higher level lokas from where there is no return to earthly plane. This path is called uttarayana marga. On the other hand, those who travel on dakshinayana marga after death return to earthly plane.
agne naya supathā rāye asmān viśvāni deva vayunāni vidvān |
yuyodhy asmaj juhurāṇam eno bhūyiṣṭhāṃ te nama uktiṃ vidhema || 18 ||