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Sage Agastya is regarded as one of the Saptarishis in the Mahabharata. He is born to the two Gods Mitra and Varuna from Urvashi. He is credited with many hyms of the Rig Veda.  He is said to have helped in the development of the Tamil language. He is considered the first and foremost person of Sidda. He has contributed to the Nadi form of astrology. Sage Agastya was the first to listen to the Lalita Sahasranama from Hayagriva. He is said to have composed the Aditya Hrudayam and the Saraswati Stotram

Agastya & Vindhya

Vindhya mountains separate the North and the South India.  Legend has it that the mountain had the tendency to keep growing so as to obstruct the Sun.  Agastya journeyed from the Northern part of India to the south. On the way he met the mountain and requested him to give way since it has now become impassable.  The mountain in reverence to the Sage bowed low. Now the Sage Agastya and his disciples and family passed from the North to the South. The Sage told the mountain to remain so until his return. Agastya settled permanently in the South. It is beleived that from this incident the Vaasthu Sastra was born

Agastya & the Ocean

It is said that once all the demons hid in the ocean and attacked at night. Sage Agastya drank the entire ocean to enable the Gods to fight and vanquish them

Agastya & Lopamudra

Sage Agastya was a renunciate. But he had to marry and beget children to repay the Manus. So he created a girl child that would be a fit wife for a renunciate and arranged that she be born as the daughter of the Vidarbha King. The child was named Lopamudra. At the oppropriate time Agastya went to the King and sought Lopamudra’s hand in marriage. At first the King hesitated but Lopamudra was intent on leaving her father’s palace and living in Sage Agasthya’s forest Ashram. They were duly married.

Agastya & Vatapi

Ilvala and Vatapi were two demon brothers. Vatapi could changed himself into any form he desired. IIvala knew the Sanjivini Mantra. Hence the demons used to trick people into eating Vatapi who would assume the form of a goat and then IIlava would say the mantra enablign Vatapi to tear the stomach and come out. Agastya wanted to put an end to their ways. Hence we met them and as expected IIlava offered Vatapi as food to the Sage. The Sage after eating simply said “Vatapi Jeerno Bhava”. Then IIlava could not bring back his brother’s life.

Agastya and Kutralam

There was a Vishnu temple in Kutralam. Sage Agastya was denied access since he was a Shivite. Agastya then assumed the form of a Vishnavite and entered the temple. He then by his miraculous power changed the idol to a Shiva Lingam. He showed the people that Shiva and Vishnu are manifestations of the Supreme Atman.

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Atreya is a descendent of Sage Atri. He had done many yagnas and was able to go to any place he liked.  One day in course of his wanderings he came to the court of Indra which fascinated him by its beauty and festivities.  He thought that no other place could be more pleasant and he wanted it with all his heart.  His modest hut could not please him any more.  He called his wife and told, ‘What sort of rubbish are you giving me to eat?  Does it taste good?  Your fruits and vegetables cannot come anywhere near the sweetmeats I ate at Indra’s court’.  So saying he called Viswakarma and asked him to make his hermitage like Indra’s palace.  If you do not do as I tell I shall reduce you to ashes by curse.  The buildings, the court, the gardens, the elephant, the horse, the chandelier, the music, the food, the courtiers – all these must be as they are in Indra’s palace.

Afraid of the curse, Viswakarma forthwith built a palace which could rival Indra’s palace. Much pleased the muni said, ‘This is the very thing I wanted’.  After some time however the demons began to frown at the place and said, ‘Look, that fellow Indra has surreptitiously left the heaven and built up a home on earth.  Let us go and give him a good thrashing for killing our Vritra’.  Shouting, ‘Kill Indra! Kill Indra!’ the demons in a body laid that palace under siege.  The muni was happily reclining on his bed.  But when he heard the shouts of the demons he became mortally afraid.  Within minutes using all kinds of weapons the demons reduced the place to a heap of rubbles.  The muni himself did not escape some minor injuries.  He came out trembling and going to the demons he told them with folded hands, ‘I swear, I am not Indra, I am a muni, a Brahmin and a very poor and innocent man. Why are you so angry with me?’  ‘Then why have you been posing like Indra?  Remove your trappings at once’, said the demons.  ‘At once I am doing as you say.  I must have lost my head and did these foolish things.  I shall never do it again.’  Viswakarma was summoned and was told by the muni to replace the palace with his modest ashram.  He told him, ‘Do it soon, or I shall die at the hands of these demons.’

