18th SEPTEMBER 2015 ARUNDHATI – WIFE OF VASISHTA RISHI

Arundhati (Hinduism)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arundhati
Ramabhadracharya Works - Painting in Arundhati (1994).jpg

Vashista and Arundhati performing a Yajna, with Kamadhenu, in their Ashram. Art from the back cover of the Hindi epic Arundhati (1994).

Arundhati (Sanskrit: अरुन्धती, IAST: Arundhatī) is the wife of the sage Vashistha, one of the seven sages (Saptarshi) who are identified with the Ursa Major. She is identified with the morning star and also with the starAlcor which forms a double star with Mizar (identified as Vashista Maharshi) in Ursa Major. Arundhati, though the wife of one of the seven seers, is accorded the same status as the seven seers and is worshipped with them as such.[1] In the Vedic and Puranic literature, she is regarded as the epitome of chastity, conjugal bliss and wifely devotion.[1][2] In post-Puranic epic poems in Sanskrit and Hindi, she has been described as “chaste and revered” and with a character that is “unblemished, inspiring and worthy of imitation”.[3][4] In the Hindu culture, there are several beliefs, practices and traditions centred on Arundhati including a ritual in the marriage ceremony after the Saptapadi, a fast, a belief about imminent death, and a maxim.

In Hindu scriptures[edit]

Arundhati’s birth and life are mentioned in various Hindu scriptures. The birth of Arundhati is found in the Shiva Purana and Bhagavata Purana. The instruction by Brahma to Arundhati is described in the Uttara Kanda of the Ramcharitmanas. The rivalry between Vishvamitra and Vashista which leads to the death of her hundred sons is described in the Balakanda of Valmiki‘s Ramayana. The Mahabharata and several Brahmana works describe her sons, including Shakti, and grandson Parashara. Arundhati’s meetings with Sita and Rama are mentioned in the Ramayana, Ramcharitmanas and Vinaya Patrika.[3] Her role in pleading Shiva to marry Parvatiis described in the sixth canto of Kumarasambhava of Kalidasa.[4]

Life[edit]

As per the Bhagavata Purana, Arundhati is the eighth among the nine daughters of Kardama and Devahuti. She is the grandmother of Parashara and the great-grandmother of Vyasa.[3] The Shiva Purana describes her as being Sandhya, the mind-born daughter of Brahma, in a previous birth. On instruction of Vashista, Sandhya pleased Shiva by penance in order to purify herself from passion, and Shiva asked her to jump into Medhatithi’s fire. She was then born as Medhatithi’s daughter and married Vashista. Some otherPuranas describe her as the daughter of Kashyapa and sister of Narada and Parvata, and she was offered in marriage to Vashista by Narada.[2]

The Mahabharata describes Arundhati as an ascetic who used to give discourses to even the seven sages. The wife of Agni, Svaha, could therefore assume the form of the wives of the other six seers amongst Saptarshi but not that of Arundhati. The epic also narrates how once she pleased Shiva when it did not rain for 12 years and the seven seers were suffering without roots and fruits. Her chastity and service to husband is mentioned as unparalleled in the Mahabharata.[2]

As per the Valmiki Ramayana, she bore a hundred sons, who were all cursed to die by Vishvamitra. She then bore a son named Shakti and later another one named Suyagya, who studied with Rama at Vashista’s hermitage.[3] Some sources say she had eight sons including Shakti and Chitraketu.[2]

In marriage ritual[edit]

In traditional Indian astronomy, pair of Alcor and Mizar in constellation Ursa Major is known as Vashista and Arundhati

In one of the rituals of a Hindu marriage, the groom shows the bride the double stars of Vashista and Arundhati as an ideal couple, symbolic of marital fulfilment and loyalty. The couples are asked to look up the constellation symbolizing conjugal love and affection.[2] [5] On the second bright day of the lunar month of Chaitra, a fast in her honour is observed in certain regions of India by ladies whose husbands are alive. This fast is observed with the belief that the ladies observing it would not be widowed.[6]

