Saptrishi: Pioneers of the Hindu culture who guides Hindus
According to the Hindu religion, in ancient India, there were ‘Saptrishi’ meaning ‘7 sages’. Vedas and other Hindu scriptures highly praise these sages for the work. Saptrishi achieved semi-immortality because of the yogic power and powerful penance.
Saptrishi worked closely with almighty Shiva to keep the balance of the universe. These sages lived 4 great ages (Krita Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga & Kali Yug) to lead humankind for a better life.
What should we know about Saptrishi?
The Saptrishi are ‘Brahmarishi’ which means they had a total understanding of Brahman (Universe). Lord Brahma himself planned each Saptrishi’s divine birth in a certain timeline for the better future of the human race. Thus, Saptrishi are the representation of Brahma.
Brahmarishi are so powerful that they can defeat any mighty weapon and are relieved from the cycle of life & death. The 7 sages can also foresee the future and are above devtas.
‘Manvantara’ is a period when the Saptrishi lived on earth. During the period, they serve on earth for the well being of the race. At the end of Manvantara, the universe gets destroyed and Saptrishi merges with god. Later, Brahma gives the task of filling the Earth to the next Saptrishi.
According to the Sanskrit language, ‘Maharishi’ is a great sage who has purified and expanded his senses. Their intuition power is used to full capacity and the 3rd eye is completely open. Saptrishi can focus on all the details of the universe yet maintain the quality of their actions and thoughts.
Who are the Saptrishi?
According to ancient Indian scriptures, below is the list of the earliest Saptrishi of Hinduism.
1. Rishi Bharadwaja:
- Sage Bharadwaja is one of the greatest Saptrishi during the Vedic times. He was the son of Devarshi Brihaspati and a descendant of sage Angiras. According to Hindu ancient scriptures, king Bharat found the sage on the bank of the Ganga River and adopted him. He was the father of Dronacharya who was the teacher of the Pandava and Kaurava in Mahabharata.
- Bharadwaj lived in an ashram near the ancient city of Prayagraj with his wife Susheela, daughter Devavarinini and son Garga. The ashram is still in existence and actively used. Among all Saptrishi, this sage had a huge thirst for knowledge of Vedas and also prayed to Indra and Shiva-Parvati for more knowledge.
- He acquired master skills in advanced military skills, aviation science, space science and flying machines. He is the author of Ayurveda. During the time of exile, Ram, Sita and Laxman met him in his Ashram. As one of the Saptrishi, Bharadwaja is respectfully mentioned in Purana and Mahabharata.
2. Rishi Vishwamitra:
- Sage Vishwamitra is one of the most well-known Sapatarishi. Generally, one cannot rise to the level of a Brahmarishi through merit alone because the order was created divinely. Also, Brahma chooses the Saptrishi. Yet, the sage rose to the level of a Brahmarishi from his merit.
- His fight with sage Vasistha is quite famous and interesting. From a prince from a warrior cast, he decided to make a journey to become a sage. Hence, performed server penance for many years.
- Vishwamitra discovered the Gayatri Mantra and most of the Mandala 3 of Rigveda. Vishwamitra is mentioned in the Vedas and praised as one of the Saptrishi.
3. Rishi Vasishtha:
- Sage Vasishtha is the most famous Saptrishi. He was the mind-born son of Brahma, the RajyaGuru of the Ikshavaku clan to which was the God Rama dynasty and was the spiritual teacher of Rama and his brothers. He lived with his wife Arundhati on the bank of the Saryu River near Ayodhya. Rigveda glorifies him and his family.
- The sage among Saptrishi has written Yogavashishta Maharamayana, Vashishta Dharmasutra for knowledge and Dharma. Vasishtha’s knowledge in astrology was commendable, so documented in Vashishta Shiksha, Vashishta Purana, Vashishta Saddhakalp, Vashishta Tantra. The sage was the author of Mandala 7 of Rigveda. According to Shankaracharya, Vasishtha was the 1st sage of Vedanta School.
- ‘Yoga Vasishtha’ is the noted conversation between Ram and the sage where Vasishtha answers Ram’s questions.
4. Rishi Gautama:
- Gautama Rishi belonged to the Angiras and was known as a person without ego. He married Ahalya, Brahma’s daughter and had 3 sons. He was one of the earliest writers on Law among Saptrishi.
- He also authored the Gautama Dharma Sutra and The Rig & Sama Vedic mantras.
- Once during a drought, Gautama prayed to God Varuna. Pleased with his penance, Varuna offered to fulfill his wish. Upon asking for rain Varuna explained it was a law that demanded no rain in the place and he couldn’t act against it. Hence, the sage among Saptrishi requested a continuous supply of water and saved many people.
5. Rishi Atri:
- Atri was a Vedic sage among the Saptrishi. The sage wrote a big number of hymns dedicated to god Agni, god Indra and other Vedic deities of the Hindu religion. The complete 5th Mandala of Rigveda is called ‘Atri Mandala’ to honor him. 87 hymns are purely dedicated to him and his dependents.
- His wife Anasuya gave birth to Lord Dattatreya as an avatar of Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
6. Rishi Jamadagni:
- Sage Jamadagni is the father of the 6th incarnation of Vishnu, Parashurama. Brahma created Brigu, one of the Prajapati and this Saptrishi is his descendant.
- His wife Renuka lost her chastity at one event when a group of Gandharvas passed in the sky while she was going to fetch water in an unbaked clay pot. Upon seeing the group her heart was filled with desire and the pot dissolved. She could fetch water in it with the power of her chastity. Afraid of her husband, Renuka ran away and because the sage had yogic power he became aware of the whole event. Hence, he asked Parashurama to kill his wife and he did.
7. Rishi Kashyapa:
- Kashyapa Rishi is one of the most popular ancient sages and Saptrishi. He is the son of sage Marichi and grandson of Brahma. He was the father of Devas, Asuras, Nagas, garudas, Vamana, Agni, Adityas, Daityas, Aryaman, Mitra, Pusan, Varuna, and Humans.
- He has written Kashyapa Samhitha, a book for classical reference in the field of Ayurvedic Paediatrics, Gynecology and Obstetrics.
These Saptrishi are the pioneers of the Hindu religion. Saptrishi were well educated and expert in their respected lines that helped us make a better society and grow.
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