Saturday, December 19, 2015

Saptha rishi - Pulaha Rishi

Saptha rishi - Pulaha Rishi 

A study of the famous Rishis and Munis of Vedic literature.

Pulaha Rishi is another of the manasa-putra Prajapatis, and a Saptarishi from the first Manvantara. He was born from the navel of Lord Brahma. He was burned due to a curse made by Lord Shiva, then was born again in Vaivasvata Manvantara, this time from Agni's hair.

During his birth in the first Manvantara, Rishi Pulaha was married to another of Daksha's daughters, Kshama. Together they had three sons, Kardama, Kanakapeetha and Urvarivat, and a daughter named Peevari.

There are numerous other mentions of his wives, although we don't know which were co-wives, and which were wives during other births.

According to Bhagavat Purana Pulaha Rishi was also married to Gati, a daughter of Kardama and Devahuthi. The two had three sons – Karmasreshtta, Vareeyaamsu and Sahishnu. Gathi's name is sometimes stated as 'Trinity', and their childrens' names as Kardam, Arvaveera and Sahishnu. In either case, this Kardama is not the same as Kardama Rishi, who manifested from Brahma's shadow.

And there are several other names of Rishi Pulaha's wives: Sandhya, Mrugi, Mrugamanda, Haribhadra, Iravati, Kapishaa, Danshtra, Risha, Tirya, Shweta, Sarama and Surasa. One of his asramas was at Haridwar.

As mentioned in our last segment, Pulaha is named among the principal Saptarishis, or those most often listed from the first Manvantara: Bhrigu, Angiras, Marici, Atri, Vasistha, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu. The last three of these Rishis are said to have not produced true Brahmin stock. Krathu gave birth to pygmy sons, Pulastya was the progenitor of the Raksasas, Vanaras, Kinnaras and Yaksas, and Pulaha was progenitor of the Kimpurusas, Pisacas, goblins, lions, tigers and other animals. As Pulaha Rishi produced non-human sons like deer, lion, tiger, etc., his sons were not well-behaved therefore he adopted Agastya's son, Drudhasya.

Lord Balarama once visited Pulaha Rishi's asrama, as stated in Srimad Bhagavatam 10.79:

anu-srotena sarayum
prayagam upagamya sah
snatva santarpya devadin
jagama pulahasramam

The Lord followed the course of the Sarayu until He came to Prayaga, where He bathed and then performed rituals to propitiate the devas and other living beings. Next He went to the asrama of Pulaha Rishi.

In his Purport, Srila Prabhupada mentions that this Pulahasrama is also known as Hari-kshetra

Saptarishi - Jamdagni Rishi

Saptarishi - Jamdagni Rishi

Jamdagni Rishi is another of the Great Sages included among the Saptarishis in the seventh and current Manvantara. He is also the father of Parashurama, the sixth Visnu incarnation among the dasavatara. Jamadagni, like other Saptarishis, was a descendant of Sage Bhrigu who is a topmost Prajapati created by Lord Brahma.

Jamadagni had five children with his wife Renuka, and Parasurama was the youngest among them. Without having formal instruction, Jamadagni was well versed in sastra and weaponry.

Rishi Jamadagni's wife Renuka was the embodiment of great chastity. Such was her devotion to her husband that daily, she fetched water from the river in a pot made of unbaked clay, which held together only by the power of her devotion to Jamadagni.

One day while at the river, a group of Gandharvas passed overhead in their sky chariot. Filled with desire for only a moment, the unbaked pot that she was carrying dissolved into the river. Afraid to go back to her husband, she waited at the river bank. Waiting for his wife's return, Jamdagni used his yogic powers to see what had taken place with his wife, and he became very angry. One by one, the rishi ordered each of his sons to take up their weapon and end their mother's life. None would do the horrible task except Parasurama, who picked his axe and beheaded her.

Being pleased with his son's dutiful nature, Jamdagni Rishi offered two boons to Parashurama. The son first asked that his mother's head be restored and she be brought back to life; and second, that his brothers, who had been turned to stone by their father upon refusing his orders, also be returned to their bodies. All the family members were restored to life without having memory of experiencing their deaths. In this way, Jamadagni and Parasuram demonstrated dharma between son and father.

Later on, Jamadagni was visited by the Haihaya king, Kartavirya Arjuna, whom he served a feast using a divine calf. Wanting the animal for himself, the demon king decapitated Jamadagni. Enraged, Parasurama killed the king in turn, retrieving his father's head for cremation. Parasurama then began a protracted campaign of killing the kshatriyas, all across Bharata and for the next twenty-one generations. Such was his anger over the death of Rishi Jamdagni.

In the Buddhist text, Vinaya Pitaka, Mahavagga (I.245), the Buddha offers respects to Jamadagni by declaring that the Vedas in their true form were revealed to the original Vedic rishis, including Jamadagni.

Pakistan succeed wiping out knowledhe of Hinduism and become terrorist country

Pakistan succeeded in wiping out Hindu Culture from Luvpur (Lahore), once a heart of Hindu Culture

Established by Luv, the son of Shriram, birthplace of the great Sanskrit grammarian, Panini and capital city of Raja Jaipal - Luvpur (Lahore) !

Ancient name of Lahore was Luvpur ! Luv, son of Shriram established this city on bank of river Râvi. Later, it was known as 'Lahawar' and now as 'Lahore'. It is the birthplace of great Sanskrit Grammarian, 'Panini' and the capital city of Raja Jaipal of 10th century.
Lahore - a city of very mystifying temples where hundreds of Hindus lived !

There were nearly about a hundreds of Sanskrit pâtshâlas (schools) in Lahore. Like Kashi, it was a maternal mansion/renowned for the study of ved and shastra. Great Pundits who lived there used to ritualistically follow the daily chores. Vedic brahmans and philosophers used to perform regular Shraut yadnya (ritual of sacrificial fires). Smarth yadna were also performed there. Lahore was city of very mystifying temples where hundreds of hindus lived !
Temple of Shriram in Luvpur (Lahore)!

Since thousands of years, hundreds of temples in Lahore were as it is. Regular daily worship were offered everywhere along with the vedic chants. Shriram temple in Lahore was stunning ! Temple entrance was outstanding. Walls, pillars and dome? of the temple had beautifully carved ancient sculptures of rich âryâvrat heritage and paintings depicting incidents from Ramayan. Shriram was worshipped religiously (trikal ?) by chanting of vedic hymns. Since the era of Shriram, hundreds of hindu temples of Sanâtan heritage were there in Luvpur and for ages it was known worldwide for ancient remnants of sanâtan heritage.
Exquisite idol of Shriram drenched the entire city of Lahore in devotion

The mesmerising dome of Shriram temple was so beautiful that one would be enchanted by it. The entrance, pillars, dome of the temple and the exquisite idol all spelled out devotion unto Shriram and entire city of Lahore was drenched in devotion !

In 1992, Ram mandir of Ayodhya in Bharat created a chaos everywhere. Dome of Babri Masjid was demolished. About the same time, the editor of 'Nava-e-wakt' writes, ' Although our country is Islamic, ancient Shriram mandir of Lahore stands safe. Lahore which was established by sons of Shriram, Luv and Kush is safe and we are proud of it.
Pakistan government destroyed glorious temple for constructing a six storey shopping complex

Temple in Lahore was as old as that in Ayodhya. But Pakistan government demolished this glorious temple in such a manner that no remnants of the temple remain. This temple had an area of one acre but nothing remains of it now ! Contractors are planing to construct six storey shopping complex there in accordance to the plans of the government which includes a ground floor and a basement too. Bhartiya government has shown a careless attitude as if it has nothing to do with the Shriram temple. This pseudo secular government which believes in Nehru ideals must be elated by the demolition of the temple in their hearts of heart.
How did Lahore go to Pakistan during partition?

Weak and impotent Indian administration and English/ convent educated Hindus who look down upon Hindu culture as uncivilized

Indian administration is weak and impotent such that anybody may bully it. If those bullying it say that, 'Bharat is a country of slaves and the inmates are destined to be so', they accept it as though slavery is in their blood. They do not deserve independence. They are incapable of it and mere thought of facing the enemies baffle them. Britishers have disgraced the Hindu Sanatan culture such that English educated hindus of today look down upon Hindu Sanatan culture as uncivilized and feel honoured to follow the footsteps of / emulate the Britishers.
Radcliffe, the authority / mentor to decide where Lahore would be after partition

Later during the British rule, in 1849, Lahore went in the hands of the Britishers. During partition, the fate of Lahore was in the hands of a British officer, Radcliffe. In front of him laid the map of Akhand Bharat (Undivided Bharat) and he held red and blue colour pencils in his hands. The map would be demarcated with blue for the cities and villages which would remain in Bharat and those marked with red would go to Pakistan. He had his eyes set on Lahore ! Would it be marked with red or blue ! Its fate was in his hands ! Hindu activist were labouring hard to prevent Lahore from going Pakistan / so that Lahore remained with Bharat. History was a witness to the fact that Lahore should remain with Bharat and there were proof on Adhibhoutik (Physical), Adhyatmik (spiritual), Adhidavik (Divine) grounds to say why Lahore should remain with Bharat.
Hindu leaders were unable to give bribe of two lakhs rupees and thus Lahore went to Pakistan when Jinha League arranged for the money :

Radcliffe, corrupt by nature, demanded bribe. British and their language, both manipulative knew only to deal in terms of pounds ! They could destroy culture for the sake of mere wealth. They were indifferent to what is right or wrong. Britishers were basically dishonest and crazy ! Eight highly posted Viceroys like Warren Hasting, Dalhousie were corrupt and left no stone unturned to loot Bharat. If we look at history, we realise that they cheated people like Unichand by looting wealth. Money meant all for them ! Radcliffe had nothing to do with culture or historical proofs / history, all he knew was money. He straight forwardly demanded a bribe of two lakhs rupees from Hindu leaders. 'Pakistan Herald', a newspaper from Lahore brought a detailed report about this. Similarly, there was an editorial and a five column detailed article. Although hindu leaders tried hard; they failed to give the bribe. Jinha league arranged for it and Radcliffe got his demand met. Immediately, Lahore was marked red in the map and Lahore became a part of Pakistan.