Realizing that the muni was in grave danger Viswakarma readily obeyed and the huts and the forests reappeared where a short while ago a palace stood.  However, before he left Viswakarma enjoyed a hearty laugh at the predicament of the muni. 

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He was a descendent of Sage Bhrigu. His wife was Renuka. His sons are Sushena,Vasu, Viashvavasu and Parashurama. Jamadagni engaged deeply in study and obtained the entire posession of the Vedas.

Jamadagni’s birth

Jamadagni’s mother, Satyavati, was daughter of King Gadhi, a Kshatriya. The Vishnu Purana relates that when Satyavati was pregnant, her Brahman husband, Richika, prepared a concoction for her to eat for the purpose of securing that her son should be born with the qualities of a Brahman. He also gave another concoction to her mother that she might bear a son with the character of a warrior. The women changed the messes, and so Jamadagni, the son of Richika, was born as a warrior-Brahman, and Vishvamitra, son of the Kshatriya Gadhi, was born as a priest.

Jamadagni & Renuka

Renuka was an embodiment of chastity. This chastity enabled her to perform feats others coudnt imagine. Everyday she used to bring water from the river in a pot made of unbaked clay. One day while she was fetching the water from the river a handsome Gandharva named Chitraratha was passing by in a chariot. For a split second Renuka was infatuated for the handsome being. This weakened her  powers and the pot dissolved in the river. Afraid to go back she waited near the riverbed. Sage  Jamadagni through his powers came to know of all that had happened. He called his sons and asked them to go and behead Renuka. None of the sons were willing to do it except for Parashurama. The other sons were turned to stone. Parashurama went and beheaded his mother with the axe. He was the embodiment of obidiency. Jamadagni was pleased and told Parashurama to ask for boons. Parashurama asked that his mother be brought back to life and that his brothers be revived.

 

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He was the father of the famous Dronacharya & Garga. Bharadwaja’s wife was Susheela. He was also the disciple of Sage Valmiki. Marudwaja Devatas found him abandoned as a boy and brought him up and taught all that they knew about the Vedas.

Bharadwaja & Indra

The sage performed rigorous penance with the wish of learning more about the Vedas. Indra appeared
before him and created 3 mountains. He took 3 handfulls from the mountains and said “Bharadwaja the learning you have is like the handful of mud and the Vedas are like the three mountians. This doesnt mean you know very little. In fact you know more about the Vedas than the Devas. As much as it is important to learn, it is more important to spread what one has learnt. Pray to Almighty Shiva to bless the yagna”

Bharadwaja & Shiva

Sage then went to see Lord Shiva in Mount Kailas. There Shiva and Parvati were budy in the divine dance. Parvathi saw the sage and smiled. The dance continued for many days. The Sage was paralyzed and fell. Shiva and Parvati then revived the Sage and blessed him

Bharadwaja, Abhyavarti & Divodasha
Once the Vaarshikas invaded the kingdom of Abhyavarti. Divodasha also arrived to assist Abhyavarti. The Vaarshika demons interrupted religious ceremonies and destroyed dweellings and killed the people of the kingdom. Abhyavarti and Divodasha fought the Vaarshikas but the demons had the upper hand. Abhyavarti and Divodasha fled from the battlefield and arrived at Sage Bharadwaja’s ashram.
Hearing about what had happened the otherwise embodiment of calm, the Sage was extremely angry. The Sage said ” By your diffidence  you are bringing disgrace to the warder race. Like cowards, you fear a war! Get up, Abhyavarti, arm your bow, and chase away the –  unrighteous demons. For once, remember your people who are suffering like orphans. For their safety, sacrifice your body!” The Kings replied ” You are our Guru who teaches us the path one has to lead. Save us from this unfortunate situation”.  Sage Baradwaja then defeated the demons and restored the Kingdom to Abhyavarti and Divodasha.

Drona’s birth

Once when Rishi Bharadwaja saw the Apsara Ghritachi rising from the river after abulations, his vitality emerged from his body. The Rishi stored this vitality in a pot. Drona was born from this pot. The meaning of Drona is Pot-born.

 

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Vasishta is one of the Saptarishis of this Manvantara. He is the son of Lord Brahma and the Rajaguru of the Suryavamsha or Soalr dynasty. Arundathi was his wife. He is the author of Vasisht Samhita a treatise on electional astrology. He and his family are glorified in a hymn in the Rig Veda.

