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Kapila (कपिल) was a Vedic sage credited as one of the founders of the Samkhya school of philosophy. He is prominent in the Bhagavata Purana, which features a theistic version of his Samkhya philosophy.Traditional Hindu sources describe him as a descendant of Manu, a grandson of Brahma.

Jat Gotras Originated


Kapila is a major figure in the story associated with the descent of the Ganges (Goddess Ganga) river from heaven. King Sagar, an ancestor of Rama, had performed the Aswamedha yagna ninety-nine times. On the hundredth time the horse was sent around the earth Indra, the King of Swarga (Heaven), grew jealous and kidnapped the horse, hiding it in the hermitage of Kapila.[1]

The 60,000 sons of Sagara found the horse, and believing Kapila to be the abductor assaulted him. Kapila turned his assailants to ashes. Anshuman, a grandson of King Sagara, came to Kapila begging him to redeem the souls of Sagara's 60,000 sons. Kapila replied that only if the Ganges descended from heaven and touched the ashes of the 60,000 would they be redeemed.[2] The Ganges was eventually brought to earth, redeeming the sons of Sagara, through the tapasya of King Bhagiratha, a descendent of Sagara.


Scriptures claim the Kapila was a son of Prahlada, who in mythology is a King of the Asuras (demons) although who surrendered himself to the worship of Vishnu.

External links


  1. The Mahabharata translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (1883 -1896), Book 3: Vana Parva: Tirtha-yatra Parva: Section CVI, p. 228
  2. Vishnu Purana translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, 1840, Book IV, Chapter IV. p. 378

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