- Dr. Kate Swami (Sapthahik Sanatan Chintan, 29.9.2011)

Saptharishi - Chyavana Rishi

Saptharishi - Chyavana Rishi 

Chyavana Rishi was the son of Sage Bhrigu, progenitor of the great lineage of descendants known as the Bhargavas (or Dhusars). The Mahabharata states that Chyavana was powerful enough to oppose the Vajra of Indra. He created the Mada demon to help the Ashvins get their fair share of the sacrificial offerings.

Rishi Chyavana is also known for his rejuvenation, achieved through a special herbal paste known as Chyawanprash. This medication was first prepared for him some 10,000 years ago at his ashram on Dhosi Hill, in the Aravali mountains along the border of Haryana and Rajasthan.

The hermitage of Bhrigu Rishi is also located near Dhosi Hill, in the state of Brahmavarta on the confluence of the sacred Saraswati and Drishadwati rivers. The Padma Purana (Patala Khanda, Ch.8) puts the Rishi's hermitage along the Satpura Range, near the river Payoshni.

Chyavana is mentioned in the Rigveda, which describes him as an aged and feeble person whose youth and strength was restored by the twin Ashvini Kumar brothers, who were the Rajya Vaids or 'State Doctors'. According to a hymn of this text (Rg X.61.1-3), Because he was closer to the Ashvins, Chyavana was apparently opposed to Turvayana, a Paktha king and Indra worshipper of the day.

According to one tradition, Chyavana married Vaivasvata Manu's daughter Arushi and their son was Aurva. According to another tradition, he married Sukanya, daughter of the Vedic king Sharyati and granddaughter of Vaivasvata Manu. They had two sons, Apnavana and Dadhicha. Of course, both could be correct. He is also noted as the father of Harita.

Mahabharata Adi Parva 5-6 narrates that when Bhrigu's wife Puloma was pregnant and lived in her hermitage, a Rakshasa harassed her there. Puloma's child slipped from her womb, a condition producing what in Sanskrit is called a chyut (premature) child. This child was given the name Chyavana. The Rakshasa, seeing the child drop released his mother but immediately converted into ashes.

Penance and rejuvenation

The earliest version of the narrative of Chyavana's practice of austerities and subsequent restoration of youth is found in the Brahmanas. A later version of this narrative is found in the Mahabharata. More later versions are also found in the Bhagavata and Padma Puranas.

The Satapatha Brahmana (IV.1.5.1-13) states that while all the Bhrigus, the descendants of the Angirasas, were away, Chyavana with his senile body was living in his ashram at Dhosi Hill. King Sharyati, the son of Manu once came near the hermitage while hunting with his army. Sharyati's daughter Sukanya along with friends were also with him. She went to Chyavana Rishi's Ashram, where the Rishi was in meditation. White ants had covered his body and only his eyes were visible. Not knowing it was a human, Sukanya pierced the Rishi's eyes. Chyavana was in pain and became furious, and his curse created discord amongst Sharyati's army. When Sharyati found the cause of his misfortune, he offered his daughter Sukanya in marriage to Chayavana, so that she could take care of the Rishi.

Later on, the Ashvins came to Chayavana's ashram and tried to entice Sukanya, who refused to leave her husband. She instead asked the Ashvins to restore Chyavana's youth. Following their advice, Chyavana's youthful health was restored by a combination of three treatments. Certain herbs were put into a pond and the Rishi was asked to have a dip in that pond, known as Chandra Koop. Even today, this theertham is found at Dhosi Hill. One herbal paste was prepared for application on the Rishi's body and another, Chyawanprash, was prepared for the Rishi to take as medicine.

In return for their ministrations, the Ashvins obtained a share in the sacrificial offerings in Kurukshetra, on Sukanya's suggestion. In the Aitareya Brahmana (VIII.21.4), the inauguration of Sharyata by him is compared with Indra's coronation.

In a narrative found in the Anushasana Parva (Ch.52-56) of the Mahabharata, Chayvana exacted many menial offices from king Kushika and his queen for 21 days. Later, he was pleased by their devotion and rewarded them by creating a magical palace of gold and predicting the birth of their grandson Vishvamitra, who would be endued with great energy, and would attain the status of a Brahmana.

Sources: Mahabharata, Padma Purana, Wiki , Sampradaya sun

Saptharishi - Angira Rishi

Saptharishi - Angira Rishi 

Angiras, or Angirā Rishi is a great sage who, along with sage Atharvan, is credited with having formulated ("heard") most of the fourth Veda, the Atharva Veda. He is also mentioned in the other three Vedas. While the lists differ somewhat from text to text (no doubt also from age to age), Angira is often included as one of the Saptarishis, or Seven Great Sages of the first Manvantara. He is also known as one of the ten Manasaputras -- the wish-born sons of Lord Brahma.

The wife of Angiras is Surūpa, and the two bore three sons: Utathya, Samvartana and Brihaspati. Other accounts are found referring to the Rishi's marriages to Smriti, the daughter of Daksha, and also to Shraddha.

The name Angirasas is applied generically to several Puranic individuals and things: a class of Pitris, the ancestors of man, who may be descended from the sage Angiras. In the Rigveda, Agni is also sometimes referred to as Angiras, or as a descendant of Angiras (RV 1.1). Mandala 6 of the Rigvedais attributed to a family of Angirasas.

Agneya (the daughter of Agni and Agnayi) is considered to be the mother of Angiras. In the Rigveda there is a description of Lord Indra, driving out the cows from the cave where they had been imprisoned by the demon Vala, or by multiple demons (the Panis). Indra gifted the cows to the Angirasas (RV 3.31, 10.108, and 8.14).

Birth of Angirasa Maharshi

In order to assist him in the process of Creation, Lord Brahma created his first sons: the Manasaputras and Prajapatis. After some time, by his will (ichha), he gave birth to another son from his budhhi (thus the son is called Manasa putra - a child borne out of divine intellect). This son is Angirasa. Brahma granted him a great divine glow, tejas, which is not a physical glow, but rather a transcendental emanation that can fill the three worlds.

Giving his first instructions to his son Angirasa, Lord Brahma said:

"O Angirasa, you are my third "manasa putra" (the one born out of divine intellect). My creation is multiplying with several worlds and species. Humans and other species are growing in numbers and generations. And welfare of this creation is your purpose. Your mission is to come to me whenever I remember or recall you and fulfill my word from time to time. Whatever I design as your duty for the welfare the creation, you must do. You must now go on a very long and unbroken penance and bequeath its fruit to the welfare of all beings in the creation. You must remain so till I order you again, to take up family life (Grihasta Ashrama)."

Angirasa replied,

"You are the reason for my birth and of all this creation. And therefore, you are my almighty Lord. You create us with infinite and unconditional love. You are all knowing. You are omnipotent. You created me with a purpose in mind. Though you do not need anybody's assistance, you are asking me to do this penance. I shall consider it as your grace and opportunity to serve you. I will obey your every word."

Angira proceeded to perform intense penance. Turning his senses inward and meditating on Para-Brahman, his tejas increased infinitely by his penance. Having attained many divine qualities, powers, and riches, and control over many worlds, Angiras still remained oblivious to material desires, and did not stop his tapas. He thus attained the state of brahmarshi. The great Rishi had visions of many Vedic mantras and brought them to the Earth planet, where he is known as the source of a great number of Vedic hymns and mantras. The whole creation was blessed by the wisdom from his Word.

Picture: In the painting above we see Queen Choladevi, whose husband had been blessed by Laksmi Devi. Choladevi did not recognize the Goddess of Fortune when she arrived at the Queen's mansion in disguise. For her neglect, the Queen was cursed and given the head of a sow. She fled to the sage Angiras, who taught her the secret of a Mahalakshmi vrata, through the potency of which she was able to be restored to her human form.

Source: Inhabitants of the Worlds


The Greatness of Vayu

Vayu served Lord Rama as Hanumanta in his first incarnation. As Bhimasena he served Lord in his second incarnation. Acharya Madhva is believed to be his third incarnation. This is based on authentic and holy vedic references like the BaLiththa sUkta ViShNu sUkta, and so on. In order to understand the glory of the Madhva incarnation it is important to getan idea about Vayu and his greatness.

Vayu occupies a very high place in the hierarchy of gods, next only to Lord Narayana and Lakshmi, and equal to Brahma in status. He is expected to take up the Brahma position in the next cycle of creation. He is the Lord’s dearest devotee and considered as the best ‘adhisthAna’ (icon) to worship the Lord. There are hundreds of references in Shruti and Smruti that underscore his position in the hierarchy, his strength, devotion and other qualities. That is why he is called ‘jIvottama’ or the best amongst jIvas (sentient beings) whereas Hari is Sarvottama.

Conditions before advent of Acharya

Towards the end of dvApura yuga, Lord vEdavyAsa classified the Vedas and composed the brahmaSutras, MahAbhArata and 18 puranas to help the virtuous grasp the import of the vEdas correctly and unambiguously. Through the Kurukshetra war and other incidents, Lord Krishna had rid the earth of all bad elements. Dharma was on an even keel.