Yoga Vasishta

Once Lord Rama, the son of Dasaratha returned after completing a pilgrimage of holy places. He was saddened at the trials that a human has to undergo.  Dasaratha called Rama to his palace and asks what is bothering Him. Rama then explains his  disenchantment with worldly things and expresses sadness at the miserable life as a worldly man. Then Sage Vasishta starts answering the questions poed by Lord Rama. This is the context and content of the scripture called “Yoga Vasishta”

 Vasishta and Kalmashapada

Once King Kalmashapada was going in his chariot. Sakthi, Vasishta’s son encountered the chariot in the forest. The rules demanded that a chariot always give way to saints, old men, men carrying a burden, pregnant women, saint etc. But King Kalmashapada ordered Sakthi to move away from the path. Sakthi cursed that the king become a Raksasha (demon). The king became a rakshasa and true to his character lost all sight of righteousness and seeked Sakthi and killed him. Vasishta was saddened at the turn of events especially since Sakthi’s wife Adrushyanti, was pregnant. In a few days she gave birth to a son. Vasishta named him Parashara. 

Once when Adrushyanti was gathering twings in the forest. she came across the raksasha.  Adrushyanti was scared. Vasishta uttered a few syllables and Kalmashapada could not do anything. He then gave the true forn to Kalmashapada. When Parashara wanted to seek revenge Vasishta adviced him not to do so. This showed the level of perfection that Sage Vasishta had attained

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Kutsa Maharishi is a Saptarishi of this Manvantara. Each Rishi is has their own speciality, Maharishi Kutsa stands for sweetness. It is said that of the 82 suktas in the Rudram, about 65 are the outpourings of Maharishi Kutsa. It is also stated that Kutsa Maharishi expalined the allegories of the first laws of celestial bodies.

Kutsa Maharishi & Prokshana Mantram

The Prokshana Mantram goes as follows “Om Bhoo: Om Bhuvaha: Om Suvaha”. It is said that water is a purifier. The water gets the ability to purify anything that it touches. This power is rested upon water through the Prokshana Mantram. The Taittriya Samhita states that the Mantra Drishtas of the above mantra are none other than Atri, Bhrigu & Kutsa Maharishi.

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Gautama Rishi is one of the Saptarishi’s of this Manvantara. The Rig & Sama Vedic mantras that go with his name. He belongs to the lineage of Angiras. His sons were Vamadeva, Nodhas, Shatananda. He was one of the earliest writers on Law. He authored the Gautama Dharma Sutra.

Gautama & Ahalya

Ahalya was the daughter of Lord Brahma. At the appropriate time the Lord announced that whosoever goes around the Earth first shall win Ahalya’s hand. Gautama Rishi went around the divine cow thus fulfilling the condition. Ahalya and Gautama Rishi were married.
 

Gautama & Indra

The Ramayana tells the story of how Lord Indra was cursed by the Rishi. Once Rishi Gautama went to bathe in the river. At that time Indra saw Ahalya and was fascinated by her. He took the form of Gautama Rishi, approached her & made love to her. While he was returning, the Rishi saw him and cursed that he should have a thousand female genitals (Sahasrayoni). He cursed Ahalya that she should turn to stone. Later the great Rishi modified his curse and made Indra the thousand eyed one (Sahasraaksha). He gave the boon to Ahalya that when Raama touches the stone, she would retutn to her original form and return to him.

Gautama & Varuna

Gautama Rishi was a person without ego. When the people of the land suffered a draught, the Maharishi set out to meditate upon Lord Varuna.  Pleased with his singlemindedness, Lord Varuna appeared. The Rishi asked Varuna for rain.  Lord Varuna expalined “The Law demands that there should not be rain in the place for this period of time. I cannot go against the Law since the all five forces are governed by Lord Shiva.  Ask me anything else.” Maharishi immediately requested for a an incessant supply of water in the reservoir. Thus Gautama Rishi saved many people.

Maharishi Bhrigu was one of the Saptarishis of this Manvantara according to the Kishna Yajurveda. He is the compiler of Bhrigu Samhita, an astrological classic. He is married to Khyati and has two sons Dhata and Vidhata. The descendents of Bhrigu are known as Bhargavas. Bhargavas are those Brahmins warriors who taught the science of warfare. Shukra, Parashurama, & Jamadagni are from this lineage.

