A sage having various titles to his name, Vishvamitra is indeed a great rishi to be remembered for his innumerable contributions to the world of knowledge. Vishvamitra is known as a Brahmarishi, Rajarishi and Saptarishi. We will unveil the story behind each of his names in the upcoming articles. Vishvamitra is one of the Saptarishi who is currently in the manvantara stage. Saptarishi are responsible for assisting Lord Shiva in maintaining the balance on the earth. They are also in charge of creating an entire world after Kali Yuga has wiped everything out.
Let us now understand how Vishvamitra was born. Just like his interesting life, his birth was no less interesting. It all dates back to when Chandravansha’s Kusika was blessed with a son. He was lovingly named Gaadhi. Gaadhi grew up to marry a beautiful woman and had a daughter named Satyavati. Satyavati went on to marry a sage named Ruchika. Satyavati desired a son and so did her mother as she only had a daughter. They both prayed to sage Ruchika to give them a blessing to bear a son. Satyavati longed for a son who was a great sage. Ruchika agreed to give them a blessing in the form of a rice pudding. Ruchika as per Satyavati’s wish created two servings of the rice pudding or popularly known as ‘kheer’ and gave it to the mother-daughter duo.
Sage Ruchika told them that one would give birth to a fierce and brave warrior and the other would give birth to a great sage. Sage Ruchika wanted Satyavati to consume the pudding with the blessing of a sage. He asked them to hug a peepal tree, bodhi tree and a normal fig tree and eat the rice pudding. Few stories have mentioned that Satyavati’s mother had asked her to exchange the rice pudding with hers while some mention that it was completely accidental.
All said and done, Satyavati ended up having the rice pudding with the blessing of a great warrior and her mother ended up consuming the pudding blessed with a great sage. A while later when Ruchika came there, he saw what had happened and turned furious. Both of them apologized and admitted that it was a mistake. Satyavati begged him that he wanted his son to not become a great warrior but to become a calm and composed sage. She further added that she does not have any objection to her grandson becoming a fierce warrior filled with rage but she would like her son to be peaceful. Rishi Ruchika with his yogic powers changed the pudding and it resulted in Satyavati giving birth to a calm and composed sage – Jamadagni. Gaadhi and his wife gave birth to Vishvamitra.
Saptarishi Vishvamitra has done some notable work in his life but one of his prime contributions is the Gayatri Mantra. He is the author of Mandala 3 of Rigveda which ends with the Gayatri Mantra. Let’s speak a little on the importance of this mantra and why it is considered one of the most powerful mantras to ever exist in the universe. This universal mantra is known as the essence of the Vedas. One who regularly chants this mantra experiences growth in their concentration and mind power. It also promotes positivity and works towards removing toxins from the body as well as negative vibes and thoughts. Due to its several benefits, it is popularly known as the mother of all mantras.
Vishvamitra’s mention is seen in the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata as well. He is the guide and teacher of Rama & Lakshmana. He gives them knowledge about Vedas and also weaponry to train them in killing powerful demons like Maricha, Subahu and Tadaka. Vishvamitra has also led them to the Swayamvara ceremony of Sita. Lord Rama with his great valour and show of strength wins the Swayamvara and makes Sita his wife.
Sage Vishvamitra was born as Kaushika and had two wives, Menaka and Haimavati. He had 104 sons and a daughter named Shakuntala. Thrilling stories of his life are what makes him so popular, powerful and one of the most well-known sages out of all the saptarishis known to man today.