Things had drastically changed by the turn of the thirteenth century. Large parts of India were under Muslim rulers. Hindus were struggling to maintain their religion against the onslaught of other religions. People were becoming confused due to the multiplicity of doctrines from different religious leaders. There were 21 commentaries on the brahmaSutras, each claiming to represent the real intent of VedavyAsa and the true spirit of Vedanta. Each new commentator began his work soundly criticizing all the previous commentaries.

According to the Sumadhva Vijaya (SMV) , an authentic biography of Acharya Madhva, the gods were very unhappy at this sorry state of affairs. They approached Lord ViShNu and asked him to save sanAtana dharma (eternal and timeless vedic religion). Lord ViShNu has a self-imposed rule not to incarnate in Kaliyuga, so he directed Vayu to incarnate on earth and reestablish sanAtana dharma. Vayu received the Lord’s command with devotion and complete humility, like accepting a crown on his head. The prayers of other gods were worn on his breast like a precious necklace

Birth & Childhood

Madhygeha Bhatta (called naDillAya in tulu) and his wife lived in the village of Pajaka near Udupi, Karnataka, India. They were a pious couple. They prayed to Lord Ananteshwara to bless them with a son and performed severe penance. Consequently, Vayu incarnated as their son on Vijayadashami (10th day of the bright half of the lunar month of Ashwayuja - September and October) in the year 1238 AD(CE4). His parents named him 'Vasudeva'.

Even from his childhood it was obvious that Vasudeva was unlike other kids of his age. He was overflowing with deep devotion to the supreme Lord and possessed extraordinary physical and mental abilities. He repeatedly astounded his parents and teachers, performing several extraordinary feats.

When he was a baby his sister fed him well boiled horse-gram that even adults cannot digest easily. He happily ate it and digested it without any after effects.

He spent an entire day without food or water, roaming his father’s fields, holding on to the tail of a bullock. Even then there was no sign of fatigue on its face.

He gave tamarind seeds to a person who had lent his father money. The lendor solemnly accepted the seeds given by the charming child as full repayment of the debt. His faith did not go unrewarded; in due course, he became a devotee of God and attained salvation.

Even before he was eight, he jumped from the top of a hillock called durgabeTTa and landed near his house! On another occasion, he replanted a dry plant and made it sprout !

His guru’s son was suffering from chronic headache since birth. Vasudeva blew air into his ears and cured him of his headache

When a deadly serpent bit him, he jumped on its hood and pressed it down to earth. Its poison did not affect him.

His father discovered that anything taught to him was immediately grasped. He had to teach new things to his son everyday, without repeating anything from the previous lessons! Vasudeva also astounded the teacher in his gurukula (small residential school) with a flawless recital of Vedic hymns, including portions that the teacher had not covered till then!

He was also very adept in sports like swimming, wrestling and weight lifting. He could easily take on several of his strong friends at the same time and effortlessly defeat them .

Accepting Sanyasa

Vasudeva returned home from the gurukula at the age of eight, determined to become an ascetic. He realized that this was the only way he could propagate the true philosophy enshrined in the holy scriptures and establish the unrivalled and unequalled supremacy of God. His parents were very distressed to hear this since he was their only son. Vasudeva relieved them by promising to wait until another son was born to them. When another baby was born, vAsudeva sought and obtained his parents permission, which was provided reluctantly.

achyuta prekSha tIrtha (some say that his name was achyuta pragna), a great ascetic belonging to Advaita (non-dualistic) school of Vedanta, had his maTha in the Ananteshvara shrine. He was the spiritual leader of the community at that time and so vAsudeva requested him to take him as his disciple. achyutaprekSha, who was eagerly waiting for a worthy disciple immediately agreed. Vasudeva was inducted into sanyAsa (monkhood) with pUrNapragna as his Ashrama-nAma (name taken after one becomes a monk


Pilgrimage to South India

The Acharya set out on a tour of South India. He visited prominent places of pilgrimage like Anantasayana, Kanyakumari, Ramesvara and Sriranga. Wherever he went, he delivered discourses and preached the true meaning of the scriptures to the people. This initiated a new discussion among scholars all over India.

After coming back to Udupi, he authored his first work – a commentary (bhashya) on the Bhagavadgita.

First tour of North India

In course of time, the Acharya decided to tour North India in order to further spread the true message of Vedic religion. He also wanted to visit Badari to meet shrI VedavyAsa (an incarnation of Lord Hari) and get His blessings. Accordingly in 1263 he set out with several disciples and reached Badari. According to the Sumadhva Vijaya, when he presented his Gita bhAshya to Narayana, He is supposed to have directed him to change one word from ‘shaktitah’ to ‘leshatah’ (indicating that the standard of the bhAshya was set to the level of the audience and not at the Acharya’s level which is much, much higher). He is also supposed to have woken up Acharya in the night and directed him to read the Bhashya again.

From there, Acharya made the trek to Upper Badari in 48 days. In order to keep his mind focused on shrI VedavyAsa, he observed a vow of silence for the entire duration, bathing in the cold waters of the Ganga very early in the morning. At the final leg of the trip, he directed his disciples to stay back and went alone. However one disciple, shrI Sathya tIrtha followed him for a while but could not keep up. After a while he became so tired that he could not move forward or backward. Acharya sensed this and out of concern for his safety created a fierce wind by waving his hand; this wind carried Sathya tIrtha safely back to the previous camp.

Acharya reached upper Badari and saw shrI VedavyAsa. He prostrated before Him with deep devotion. shrI VedavyAsa was very happy to see him and greeted him effusively. He then taught some hidden aspects of the scriptures to Acharya. This was done to show that true knowledge has to be learnt from a guru and to underscore the point that Acharya’s knowledge of scriptures was flawless because this had been imparted to him by the Lord Himself.

On his way back, Acharya participated in a vidvat sabha on the banks on the GodAvarI river in the Andhra. The sabha featured two erudite scholars and staunch advaitins, Shobhana BhaTTa (the prime minister of the kAkatIya kings) and SvAmI ShAstrI (the prime minister of the Gajapati kings of kaLinga). Both of them were defeated and thoroughly mesmerized by Acharya’s magic personality and erudition. They converted to dvaita and got initiated into sanyAsa as PadmanAbha and Narahari tIrthas respectively. Acharya sent Narahari tIrtha back to Kalinga to obtain the rare and priceless icon of Lord Rama buried in the treasury. Sri Narahari tIrtha served the kingdom diligently and received the icon as his reward. He went back to Udupi and offered this icon to Sri Madhvacharya. This is the famous MUla RAma icon worshipped in the Raghavendra swamigala maTha.

After his return from Badari AchArya authored a commentary on the Bramha-sutras.

Acharya's influence spread far and wide throughout the country. Scholars were stunned by his extra-ordinary genius. The circle of his disciples grew bigger and bigger. Some even got initiated into sanyasa

Setting up Sri Krishna icon at Udupi

The popular story associated with the setting up of the Krishna icon and the composition of the dvadasha stotra is as follows:

One morning Acharya Madhva was on the seashore performing his rituals when he saw a ship in distress, wobbling violently in the stormy waters. He waved his upper cloth and calmed the storm. When the grateful captain of the ship offered him the entire contents of the ship, he declined to accept anything except three mounds or lumps of gopichandana that had been used as ballast. With his divine vision, he saw in one of the lumps a beautiful and precious icon of shrI Krishna that had originally been worshipped by Rukmini Herself. Soaked in devotion he carried the lumps on his shoulders and walked towards Udupi, composing the dvaadasha stotra on the way. He duly consecrated the icon in Udupi and personally worshipped it for 20 years.

He initiated 8 young boys into sanyAsa and appointed them as pontiffs of 8 maThAs. He set up a unique system in which the 8 pontiffs would worship the Krishna icon for two months each in turn. This system, called paryAya, was modified in 1532 by Sri VadirAja, extending the term to two years per pontiff.

Second tour of North India

Acharya undertook another tour of North India from Udupi. On their way to badari, he and his disciples had to cross the river gangA without boats. Acharya asked his disciples to hold on to him and form a chain. Together, they crossed the river to the great amazement of everybody. Soldiers guarding the other side of the river tried to prevent him from crossing the river, but could not do so. They surrounded him and took him to their muslim king. When the King questioned Acharya, he replied back in the king’s language that he could do this feat by the grace of the Supreme God, who was also the controller of the king and the entire Universe. The King understood the greatness of AchArya and offered a part of his kingdom as jaghir. AchArya did not accept his offer but sought the King’s permission to peacefully pass through his kingdom.

In Badari Acharya had darshan once again of Lord Narayana and VedavyAsa. VedavyAsa gifted him with eight Saligramas. These are available even today and are worshipped as VyAsa Mushtis.

While returning from Badari, AchArya and his disciples had to once again cross the river GangA without boats in a different kingdom. AchArya left behind all his disciples and walked onto the GangA River. He disappeared from the sight of his disciples and reached the other end. The Muslim King of that region was surprised to see him crossing the river without a boat. His clothes were also not wet. The king recognized the greatness of AchArya. He immediately arranged for boats to get AchArya’s disciples from the other end of the river.

When the Acharya and his disciples passed Kuruksetra, the scene of the Mahabharata war, he identified a mound and got it excavated. It contained the mace of Bhima. None of the disciples could even move it. Acharya easily lifted it and showed that he was indeed Bhima. He once again had it buried.

He also visited Kashi where he debated with an elderly Advaita ascetic, Amarendra Puri and soundly defeated him.

On his return home thereafter, he wrote the treatise - Mahabharata-tatparya-nirnaya.


