Saptarishi Names and Story

The Saptarishi (Seven Sages) are known as the seven rishis in ancient India, vividly mentioned in the Vedas and other Hindu literature like Brahmanas and Upanishads. In this post, we share with you Saptarishi’s Names and Story.

The Saptarishi are known as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion. The Saptarishi (Seven Rishis) is mentioned in the “Jaiminiya Brahmana” 2.218 -221.

Saptarishi Names and Story

The list of Saptarishi (Seven Rishis) is as follows:

  • Agastya
  • Atri
  • Bharadwaja
  • Gautam
  • Jamadagni
  • Vashishta
  • Vishwamitra

However, there’s also another slightly different list which has been mentioned in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.2.6) as follows:

  • Atri
  • Bharadwaja
  • Gautama
  • Jamadagni
  • Kashyap
  • Vashishta
  • Vishwamitra

In the Gopatha Brahmana, the list of Saptarishi which has been mentioned is as follows:

  • Vashishta
  • Vishwamitra
  • Jamadagni
  • Gautama
  • Bharadwaja
  • Gungu
  • Agastya
  • Kashyap

According to the Vedas, the Saptarishi has been recognized as the “mind-born sons” of Lord Brahma called Manasputra.

These seven rishis were considered to be the ancestors of the Gotras of Brahmins.

According to ancient Indian astronomy, the part of the constellation of Ursa Major is called Saptarishi.

The seven stars represent the seven rishis, such as:

  • Vashishta
  • Marichi
  • Pulastya
  • Pulaha
  • Atri
  • Angiras
  • Kratu
seven stars

There is another star that is slightly visible within it, known as “Arundathi.” According to ancient Vedic astronomy, Arundathi and Vashishta are married and together comprise the Mizar double.

According to Hindu legend, the seven rishis in the next Manvantara will be as follows:

  • Diptimat
  • Galava
  • Parashurama
  • Kripa
  • Drauni
  • Ashawatthama
  • Vyasa
  • Rishyasringa

Saptarishi Story

According to the Vedas, the Saptarishi have been accorded a semi-immortal status which they have acquired by their extreme penance and yogic power.

The Saptarishi are the seven holy sages that guide the human race through the four great ages.

The Saptarishi worked closely with Lord Shiva to maintain the balance on Earth. As a result, they continue to live for a period of time known as Manvantara (306, 720,000 Earth years).

When the Universe gets destroyed, the Saptarishi merge in God. Then, the duty of fulfilling the Earth is handed over to the newly appointed Saptarishi.

All the Seven Saptarishi are Brahmarishis and have completely understood the meaning of the Brahma.

It has to be understood that one cannot rise to the level of Brahmarishi through merit alone. The divine order of Saptarishi has been created by Lord Brahma.

It is only Vishwamitra who rose to the level of Brahmarishi through his merit alone. He performed meditation and Tapasya for thousands of years and was awarded the rank of Brahmarishi by Brahma himself.

The Saptarishis are so powerful that they are capable of defeating every weapon on Earth.

They can foresee the future and are not governed by the circle of life and death.

The Saptarishis are even higher in rank than the Hindu Devtas. Their third eye is completely open, and they can use their intuition to their fullest capacity. Their attention span the entire Universe, and still, they can maintain precise detail in action and thoughts.

The Saptarishis have acquired the knowledge to strengthen the processes of transition. They are the guardians of the divine laws.

The life period of Saptarishis is known as Manvantara, which is about 306,720,000 Earth Years. The present Manvantara is the seventh one known as Vaivasvata Manvantara after its ruler known as Vaivasvata Manu.

For the present Manvantara, the Saptarishis are Kashyap, Atri, Vashishta, Vishwamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, and Bharadwaja.

The Seven Saptarishis

Here, we share the legend, importance, key tales, and life of these Seven Rishis (Saptarishis).

Rishi Bharadwaja

Rishi Bharadwaja is one of the Saptarishis of the present time. He is regarded as the son of Devrishi Brihaspati.

He possessed an insatiable thirst for learning Vedas. He meditated on Lord Shiva and Parvati.

His contributions to ancient Indian literature have found a place in the Hindu Puranas and the Rig Veda. He also gave vivid theories on medicine and Ayurveda.

He was the father of Dronacharya (one of the key characters of Mahabharata and the Guru of Pandavas and Kauravas).

He is also mentioned in the great Hindu epic Ramayana. He guided Lord Shri Ram during his period of exile.

Rishi Vishwamitra

Rishi Vishwamitra is a very famous saint of the Vedic time. He is the author of the Gayatri Mantra. However, he was not a Brahmana by birth. Rishi Vishwamitra was Kshatriya in the Chandravanshi dynasty. He was one of the key characters in the great epic Ramayana.

Vishwamitra had a conflict with the great sage Vashishta. He wanted to acquire Vashishta’s cow – known as Kamadhenu. So he ordered his army to capture it. However, Sage Vashishta destroyed his entire army.

After that, Vishwamitra undertook great penance to please Lord Shiva. As a result, he acquired many celestial weapons from Lord Shiva. However, Rishi Vashishta destroyed all of Vishwamitra’s divine weapons.

Lastly, Vishwamitra realized that spiritual powers were far more significant than mere celestial weapons.

Vishwamitra then undertook severe Tapas to acquire the title of Brahmarishi ultimately.

