The country,India is the land of Rishis and Sages.The country is so highly influenced by the rich and
enlightening knowledge of the Rishis and their teachings that even as on today the people follow their precious advise and succeed in leading a life of piety, virtue and righteousness.This Vrat is especially for the women,however,there is no distinction between men and women in the eyes of the Rishis. Everything for them is the manifestation of their own infinite Self.This festival is meant for all those who are ignorant of their ownself.
The panchami is the fifth day,the next day after Chaturthi day.So Rishi Panchami falls on the next day to Ganesh Chaturthi.This is a day of ‘Vrata’ ie a fast.The tradition of observing this Vrata,is to express respect,gratitude and remembrance of the great deeds of those ancient Rishis, who devoted their life for the welfare of the society.However, the real worship of the Rishis and Munis lies in obeying and complying with their commandments.
The four vedas which is the rich tradition of Hindu culture are- Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharva veda.They were written by the rishis and the work was in progress for almost 500 years.
For that one can remember the Rishis like – Atri,Kashyap, Bharadwaj, Gautam.Vishwamitra,Janadagni and Vashishtha.Near the North Pole there are seven ‘Nakshatras’, which are popularly known as ‘Saptarshi’. They are called so, purposely to remember permanently the names of the Rishis.
This fast is to be observed by women.It is beleived that any ill deeds which the women might have committed and the mistakes done, can be pardoned by doing this Vrata.Any woman who has violated the rules ordained by the scriptures in regards to the days of menstruation or unknowingly had darshan of a Rishi during menstrual periods, thereby committing an act of sacrilege, should observe this fast for washing away of that sin, thus seeking forgiveness.
RitualsOn Rishi Panchami,a ritual bath is taken in holy rivers,ponds or in other water masses.Hands and mouth is washed 108 times. Lord Ganesh, Navagraha( nine planetary Gods), Saptarshis (seven Sages) and Arundathi are worshipped.Women offer the ‘Prasad’ to Gods and wash husbands’ feet.
Then,women again perform sacred bath and rub the special red mud for several times on different parts of the body.They sprinkle water over head and brush the teeth for 360 times with Dantiwan, a sacred plan.By taking one more ritual bath in sacred water,devotees feel blessed that their all sins are cleansed away.
The women perform the pooja in the month of Shravan and garland the Goddess,made up of Aghoda and Durva leaves.In some places the face of the Goddess is placed on the bunch of Aghada leaves.
Nowdays this Vrata is not seen being observed,but in the olden time, the women used to visit river or pond in the afternoon,by taking cow dung with them, clean their teeth with medicinal herbal stick(like Aghada plant).‘Aghada’ is one such plant, which has many medicinal uses.
This is grown in the months of Ashadha and Shravan months.In Bhadrapada it becomes full-fledged and its medicinal instincts are prominently noticed in the same month.Then cold-water bath was taken and later, the idol of Saptarshi on small wooden platform in the form of seven bettle nuts was placed and pooja was performed.
The devotee used to eat only those fruits,which grow below the ground and avoided the food,prepared from the grains grown from the toiling of bullocks.
The Jains regard this,as a very important day.In Jains the followers of Shwetambar cult,end their Parjushan Maha Parva on this day and the others following Digambar cult, start their Maha Parva from this day.
‘Hrishabhadeva’ was the first and the most sacred Teerthankar as per the Jains,who is also known as Aadinath. ‘Rishi Panchami’ day is observed in the name of Aadinath.The Hindus and the Jains have the same feeling and motive behind observing this Vrat of Rishi Panchami.
LegendRushi Panchami Vratha katha is mentioned in several scriptures as a conversation between Lord Brahma and the king Sitasale.King Sitasale asked Lord Brahma,about a fast or Vrata which would provide him a quick result.Lord Brahma told him the importance and the significance of Rishi Panchami vrat.
Lord Brahma narrated the legend of a generous Brahmin called Uttank,who lived with his wife Sushila in Vidharba.Wife Sushila was very much dedicated to her husband.The devoted couple had a son and a daughter.Their daughter got married to a young man but he died shortly after the marriage.Later,the parents constructed a cottage on the bank of the holy river Ganga and lived in it with the widow daughter.
One day while sleeping in the cottage,the daughter’s body was seen covered with the ants.The parents were frightened and soon called the Brahmins.The Brahmins performed perticular rituals and confirmed tha, in her previous birth,she had entered into the kitchen on the day of menstruation.
The Brahmins told them about the significance and puja procedure of Rushi Panchami Rajaswala Vrat and asked them to perform the vrata to get rid of the bad effects of the daughters mistake in her previous birth.Uttank and Sushila made their daughter to perform Rishi Panchami puja and freed her from the rajasvala dosha of her previous birth.