Shankara & Trivikrama Panditacharya

A monk called Padmatirtha arranged for some vile elements to steal the rare library of the Acharya. Acharya went to Kasaragodu and defeated him in a debate. The Acharya's arguments on that occasion were captured by his disciples into a treatise called Tattvoddyota. Jayasimha, the king of that region, invited the Acharya to his court and arranged for the return of his stolen library. He also punished Padma tIrtha.

Trivikrama Panditacharya was the king’s preceptor, and the brother of Shankara panditAchArya, Acharya’s disciple and his librarian. He debated with Acharya for fifteen days and lost. He embraced dvaita and became Acharya’s favorite disciple. He composed Vayu stuti, extolling Vayu and his three incarnations in 41 verses. It is extremely popular among mAdhvAs and is believed to protect those who recite it with devotion from harm and shower them with happiness and peace. He also wrote Tattva-dipika, a commentary on Acharya's Brahma-sutra- bhasya.

Trivikrama Panditacharya’s son, NArAyaNa panDitAchArya, wrote “sumadhva Vijaya”, a great poem that captures the life and achievements of the Acharya in a full, reliable and accurate way.

Acharya answered Trivikrama Panditacharya’s request for another in-depth commentary on the Brahma-sutras by authoring Anu-vyakhyana. He did this in a manner that had never been done before. He dictated each of its four chapters to four disciples simultaneously. He also authored another work on the Brahma-sutras called Nyayavivarana.

Acharya’s brother had developed total detachment in life and was longing for sanyAsa. Acharya satisfied his request and initiated him into sanyAsa with the Ashrama nAma Sri Vishnutirtha. He became the first pontiff of the present day Sode and Subramanya mathas.

Acharya composed a literary work called "Krsnamrtamaharnava" for the benefit of another disciple. This is primarily an extract of verses from other works, selected by the Acharya for their spiritual content.

When Acharya was in Ujire he lectured the Brahmins there on the spiritual aspects of rituals. This discourse was published later under the title of Karmanimaya.

Other remarkable incidents

Some enemical elements sent two strong wrestlers to harm Acharya physically. He sensed this and wanted to teach them a lesson. He invited the wrestlers to demonstrate their power by preventing him from reciting Vedic hymns by strangling him. The wrestlers were overjoyed at this golden opportunity and tried their best. Finally, they gave up exhausted, being unable to even make an impression on Acharya’s neck.

Once when Acharya sensed that a tinge of arrogance was creeping into his disciples about their physical prowess he put a stop to it immediately. He planted a finger on the ground and challenged them to move it, either individually or collectively as a group. When they could not do so, they realized their mistake and sought his forgiveness.

Acharya had remarkable yogic powers. He once became so light that a small boy could easily carry him and make a tour of the local temple.

Acharya had an ox that used to carry his precious books and sit by his side listening to his speeches. One day he announced that the ox would write commentaries on his works, since he knew that the ox was really Lord Indra. When the ox was poisoned by some misguided people Acharya revived it sprinkling on it water sanctified by the dvaadasha stotra. We learn from JayatIrtha vijaya that the ox later reincarnated as Sri JayatIrtha and wrote commentaries on all the major works of the Acharya.

To test his powers of digestion, a brahmin named Shankara offered Acharya 4000 banana fruits and 30 vessels full of milk. AchArya polished off the food without a trace. The super human abilities of AchArya impressed the King of that place. He tried to force Acharya to stay in his kingdom and even had him locked up in the village temple. AchArya became invisible to the king and his soldiers and left the place with his disciples.

Using his powers AchArya and his disciples appeared like stones to thieves who had come to rob them. After the thieves left, AchArya and disciples resumed their journey. The thieves looked back and saw the group walking peacefully. They were stunned by Acharya’s yogic power. They fell at his feet and asked for forgiveness.

When a band of robbers attacked him and his disciples on the difficult road to the Himalayas Acharya made his pupil Upendra-tirtha silence them after a fierce flight.

When the Acharya was touring Kalsa in Karnataka he noticed that people were struggling to lift a huge rock boulder. He effortlessly lifted it with one hand and placed it on the river. This rock, called Bhimana Bande, exists even to this day. It carries an inscription about this incident.

Once Acharya and his disciples were forced by a king to participate in the digging of a tank. The Acharya feigned ignorance and asked the King to show them the correct technique. The king started digging and could not stop. Acharya and his disciples smiled and walked on

āpūryamāṇam acala-pratiṣṭhaṁ
samudram āpaḥ praviśanti yadvat
tadvat kāmā yaṁ praviśanti sarve
sa śāntim āpnoti na kāma-kāmī (Bhagavad Gita 2.70)

A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires – that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still – can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.

Madhvacarya's Commentary

The way in which those situated in transcendent meditation experience the objects of the senses is explained in this verse by Lord Krishna. Whoever remains unaffected by sense objects even when they approach incessantly, who is not overwhelmed by them, who does not endeavour for them, who is not at a loss due to their absence, who is unchanged like the ocean which does not increase no matter how many bodies of water enter it and which does not decrease if no other bodies of water enter it endeavouring for neither. Such a one as this can attain peace. This is the meaning.

Now begins the summation.

Even while experiencing interaction with the senses, one who does not transgress the boundaries of desire, like the ocean which remains steadfast within its boundaries destined by creation, then such a one is not bound by theses desires. One is then liberated from these desires. Ka means to become selfish. Hence one whose desires are self-centered is known to be the selfish one. All desires are not contrary to liberation nor are all desires opposed to liberation. In the absence of desires it is not possible to live a normal life. Since attaining peace from endless desires is liberation itself, subsequently develops eternal faith in the Supreme Lord. Verily this is truth

Namaste Pranesha....

Acharya lived for seventy nine years. The Sumadhva Vijaya is not clear about his final days. It just says that it was the ninth day him and showered flowers on him. This is the famous prayer that ends with the verse ending in “namaste prANesha praNata vibhavAya ….”

After this, the popular belief is that his disciples searched for him under the flowers but did not find him. It is believed that he went to Upper Badari to continue his studies with Shri VedavyAsa. This day is celebrated as Madhva Navami.

Disciples of Acharya

Several disciples form various regions of the country sought and obtained sanyAsa from the Acharya. The prominent ones among them are:

Sri Padmanabha-tirtha (Sri Raghavendra Swamy matha) *
Sri Narahari-tirtha (Sri Raghavendra Swamy matha)
Sri Madhava-tirtha (Sri Raghavendra Swamy matha)
Sri Akshobhya-tirtha (Sri Raghavendra Swamy matha)
Sri Hrisikesa-tirtha (Palimaru matha)
Sri Narasimha-tirtha (Adamaru-matha)
Sri Janardana-tirtha (Krsnapura-matha)
Sri Upendra-tirtha (Puttige-matha)
Sri Vamana-tirtha (Shirur-matha)
Sri Vishnu-tirtha (Sode-matha)
Sri Srirama-tirtha (Kaniyuru-matha)
Sri Adhoksaja-tirtha (Pejavara-matha)

In addition to the above direct disciples there are several other illustrious ascetics associated with dvaita Vedanta. The names that immediately come to mind are Sri Jaya tIrtha (also known as Teeka Rayaru for his act of writing commentaries on Acharya’s works), Sri Brahmnya tIrtha, Sri LakshminArAyana muni (more commonly known as Sri SripAdarAja), Sri Vibhudendra tIrtha, Sri VyAsa tIrtha, Sri VadirAja tIrtha, Sri VijayIndra tIrtha, Sri RaghUttama tIrtha, Sri SudhIndra tIrtha, Sri Raghavendra tIrtha and so on. In addition, there were many gruhasthas (householders) who served the cause of Acharya Madhva. The prominent ones are Sri TrivikramapanditAcharya, Sri Shankara Panditacharya, Smt. Kalyani devi (Trivikrama panditAcharya’s sister), Sri Narayana panditAchArya, Sri Vamana PanditAchArya, Sri PurandaradAsa, Sri VijayadAsa, Sri GopaladAsa, Sri JagannAthadAsa (author of HarikathAmrutasAra) and so on. It is a widely held belief that most of the saints and haridasas who came in the dvaita tradition are incarnations of celestials who came down to serve Acharya Madhva.
* All the mathas are now called as given in brackets

Nine points summary or mission statement of Sripad Madhvacarya's philosophy is:

1. Lord Vishnu, the Personality of Godhead, is the Absolute Truth, and nothing is higher than Him.

2. He, the Lord is known by the study of Vedas 'sarvasya caham' (Bhagavad Gita 15:15.)

3. The material world is real, but temporary.

4. The Jivas (living entities) are different from the Lord ('bimba prati bimba').

5. The Jivas are, by nature, servants of Lord Vishnu's lotus feet.

6. In both the conditioned and liberated states, the Jivas are situated in higher and lower statuses and always remain individuals in their identity.

7. Liberation does not mean an impersonal merging, but the attainment of serving Lord Vishnu's lotus feet.

8. Pure devotional service rendered to 'guru' and Vishnu automatically grants liberation, release from material bondage. There is no need of only seeking liberation. One only need seek pure devotional service.

9. 'Pramanas'. Direct perception, logic and Vedic authority are three sources of actual knowledge

AchArya Madhva’s works are called as Sarvamoola, because they are the root source of all knowledge of the Almighty, who is also the source of everything.

Incidentally, the Acharya never wrote any work by hand. He composed the work in his head and dictated it continuously to his disciples who would take it down on palm leaves.

