Maha Rishi Vasishtha (महर्षि वशिष्ठ): Here the identity of our country is that not knowing which kings, maharajas, sages, great scholars like great sages have taken birth on this mother earth. Due to the knowledge given by them, this human race has grown towards the modern era. Many Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and people of Dalit society adopt Vashishtha gotra. They all belong to the Vashishtha clan. There have been many sages over time by the name Vashishta.
One is the son of Vashishta Brahma, the other in the time of Ikshvaku, the third in the reign of Harishchandra, the fourth in the reign of Dilip, the fifth in the reign of Dasharatha, and the sixth in the Mahabharata period. The first is said to be the son of Manas of Brahma, the second the son of Mitravarun, the third the son of Agni. A total of twelve Vasishthas are mentioned in the Puranas. And the extent of their knowledge will not know how infinite will be in today’s era, someone will be able to get their knowledge
Who is Maha Rishi Vasishtha?
Maha Rishi Vasishtha was a famous sage of the Vedic period. Vashishta is a Saptarishi – one of the seven sages who came to know the truth together by God and who together saw the Vedas (It would be unfair to say that the Vedas are created because the Vedas are beginningless). His wife is Arundhati. He is the guru of Rama in the Yoga-vasistha. Rishi Vasishtha was also the royal guru of King Dasharatha.
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Vashishtha was the Manas son of Brahma. He was a sage with a trikal vision and a very knowledgeable person. Vishwamitra had killed 100 of his sons, yet he forgave Vishwamitra. The Surya dynasty kings did not do any religious work without their permission. At the end of Treta, they had gone to Brahma Loka. Vashistha is believed to be situated at one place in the row in the group of seven shining stars in the sky.
Rishi Vasishtha: Ishta Guru of Lord Ram
The description of the origin of Maha Rishi Vasishtha is available in many forms in the various stories of the Puranas. Somewhere he is the son of the mind of Brahma Ji, somewhere he has been called the son of Agriya, and somewhere the son of Mitravarun. Which scholars have also considered being right from the illusion.
Whatever it is, but all the scriptures, history, and Puranas testify to one thing that Vashistha was a trikaldarshi, and on the orders of his father, Brahma became the priest of the Suryavansha kings and was later worshiped with the lotus feet of Lord Shri Ram. The Suryavanshi kings used to run the kingdom on their orders.
Maha Rishi Vasishtha not one but many
In the context of the long-term presence of Maharishi Vashisht, there is also a view of the scholars of Puranic literature that after the name of the sage Vashistha, the son of Brahma, his descendants should also be called “Vashishta”. In this way, ‘Vashishta’ became not just a person but a post and there were many famous Vashisthas in different eras. Vashishta had two wives for the first time. One is the daughter of sage Kardam “Arundhati” and the other is “Urja” the daughter of Prajapati Daksha.
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In this regard, Adi Vashishta was the brother-in-law of Lord Shiva, who married another daughter of Daksha, Goddess Sati. After these proto Vashishtha, the second Ikshvakuchanshi took place during the period of King Trishanka, who was called Vashistha Devaraja. The third Kartavirya took place during the time of Sahasrabahu, who was called Vashishtha Apava. The fourth occurred during the time of King Bahu of Ayodhya, who was called Vashishtha Atharvanidhi (the first). There was the fifth king in the time of Saudas or Sudas (Kalmashapada), whose name was Vashishtha Shresthabhaja.
The sixth Vashishta took place during the time of King Dileep, who was called Vashishta Atharvanidhi (II). This was followed by the seventh during the time of Lord Rama, who was called Maharishi Vashistha, and the eighth during the period of Mahabharata, whose son was named “Shakti”. Apart from these, a total of 12 Vashishthas including Vashishtha Maitravarun, Vashishta Shakti, Vashishta Suvarchas are mentioned in the Puranas. The complete information of Vashishtha is found in Vayu, Brahmanda, and Linga Purana, while the names of Vashishtha clan sages and gotrakars are recorded in Matsya Purana.
Maha Rishi Vasishthas rivalry with Vishwamitra
It is not possible to understand a certain person from Vashishta, but there was certainly a historical Vashishta, who has a clear understanding from the hymn of the seventh mandala of Rigveda, in which he helped Sudas against the ten kings. Gone. One of the most important events in the life of these prodigal Vashistha is his rivalry with Maharishi Vishwamitra. The Rigveda does not give details of the conflict of these two sages, but the evidence of the enmity of Vashishtha’s son “Shakti” and Vishwamitra is found here.
Vishwamitra achieved special skill in speech and got “Shakti” killed by the servants of Sudas. A brief mention of this event is found in the Taittiriya Samhita. There is also a mention of the death of Vashishtha’s son and the victory of Vishwamitra over the Saudasas in the Pammavisha Brahmana. Many quotations of Vashistha as a sage of Vedic literature are found in the Sutras, Ramayana, and Mahabharata, in which the struggle of Rishi Vashishta and Vishwamitra is described.
According to the legends, when Vishwamitra was the king, once he had reached Vashishtha’s hermitage and Kamadhenu was pleased with the cow. Due to the greed of this cow, he fought with the sage Vashishta and Vishwamitra became an ascetic, considering Brahmabal to be more capable than the muscle. This struggle of the Vedic period turned into friendship in the Ramayana period. In the story of Rama, when Vishwamitra came to Dasharatha to ask Rama and Lakshmana for the protection of the sacrifice, Dasharatha had sent his sons with him at the behest of Vashistha.