The Saptarishi (from saptarṣi, a Sanskrit dvigu meaning “seven sages”) are the seven rishis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and Hindu literature. The Vedic Samhitas never enumerate these rishis by name, though later Vedic texts such as the Brahmanas and Upanisads do so. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion.
The earliest list of the Seven Rishis is given by Jaiminiya Brahmana 2.218-221: Vashista, Bharadvaja, Jamadagni, Gautama, Atri, Visvamitra, and Agastya, followed by Brihadaranyaka Upanisad 2.2.6 with a slightly different list: Gautama and Bharadvāja, Viśvāmitra and Jamadagni, Vashiṣṭha and Kaśyapa, and Atri, Brighu. The late Gopatha Brāhmana 1.2.8 has Vashiṣṭa, Viśvāmitra, Jamadagni, Gautama, Bharadvāja, Gungu,Agastya, Bhrighu and Kaśyapa.
In post-Vedic texts, different lists appear; some of these rishis were recognized as the ‘mind born sons’ (Sanskrit: manasa putra) of Brahma, the representation of the Supreme Being as Creator. Other representations are Mahesha or Shiva as the Destroyer and Vishnu as the Preserver. Since these seven rishis were also among the primary eight rishis, who were considered to be the ancestors of the Gotras of Brahmins, the birth of these rishis was mythicized.
In some parts of India, people believe these are seven stars of the Big Dipper named “Vashista“, “Marichi“, “Pulastya“, “Pulaha“, “Atri“, “Angiras” and “Kratu”. There is another star slightly visible within it, known as “Arundhati“. Arundhati is the wife of vasistha.The seven Rishis in the next Manvantara will be Díptimat, Gálava, Parasurama, Kripa, Drauńi or Ashwatthama, Vyasa and Rishyasringa.
- 1 Present Sapta Rishis
- 2 Names of the Sapta Rishis
- 2.1 Second Manvantara — the interval of Swarochisha Manu
- 2.2 Third Manvantara — the interval of Auttami Manu
- 2.3 Fourth Manvantara — the interval of Támasa Manu
- 2.4 Fifth Manvantara — the interval of Raivata Manu
- 2.5 Sixth Manvantara – the interval of Chakshusha Manu
- 2.6 The present, seventh Manvantara — the interval of Vaivasvata Manu
- 2.7 Future Manvantaras
- 3 Saptarishis given in major Hindu texts
- 4 Sapatrishi in Sikhism
- 5 Sapatrishi in Jainism
- 6 See also
- 7 References
Present Sapta Rishis
Sapta Rishis are the Hierarchy working under the guidance of the Highest Creative Intelligence, Parmatma. The present batch of the Sapta Rishis is Bhrigu, Atri, Angirasa Vashista, Pulastya, Pulalaha and Kratu. They bring down to the earth the required Knowledge and Energies to strengthen the processes of Transition (Pralaya). They are naturally the most evolved Light Beings in the Creation and the guardians of the Divine Laws.
Names of the Sapta Rishis
In post-Vedic religion, Manvantara is the astronomical time within an aeon or Kalpa, a “day (day only) of Brahma“, like the present Śveta Vārāha Kalpa, where again 14 Manvantaras add up to create one Kalpa.
Each Manvantara is ruled by a specific Manu, apart from that all the deities, including Vishnu and Indra; Rishis and their sons are born anew in each new Manvantara, the Vishnu Purana mentions up to seventh Manvantara.
Second Manvantara — the interval of Swarochisha Manu
Urja, Stambha, Prańa, nanda , Rishabha, Nischara, and Arvarívat.
Third Manvantara — the interval of Auttami Manu
Sons of Vashista: Kaukundihi, Kurundi, Dalaya, Śankha, Praváhita], Mita (sage)|Mita, and Sammita.
Fourth Manvantara — the interval of Támasa Manu
Jyotirdhama, Prithu, Kavya, Chaitra, Agni, Vanaka, and Pivara.
Fifth Manvantara — the interval of Raivata Manu
Hirannyaroma, Vedasrí, Urddhabahu, Vedabahu, Sudhaman, Parjanya, and Mahámuni.
Sixth Manvantara – the interval of Chakshusha Manu
Sumedhas, Virajas, Havishmat, Uttama, Madhu, Abhináman, and Sahishnnu.