Since the Arundhati star is faintly visible, there is a belief that when someone is near death, they can not see the Arundhati star.[1] Due to its faintness, the Arundhati used to be shown in steps, first showing the brighter stars, and then relative to that the faint Arundhati star is directed. The maxim in Sanskrit called the Arundhutīdarśananyāyaḥ (IAST: अरुन्धतीदर्शनन्यायः), used in the meaning of inferring the unknown from that which is known, is named after Arundhati.[7]

In literature[edit]

The life of Arundhati is described in the eponymous Hindi epic poem Arundhati composed by Jagadguru Rambhadracharya in 1994.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c Apte 2000, p. 51.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Garg 1992, pp. 647-648
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Rambhadracharya 1994, pp. iii—vi.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b Kale, pp. 197-199
  5. Jump up^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 70.
  6. Jump up^ Garg 1992, p. 649
  7. Jump up^ Apte 2000, p. 305.

References[edit]

Maharshi Vasishtha

Brahmarishi Vashishtha : Lord Brahma creates Rishi Vasistha from his thought with an intention to provide everyone with a path through which sorrow can be entirely eliminated.1 As soon as Vasistha, endowed with a kamandal 2 and a rudraksha necklace, is born from Brahma,s inexpressible maya just like a wave is created from a wave, Brahma curses his son with momentary ajnana (ignorance) so that he can experience what sorrow in worldly beings is like and ask Brahma for its remedy out of curiosity. Unsurprisingly, Vasistha inquires how he got entrapped in a sorrowful world and how he could get himself released from it. Lord Brahma responds to Vasistha’s inquiry through lectures on spiritual knowledge, and Vasistha again becomes a knower of the Self. He is then instructed to transfer this knowledge about advaita to individual souls on earth.

vasishtha.jpg
Brahmarshi Vasishtha
vashishtamandirmanali.jpg
Vashishtha Temple Near Manali

Vasistha Temple Manali Vashisht is a small peaceful town on the other side of the river from Manali (3km). Many foreign travelers stay here, some, for long periods. There are a few interesting small temples here and some hot springs for bathing. Vasistha is a nice, interesting place to visit.
Hot Springs
Vashisht is famous for its hot sulfur springs. Inside the grounds of the Vasistha Temple there are two hot spring pools that are free. They can get a bit dirty.
There are also clean hot springs at the Hot Bath Complex about a ten-minute walk from the downtown, going towards Manali. There are private baths here for Rs 35 a person for 30 minutes. The springs are supposed to have good health benefits, and they certainly feel good. Open 7 am to 1 pm and 2 to 9 pm.

vashisthaabu.jpg
Vashisisha Idol at Vashishtha Ashram Mount Abu

The History of Vasishtha Ashram Mount Abu Shri Vashistha Ashram is situated at a distance of about six kilometers from the Bus stand at Mount Abu.The holy river Sarswati Ganga has been flowing here since the ancient days of Viswamitra and Vashistha,the two great Rishis of India.As legend has it, once, when two sages were engaged in a metaphysical debate, the holy Sarswati chose to support Vashistha. This enraged Vishwamitra who cursed the river by saying “your flow shall always be bloody and unholy”.And so it happened. The dejected Saraswati went to all gods and goddesses but no one would help her. Finally she approached Vashistha and prayed,”O Rishi ! I have attained this state, because I had sided you. So please help me and restore my purity.”Whereupon Vashistha replied, O Goddess ! Touch my feet and flow near my ashram and you shall be purified.” From that time, the river Saraswati has been flowing endlessly at this Ashram. A faithful king installed the ‘Gau Mukh’ near this flow and built a small pool. One who bathes here and performs the Gaudan Pooja invokes the blessing of gaulok. THE LEGEND OF VASHISTHA ASHRAM In the days when Vashistha used to meditate here, there were no mountains. The land was plain. It was only later on that the mountains were brought here The legend goes like this.Six kilometers away from Vashisth Ashram is situated Gautam Ashram where a great Rishi named Uttang used to study the scriptures. After completing Uttang went to Gautam Rishi, to take leave of him, and to ask him, what he should give as Gurudakshina. The sage Gautam sent Uttang to his wife to ask her for the gurudakshina.

