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Vashishtha - The Wise Rival Of Sage Vishvamitra

Vashishtha – The Wise Rival Of Sage Vishvamitra

Vashishtha is one of the most well-known sages from ancient India. He is one of the Saptarishi who was the chief creator of the 7th Mandala of Rigveda text. He and his family are mentioned at various places in the Rigveda Purana. The name of this sage breaks into the meaning of being best, rich and excellent in his tasks. His ideas, actions and life suggest no different than the meaning of his name. He was the scholar that moved across the Indus river to establish a school and spread knowledge, education and awareness. He was known as Arundhati Natha meaning husband of Arundhati. Arundhati always had a bend towards learning and less towards household chores. Arundhati had not only learnt the Vedas but also comprehended them.

Vashishtha and Arundhati live on the banks of Ganga which in today’s day is where the state of Uttarakhand is situated. In the due course of Mahabharata’s story, it is believed that this is the same place where Rishi Vyasa and the Pandavas fixed their abode. Talking about the ancient epics famous in the world, Vashistha has a significant contribution to the Ramayana. He is the teacher and guide to Rama, Lakshman, Bharat & Shatrughna. He was also the family priest of the Raghu Dynasty. Vashishtha had clarity, belief and influence in his ideas.

Devi Bhagavad Purana along with other texts tells us the story of the birth of Vashishtha. He is said to be born thrice where in the first one he was the mind son meaning Manasputra of Brahma. Vashishtha’s first life came to an end after the Daksh Yajna. Brahma recreated him and gave him his second birth. He was the guru of King Nimi. Nimi, during a yajna forgot to invite his teacher Vashishtha. Vashishtha turned furious and cursed Nimi to a sooner death. Nimi cursed Vashistha for the same.

Vashistha, terrified by this curse went to his father, Lord Brahma and begged for a way to get out of this. Lord Brahma gave him a suggestion to merge in Varuna (god of oceans) & Mitra (protector of treaties). Vashishtha reappeared when Urvashi was seen by Varuna & Mitra. Due to this very incident, it is mentioned that Varuna, Mitra and Urvashi are his parents. His appearance is described in such a manner: Long flowing hair neatly tied into a bun, a beard, tilak on his forehead and handlebar moustache.

He is very famous for his fight with Vishvamitra who is another one of the Saptarishi as well. Vashishtha has been mentioned in various texts. Yoga Vashishtha, Vashistha Samhita, some versions of Agni Purana and Vishnu Purana are dedicated to him and his great work. He was the owner of Kamdhenu (desire fulfilling cow) and Nandini (her child). He is a teacher to the Ikshvaku kings family, a priest and a guru. His disciples are Manu, Rantideva, Nahusha, Shri Rama and Bhishma. Later on Samvarta, King of Bharata became his student as well. He won his kingdom back with the help of Vashistha and his guidance.

Click here to read about Vishvamitra – The Self-Made Maharishi.

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