(Last Updated on : 07/09/2015)
mentions that Rishis are great sages. The Rishis are seven in number and are same as Prajapatis. The word Rishi is derived from 'rish' which means to move and to see.
The word Rishi, in the Rig Veda
is said to be a sacred character who prayed to the gods. The Rishis were the authors of the hymns of the Rigveda.
The Vishnu Purana
affirms that there says there are three kinds of Rishis, or sages. They are the royal Rishis, or princes who have adopted a life of devotion, as Vishwamitra. Next is the divine Rishis, or sages who are demi-gods like Narada. The third type is the Brahman Rishis, or sages who are the sons of Brahma, or Brahmans, as Vasistha Manu.
Rishis in Mahabharata
are said to be Saptarishis. Saptarishis are the seven sages. The earliest list of the Seven Rishis is given by Jaiminiya Brahmana are Vasistha, Bharadvaja, Jamadagni, Gotama, Atri, Vishwamitra, and Agastya. In the Upanishads a different list is given, they are Gotama and Bharadvaja, Vishwamitra and Jamadagni, Vasistha and Kasyapa, and Atri.
The post-Vedic texts mention a different list of rishis. They are listed as the mind born sons of Lord Brahma
, the representation of the Supreme Being or the Creator. Other representations are Lord Shiva
as the Destroyer and Lord Vishnu
as the Preserver.
is ruled by a specific Manu or the great Rishi. Rishis and their sons are born anew in each new Manvantara.
The first Manvantara is the interval of Swayambhu Manu and the rishis who belonged to this are Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya, and Vasishtha.
The second Manvantara is the interval of Swarochisha Manu and the rishis of this Manvantara are Urja, Stambha, Prana, Dattoli, Rishabha, Nischara, and Arvarivat.
Third Manvantara is the interval of Auttami Manu and the sages in this age were the sons of Vashishtha; Kaukundihi, Kurundi, Dalaya, Sankha, Pravahita, Mita, and Sammita.
Next is the Fourth Manvantara which is the interval of Tamasa Manu and the list of Brahmans are Jyotirdhama, Prithu, Kavya, Chaitra, Agni, Vanaka, and Pivara.
Fifth Manvantara is the interval of Raivata Manu and the sages are Hirannyaroma, Vedasri, Urddhabahu, Vedabahu, Sudhaman, Parjanya, and Mahamuni.
Sixth Manvantara is the interval of Chakshusha Manu and the seven rishis of this era are Sumedhas, Virajas, Havishmat, Uttama, Madhu, Abhinaman, and Sahishnnu.
The present, seventh Manvantara is the interval of Vaivaswata Manu and the seven rishis are Kashyapa, Atri, Vasishtha, Vishwamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja.
In Hindu astronomy the seven stars of the Saptarshi Mandal or Ursa Major are named as according to the seven rishis. They are Kratu, Pulaha, Pulastya, Atri, Angira, Vasishtha and Bhrigu.