The present, seventh Manvantara — the interval of Vaivasvata Manu
The names of the current Saptarshis are: Kashyapa, Atri, Vashista, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja. The Saptarishis keep changing for every Yuga. As per Hindu Shastras, there are four yugas: Krita Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga. We are at present in the Kali yuga, which will last for 432,000 years [we are in 5106 year now in 2015]; Dvapara Yuga is twice Kali Yuga, Treta Yuga is thrice Kali yuga and Krita Yuga is four times Kali yuga. Over all, 4,320,000 years termed as 1 Chaturyuga. 1000 Chaturyugas make the day of 12 hours for Brahma (Creator) and during another 12 hours, Brahma takes rest and there is no creation during this period. Thus 1 day for Brahma constitutes 1000 Chaturyugas (= 4,320,000,000 years). Thus 1 year constitutes 360 x 4,320,000,000 = 1,555,200,000,000 years; lifespan of Brahma is 100 years = 100 x 1,555,200,000,000 = 155,520,000,000,000 years
Vashista is accompanied by his wife the faint companion star Arundhati (Alcor/80 Ursa Majoris). The valid avatar’s clan will be named after Ashvamedh.
Sávarńi shall be the 8th Manu and this Manvantaras is called Savarni Manvantara.The seven Rishis in the eighth Manvantara will be Díptimat, Gálava, Parasurama, Kripa, Drauńi or Ashwatthama, Vyasa and Rishyasringa.
The ninth Manu will be Daksha-sávarńi and it is called Daksha-sávarńi Manvantara.Savana, Dyutimat, Bhavya, Vasu, Medhatithi, Jyotishmán, and Satya will be the seven Rishis.
In the tenth Manwantara the Manu will be Brahmá-sávarńi and it is called Brahmá-sávarńi Manvantara .The seven Rishis will be Havishmán, Sukriti, Satya, Apámmúrtti, Nábhága, Apratimaujas, and Satyaketu.
In the eleventh Manwantara the Manu will be Dharma-sávarńi and is called Dharma-sávarńi Manvantara .The seven Rishis will be Niśchara, Agnitejas, Vapushmán, Vishńu, Áruni, Havishmán, and Anagha.
In the twelfth Manwantara the son of Rudra, Sávarńi, will be the Manu and is called Rudra-Sávarńi Manvantara .Tapaswí, Sutapas, Tapomúrtti, Taporati, Tapodhriti, Tapodyuti, and Tapodhana will be the seven Rishis.
In the thirteenth Manwantara the Manu will be Rauchya and is called Rauchya Manvantara .The seven Rishis will be Nirmoha, Tatwadersín, Nishprakampa, Nirutsuka, Dhritimat, Avyaya, and Sutapas.
In the fourteenth Manwantara, Bhautya will be the Manu and is called Bhautya Manvantara.The seven Rishis will be Agnibáhu, Śuchi, Śukra, Magadhá, Gridhra, Yukta, and Ajita.
At the end of every four ages there is a disappearance of the Vedas, and it is the province of the seven Rishis to come down upon earth from heaven to give them currency again.
Saptarishis given in major Hindu texts
1. The Shatapatha Brahmana and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.2.4) acknowledge the names of seven rishis (or Saptarshis) as:
2. Krishna Yajurveda in the Sandhya-Vandana Mantras has it as:
3. Mahabharata gives the Seven Rishis’ names:
4. Brihat Samhita gives the Seven Rishis’ names as:
The reason for the differences in the mentioned list is that there are seven Rishis who govern the functioning of the Cosmos in batches and all the above-mentioned Rishis have had the post of a ‘Saptarishi’ at some point. These Rishis had different names in different places. Saptarishis are seven Rishis and nobody else is given the title of the saptarishis. Hence, clearly they have different names. But, many rishis were known as maharishis (great sages.)
Sapatrishi in Sikhism
Sapatrishi in Jainism
In Jainism theory it is stated that, “Once at Mathura situated in Uttar Pradesh Seven Riddhidhari Digamber saints having ‘Aakaashgamini Vidhya’ came during rainy season for chaturmaas whose names were 1.) Surmanyu, 2.) Shrimanyu, 3.) Shrinichay, 4.) Sarvasundar, 5.) Jayvaan, 6.) Vinaylaalas and 7.) Jaymitra. They all were sons of King Shri Nandan of Prabhapurnagar and queen Dharini. Shri Nandan king took diksha becoming shishya of Omniscient Pritinkar Muniraaj and attained salvation. Because of great tapcharan of these seven digamber munis the ‘Mahamaari’ disease stopped its evil effect and they all gained the name as ‘Saptrishi’. Many idols of these seven munis were made after that event by ‘King Shatrughan’ in all four directions of city.”
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