Lineage :

Vasishtha was a son of Brahma himself. A manasaputra, which could mean, that he was born from Brahma’s mind, or that Brahma considered him his son. He was a Brahmarishi or a Rishi of the Brahmins, or a great Rishi. In contrast, Narada who is also a son of Brahma is called a Deva Rishi or the Rishi of the Devas.

Descendants :

Sakthi (son), Parasara (grandson), Veda Vyasa (great-grandson) then Suka, Pandu and Dhritarashtra (great-great-grandsons), and the Kauravas and Yuyutsu (great-great-great-grandsons). There is a tribe in Andhra called Arundhatiyas (38,445 population 2001 census) even today, who may be related to Vasishta’s wife Arundhati. Arundhati was a grand-daughter of Swayambhu Manu who was practically a clone of Brahma himself. Arundhati was a lot younger than Vasishtha.

Work :

Vasishtha not only composed the 7th Mandala of the Rig Veda, he also authored Yoga Vasishtha and Vasishtha Samhita. (I have heard some versions that Valmiki wrote Yoga Vasishtham).

Present at the Ksheera Sagara Mathanam :

Once, before the flood of the Matsya Avatar, the Devas and Asuraschurned the ocean for Amrutam, at a place called AntarVedi where the Godavari joins the Bay of Bengal. Before they got the Amrutam, they also got the Kamadhenu and Kalpavrksham besides other things. Indra, the king of the devas kept the Kamadhenu and Kalpavrksham.

Rescued by Matsya Avatar of Vishnu along with Satyavrata Manu :
  • Satyavrata Manu was a Dravidian Emperor who was the father of Ila and Ikshwaku.
  • Satyavrata manu saved Vasishtha in the boat (Matsya Puranam) and, Vasistha continued on as the priest and teacher of the Ikshwakus.
  • The descendants of Ila are known as Ailas. As he was the son of Surya Deva, Satyavrata Manu was also called Vaiwaswatha Manu (the son of Viwaswan – a name of Surya).
  • Vishnu as Matsya swam up the Ganga and to the Himalayas dragging the boat with him. Once the floods subsided, Manu, Vasishtha and the other 6 rishis came down to the Gangetic Plain, where Ayodhya was established. The saptarishis who travelled on the boat with Satyavrata manu must have been Kashyapa, Atri, Vasishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, and Bharadvaja.
Locations :
Contemporaries :
  • At the suggestion of Vaśisht́ha, Vaivaswatha bestowed upon his child Ila (Sudyumna) the city Pratisht́hána which he gave to Purúravas. (Vishnu Purana book 4 chap 1.) (Pratishthana is also the capital of the Satavahanas. It has been indentified as the region to the east of the Ganga-Yamuna Sangama at Prayaga (Allahabad, Kasi, Varanasi, Gaya))
  • While at Ayodhya, Vasishtha not only taught Sri Rama, but was an advisor to his father, Dasaratha as well.
  • Vasishtha was a contemporary of King Nimi (Janaka’s (Sita Devi’s father) Poorvaja (previous born)) and Gautama Maharshi.
  • King Nimi first requested Vasishtha to perform a yajnam for him at a time when he had previously committed to Indra. Then Nimi took Gautama’s help instead. This angered Vasishtha, so  he cursed Nimi and recieved a counter curse.

Clash with Viswamitra :

Vasishtha had a wonderful cow called Nandini, who was the daughter of Kamadhenu, the magical cow of the devas. Both the cows could grant wishes.  A king called Viswamitra fought with Vasishta for it and lost. Viswamitra was no match for Vasishtha’s spiritual power and Nandini’s magic. Then Viswamitra did a lot of penance to become a brahmarishi like Vasishtha.

Astronomical Meaning:

Vasishta is one of the stars of the Sapta Rishi Mandala and his wife, Arundhati is very close to him. New brides are asked to view Arundhati Nakshatram, so that they will feel inspired to be pativratas devoted to their husbands.

Authorship and Copyright Notice: All rights reserved – Satya Sarada Kandula.