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Parashar (पाराशर) or Parashara (पाराशर) was a rishi and a Nagavanshi king mentioned in Mahabharata and Ashtadhyayi of Panini. Parashara was a maharishi and the author of many ancient Indian texts. He is accredited as the author of the first Purana, the Vishnu Purana, before his son Vyasa wrote it in its present form. He was the grandson of Vasishtha, the son of Śakti Maharṣi, and the father of Vyasa.

Jat Gotras

  • Paliwal (पालीवाल) gotra of Jats are said to have originated from Parashar (पाराशर). [1]

Mention by Panini

Panini in Ashtadhyayi mentions Parashara (पाराशर) in following forms:


According to the Vedas, Brahma created Vasishtha, who, with his wife Arundhati, had a son named Śaktri Mahariṣhi who sired Parashara. With his wife Satyavati, Parashara fathered Vyasa. Vyāsa sired Dhritarashtra and Pandu through his deceased brother's wives, Ambika and Ambalika and Vidura through a hand-maiden of Ambika and Ambalika. Vyāsa also sired Shuka through his wife, Jābāli's daughter Pinjalā. Thus Parashara was the great-grandfather of both the warring parties of the Mahābhārata, the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Parashara is used as a gotra for the ancestors and their off springs thereon.


Parashara was raised by his grandfather Vasishtha because he lost his father at an early age. His father, Śakti Muni, was on a journey and came across an angry Rakshasa who had once been a king but was turned into a demon feeding on human flesh as a curse from Viśvamitra. The demon devoured Parashara’s father. In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Parashara speaks about his anger from this:[9]

"I had heard that my father had been devoured by a Rākṣasa employed by Viśvamitra: violent anger seized me, and I commenced a sacrifice for the destruction of the Rākṣasas: hundreds of them were reduced to ashes by the rite, when, as they were about to be entirely exterminated, my grandfather Vasishtha said to me: Enough, my child; let thy wrath be appeased: the Rākṣasas are not culpable: thy father's death was the work of destiny. Anger is the passion of fools; it becometh not a wise man. By whom, it may be asked, is anyone killed? Every man reaps the consequences of his own acts. Anger, my son, is the destruction of all that man obtains by arduous exertions, of fame, and of devout austerities; and prevents the attainment of heaven or of emancipation. The chief sages always shun wrath: be not subject to its influence, my child. Let no more of these unoffending spirits of darkness be consumed. Mercy is the might of the righteous.”

Parashara Muni (Sage), at the wish of Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Mahadev, who maintain, create and destroy in time the entire universe, on one of his travels across the country, halted for the night in a little hamlet on the banks of the river Yamuna. He was put up in the house of the fisherman-chieftain Dusharaj. When dawn broke, the chief asked his daughter, Matsyagandha, whose name means "one with the smell of fish", to ferry the sage to his next destination. When in the ferry, Parashara was attracted by the beautiful girl. He created an island within the river by his mystic potency and asked her to land the boat there. Seeing people on the river's bank, she demurred, at which time the sage created a dense fog which enveloped the entire river. Parashara blessed her with a son, Krishna Dvaipāyana, who was dark-complexioned and hence may be called by the name Krishna (black), and also the name Dwaipayana, meaning 'island-born'. He later compiled the classic Vedic literatures of India, and so is called Vyasa who is the 17th incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Parashara granted her the boon that the finest fragrance may emit from her person. She was thereafter known as Satyavati (pure fragrance).

Leaving Satyavati in the care of Vyasa, Parashara proceeded to perform Tapas (intense meditation). Later Vysasa also became a Rishi and Satyavati returned to her father's house, and in due course, married Śantanu.

Parashara was known as the "limping sage". He had his leg wounded during an attack on his āśrama. When a ṛṣi dies he merges back into an element or an archetype. When Sage Parashara was walking through a dense forest he and his students were attacked by wolves. He was unable to get away in his old age with a lame leg he left this world merging into the wolves.[10]

The birthplace of Parashara Muni is believed to be at Panhala fort in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. A cave supposed to be of Parāśāra Muni is present at the fort.


Texts attributed to Parashara

  • Seer of verses in the Ṛgveda: recorded as the seer of RV 1.65-73 and part of RV 9.97.
  • Parashara Smṛti (also called Parashara Dharma Saṃhitā): a code of laws which is stated in the text (1.24) to be for Kali Yuga.[11]
  • Speaker of Viṣṇu Purana considered by scholars as one of the earliest Purāṇas.[12]
  • Speaker of the Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra, also written as BPHS. It is considered a foundational text of astrology. The Sanskrit in which it is composed dates to the 7th or 8th centuries CE
  • Speaker of the Vṛkṣāyurveda ("the science of life of trees"), one of the earliest texts on botany.[13] This text was considered to be an ancient botany primer for students of Traditional Indian Medicine.
  • Krishi parasaram, a book that dealt with agriculture and weeds.

In Mahabharata

Parashara (पराशर) is mentioned in Mahabharata (I.52.17), (I.57), (I.57.69), (I.63), (I.90.52), (1.95),

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Book I Chapter 52 mentions the names of all those Nagas that fell into the fire of the snake-sacrifice. Parashara is listed in Nagas of race of Dhritarashtra, verse (I.52.17). [14]....Varahaka, Varanaka, Sumitra, Chitravedaka, Parashara, Tarunaka, Maniskandha and Aruni.

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/ Book I Chapter 57....describes king Uparichara of the Paurava race, called also Vasu, who conquered Chedi.....Parashara (पराशर) is mentioned in Mahabharata (I.57.69).[15]...And it was thus that Vyasa was born of Satyavati through Parasara.

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Book I Chapter 90 gives the History and family tree of Puru, Bharatas and Pandavas commencing from Daksha....Parashara (पराशर) is mentioned in Mahabharata (I.90.52). [16]....Bhishma got him married to Satyavati who was also called Gandhakali. And in her maidenhood she had a son by Parasara, named Dwaipayana. And upon her Santanu begat two other sons named Chitrangada and Vichitravirya.


  1. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya etc, : Ādhunik Jat Itihas, Agra 1998, p. 263
  2. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudee, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihas (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998, p. 264
  3. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.334
  4. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.338
  5. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.320
  6. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.338
  7. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.338
  8. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.320
  9. Wilson, H. H. The Vishnu Purana: A System of Hindu Mythology and Tradition.
  10. Munshi, K.M. "The Book of VedaVyaasa: The Master".
  12. Flood, Gavin. An Introduction to Hinduism.Flood, Gavin. An Introduction to Hinduism.
  13. Ancient Indian Botany and Taxonomy
  14. वराहकॊ वारणकः सुमित्रश चित्रवेदकः, पराशरस तरुणकॊ मणिस्कन्धस तथारुणिः (I.52.17)
  15. पराशरेण संयुक्ता सद्यॊ गर्भं सुषाव सा, जज्ञे च यमुना दवीपे पाराशर्यः सवीर्यवान (I.57.69)
  16. तस्यां कानीनॊ गर्भः पराशराद द्वैपायनः, तस्याम एव शंतनॊर दवौ पुत्रॊ बभूवतुः, चित्राङ्गदॊ विचित्रवीर्यश च (I.90.52)

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