Did you know that there were seven mind-born sons of Brahma who live for a period of time known as a manvantara .i.e. 306,720,000 earth years? Yes, they are the Saptarishis or the seven sages. Even though these are not immortals, it won’t be wrong to call these as immortals because the Saptarishis live a lifespan beyond one’s imagination.
Scriptures state that the seven sages are Agastya, Atri, Bhardwaja, Gautam, Jamadagni, Vashistha and Vishvamitra. Today, let us know the seven sages and their immense contributions towards Hinduism and mankind in the field of science and scriptures.
You might have heard about Atri Mandala in the Rig Veda. The fifth Mandala (Book 5) of the Rigveda is called after Rishi Atri because of his immense contribution towards Hinduism. Atri is known for composing enormous amount of hymns to several Hindu deities including Lord Agni and Indra. Not just in Rigveda but he finds mention even in Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The statement “One should behave like his own self, towards others, his own relations and friends, him who envies him, and even his enemy. This is called Daya” mentioned in Atri Samhita is true even today.
Rishi Bharadwaja (also known as Bharadvaja or Bharadvaja Bṛhaspatya) is a renowned scholar, economist and an eminent physician, whose works are praised even today. He has played a major role in Puranas and Rig Veda.
Few call Rishi Bharadwaj as the “Father of Medicine” or “Ayurveda” and there is a story behind this. With an intention to vanish the suffering of the people, he approached Lord Indra and it is said that Lord Indra taught him Ayurveda as a means to put an end to people’s suffering.
Maharshi Gautama finds wide mentions even in Jainism and Buddhism. Even in Rig Veda, several hymns cites him. In Hinduism, sage Angiras is a renowned Vedic Rishi and a teacher of divine knowledge. It was said that Angiras was a mediator between men and gods. And sage belongs to the lineage of sage Angiras.
Among the saptarishis, sage Jamadagni is one of the renowned sage. Jamadagni had five children and the youngest son was Parashuram, who is the sixth Avatar of Lord Vishnu. A unique feature of this sage was that he not only had impeccable knowledge about scriptures but was also well-versed weaponry.
Jamadagni was killed by the three sons of Kartavirya Arjuna because Parashurama had killed Kartavirya Arjuna as he had forcefully taken away the divine Cow “Kamdhenu” from his father. As a revenge, Parashurama killed the three sons of Kartavirya Arjuna and then vowed to kill the Kshatriya caste throughout the world.
It is said that Kashmir had got its name from Kashyapa Rishi. From Atharvaveda to Patanjali to Purana literature, his name is mentioned at several occasions. This sage had married to thirteen daughters of Daksha, namely Kashyapa Aditi, Diti, Kadru, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavasha, Ira, Vishva and Muni, states Vishnu Purana.
He is the chief author of Mandala 7 of Rigveda and Adi Shankara has called him the first sage of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy by Adi Shankara. His wife was Arundhati and Sakti Maharsi was his child.
It is said that Vashishtha lived in the banks of river Ganga, currently in Uttarakhand. He had long hair, which was tied in a bun and had a beard and wore a tilak, states several Hindu scriptures.
The most significant contribution of the sage Vishvamitra is the Gayatri Mantra. An interesting fact is that only 24 sages have understood the complete meaning of Gayatri Mantra till date, including Vishvamitra.