sgvasistatemple.jpg
Shrirang Vashta in Vashishtha Temple Manali

Vashistha and Rama Temples
Vashistha was the spiritual master of Lord Rama and is said to have done austerities here. The place where his ashram is said to have been is called Tat Baba and is about a ten-minute walk away from the Vashistha Temple. There is one story in which Vashistha tied himself with ropes and flung himself into the river near Manali after the Rakshasa Kalmashped killed his 100 sons. The river is said to have released the Rishi from his bonds. The river got the name Vipasha, ;liberator from bondage, ; after this event.

There is an old Sita-Rama Temple next to the Vashistha Temple.

vasistaasramguwahati.jpg
Vasishtha Ashram Guwahati Assam

Vasisth Asrama Cuwahati Assam :The Vasisthasram or the temple Vasistha is located to the south of the Guwahati city at a distance about 12 K.M.

This temple is situated at the foot of the Sandhyachal hill. This place is supposed to be the ancient hermitage of sage Vasistha. The temple is in very idyllic environment which fascinated every devotes. Three rippling streams known to be Sandhya, Lalita and Kanta and a bewildering variety of birds cast a sonorous spell all around and provide the citizen an ideal picnic spot. As a religious region this Asrama has been acquired prominent place in India. Because in the plain area of Himalayan region this is the only asrama supposed to be of sage Vasistha. Again this asrama is also an auspicious yogasrama. This asrama has found mention in epic Mahabharat(in Banparba) and in early Assamese literature like Kalika Purana and also in Buddhist Tantras – the Brahma Yamala and the Rudra Yamala

sapt_mart.jpg
Saprshi Tarka Samooh ( Ursa Major Constellation )

Saptarshi ; the seven Rishis These are Kratu(Dubhe),Pulaha (Merack), Pulastya (Phecda), Atri (Megrez),Angiras(Alioth),Vasishha(Mizar)and Mariichi(Alkaid) Saprshi(Ursa Major )Group of stars in the southern hemisphere.
Arundhati( Alcor )a small star ( Arundhati is the wife of the sage Vasishtha )close to Vasishishta (Mazar) in the Great bear or Saptarshi mandal.

Chastest Woman Arundhati in Literature!

Arundhati_(1994)

Painting of Arundhati from Wikipedia

Research Article Written by London swaminathan
Post No.1130; Dated 25 June 2014.

N.B. If you want to reproduce this article, please email me for permission. You must get written permission from me for each and every article separately. swami_48@yahoo.com

Dravidian Tamil politicians and foreign “scholars” have been fooling the academic world for long with their Racist Aryan Dravidian Theory. But those who read the 27,000 lines in 2389 Sangam Tamil poems composed by 461 poets, 2000 years ago, will be wonderstruck when they know that the same culture, beliefs, customs, history were shared by the people of India from the Northernmost Himalayas to the Southernmost Kanyakumari. There are hundreds and hundreds of examples in the Sangam corpus.

Though Tamils have a beautiful story around the chaste woman Kannaki, they never used her name anywhere in the 27000 + lines. Only Arundhati, wife of the great Rishi (sage) Vasistha was used throughout Tamil literature- both Sangam and Post Sangam periods. In Sanskrit scriptures Arundhati’s name is synonymous with chastity. It is found in all the works. But not many people know that she was praised by many Tamil poets of the Sangam Age.

arnhati2

Who is Arundhati?
Arundhati is the wife of sage Vasistha, one of the seven celebrated sages. They are known as Sapta Rishis. She was distinguished for her chastity. She was the daughter of Kardama Rishi.

Chaste women are compared to Arundhati. The Bodhayana Grhyasutra rules that a married couple should see the star Arundhati and the pole star on the first day of their marriage.

