The Great Sage Couples of India
India is very famous for the religions. There lived a lot of Rishis or Sages. They lived in the forests. Theydid a lot of Thapas. All of them had wives. These wives were called as “RishiPathnis”. Even though they lived together, they had no intrest towards the worldly life. Inthis issue we will see about three of those couples.
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 http://www.indidi.co.uk/ on electional astrology. He and his family are glorified in a hymn in the Rig Veda.
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 asked what is bothering Him. Rama then explained his disenchantment with worldly things and expressed sadness at the miserable life as a worldly man. Then Sage Vasishta started answering the questions poed by Lord Rama. This is the context and content of the scripture called “Yoga Vasishta”.
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, etc. But King Kalmashapada ordered Sakthi to move away from the path. Sakthi cursed that the king to 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 form 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
Anusuya and Atri
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.
Sage Atri made a great tapas 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. They came to her house as Brahmins and requested for food. They conditioned that,the food be served to them that she should be naked while serving. Anusuya agreed without any hesitation. In a split second, she converted the Brahmins into children 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.
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”.
Renuka and Jamadagni
Jamadagni 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 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 http://www.yayyan.org/ the Kshatriya Gadhi, was born as a priest.
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 electric scooter for adults
to ask for boons. Parashurama asked that his mother be brought back to life and that his brothers be revived.
In the next issue we will know about some more sages and rishis of Hinduism.
Posted by Parvathi Sivanadyan
Posted Date 12.11.2014