The following are his works

Commentaries On Vedic Hymns
Rig-Veda Bhasya

upanishad prasthAna' (On Upanishads)
Aitareya Upanishad Bhasya
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad Bhasya
Chandogya Upanishad Bhasya
Taittiriyaa Upanishad Bhasya
Isavasya Upanishad Bhasya
Kathaka Upanishad Bhasya
Atharvana [Mundaka] Upanishad Bhasya
Manduka Upanishad Bhasya
Shatprasna Upanishad Bhasya
Talavakara [Kena] upanishad Bhasya

'GitA prasthAna' (on bhagavad gita)
BhagavadgitA bhAshya
BhagavadgitA tAtparya nirnaya

‘purANa prasthAna’ (on itihasa and puranas):
BhAgavata tAtparya nirnaya
shrIman mahAbhArata tAtparya nirnaya

'sUtra prasthAna' (On brahma sUtras)
BrahmasUtra - bhAshya
BrahmasUtra - AnUbhAshya
BrahmasUtra - AnuvyAkhyAna
BrahmasUtra - NyAyavivarana

'lakshana granthAs'

'khandana traya'
upAdhi khandana
mayAvada khandana

'tattva granthAs'

bilva mangala sAdhu

Other Works (offering guidance on spiritual matters):
jayanti nirnaya
thithi nirnaya
nyasa paddati

The essence of Tattva Vada / Dvaita

The key point to be noted and remembered is that Acharya Madhva did not discover or invent anything new. All the major concepts enunciated by him were part of the timeless, eternal vedic religion (sanAtana dharma). He brought back these forgotten concepts into the conciousness of humanity, providing appropriate references. The school of philosophy associated with him has different names. Its ancient name is tattvavAda, but it is more popularly known as Dvaita (the dualistic school).

There is a very popular verse, attributed to Sri VyAsa tIrtha, which captures some of the highlights of the Acharya Madhva’s philosophy:

shrIman Madhva Mate harih paratarah
Satyam Jagat
Tattvato bhedah
jeeva ganaah hareh anucharAh,
nichochha bhavam gatAh
Muktih Naija sukhAnubhUti
amalA bhaktishcha tat saadhanam
Haixyaadi tritayam pramaanam
akhilam Amnaayaika vedyo harih

A loose translation of the above would be:
ViShNu is the supreme God,
The world is real,
The five-fold difference between God, living and non-living beings is an eternal fact,
All living beings are dependent upon Hari for their existence
There is a hierarchy amongst living beings, that is eternal (without beginning or end)
Salvation lies in the soul experiencing its intrinsic joy,
Salvation can be attained only through pure and unsullied devotion of God means of knowledge are sensory perception, inference and holy scriptures
Hari is to be perceived in His nature through the holy scriptures and only through them.

In addition to the above points, Acharya made several important contributions to Indian Philosophy. Some of these are:
Bimba-pratibimba: God is the object (bimba) and jIvas are His images (pratibimbas)·
Sarva-shabda vAchatva: every word, every sound is God’s name.
Jeeva traividya: three-fold classification of jIvas into Satvika (fit for liberation), Nitya-samsAri (happiness mixed with sorrow), tAmasika (fit for eternal damnation)
Vishesha: A special characteristic that acts as a distinguishing feature where there is innately no difference.
The concept of “Sakshi” and its importance.
Treating all the Hindu scriptures as an integral entity, unlike others who treat differentiate and discriminate between different portions of scriptures. He showed how seemingly conflicting passages from different scriptures should be interpreted to yield one coherent message.

Providing a spiritual and philosophical interpretation of the Rig Veda. As an example, he interpreted forty sUktas to show how it should be done. 

Saptarishi- Angiras (Angira Rishi


The first Manu was Swáyambhuva, then came Svárochisha, then Uttami, Támasa, Raivata and Cáksusha. The current Manu who presides over the seventh Manvantara is Vaivasvata, the son of the Sun God, Vivasvan. Vaivasvata, who is also known as Sraddhadeva, has ten sons: named Iksvaku, Nabhaga, Dhrsta, Saryati, Narisyanta, Nabhaga, Dista, Tarusa, Prsadhra and Vasuman. In this manvantara, or reign of Manu, among the devas are the Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Visvedevas, Maruts, Asvini-kumaras and Rbhus.

The king of heaven, Indra, is known as Purandara, and the Seven Great Rishis or saptarishi are: Kasyapa, Atri, Vasistha, Visvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja. During this period of Manu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Visnu appears from the womb of Aditi in His incarnation as the son of Kasyapa.

The great Rishis are seers who know, and by their knowledge are the makers of shastra and "see" all mantras. The word comes from the root rish: rishati-prapnoti sarvvang mantrang jnanena pashyati sangsaraparangva, etc. To the Rishis, the Vedas were revealed. Vyasa taught the Rigveda so revealed to Paila, the Yajurveda to Vaishampayana, the Samaveda to Jaimini, Atharvaveda to Sumantu, and Itihasa and Puranas to Suta.

The three chief classes of Rishi are the Brahmarshi, born of the mind of Brahma, the Devarshi of lower rank, and Rajarshi or Kings who became Rishis through their knowledge and austerities, such as Janaka, Ritaparna, etc. The Shrutarshi are makers of Shastras, as Sushruta. The Kandarshi are of the Karmakanda, such as Jaimini.

The Saptarishi (from aptarṣi, a Sanskrit dvigu meaning "seven sages") are the seven rishis who are extolled throughout the Vedas and Vaisnava literature. The Vedic Samhitas never enumerate these rishis by name, although later Vedic texts such as the Brahmanas and Upanisads do. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion, sanatana-dharma.

The earliest list of the Seven Rishis is given in the Jaiminiya Brahmana 2.218-221: Vashista, Bharadvaja, Jamadagni, Gautama, Atri, Visvamitra, and Agastya, followed by the list in Brihadaranyaka Upanisad 2.2.6, which is slightly different: Gautama and Bharadvāja, Viśvāmitra and Jamadagni, Vashiṣṭha and Kaśyapa, and Atri, Brighu. The later Gopatha Brāhmana 1.2.8 has Vashiṣṭa, Viśvāmitra, Jamadagni, Gautama, Bharadvāja, Gungu, Agastya, Vrighu and Kaśyapa.

In post-Vedic texts, different lists also appear; some of these rishis were recognized as the 'mind born sons' (manasa-putra) of Brahma.

Current Sapta Rishis

As noted in our last segment, the present age is considered to be the seventh Manvantara, under the guidance of Vaivasvata Manu. The names of the current Saptarshis, or Seven Great Sages for this Manvantara are: Kashyapa, Atri, Vashista, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja. These personalities change for every Yuga.

There are various different lists naming the Saptarishi, and the reason for this is simply the rolling cycles of the great ages. The Seven Great Rishis, or Maharishis, govern the functioning of the Cosmos across the ages, and all those named in the groups below have held the post of Saptarishi at some point. The Rishis have different names in different times and places, like so many of the divine incarnations.

The Saptarishis are given in both the Shatapatha Brahmana and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.2.4):


In the Krishna Yajurveda, the Sandhya-vandana mantra gives this list:


And in the Mahabharata, the following Seven Rishis are named:


Brihat Samhita gives the Seven Rishis names as follows:


The Saptarishis are likewise mentioned in both the Sikh and Jain scriptures, these seven are named as Saptarishis, avatars of Lord Brahma:


In Jain literature, which seems to be closely modeled after Vaisnavism in many ways, the following narrative is given:

"Once at Mathura situated in Uttar Pradesh Seven Riddhidhari Digamber saints having 'Aakaashgamini Vidhya' came during rainy season for chaturmaas whose names were 1.) Surmanyu, 2.) Shrimanyu, 3.) Shrinichay, 4.) Sarvasundar, 5.) Jayvaan, 6.) Vinaylaalas and 7.) Jaymitra. They all were sons of King Shri Nandan of Prabhapurnagar and queen Dharini. Shri Nandan king took diksha becoming shishya of Omniscent Pritinkar Muniraaj and attained salvation. Because of great tapcharan of these seven digamber munis the 'Mahamaari' disease stopped its evil effect and they all gained the name as 'Saptrishi'. Many idols of these seven munis were made after that event by 'King Shatrughan' in all four directions of city." 

Bharadvaja Rishi

Bharadvaja Rishi

Bharadwaja is famously known as the personal Rishi of Sri Rama, Sita and Laksmana. He spent time with them during their exile, and like the sage Vasistha, there are many paintings which depict Rama and His associates in the forest, at the hermitage of Bharadwaja. While they trio met many sages and rishis in the forest, including Agastya and Gautama, they rested at Bharadvaja's asrama when they were crossing Prayag. At his hermitage they accepted Bharadwaja's offerings, given by him in recognition of Rama's identity as God.

Bharadwaja was a descendant of Angira Rishi, and he is one of the Saptarishis in the present Manvantara. Bharadvāja Bahaspatya is the progenitor of the Bharadwaja family, who are attributed with composing the Sixth Mandala of the Rgveda. Mandala 6 is also known as the 'Bharadvaja Family Book', because all 75 of its hymns are composed by a member of this great family over several centuries.

Bharadwaja Rishi is said to be a contemporary of King Bharata. Maharsi Bharadwaja and his descendants served as the highly respected rishis and priests of several dynasties of the Puru tribe, including the Bharatas and the Pancalas.

Bharadwaja is also famously known as the father of Dronacarya and the grandfather of Asvatthama, as stated in the Mahabharata.

style='text-align:justify'>Bharadwaja Rishi was himself the son of Devarsi Brhaspati, who was the son of Rishi Angirasa. These 3 great Rishis are known as the Traya Rishi, or the Three Rishis of Bharadwaja Gotra, the largest and one of the most prominent gotras.