Rishi Vashishta

Rishi Vashishta is the most popular among the Saptarishi. He was the Guru of Lord Shree Rama and his brothers.

Rishi Vashishta had established his Gurukul on the banks of the sacred river Saryu in the state of Ayodhya.

Rishi Vashishta and Lord Shree Rama’s conversation regarding Vedanta and Yoga has been recorded in Yoga Vashishta.

Rishi Vashishta possessed the wish-fulfilling cow Kamadhenu and her child Nandini.

His wife was Arundathi, who is regarded as one of the stars in the collection Ursa Major.

Rishi Vashishta gave various Sutras in the field of Dharma. He also possessed immense knowledge in astrology.

Rishi Gautama

Rishi Gautama is one of the Seven Sages of current Manvantara. He was the son of Maharishi Rahugana and Mata Pradveshi. He was born in Treta Yuga on the first day of the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month.

Rishi Gautama possessed immense spiritual knowledge. His main contribution was Gautam Dharmasutra which is regarded as the first scripture in social and religious law.

Rishi Gautama was married to Ahalya.

He had three sons, namely:

  • Shataanand
  • Nodha
  • Vamdeva

He had one daughter named Anjani.

There was an episode in his life when Devaraj Indra came to Ahalya’s kutir in the form of Maharishi Gautam. As Ahalya did not punish Indra, so Rishi Gautam cursed Ahalya to turn into a stone.

He also cursed Indra to become impotent for his mischief. However, he assured Ahalya that she would regain her human form when Lord Ram will come and touch the stone.

Rishi Gautam was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva.

The Triambakeshwar Jyotirlinga was established by Rishi Gautama. He also had a close association with River Godavari. Moreover, he undertook great penance for the benefit of humanity.

Rishi Atri

Atri is one of the great Seven Sages who composed many sacred Vedic Mantras. The fifth Mandala of Rig Veda has been named the Atri Mandala under his honor.

He was married to Anasuya Devi, who is recognized among the seven female pativratas.

He had three sons, namely:

  • Dattatreya – the incarnation of Tridevas (Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh)
  • Durvasa
  • Soma (Chandra)

Rishi Jamadagni

Rishi Jamadagni is one of the seven sages of current Manvantara. He is the father of Parashurama – the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu; his wife was Renuka.

Rishi Jamadagni was well versed in Hindu scriptures and Vedas. He had a conflict with Kaartavirya Arjun, who took Kamadhenu with him. He killed Jamadagni and took Kamadhenu with him.

However, Parashurama killed Kaartavirya Arjun and seized Kamadhenu. Then Parashurama decided to kill all the Kshatriyas from the face of the Earth. So he traversed across the whole Planet and killed Kshatriyas 21 times.

Rishi Kashyap

Rishi Kashyap is said to be the author of several hymns and verses of Rig Veda. The land of Kashmir has been named after him. He is called the progenitor of all living beings. According to Vishnu Purana, Rishi Kashyap married 13 daughters of Prajapati Daksha.

Thus, Saptarishis have been hailed as the most enlightened beings and are considered far greater than even the Devas. All the Vedic and post-Vedic scriptures can be attributed to them.

Rishi Panchami is celebrated in honor of Saptarishi. It falls on the fifth day of Shukla Paksha in the Bhadrapada month.

Saptarishi Names in each Manvantara of the current Kalpa

Manvantara – Saptarishis

Svayambhuva: Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya, and Vasishtha

Svarocisha: Urja, Stambha, Prana, Vata, Prishava, Niraya and Parivan

Uttama: Kaukundihi, Kurundi, Dalaya, Sankha, Pravahita, Mita and Sammita

Tapasa/Tamasa: Jyotirdhama, Prithu, Kavya, Chaitra, Agni, Vanaka and Pivara

Raivata: Hirannyaroma, Vedasrí, Urdhabahu, Vedabahu, Sudhama, Parjanya and Mahamuni

Chakshusha: Sumedha, Viraja, Havishman, Uttar, Madhu, Sahishnu, and Atinama

Vaivasvata (current): Vashishta, Kashyapa, Atri, Jamadagni, Gautama, Vishvamitra, Bharadvaja

Savarni: Diptimat, Galava, Rama, Kripa, Drauni or Ashwatthama, Vyasa and Rishyasringa

Daksha-savarni: Savana, Dyutimat, Bhavya, Vasu, Medhatithi, Jyotishman, and Satya

Brahma-savarni: Havishman, Sukriti, Satya, Apammurtti, Nabhaga, Apratimaujas and Satyaketu

Dharma-savarni: Nischara, Agnitejas, Vapushman, Vishnu, Aruni, Havishman and Anagha

Rudra-savarni:
Tapaswi, Sutapas, Tapomurti, Taporati, Tapodhriti, Tapodyuti and Tapodhana

Deva-savarni: Nirmoha, Tatwadersin, Nishprakampa, Nirutsuka, Dhritimat, Avyaya and Sutapas

Indra-savarni: Agnibshu, Suchi, Aukra, Magadha, Gridhra, Yukta and Ajita

The Seven Stars of the Saptarishi Mandal

  • Kratu
  • Pulaha
  • Pulastya
  • Atri
  • Angiras
  • Vashishta
  • Marichi

Note: According to ancient Vedic astronomy, the asterism of the Big Dipper (which has been called part of Ursa Major’s constellation) is called Saptarishi.

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