Bharadwaja

Birth and Adoption:

This highly accomplished sage was a foundling. The Marut Devatas found him by the Ganga, raised him and taught him about the Vedas. He was adopted by Bharata, the son of Sakuntala and Dushyanta. He performed a yajna so that his foster father Bharata would have another son (Bhumanyu) and handed that kingdom back to him. (Kamban, of Kamban Ramayana believed him to be a son of Atri – I have to see if this is confirmed by an older sanskrit text).

Passion for knowledge:

He had an unquenchable thirst for the knowledge of the Vedas and in addition to his studies, meditated on Indra for long life for more knowledge. He also meditated upon Siva and Parvathi for more Vedic knowledge. He kept wasting away and had to be rejuvenated many times. He was a disciple of Gauthama Maharshi as well as of Valmiki. He was a first hand witness to the incident of the Krauncha birds, where Valmiki uttered his first sloka. He was egoless. He spent a major part of his life spreading Vedic knowledge as per a command of Indra’s. As per the 6th Mandala of the Rg Veda, he was the son of Brhaspati.

Children and Descendants:

  1. He married Suseela and had a son called Garga.
  2. His son Dronacharya was born as a result of his attraction to an Apsara Ghrtaci. He trained Drona in use of weapons. Drona also learnt the use of weapons from Agnivesha, Parasurama’s student and from Parasurama himself. Drona then went on to teach the weaponry to the Kauravas and Pandavas. Drona has a son called Aswatthama who could wield weapons but not withdraw them as he had insufficient self control.
  3. Bharadwaja had a daughter called Devavarnini. She was given in marriage to Visravas and was the mother of Kubera. (Elsewhere I read that Kubera’s mother was Idvida a yakshini., I have to resolve this. See: Rakshasas).
  4. Yajnavalkya, the author of the Satapatha Brahmana was a descendant of Bharadwaja.
  5. The second wife of  Yajnavalkya Katyayani, was the daughter of Bharadwaja, and through her Yajnavalkya had three sons—Chandrakanta, Mahamegha and Vijaya. : Source

Contemporaries:

  1. Bharadwaja was a host to Dasaratha’s son Bharata when he was en route to meeting Sri Rama, to persuade him to return to Ayodhya. He used his powers to play host to the entire revenue and treat them to a great feast and entertainment, with Viswakarma‘s help.
  2. He advised Raja Divodasa not to turn his back on a battle field and to fight till he won.
  3. Bharadwaja taught the Agneya Astram to Agnivesha.
  4. Bharadwaja had a debate with Bhrgu about the caste system and he said that physiologically there was no difference between members of any caste.
  5. He performed the Putrakameshti yajnam for Divodasa, so that he could get a son.

Work:

  1. Bharadwaja’s Vedic mantras were placed in the sixth Mandala of the Rig Veda by Veda Vyasa
  2. Dharmasutra and Srautasutra were written by Bharadwaja. The manuscript of the latter was in Pandu script and is available with the Visvavidyalaya of Bombay(Mumbai).
  3. He was a grammarian. As per the Rktantra, pratisakhya of the samaveda, Brahma taught grammar to Brhaspati who taught it to Indra, who in turn taught it to Bharadwaja. Panini, Rkpratisakhya and Taittiriya have quoted and discussed Bharadwaja on grammar.
  4. Kautilya (Chanakya) has quoted Bharadwaja on politics in his treatise Kautilya Arthasastra.
  5. Dhvanta Pramapaka Yantra : Spectromer of Bharadwaja Maharshi.
  6. http://is1.mum.edu/vedicreserve/shiksha/bharadvaja.shiksha.pdf
  7. http://is1.mum.edu/vedicreserve/rk_veda/rk_ved_m6.pdf

Quotes:

Chanakya quotes Bharadwaja in the Kautilya Arthasastra

“THE King,” says Bháradvája, “shall employ his classmates as his ministers; for they can be trusted by him inasmuch as he has personal knowledge of their honesty and capacity.”..

“Hence,” says Bháradvája, “the king shall singly deliberate over secret matters; for ministers have their own ministers, and these latter some of their own; this kind of successive line of ministers tends to the disclosure of counsels…

“For,” says Bháradvája, “princes like crabs have a notorious tendency of eating up their begetter. When they are wanting in filial affection, they shall better be punished in secret (upámsudandah).”..

…”Not so,” says Bháradvája, “the king lying on his death-bed, the minister may set up the princes and other chiefs of the royal family against one another or against other chiefs. Whoever attacks the kingdom may be put to death under the plea of disturbance and annoyance to the people; or having secretly punished the chief rebels of the royal family and brought them under his control, the minister shall himself take possession of the kingdom, for on account of the kingdom the father hates his sons, and sons their father; why then should the minister who is the sole prop of the kingdom (be an exception to it)? There- fore he shall never discard what has, of its own accord, fallen into his hands; for it is a general talk among the people that a woman making love of her own accord will, when discarded, curse the man.

“An opportunity will only once offer itself to a man who is waiting for it, and will not come a second time when he may be desirous of accomplishing his work.”

Authorship and Copyright Notice: All Rights Reserved: Satya Sarada Kandula

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