Bharadwaja became married to Suseela and had a son called Garga, and was also the husband of the Apsara, Ghritachi. It was Ghritachi with whom he father Dronacharya. With Suseela he father a daughter, Devavamini Yajnavaikya, the half-sister of Dronacharya. Devavamini became the second wife of Yajnavalkya Katyayani, who authored the Satapatha Brahmana.

The Vedic scholarship of Rishi Bharadwaja is inconceivably great. He authored the Dharmasutra and Srautasutra. The manuscript of the latter was in Pandu script and is apparently in the case of the Visvavidyalaya of Mumbai.

Bharadwaja was an accomplished grammarian. Brahma taught grammar to Brhaspati, who taught it to Indra, who in turn taught it to Bharadwaja. The great philosophers Panini, Rkpratisakhya and Taittiriya have all quoted and discussed Bharadwaja on grammar. Kautilya (Chanakya) has quoted Bharadwaja on politics in his Kautilya Arthasastra.

Bharadwaja Rishi was a disciple of Gautama Maharshi (one of the Saptarishis) as well as of Valmiki, another great Muni. He was a first-hand witness to the incident of the Krauncha birds, at which time Valmiki uttered his first sloka of the Ramayana.

Bharadvāja in Buddhism

In the Buddhist Vinaya Pitaka of the Mahavagga (I.245), the Buddha pays respects to Bharadwaja by declaring that the Veda in its true form was declared to the Vedic rishis: "Atthako, Vâmako, Vâmadevo, Vessâmitto, Yamataggi, Angiras, Bhâradvâjo, Vâsettho, Kassapo, and Bhagu", and because that true Veda was altered by some priests he refused to pay homage to it.


P. 494 The Pali-English dictionary By Thomas William Rhys Davids, William Stede
Inhabitants of the Worlds Mahānirvāṇ Tantra, translated by Arthur Avalon, (Sir John Woodroffe), 1913, Introduction and Preface
P. 245 The Vinaya piṭakaṃ: one of the principle Buddhist holy scriptures ..., Volume 1 edited by Hermann Oldenberg
The Vinaya Pitaka's section Anguttara Nikaya: Panchaka Nipata, P. 44

Source: Sampradaya Sun

Marici Rishi

Marici Rishi 

Marici Rishi is a member of the Saptarishis, or Seven Great Sages, of the first Manvantara. A son of Lord Brahma, his name, Marici, means 'a ray of light'. Among other great rishis, "Pulastya was generated from the ears, Angira from the mouth, Atri from the eyes, Marici from the mind and Pulaha from the navel of Brahma." (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.12.24)

Sage Marici is also considered to be one of the Manasaputras, or a ruler (Prajapati) created from Brahma's mind. the other nine Prajapatis are as follows:


Kardama Muni's daughter Kala was married to Marici, and they had two children, whose names were Kasyapa and Purnima. "Their descendants are spread all over the world." (SB 4.1.13) Kashyap is sometimes also named as a Prajapati, having inherited the office from his father.

"…all three, namely Brahma, Visnu and Siva, are incarnations of the Garbhodakasayi Visnu. From Brahma the other demigods like Daksa, Marici, Manu and many others become incarnated to generate living entities within the universe. (SB 1.3.5 Purport)

In Bhagavad-gita 10.21, Lord Krsna says:

adityanam aham vishnur
jyotisham ravir amsuman
maricir marutam asmi
nakshatranam aham sasi

"Of the Ādityas I am Vishnu, of lights I am the radiant sun, of the Maruts I am Marici, and among the stars I am the moon."

In the purport, Srila Prabhupada states that Marici is the controlling deity of the heavenly spaces. He is also the author of the Vimanachana Kalpa. And in Srimad Bhagavatam 4.1.8, there is a description of Marici Rishi becoming a Saptarishi under Svayambhuva Manu:

tusita nama te deva
asan svayambhuvantare
marici-misra rsayo
yajnah sura-ganesvarah

"During the time of Svayambhuva Manu, these sons all became the demigods collectively named the Tusitas. Marici became the head of the seven rsis, and Yajna became the king of the demigods, Indra.

PURPORT: During the life of Svayambhuva Manu, six kinds of living entities were generated from the demigods known as the Tusitas, from the sages headed by Marici, and from descendants of Yajna, king of the demigods, and all of them expanded their progeny to observe the order of the Lord to fill the universe with living entities. These six kinds of living entities are known as manus, devas, manu-putras, amsavataras, suresvaras and rsis. Yajna, being the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, became the leader of the demigods, Indra."

We find this reference in Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.30-31 which states that:

"After 4,300,000,000 solar years, when Brahma awoke to create again by the will of the Lord, all the rsis like Marici, Angira, Atri and so on were created from the transcendental body of the Lord, and I also appeared along with them."

And in the Bhaktivedanta Purport to verse 31 we read:

"The causeless mercy of Lord Visnu is unparalleled, and such mercy is perceived by the devotees only by the grace of the Lord. Therefore, the devotees never fall down, but the materialists, i.e., the fruitive workers and the speculative philosophers, do fall down, being forced by their respective modes of nature. The rsis, as above mentioned, cannot enter into the transcendental world like Narada. This fact is disclosed in the Narasimha Purana. Rsis like Marici are authorities in fruitive work, and rsis like Sanaka and Sanatana are authorities in philosophical speculations. But Sri Narada Muni is the prime authority for transcendental devotional service of the Lord. All the great authorities in the devotional service of the Lord follow in the footsteps of Narada Muni in the order of the Narada-bhakti-sutra, and therefore all the devotees of the Lord are unhesitatingly qualified to enter into the kingdom of God, Vaikuntha."


Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhaktivedanta Book Trus;
Inhabitants of the Worlds Sir John Woodroffe (1913)

Source: Sampradaya Sun

Gautama Rishi

Gautama Rishi

Gautama Maharishi is another of the Saptarishis, or Seven Great Sages of the current (seventh) Manvantara. Gautama Rishi is known as the discoverer of Mantras, or mantra-drashtaa. In the Rg Veda there are several suktas or hymns attributed to Gautama Maharishi, and the hymn 'Bhadra' in the Sama Veda is also ascribed to him. The 4th book of Rg Veda is that of the Vamadeva Gautama family.

Gautama was the son of Rahugana, who belonged to the line of Angiras Rishi. The Sage Bharadvaja also came from Angiras' line. The Devi Bhagavatam states that the River Godavari is so named because of its association with Gautama. Gautama had two sons named Vamadeva and Nodhas, and both are said to be mantra-drashtaa, like their father.

Gautama Rishi's wife Ahalya (Ahilyah) was herself the 'mind-born daughter' (manasa putri) of Lord Brahma, like the great Rishis. The Puranas narrate the story of how Gautama won the hand of Ahalya by circumambulating the divine cow, khamendhunu, in order to fulfill the stipulation of Brahma that whoever first goes around the whole Earth will win the hand of Ahalya.

The purohita (chief priest) of King Janaka of Mithila, Shatananda, was the son of Gautama and Ahalya.

The Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata describes a sixty-year long period of penance undertaken by Gautama. The Narada Purana describes a 12-year famine during which Gautama fed all the Rishis and saved them.

According to some versions of the Ramayana, Rishi Gautama once went to take bath in the Ganges early in the morning. The king of the devas, Indra, became fascinated with Gautama's wife, Ahalya. Indra came in the form of Gautama and took advantage of Ahalya. However as he was escaping, he was caught by the Rishi, who was returning to the ashrama after his bath. Gautama cursed Ahalya and Indra both for this act. Ahalya was transformed to stone, while Indra was cursed to take one thousand rebirths (sahasrayoni).

Later on, taking pity on them both, Gautama converted these curses to boons. Indra's various cycles of births (yonis) were reduced to one, and he came to be known as Sahasraaksha. Gautama granted his wife the boon that she would be brought back to human form by the touch of the feet of Lord Rama. She would then be reunited with him.

Rishi Gautama is the author of the earliest Dharma-sutra, known as Gautama Dharma sutra, which is comprised of 28 chapters having 1,000 aphorisms. It is said to addresses all aspects of sanatana-dharma, including the rules for varnasrama, the forty samskaras, kingly duties, the punishments for various offences, obsequies for the dead, rules for taking prasada, the dharmas of women, the rules for praayaschitta, and the rules for succession of property. In this sense Gautama's Dharma Shastra is sometimes described as the oldest lawbook in the world.


Inhabitants of the Worlds; Mandala IV – The book of the Vamadevas; Introduction to Gautama, Georg Bühler (1879); Wikipedia

Source: Sampadaya Sun

Pulastya Rishi

Pulastya Rishi 

Pulastya Rishi is another of the Prajapati, or mind-born sons of Brahma, and is among the Saptarishis in the first Manvantara. He was the medium through which some of the Puranas were communicated to man. He received the Vishnu Purana from Lord Brahma and communicated it to Parashara, who delivered it to mankind.

All the Rakshasas are said to have come from Rishi Pulastya's line. Pulastya was married to one of Kardama muni's nine daughters, Havirbhoo. They had two sons - Maharshi Agastya and Visravas. Visravas and his wife Kekasi bore Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana. With his wife Ilavida, he had the son, Kubera.

Idvidaa was the daughter of Trinbindu and Alambushaa Apsara of the Marut lineage, who was a Chakravartee Raajaa and was in the lineage of Vaivaswat Manu Shraadhdev. He used all gold pots in his yagya, and gave so much wealth to the Brahmins that they left many things behind. This was the same gold which Yudhishthira took and used for his yagya.

Pulastya Rishi, being the grandfather of Ravana, once saved him from Sahastrabahu. Sahastrabahu was the King of Mahishmati Puree, who killed Maharshi Parasuram's father, the Rishi Jamdagni. To take revenge for his father's death, Parasuram fought with him bravely and created five ponds from their blood. Sahastrabahu is also known as Kaartveerya Arjuna, but because of his thousand arms he was known as Sahastrabahu.

