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Bharadwaja - The First Sage Of The Saptarishis

Bharadwaja – The First Sage Of The Saptarishis

Bharadwaja, son of Brhaspati and Mamata is one of the most esteemed sages as per Vedic literature. Maharishi Bharadwaja was a famous economist, scholar and physician. He is amongst the Saptarishis who work very closely with Lord Shiva to maintain the balance on our planet. They have obtained a semi-immortal status due to their yogic powers and the power of their undisrupted penance. Saptarishis do the job of guiding the human race. They have an exceeded lifespan.

Bharadwaja or Bharadvaja is the father of the great warrior and beloved guru of Pandavas and Kauravas, Dronacharya. Due to this relation, Bharadwaja is also related to Ashwatthama who happens to be the son of Guru Dronacharya. Susheela was the wife of Bharadwaja and their children were Garga and Devavarshini. Many sources also mention Ilavida and Katyayani to be the children of sage Bharadwaja.

He has been mentioned multiple times in Rigveda, his contributions to the Indian literature provide a deep and important insight into the Indian society of ancient times. He along with his fifty-five students are considered to be the creators of the sixth book of Rigveda. Many writings have been composed and named after this great sage. Dhanur-Veda, Bharadvaja Samhita, Bharadvaja Srautasutra and Grhyasutra along with various aspects in Ayurveda described in Charaka Samhita originated from the knowledge that Bharadwaja has brought into this world.

Bharadwaja has a noteworthy contribution to the medical field. He explained the process of pregnancy and how a woman gets pregnant. He has also explained a lot about Niti Sastra which is practical and ethical conduct. Bharadvaja – Siksa is one of the oldest Sanskrit writings on phonetics.

The story of Dronacharya is known to the world in two ways. The first one goes as follows. It is believed that Bharadwaja had a linkage with a beautiful Apsara (Celestial Nymph) Ghritachi and together they had Dronacharya who grew up to be a great warrior and teacher to various brave warriors. This incidence is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana text. Another story tells the tale of how Dronacharya was born out of a pot containing Bharadwaja’s seeds. According to the great text of Mahabharata, we understand that Drona was trained by none other than Bharadwaja himself. He had two students – Agnivesa and Drupada. Drona learned to master the weapon from Agnivesa whereas Drupad took the responsibility of being the king of Panchala Kingdom.

He has been very prominently mentioned in the text of Ramayana as well. Rama and Sita meet him in his hermitage (Ashram) when they had just begun the journey of their exile. He had insisted they stay with him through their fourteen years of exile but Lord Rama and Sita wanted to stay at Chitrakuta which was three to four kilometres ahead of the ashram. Bharadwaja gladly gave them the directions. He was also mentioned in the epic when Bharata had come to pick his brothers, Rama, Lakshmana and Sita for reuniting his family and taking them back to Ayodhya. According to some experts, it is said that the Bharadwaj seen in the Ramayana text is different from the one we consider as the Saptarishi.

The story of the birth of Bharadvaja is no less interesting than his life story. Some Puranas also suggest that he was found by King Bharata on the banks of river Ganga. He had a liking and inclination towards the Vedas and meditated on Lord Shiva, Parvati and Indra for obtaining that Vedic knowledge. To pinpoint the story of his birth might be confusing for the readers but they should look at the clarity that he has brought into this world with his profound knowledge and efforts to educate human beings.

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