Saptarshi-Seven Sages In Svayambhuva Manvantara
The Saptarshi or Saptarishi (seven great sages in ancient India) were Marichi, Atri, Angira, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya and Vasishtha living in Svayambhuva Manvantara of the current Kalpa (Sveta-Varaha). These sages are praised at numerous places in the Vedas and many other Hindu scriptures. They are said to live in the sky as a Nakshatra Mandal (constellation) called Saptarshi Mandal. Let’s know about them.
In Hindu mythology, Rishi Marichi is considered to be one of the Saptarshi in Svayambhuva Manvantara and a mind born son of Lord Brahma. The literal meaning of his name is a beam of light from either the sun or the moon. As mentioned in the Vedic scriptures, Marichi is also one of the chief seven types of storm gods. He got married to Kala (she is named Dharmavrata in other adaptations) and they gave birth to another Vedic sage named Maharishi Kashapya.
Rishi Atri is one of the Saptarshi in Svayambhuva Manvantara and Vaivasvata Manvantara. He was well known for his integrity and dedication. Atri’s life traversed numerous yugas. He played a part in the Ramayana as well as the Mahabharata. He got married to Anusuya who was a really pious lady and able of miraculous activities. Anusuya is also known as one of seven chaste women in Hinduism. Satisfied with her devotion and strict austerities, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara (Shiva), popularly known as the Trinity, bestowed a boon upon her. As a blessing, she got Tridevas as her sons. Atri and Anusuya had three sons named Durvasa, Dattatreya and Chandra.
Angira (also called Angiras or Angirasa) is closely associated with Agni (fire), as he (Angira) was born from Yajna fire of Varuna. Angira married Surupa. They had three sons namely Samvartana, Utatya, and Vrihaspati. Angira’s story in the Mahabharata made him more prominent. According to another source, Angira married Shraddha and upon the desire of Lord Brahma, he begot seven sons: Brihat Keerti, Brihat Jyoti, Brihat Brahma, Brihat Manas, Brihat Mantra, Brihat Bhanu and Vrihaspati. As stated in Mahabharata, Angira also had daughters namely Bhanumati, Raka, Cinee Vali, Mahishmati, Guhu, Mahamati, Archishamati and Yogasiddhi. It is also said tha Angira got married to Smriti, the daughter of Prajapati Daksha.
Sage Pulaha is considered to be the fifth son of Lord Brahma and one of the Saptarshi. Pulaha got married to Kshama, the daughter of Prajapati Daksha. They had three sons (Kardam, Kanakpith and Urvaribat) and one daughter (Pivari). As per the Bhagavata Purana, Pulaha got married to Gati, the daughter of sage Kardam and Debahuti. Pulaha and Gati had three sons – Karmashreshtha, Baryangsu and Sahisnu. Pulaha acquired knowledge from Sanandan and imparted all knowledge to great sage Gautama. He performed intense austerities on the banks of the river Alaknanda and was honoured to attend the assembly of Devaraja Indra for him. It is said that King Bharata disavowed all his ambitions and looked for shelter in the affections of Pulaha. It is believed that sage Pulaha was a great worshipper of Lord Shiva. Being highly satisfied with Pulaha’s devotion, Shiva appeared in Varanasi as Pulahaeshwar.
Kratu is considered to be the brain born child of Lord Brahma, having been brought into the world from Brahma’s hand. He is one of the Saptarshi in the Svayambhuva Manvantara. Kratu married Prajapati Daksha’s daughter, Santhati or Sannati. Accrding to Bhagavata Purana, they had 60,000 children, who came to be known as Valakhilyas (the pigmy sages). Kratu Rishi had two sisters named Punya and Satyavati. He likewise took birth in Vaivasvata Manvantara because of Lord Shiva’s boon, however in Vaivasvata time he had no family. Kratu was additionally a child of Sage Kardama. He adopted Rishi Agastya’s child, Idhvaaha. He is known as one of the Bhargavas (the descendants of Rishi Bhrigu). In Matsya Purana, the name of Kratu Rishi’s mother is referenced as being Poulami. Rishi Kratu is otherwise called one of the Visvadevas ( Kratu, Daksha, Vasu, Satya, Kaalakama, Muni, Kuraja, Manuja, Beeja and Rochaman).
According to Hindu mythology, Pulastya was one of the ten human sons of Brahma. He belongs to the group of seven sages or Saptarshi in Svayambhuva Manvantara. According to the Mahabharata, both Rakshasas (demons) and Kinnars (celestial musicians) were the children of Muni Pulastya. His son was Rishi Vishrava and his grandsons were Kubera, the god of wealth and Ravana, the main character in the Ramayana story. Yaksha is also believed to be the offspring of Pulastya. Pulastya was married to one of the nine daughters of sage Kardam who was known as Habirbhu. Pulastya’s son, Vishrava had two spouses namely Devavarnini and Nikasha. Devavarnini’s son, Kubera was the god of wealth and Niksha’s son, Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishan were demons. Sage Pulastya also had a demon daughter named Surpanakha.
The word ‘Vasishtha’ signifies unmatched brilliance. As per his name, Rishi Vasishtha could vanquish every one of the negative characteristics like longing, outrage, stinginess, envy, and pride. The real author of Yog Vasishtha or Vasishtha Yoga Samhita is Rishi Vasishtha. He was one of the authors of Vedic scriptures. He was viewed as the principal holy person in the school of Vedanta set up by Sage Adi Shankara. In the Valmiki Ramayana, King Dasaratha performed the Putresti Yajna for having sons, and Vasishtha performed as the chief priest of the Yajna. He was also the educator of Lord Rama and his brothers.
By Krishna Das