Legend has it each of the primeval sages had his own wife. Of these the wives of six sages excluding that of Vasistha fell in love with Agni and gave their breast milk to Subramanya . These six became KRITHIKA NAKSHATRAS (PLEIADES );

But Arundhati stood firm in her chastity and attained an honourable place as an auspicious star fit to be seen by chaste and pure women so that they might ever lead holy lives (Mahabharata Vanaparva ,chapter 226-230)

There is another story about Arundhati in the scriptures. She was born as a low caste woman as Akshamala (Manu Smriti 9-23) and elevated to wife of a great sage. Great Tamil poet introduces Vasistha as the husband of Arundhati. Such was her elevated status in Tamil! Kamban says the “husband of Arundhati “ (Vasistha) left for Mithila to take part in the wedding of Rama with Sita in a pearl Palanquin surrounded by 2000 Brahmins.

star arndhati

Tamil Weddings
Main part of Tamil wedding is “Standing on the grinder stone and looking at the Arundhati Star” (Ammi mithiththal and Arundhati Kaattal in Tamil). Every couple must look at the Arundhati Star before entering the bed room for their First Night. Nowadays they do it symbolically even in the day time!!

For those who do not know the ancient Hindu astronomy some tips:
Ancient Hindus including illiterates were well versed with all the essential herbs, hymns and 27+ stars in the sky. In addition to the 27 stars in the region of 12 zodiacal signs, they were familiar with all the planets and the stars like Druva (Pole Star), Sapta Rishi Mandala ( Ursa Major or Great Bear or Big Dipper or Wagon constellation), Abhijit (Vega) stars in the north and Agastya (Canopus) and Tri Sanku (Southern Cross) stars in the south.

If you at sky in the northern direction, you will see seven stars like a flying kite.
Of the seven stars, the last but one (in the tail of the kite) is Vashista Nakshatra. It is a double star system – one revolving the other! The ingenious Hindus named them Vashista and Arundhati. Alcor is the name given for Arundhati and Mizar is the name given to Vasishta in the astronomy books. Alcor is used to test the visual acuity.
alcor_mizar

Ancient Tamils worshipped the Seven Stars representing Seven Rishis: Atri, Brhu, Kutsa, Vashista, Gautama, Kashyapa and Angirasa.
Ref.Natrinai – 231-2 (worshipful Seven Stars)

They believed worshipping chaste woman will wash away their sins:
Paripatal: 20-68 (sinthikkat thirum piniyaat sererka)

Following are the references to Arundhati
Pathitrupathu : 31-27/28; 89—17/19
Ainkuru nuru 442-4
Purananauru: 122
Perumpanatrupatai:- Lines 302/303
Kalitokai:- 2-21
In all these places either a queen or a heroine is praised as chaste as Arundhati or Arundhati herself is praised.
Post Sangam Works: —Thirikadukam 1-1
Tamil epic Silappadikaram 1-27; 1-63 (Here heroine Kannaki is praised as a chaste woman like Arundhati.)

When poets use one as a simile that must be superior to the person or thing compared and that must be known to everyone. The Tamil examples show that Arundhati was a household name in Tamil Nadu. All these references explode the myth of Aryans invading or infiltrating into India. There was only one culture 3000 years ago and that was Hindu culture. The beauty is there is an uninterrupted respect for Arundhati until today!
LEO_1.TIF

Arundhati-Nyaya
Sanskrit Language has got several techniques for teaching different subjects. When they teach philosophy they, use Arundhati Nyaya.

To show to a person the star Arundhati in the sky, one points out at first to a big star in the north and says that that big star is Arundhati. The person is first led to a big star that is clearly seen. Then after rejecting that star the real star is shown. The person is guided step by step towards the goal. Even so, a spiritual aspirant is led gradually to the Supreme Truth which is formless and impersonal.

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    Ursa Major (Great Bear) constellation.There can be few people Who can not recognize the Plough .the seven main stars make up an unmistakable pattern.Only five of them are common motion in space.Dubhe and Alkaid are moving through a space in the apposite direction.Out of seven six are hot and white but Dubhe is orange.The most celebrated star in the great bear is Mazar with its naked-eye companion Alcor.

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