If you want to go through the life story of Arundhati, you should listen to the poem composed by Jagadguru Rambhadracharya in the year 1994. The wife of Vashistha having the identity of a morning star, Alcor and Mizar is none other than Arundhati. Arundhati was worshipped and regarded equally to the seven Saptarishi due to her knowledge, humbleness, behaviour, characteristics and devotion towards her husband and her duties. Her character is often described as the one with no blemishes or faults to find. Arundhati is named after the sun. Her name divides into two syllables – Arun and Dhati which mean “washed by the rays of the mighty sun”.
Arundhati led a life that has given ample reasons to respect her and regard her at the highest position. She is connected to several topics like fasting, the ritual in marriage after Saptapadi etc. Shiva Purana and Bhagavata Purana mention the birth of Arundhati. Uttara Kanda of Ramcharitmanas explains the guidance given by Brahma to Arundhati. Arundhati’s prime connection comes in the Ramayana where she is meeting Lord Rama and Sita. Kumarsambhava composed by Kalidasa mentions how Arundhati pleaded to Shiva to marry Parvati.
Arundhati is described as Sandhya, the mind-child of Brahma in her past birth. She is the eighth daughter of Kardama and Devahuti. She later goes on to become the grandmother of Parashara and the great-grandmother of Vyasa. The story of her life goes something like the following:
Sandhya practised severe penance in attempts of pleasing Shiva and asking for purifying herself from all worldly passions and desires. Shiva gave her the task of jumping into a fire known as Medhatithi. She was then born as the daughter of Medhatithi and went on to marry Vashista. Some Puranas have mentioned that she is the daughter of Kashyapa, sister of Parvata and Narada. Her hand was offered to marriage with Vashistha by her brother Narada.
Valmiki Ramayana mentions that she gave birth to 100 sons. They were later cursed by Vishvamitra. Her son’s name was Shakti and Suyagya who were student’s with Lord Rama at Vashistha’s Ashrama. Another source has said that she birthed eight sons including Chitraketu and Shakti. The epic of Mahabharata brings varied characteristics and her powers into the light. Arundhati was so powerful that the wives of Agni and Svaha could take the form of the wives of the other six sages but never of Arundhati. Once, when it did not rain for 12 years leading to drought and other problems, she pleased Shiva and made it rain. Whenever anyone speaks of Arundhati, they do mention her unbiased and selfless devotion to her husband, sage Vashistha.
Arundhati and Vashistha were an ideal couple filled with love, devotion, compassion and empathy for each other. Whenever a couple gets married in today’s time, the groom shows the bride a double star which is assumed to be the couple – Arundhati and Vashistha. It is the symbol of fulfilment, loyalty, undying love and compassion for one another through their married life. Ladies follow a fast on the second day of Chaitra for honouring her and safeguarding the lives of their husbands.