Once Sahastrabahu took Ravana to his palace and imprisoned him in his stables, after a fight the two got into because the king had diverted the Naramada River's water, in which Ravana was trying to bathe. Quarreling with the king, Ravana ended up in the stables. Pulastya Rishi intervened to save his grandson, and Sahastrabahu consented out of respect for the great Rishi to let him go. Sahastrabahu then demonstrated his friendship by giving many gems, fine clothing, etc.

Among Pulastya Rishi's many pastimes, the one perhaps best loved by the Vaisnavas is the story of Pulastya delivering Sri Govardhana Hill to Vraja. As described in Sri Vraja-mandala Parikrama:

"Once Pulastya, one of the seven munis, as he was touring all the holy places, became stunned upon seeing the beautiful trees, wonderful flowers, fruits, and gardens that the exquisitely beautiful son of Dronacala, Giriraja Govardhana, possessed. Pulastya Muni went before Dronacala and, showing him great worship and honor, said to him, in this way, that he was a Kasi-vasi muni, Kasi has the Ganga, Visvesvara Mahadeva, and sinful persons there receive sadhya-mukti, liberation as their final goal, but they want to perform tapasya there by establishing Govardhana at Kasi.

Pulastya Muni prayed to Dronacala like this to give his son, Govardhana, to him. Dronacala was very affectionate to his son, but fearing the curse of the muni, said "How will you be able to take Govardhana? Govardhana is eight yojanas (64 miles) long, five yojanas (40 miles) broad, and two yojanas (16 miles) high." This question was asked before Pulastya Muni who had replied that he could easily take it on one hand!

[The Garga-Samhita describes Giriraja Govardhana's breadth as eight yojanas, namely sixty-four miles. But materialistic vision sees it and hears it as only seven miles at present. The parikrama path is fourteen miles.]

Govardhana agreed to go along with the muni on one condition, "Muni, wherever you place me down due to the heavy weight, there I will remain." Pulastya Muni promised, "He would take Govardhana to Kasi, not putting him down anywhere on the road." The powerful father of Govardhana, Dronacala, offered pranams and then the muni lifted up Govardhana in his right hand and slowly began to proceed forward. As he proceeded the best of the munis came to Vraja-mandala.

Upon seeing Vraja-mandala's unparalleled beauty where Sri Krishna's balya-lila, childhood pastimes, and kaisora-lila, adolescent pastimes, were performed, and remembrance of the Yamuna, gopas and gopis, and Krishna's pastimes with the youthful Sri Radhika and Her associates, Govardhana had no desire to go to any other place, leaving Vraja. In this way Govardhana became so heavy that the muni felt ill and forgot his own promising talk and thus set Govardhana down upon the ground of Vraja.

The best of munis, upon completing his bodily purifications, again began to request Govardhana to come and sit upon his hand as he had done previously. But Govardhana did not accept his requests to get up. The best of the munis then tried himself to lift but he was unable to do so. Again by the condition of the prayer Govardhana did not want to go, so Pulastya Muni became extremely angry and said, "Because you did not fulfill my aspiration, every day you will decrease one sesame seed." From that time on Govardhana Hill shrunk one sesame seed per day."

It is also said that when Pulastya Muni was flying over Vraja bhumi with Govardhana on his way to Kasi, it was Giriraja who increased His weight to the extent that the Rishi had to put Him down. And it was this that caused the Rishi 'sesame seed curse'. Later, giving up the veracity of his curse, the Rishi promised Giriraj that in the Dvapara Yuga, everybody would start worshipping him

Jamdagni Rishi

Jamdagni Rishi

Jamdagni Rishi is another of the Great Sages included among the Saptarishis in the seventh and current Manvantara. He is also the father of Parashurama, the sixth Visnu incarnation among the dasavatara. Jamadagni, like other Saptarishis, was a descendant of Sage Bhrigu who is a topmost Prajapati created by Lord Brahma.

Jamadagni had five children with his wife Renuka, and Parasurama was the youngest among them. Without having formal instruction, Jamadagni was well versed in sastra and weaponry.

Rishi Jamadagni's wife Renuka was the embodiment of great chastity. Such was her devotion to her husband that daily, she fetched water from the river in a pot made of unbaked clay, which held together only by the power of her devotion to Jamadagni.

One day while at the river, a group of Gandharvas passed overhead in their sky chariot. Filled with desire for only a moment, the unbaked pot that she was carrying dissolved into the river. Afraid to go back to her husband, she waited at the river bank. Waiting for his wife's return, Jamdagni used his yogic powers to see what had taken place with his wife, and he became very angry. One by one, the rishi ordered each of his sons to take up their weapon and end their mother's life. None would do the horrible task except Parasurama, who picked his axe and beheaded her.

Being pleased with his son's dutiful nature, Jamdagni Rishi offered two boons to Parashurama. The son first asked that his mother's head be restored and she be brought back to life; and second, that his brothers, who had been turned to stone by their father upon refusing his orders, also be returned to their bodies. All the family members were restored to life without having memory of experiencing their deaths. In this way, Jamadagni and Parasuram demonstrated dharma between son and father.

Later on, Jamadagni was visited by the Haihaya king, Kartavirya Arjuna, whom he served a feast using a divine calf. Wanting the animal for himself, the demon king decapitated Jamadagni. Enraged, Parasurama killed the king in turn, retrieving his father's head for cremation. Parasurama then began a protracted campaign of killing the kshatriyas, all across Bharata and for the next twenty-one generations. Such was his anger over the death of Rishi Jamdagni.

In the Buddhist text, Vinaya Pitaka, Mahavagga (I.245), the Buddha offers respects to Jamadagni by declaring that the Vedas in their true form were revealed to the original Vedic rishis, including Jamadagni.


Inhabitants of the Worlds
The Pali-English Dictionary, Thomas William Rhys Davids, William Stede
Vinaya piṭakaṃ, Hermann Oldenberg

Source: Sampradaya Sun

Bhrigu Rishi

Bhrigu Rishi 

Maharishi Bhrigu is not only one of the seven great sages, or Saptarshis, he is principal among the Prajapatis. Like other Rishis previously discussed, Bhrigu is considered manasa-putra, a mind-born-son of Lord Brahma. In Bhagavad-gita 10.25 Lord Krsna states:

maharsinam bhrgur aham
giram asmy ekam aksaram
yajnanam japa-yajno 'smi
sthavaranam himalayah

"Of the great sages I am Bhrgu; of vibrations I am the transcendental om. Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa], and of immovable things I am the Himalayas."

Brahma, the first living creature within the universe, created several sons for the propagation of various kinds of species. Among these sons, Bhrgu is the most powerful sage. …"

Along with Manu, Bhrigu contributed to the Manu-smriti, which was constituted out of a sermon to a gathering of great saints in Brahmavarta, after great floods in the area some 10,000 years ago. Rishi Bhrigu is also credited with being the original compiler of predictive astrology, and he is the author of Bhrigu Samhita, the classic jyotish sastra.

Bhrigu Rishi's asrama was on the bank of the Vadhusar River, a tributory of Drishadwati River near Dhosi Hill, in the Vedic state of Brahmavarta, which is on the border of present day Haryana and Rajasthan states. According to the Skanda Purana, Bhrigu migrated to Bhrugukucch Bharuch on the banks of Narmada River in Gujarat, leaving his son Chyavana at Dhosi Hill.

He was married to Khyati, the daughter of Daksha. They had two sons, Dhata and Vidhata. His daughter Sri or Bhargavi, married Lord Vishnu (Narayana). Bhrigu had one more son through Kavyamata (Usana). This son was Shukra, learned sage and guru of the asuras. The Sage Chyavana was his son through Puloma. [Maha:1.5]

Sage Bhrigu is mentioned in the Shiva Purana and Vayu Purana, where he is described as having been present during the great Yagna of Daksha Prajapati (his father-in-law). He supported the continuation of the Yagna of Daksha even after being warned that without an offering for Lord Shiva, he would be asking for catastrophe on everyone present there. This story will be covered in our next segment.

There are several narratives about Rishi Bhrigu and the great fire yagna carried out under his supervision. One describes how many great sages were gathered on the bank of the River Sarasvati to participate in a maha-yagya, with Maharishi Bhrigu present. All the great saints and sages could not decide Who, out of the Trimurti of Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva, was pre-eminent and should be offered the designation of pradhanta (master) of that yagya. With the consent of all the gathered saints, it was decided that Maharishi Bhrigu would determine who was pre-eminent in this regard.

Rishi Bhrigu first decided to test decided Lord Brahma, and went to see him in Brahmaloka. Arriving there, Maharishi displayed utter disrespect to Lord Brahma, on purpose. Lord Brahma became angry and wanted to punish the Rishi, but Goddess Saraswati saved Maharishi from his anger. Maharishi Bhrigu then cursed Lord Brahma that no one would worship him in Kaliyuga. To this day, there are very few temples devoted to Lord Brahma (the notable exception being the Brahma Temple at Pushkar). [This is one of several narrations on why Brahma is no longer worshipped.]

Bhrigu Rishi next visited Lord Shiva at Kailash Parvata. Arriving there, Nandi stopped him from going inside because at that time, Shiva and Parvati were engaged in sporting pastimes. Bhrigu cursed Lord Shiva to be only worshipped in Linga form.

Then in order to test Lord Vishnu, Maharishi reached Vaikunth Dhama. He entered the Dhama without the Lord's permission and saw that He was taking rest. Maharishi asked him to wake up, but Lord Visnu was in deep sleep. On seeing no reaction from the Lord, the Rishi hit Him on the chest. The outline of that mark is known as sri-vatsa).

