VYÂSA – The most famous sage in Hindu mythology

Vyâsa is more properly referred to as Veda Vyâsa since the name was a common one, meaning “arranger,” or editor. Veda Vyâsa was said to have edited the four Vedas and authored the Purânas and the Mahâbhârata. Accomplishing all that would require a human who lived several thousand years, so scholars do place the story … Read more

VISVÂMITRA – The Famous Sage of Rigveda

Vis´vâmitra was already important in the Rigveda as a sage and composer of many hymns in book (mandala) three. However, his lineage shifted with the sources so much that one later authority stated that he was the son of both King Kushika and King Gâdhi. Vis´vâmitra (universal friend) was able to raise himself from ks´atriya … Read more

PARASURÂMA – Avatâra (incarnation) of Vishnu

The story of “Ax Râma” (the literal meaning of Parasu-Râma) contains a chilling warning to the kings and rulers of India. Brâhmins could revolt against them if their rule was unjust or cruel. The story proving the need for an incarnation of Vishnu began with the curse of a sage. The god (deva) Agni had … Read more

PARÂSARA – The Renowned Sage

Parâsara was born to S´aktri and his wife Adrisyanti. Parâsara’s father S´aktri was eaten by a rakshâsa (night-wandering demon) before he was born. So Parâsara grew up with an immense hatred for Rakshâsas. So this great sage of the sacrificial lore performed a mighty sacrifice (yâga) that began destroying all rakshâsas. Thousands died in the … Read more

NÂRÂYANA – One of the Four Sons of God Dharma

Nârâyana was one of the four sons of the god (deva) Dharma. Dharma-deva had been born from the breast of Brahmâ. Dharma-deva married the ten daughters of Daksha. His four sons were Nara, Nârâyana, Hari, and Krishna. Nara and Nârâyana became great Rishis (sages) practicing severe penances. They stayed in the Badarika âsrama (hermitage) doing … Read more

NÂRADA – The Vedic Celestial Sage

After Brahmâ had created the seven sages (sapta-rishis) from his mind (mânasâ- putras), he created Rudra (a storm god) from his anger, Nârada from his lap, Daksha (a progenitor) from his right thumb, and Vîranî from his left. The Purânas accounted for seven of his rebirths, including as a gandharva (celestial musician) named Uparbarhana, as … Read more

NARA – Sage and Son of God Dharma

Nara was one of the four sons of the god (deva) Dharma. Dharma-deva had been born from the breast of Brahmâ. Dharma-deva married the ten daughters of Daksha. His four sons were Nara, Nârâyana, Hari, and Krishna. Nara and Nârâyana became great ascetics, practicing severe penances. They stayed in the Badarika âsrama doing tapas (austerities) … Read more

MÂRKANDEYA – Sage in the Bhâgavata Purâna

Mârkandeya had a miraculous birth and would never grow older than sixteen years old. His father was the sage Mrikandu, whose worship pleased S´iva. Appearing with a boon, S´iva asked Mrikandu whether he wanted a son who was brilliant but short-lived or dull with a long life. Mrikandu chose the brilliant son. Mârkandeya surpassed all … Read more

KASYAPA – Prajâpati (Progenitor) Who Fathered All Beings

Kas´yapa-Prajâpati has a major role in creation. However, there were variations concerning his birth and his status. In the Mahâbhârata Kas´yapa was only the son of Marîci, who was one of the six mind-born sons (mânasâ-putras) of Brahmâ. The Vâlmîki Râmâyana added Kas´yapa as the seventh and youngest sons of Brâhma and thus a brother … Read more

KAPILA – Powerful Brâhmin, Philosopher and Magician

Kapila, the historical founder of the Samkhya school of philosophy (dars´ana), lived long enough before the Epics and Purânas only to have his name be coopted and given a set of myths. In the Purânas Kapila became a master yogi as well as a master magician. He was said to be a partial incarnation of … Read more