Kulguru of Suryavanshi: Rishi Vasishtha
According to mythological references, sage Vashishtha accepted the priesthood of the Suryavanshi kings on the orders of Brahma. They did not agree to this earlier and considered the priesthood of kings to be a blasphemous act other than austerity. But on being told by Brahma that Shri Ram would incarnate later in this lineage, sage Vashistha accepted to become a priest.
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It is said that Ikshvaku attained the accomplishment of Sun God by doing rigorous penance for 100 nights and made his own separate kingdom and capital Ayodhyapuri by making sage Vashishtha a guru by his teachings. Since then sage Vashishta often started living there. Vashishta was the first teacher of Prajapita Brahma’s Yagya at Pushkar. Sage Vashishtha had performed many yagyas from Ikshvaku and Nimi and with the inspiration of these, Bhagirath was able to bring Ganga to earth.
The childless king Dilip had found a majestic son like Raghu only by the method of Goseva obtained from Vasistha, on whose name the Suryavansh later became famous as Raghuvansh. In the Adikavya Valmiki Ramayana, the famous story of Maharishi Vashistha is available in every Kand. Accordingly, he was the honorable Ritvija of King Dasharatha. Dasaratha performed the Putrayeshti Yagya with the inspiration of these.
The names of all the sons were also done by sage Vashistha. Ram, Bharat, Lakshmana, and Shatrughna had their initial education in their Gurukul itself. After breaking the bow of Ramdwara Shiva, King Dasharatha had left for Sakutumb Mithila only after getting his permission. At the end of the story, Rama performed the Ashwapeth Yagya on his advice.
The great message of Rishi Vasishtha
Goswami Tulsidas has presented a beautiful picture full of sentimentality of Maharishi Vashistha, a great ascetic, and wise-meditator, in Ayodhyakand of Shri Ramcharitmanas. Legend has it that when Rama went to the forest and Dasharatha died, then Bharat and Shatrughna, who went to the maternal uncle’s house on the orders of sage Vashishta, were called to Ayodhya. Bharat first performed the last rites of his father and then a sad heart came to the Rajya Sabha and sat in the midst of everyone.
“भरतु बसिष्ठ निकट बैठारे, नीति धर्ममय बचन उचारे’
According to that time, sage Vashishtha made Bharata seated near him and made him understand the policy and duty. But Bharata was not in a position to hear or understand anything, blaming himself for the grieving. He hugged the Maharishi and started crying. Then Vashishtha also got emotional and wept.
“सुनहु भरत भावी प्रबल कहेउ बिलखि मुनिनाथ,
लाभ हानि जीवनु मरनु जसु अपजसु बिधि हाथ।”
That is while consoling Bharata, Maharishi Vashishta himself cried and said, ‘Hey Bharata! The promise is very strong. Do not forget that in life these six things, profit, and loss, live and die and success and failure, are only in the hands of the Creator. Man has no control over them. As if on the pretext of Bharata, the sage Vashistha had given the eternal formula of life to mankind.
Maha Rishi Vasishtha in Mahabharata
In the Mahabharata, the sutras of Maharishi Vashishta are related in such a way that they are the primordial ancestors of Dhritarashtra and Pandu. Such that in this epic he is the father of “Shakti” and Parashara, the son of “Shakti”. Maharishi Vedavyasa is the son of Parashara, who is not only the author of Mahabharata but also the father of Dhritarashtra, Pandu, and Vidura.
The stories of sage Vashistha are everywhere in the epic. He has been described as one of the 21 Prajapatis and his ashram is in Badripachan. They communicate with Brahma and perform a Yagya in Kurukshetra for King Kuru, the originator of the Kuru dynasty. Bhishma had learned the knowledge of the Vedas from them and when he was in bed, he was also included in the sages standing around Bhishma. He was also one of the seven sages present at the time of Arjuna’s birth.
Yoga Vasistha is unique
Maha Rishi Vasishtha Samhita, Vashishta Kalpa, Vashishta Shiksha, Vashishta Tantra, Vashishta Purana, Vashishta Smriti, Vashishta Shradh Kalpa, etc. are important scriptures written by Vashishta and his progeny, but in all of them the text of Adhatita Vedanta, Yogavasistha is unique. In the folk, it is also known by the names of Arsha-Ramayana, Gyanvasishtha, Maharamayana, Vasistha-Gita and Vashistha Ramayana, etc. It contains a compilation of the teachings of Guru Vashistha to Shri Ram in his teen years. At one place the Guru has said that peace of mind is the only true ‘Moksha’ and there are only four doors to this salvation.
मोक्ष द्वारे द्वारपालश्षत्वार: परिकीर्तिता:।
शमो विचार: संतोषश्चतुर्थ: साधुसंगम:॥।”
meaning. Oh, Ram! There are only four gates/gatekeepers of liberation, Shama, Vichar, Santosh, and the company of saints. One should consume these four diligently. Control unnecessary desires, think positively and understand the immateriality of the world, accept what is attainable as God’s grace, be satisfied with it, and always do Satsang of good, virtuous, intelligent, and virtuous people.