On realizing that the Rishi had hit him with his foot, Lord Visnu asked him, "Maharishi, are you hurt in your foot? My chest is strong but your foot is not so strong". Seeing the decorum of Lord Vishnu, Bhrigu was pleased and declared him superior amongst the Trideva.

Goddess Laxmi also witnessed the event, and could not tolerate the disrespect displayed by Bhrigu towards Lord Vishnu. She cursed him that henceforth, she would never visit Brahmins and they will all live in the absence of wealth.

Hearing this curse from Maha Laxmi, Maharishi told her the true purpose of visiting Vaikunth Dhama and his mission of testing. Laxmi thus amended her position, saying that whenever a Brahmin worships Lord Vishnu, he will be liberated from the curse.

After this incident Bhrigu Rishi wrote his Bhrigu-samhita, to help the Brahmins earn their living. Maharishi Bhrigu collected numbers of birth charts, wrote predictions for their full lives and compiled them together in what is today known as the Bhrigu-samhita. While much of the Bhrigu-samhita was destroyed over the ages, a few parts of the book are said to still exist in Hoshiarpur, a city in the Punjab.

Source: Sampradaya Sun

Vasistha Rishi

Vasistha Rishi 

Saptarishis -- the Rishi Vasistha. Vasistha is among the Seven Great Sages in the current manvantara, or age of Manu. Sage Vasistha is often pictured with Kamadhenu and her child, Nandini, the Wish-fulfilling Cow. He is married to Arundhuti, and RgVeda (7:33) states that he is the son of MitraVaruṇa and Urvasi.

One of the nine Prajapatis, Vasistha is credited as being the chief author of Mandala 7 of the RgVeda. He and his family are glorified in RV 7.33, which glorifies their role in the Battle of the Ten Kings. He is thus the only mortal besides Bhava Rishi to have a Rigvedic hymn dedicated to him.

Another treatise attributed to Rishi Vasistha is the Vasistha Samhita another source book on the science of Jyotish.

Vasistha is shown in the painting above (far right), which depicts the wedding of Sita and Rama. King Dasaratha is standing behind the groom along with Rishi Vasistha. Behind Sita is her father, King Janaka.

Vasistha Rishi is recognizable in many historical artworks by his hair, which is worn in the distinctive jata makuta style of the ascetics, piled high on his head. Lord Vishnu and Shiva are often depicted with jata makuta, meaning their conical crown. 'Jata' are the twisted locks of hair, and 'makuta' is the 'crest' or ornament of the crown/headpiece.

There is an interesting reference to the hair of great sages like Vasistha found in Srimad Bhagavatam 5.17.3:

"The seven great sages [Marici, Vasistha, Atri and so on] reside on planets beneath Dhruvaloka. Well aware of the influence of the water of the Ganges, to this day they keep Ganges water on the tufts of hair on their heads. They have concluded that this is the ultimate wealth, the perfection of all austerities, and the best means of prosecuting transcendental life. Having obtained uninterrupted devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they neglect all other beneficial processes like religion, economic development, sense gratification and even merging into the Supreme. Just as jnanis think that merging into the existence of the Lord is the highest truth, these seven exalted personalities accept devotional service as the perfection of life."

Being the family priest of King Dasaratha, Vasistha Rishi is mentioned throughout the Ramayana. It was Vasistha who advised Dasaratha to perform a fire yagna in order to beget a child, thus Lord Rama manifested as his eldest son in order to kill the demon Ravana.

After the long and bitter fight between them, Ravana finally came face-to-face with Rama on the battlefield. Rama hurled his Brahmastra at Ravana, chanting the mantras Vasistha had taught him. The Brahmastra emitted scorching flames which pierced the demon's heart, killing him.

The Ramayana also tells the story of a great feud between Rishi Vasistha and Brahmarshi Vishvamitra, another great sage mentioned in Rig Veda. We will summarize some of these stories in our next segment.

The great feud between Rishi Vasistha and the sage Vishvamitra is told in both the Adi parva of Mahabharata and in the Ramayana. In the latter, the story is narrated by Satananda, King Janaka's priest, on the occasion of Rama's wedding.

The account of these events deals with not only with the pastimes of the great Rishi Vasistha, but also with the kshatriya-turned sage, Vishvamitra. The two sages took opposing sides, which resulted in the ruinous War of the Ten Kings described in the Rig Veda.

Vishvamitra is also known as the great seer who created the Gayatri Mantra, recited by the Brahmanas, and as the rescuer of his nephew, Shunahshepa from being sacrificed. As Harishachandra's priest, Vishvamitra had advised that this rare human sacrifice be performed to placate Varuna, who had afflicted the king with a physical ailment for having broken his vows.

The conflict between Vasistha and Vishvamitra, as narrated by Chitraratha, revolves around Mother Khamadhenu, the Wish-fulfilling Cow. Here are excerpts of the story, as summarized by Prof. P. Lal in a series of presentations on Mahabharata:

Vishvamitra, the king of Kanyakubja, chanced upon Vasistha's hermitage, exhausted after a hunt. The sage entertained the king and his retinue with all types of food and gifts, with the help of Khamadhenu. Vishvamitra decided that he must have Nandini, the baby cow, for himself, and he attempted to take her from Rishi Vasistha by force.

Vasistha Rishi did not wish to oppose the king with violence, and as he told Nandini,

"But what can I do? I am a Brahmin.
I must overlook Vishvamitra
though he beats you
and drags you away"…
But the maha-muni
would not give up patience,
nor would he break his vow,
though touched by Nandini's suffering.
Vashishtha said, "A Ksatriya's strength
lies in his body, a Brahmin's
lies in the spirit of fortitude.
I will not give up fortitude."
(Sambhava, Adi Parva, 177.24.27-28)

The Rishi tells Nandini that she is free to stay if she can manage to, and the moment she hears this, the cow produces myriads of Dravidas, Keralas, Kanchis, Simhalas, Pahlavas, Shakas, Yavanas, Kiratas, Paundras, Hunas, Chinas, Barbaras, Chibukas, Pulindas, and other mlechchha armies who then routed the king's forces.

Vasistha himself foiled all Vishvamitra's arrows and weaponry with his mystic powers. This impressed the king so deeply that he renounced his kingdom and began penance, hoping to win the same powers for himself as a brahmarshi. His desires are not fulfilled, however, as his envious nature overtakes him, and he arranges for an asuric spirit to possess king Kalmashapada, inspiring him to kill all of Vasistha Rishi's progeny. Still, the saintly Rishi did not strike back:

"When Vashishtha learnt
that Vishvamitra had schemed
and got his sons killed, he bore his grief
as maha-Meru bears the earth…
decided to sacrifice his life
rather than harm Kaushika-Vishvamitra."

The Rishi's desire to end his life was frustrated, however, by the intervention of two holy rivers, named Vipasha and Shatadru after the pastime. Later, although his sons were now dead, Vasistha discovered that his daughter-in-law was carrying his grandson, Parashara.

As the story continues of Rishi Vasistha's great feud with the sage Vishvamitra, after the untimely death of his sons at the hand of his nemesis, his life was renewed by the discovery that a grandson, Parashara, was to be born.

Despite his personal situation the Rishi, being of spotless character, performed many selfless deeds. Having freed Kalmashapada from the bonds of being a rakshasa, Vasistha's noble spirit became known even to Vishvamitra. And even though his own sons had been slain, Vasistha was willing to assist king Dileep, who was suffering a barren marriage.

When the king came to Vasistha for help, he explained to the king that the reason for his being childless was due to his having offended Khamadhenu, by walking past her without greeting her. The Rishi thus instructed the king that if he would serve Kamadhenu's child, the calf Nandini for 21 days, he would beget a child.

The king did as Vasistha Rishi instructed, but on the 21st day a strange occurrence took place. Nandini was attacked by a lion. King Dileep drew his bow to shoot the lion, but found that his arm was paralyzed, and he could not shoot. Realizing that the lion had some mystic powers, he begged it to let Nandini go, and to instead take him as his prey.

Just as the king was about to give up his life, the lion disappeared. Nandini then explained that this had been a test, admirably passed by the king, and that he would now beget the desired son, who became known as Raghu.

Brahmarishi Vasistha's long feud with Vishvamitra came to an end one night, when Vishvamrita came to kill the great Rishi. On reaching his ashram, Vishvamitra overheard Mahrishi Vasistha saying to his wife, "On this moonlit night, only a person like Vishvamitra can engage himself in tapas to please God." Hearing these words of praise, Vishvamitra became greatly ashamed. He repented by throwing away his weapons and falling at the feet of Rishi Vasistha.

Vasistha also had an asrama near Ayodhya, which covered over 40 acres. The King of Ayodhya at that time was King Ishvaku. When drought or famine plagued the people, the Rishi would produce rains through his tapobal (powers acquired through penance). He also caused the Saryu River to flow to the dhama, bringing needed water. And if the royal family of Ayodhya faced any difficulties, Brahmarishi Vasishta would remove them. Vasistha's Ayodhya asrama exists to this day, although now situated on just a quarter-acre of land. The asrama's well is believed to be the source of the river Saryu.

Likewise, when Bhagirath became tired in his efforts to induce Mother Ganga to pour her waters onto the Earth planet, it was Vasistha Rishi who encouraged him, giving him the requisite mantra to accomplish the deed.

Mahrishi Vasistha authored the great work, Yogvashishtha, which is a treatise on spiritual knowledge. Many of his excellent pastimes are mentioned in sastra, each one demonstrating his great nobility of spirit, loyalty, and adherence to proper dharma.