Bhrigu & the Trinity

Once all the sages gathered on near the Saraswati river to perform a grand Yagna. At the time of offering homage, the sages debated as to which of the Trinity is more entitled to the homage. They chose Maharishi Bhrigu to find the best among the Trinity.  Maharishi Bhrigu set out to test the Trinity, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.

He first reached Mount Kailas, the abode of Lord Shiva. At that particular time, Shiva was engaged in conversation with his wife, Parvati. Maharishi Bhrigu neither bowed in reverence nor greeted Lord Shiva and the Lord did not see the Sage approaching. Maharishi was dejected and spoke words to anger the Lord. Next he very abruptly entered the room of Lord Brahma in Satyaloka. Brahma became furious and questioned ” How is it that you entered my world without seeking my permission?”. Maharishi then went to see Lord Vishnu. As expected the Lord was in a sleep state on the milk ocean.   Seeing Mahavishnu, Bhrigu questioned “Why does Vishnu have to sleep now?” So saying he kicked the Lord in his chest. Lord Vishnu woke from his slumber, took Maharishi Bhrigu’s legs in his hand and massaged them asking “I am sorry but do they hurt?.

Maharishi Bhrigu on returning to Earth told the assembled sages. Mahavishu is the most fit to receive the entitlements since He has conquered anger & ego.

 

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Sage Atri is one of the Saptarishis in the current Manvantara and a son of Brahma. He is one among the Sages who propounded the sacred thread (Poonal). Sage Atri’s wife is Anusuya, an embodiment of chastity. He is considered to be one of the great discoverers of sacred mantras. Atri Samhita and Atri Smriti are two works of the great sage.    

Atri Anusuya and the Trinity

Sage Atri made a great tapa on the Kula Mountains. This caused the whole world to start burning. Brahma-Vishnu-Maheswara were pleased and appeared before the Sage and asked what he wanted. Sage Atri asked them to be their son. Hence they were born as Dattatreya, Chandraartri and Krishnantri.

Once the Trinity decided to test the chastity of Anusuya. The came to her house as Brahmins and requested that food be served to them with the condition that she should be naked while serving. Anusuya agreed without any hesitation. In a split second, she converted the Brahmins into child and offered food to them in naked. The Trinity regained their original form on requesting Anusuya. Such was the power of Anusuya’s chastity. Since she gave food to the children, she was bound to become their mother.

Atri Anusuya and Sri Rama

Lord Rama during his 14 year exile visited Atri Maharishi’s ashram near the Mandakini river. It was Sage Atri who showed Lord Rama the way to the Dandakaranya forest. Anusuya explained to Sita about the importance and siugnificance of Satitva. Anusuya’s devotion to the Lord can be understood through the couplet she composed. It meant “I am making this humble request with my folded hands never-ever abandon me from your feet by changing my mind”.

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Sage Angirasa is one of the Saptarishis (Seven Sages) and the Manasaputra (son born of the mind) of Brahma. He is one of the Projenitors of humankind. His wife is Svadha, Smriti, Sati & Shraddha and Sage Brihaspati was his son. Many verses in the Vedas are attributed to Sage Angirasa. He along with sage Atharvan are said to have composed most of the Atharvana Veda. Some descendents of Sage Angirasa are said to be Kshatriya by birth and Brahmins by calling. This is so because the Sage helped a childless King to beget children.

Sage Angirasa and Saunaka, the Householder

One of the stories related to Sage Angirasa is mentioned in the Mundaka Upanishad. A householder by the name Saunaka carries his firewood and reaches the forest where Sage Angirasa is. He approaches the Sage reverentially and beseeches “O Holy Sage, teach me that through which the whole universe can be known.” Sage Angirasa goes on to explain the two different kinds of knowledge on this Earth. The lower knowledge he states are the sciences, hymns, rituals, grammar, poetry astrology etc. The higher knowledge is that which leads a man to that which never dies. The Indestructible.

Sage Angiras to explain this further says “This body is like a tree in which two birds live. They look alike. The lower bird is tasting the fruits of the tree and some are sweet and others are sour. The higher bird is just watching the lower bird.  One day the lower bird is tired of everything and starts to weep. The lower bird sees the higher bird which is calm, unattached and at peace. The lower bird hops towards the higher one. It suddenly realizes that the upper bird is also just himself, his true Self . Knowing this his grief disappears. He realises that the Ego was not real, the Self was real, the observer of all.