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Vashishtha

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Subject: Angiras (sage), Bharadwaja, Saraswat Brahmin, Amarkantak, Agnivansha, Glossary of Hinduism terms, Niyoga, Marichi, Mulraj Rajda, Manvantara
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Vashishtha

Vashistha (Sanskrit: वशिष्ठ, वसिष्ठ, Thai: Vasit) is one of the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) in the seventh, i.e. the present Manvantara.[1] Vashista is a manasputra of God Brahma. He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners. Arundhuti is the name of the wife of Vashista. RigVeda 7:33 mentions Vashistha rishi as son of MitraVaruṇa and Urvasi.[2][3]


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.

Arundhati and Vashistha pair of stars

Mizar is known as Vashistha and Alcor is known as Arundhati in traditional Indian astronomy.[4] The pair is considered to symbolize marriage (Vashishtha and Arundhati were a married couple) and, in some Hindu communities, priests conducting a wedding ceremony allude to or point out the constellation as a symbol of the closeness marriage brings to a couple.[5]

Vashistha

In the Vinaya Pitaka of the Mahavagga (I.245)[6] section the 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"[7] and because that true Veda was altered by some priests he refused to pay homage to the altered version.[8]

Vashistha head

A copper item representing a human head styled in the manner described for the Rigvedic. Vashistha has been dated to around 3700 B.C. in three western universities using among other tests carbon 14 tests, spectrographic analysis, X-ray dispersal analysis and metallography.[9] This indicates that some Rigvedic customs were already known at a very early time. The head was not found in an archaeological context, as it was rescued from being melted down in Delhi.

See also

References

Literature

  • Selected verses, sorted by subject, in both Sanskrit and English text.
  • Sanskrit and English text.
  • Very short condensation.
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