Vasistha

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Vasishtha (वसिष्ठ) or Vashistha (वशिष्ठ) is name of a Rishi mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi and in Mahabharata.

Mention by Panini

Vasishtha (वसिष्ठ) is name of a place mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi under Karnadi (कर्णादि) (4.2.80.13) group. [1]


Vasistha (वसिष्ठ) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [2]


Vasishtha-Kashyapika (वसिष्ठ-कश्यपिका) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [3]

In Mahabharata

Mahabharata mentions Vasishtha in verses:

Vasishtha (वसिष्ठ) (I.61.68), (I.89.36), (I.89.38),

Vasishthashrama (वसिष्ठ आश्रम) (Tirtha) (II.82.121),


Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Book I Chapter 61 gives genealogy of the Danavas, Asuras, Kauravas, Pandavas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Rakshasas. Vasishtha (वसिष्ठ) is listed in verse (I.61.68).[4].... And from the curse of Vasishtha and the command also of Indra, the eight Vasus were born of Ganga by her husband Santanu.


Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Book I Chapter 89 gives History of Puru and Pandavas (Aila dynasty). Vasishtha (वसिष्ठ) is listed in verse (I.89.36).[5]....There the Bharatas lived for a full thousand years, within their fort. And after they had lived there a thousand years, one day the illustrious Rishi Vasishtha approached the exiled Bharatas......verse (I.89.38)[6]....the king himself approached the Rishi and addressed him, saying, 'Be thou our priest, O illustrious one! We will endeavour to regain our kingdom.' And Vasishtha answered the Bharatas by saying, 'Om' (the sign of consent). It hath been heard by us that Vasishtha then installed the Bharata prince in the sovereignty of all the Kshatriyas on earth.

Puru dynasty re-installed by Vashistha

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Book I Chapter 89 mentions the History of Puru and Pandavas (Aila dynasty) and role of Vashistha in re-installing the dynasty. In Genealogy of Puru Riksha begat Samvarana, the perpetuator of the royal line. While Samvarana, the son of Riksha, was ruling the earth, there happened a great loss of people from famine, pestilence, drought, and disease. And the Bharata princes were beaten by the troops of enemies. And the Panchalas setting out to invade the whole earth with their four kinds of troops soon brought the whole earth under their sway. And with their ten Akshauhinis the king of the Panchalas defeated the Bharata prince. Samvarana then with his wife and ministers, sons and relatives, fled in fear, and took shelter in the forest on the banks of the Sindhu extending to the foot of the mountains. There the Bharatas lived for a full thousand years, within their fort. And after they had lived there a thousand years, one day the illustrious Rishi Vasishtha approached the exiled Bharatas, who, on going out, saluted the Rishi and worshipped him by the offer of Arghya. And entertaining him with reverence, they represented everything unto that illustrious Rishi. And after he was seated on his seat, the king himself approached the Rishi and addressed him, saying, 'Be thou our priest, O illustrious one! We will endeavour to regain our kingdom.' And Vasishtha answered the Bharatas by saying, 'Om' (the sign of consent). It hath been heard by us that Vasishtha then installed the Bharata prince in the sovereignty of all the Kshatriyas on earth, making by virtue of his Mantras this descendant of Puru the veritable horns of the wild bull or the tusks of the wild elephants. And the king retook the capital that had been taken away from him and once more made all monarchs pay tribute to him. The powerful Samvarana, thus installed once more in the actual sovereignty of the whole earth, performed many sacrifices at which the presents to the Brahmanas were great. Samvarana begat upon his wife, Tapati, the daughter of Surya, a son named Kuru. This Kuru was exceedingly virtuous, and therefore, he was installed on the throne by his people. It is after his name that the field called Kuru Jangala has become so famous in the world. Devoted to asceticism, he made that field (Kurukshetra) sacred by practising asceticism there.

One of the Saptarishis

He is one of the Saptarishis. Vashista had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners. Arundhati is the name of the wife of Vashista. RigVeda 7:33 mentions Vashishtha rishi as son of MitraVaruṇa and Urvasi.[7]

One of 9 Prajapatis

Vashistha, as one of 9 Prajapatis, is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda. Vashistha and his family are glorified in RV 7.33, extolling their role in the Battle of the Ten Kings, making him the only mortal besides Bhava to have a Rigvedic hymn dedicated to him. Another treatise attributed to him is "Vashistha Samhita" – a book on the Vedic system of electional astrology.

In Buddhist Records

In the Vinaya Pitaka of the Mahavagga (I.245)[8] section the Buddha pays respect to Vashistha by declaring that the Veda in its true form was declared to the Vedic rishis "Atthako, Vâmako, Vâmadevo, Vessâmitto, Yamataggi, Angiraso, Bhâradvâjo, Vâsettho, Kassapo, and Bhagu"[9] and because that true Veda was altered by some priests he refused to pay homage to the altered version.[10]

Rishi of Chauhan clans

James Tod [11] writes:

" Vasishtha prayed that his hope[12] might be at length fulfilled, as the Chauhan was despatched against the demons. Sakti-devi[13] on her lion, armed with the trident, descended, and bestowed her blessing on the Chauhan, and as Asapurna, or Kalika, promised always to hear his prayer. He went against the demons ; their leaders he slew. The rest fled, nor halted till they reached the depths of hell. Anhal slew the demons. The Brahmans were made happy ; and of his race was Prithwiraja."[14]

External links

References

  1. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.502
  2. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.125, 271
  3. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p. 86
  4. 68 जज्ञिरे वसवस तव अष्टौ गङ्गायां शंतनॊः सुताः, वसिष्ठस्य च शापेन नियॊगाद वासवस्य च (I.61.68)
  5. 36 तेषां निवसतां तत्र सहस्रं परिवत्सरान, अथाभ्यगच्छद भरतान वसिष्ठॊ भगवान ऋषिः (I.89.36)
  6. तं समाम अष्टमीम उष्टं राजा वव्रे सवयं तदा, पुरॊहितॊ भवान नॊ ऽसतु राज्याय परयतामहे, ओम इत्य एवं वसिष्ठॊ ऽपि भारतान परत्यपद्यत (I.89.38)
  7. "according to Rig Veda 7.33:11 he is the son of Maitravarun and Urvashi" Prof. Shrikant Prasoon, Pustak Mahal, 2009, ISBN 8122310729, 9788122310726.
  8. P. 494 The Pali-English dictionary By Thomas William Rhys Davids, William Stede
  9. P. 245 The Vinaya piṭakaṃ: one of the principle Buddhist holy scriptures ..., Volume 1 edited by Hermann Oldenberg
  10. The Vinaya Pitaka's section Anguttara Nikaya: Panchaka Nipata, P. 44 The legends and theories of the compared with history and science By Robert Spence Hardy
  11. Chapter 7 Catalogue of the Thirty Six Royal Races:Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I, Publisher: Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press 1920, p. 113
  12. Asa, ' hope,' purna, to ' fulfil ' ; whence the tutelary goddess of the Chauhan race, Asapurna.
  13. The goddess of energy (Sakti).
  14. Cunningham points out that in the original story only the Chauhan was created from the fire-pit, the reference to other clans being a later addition (ASR, ii. 255).]