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Agastya Muni-1
See also     Agastya-2  for some more information on him;    Lopaamudraa

Who was Agastya Muni?
Maharshi Pulastya, one of the ten Maanas sons of Brahmaa Jee: Angiraa, Atri, Bhrigu, Daksh, Kratu, Mareechi, Naarad, Pulah, Pulastya, Vashishth; was married to one of the nine daughters of Kardam Rishi and Devahooti, that was Havirbhoo. Pulastya and Havirbhoo had two sons: Maharshi Agastya and Maharshi Vishravaa. Agastya Jee was the incarnation of Badavaanal. There are three types of Agni (fire) Badavaanal - which can even dry the sea,
Daavaanal - which can even all forests of Prithvi,
Jatharaagni - this Agni lives in stomach and helps in digesting food

His wife's name was Lopaamudraa and her name is mentioned in Lalitaa Sahastra Naamaavalee (Thousand Names of Lalitaa). She is the creator of Shree Vidyaa. She was the princess of Vidarbh Desh.

Agastya Muni's name is Agastya because of his difficult Karm. Etymologically the word Agastya comes from joining two words Agam and Sthyayatithi Agastyah - one who stays like a mountain (Aga means mountain) - na Gachchhati iti Agah. He was the first Aaryan sage who crossed over Vindhyaachal Mountain and settled in Southern India. His original name is said to be Kumbh Sambhav as he was born from a Kumbh (pitcher or pot) and he is believed to be of short stature. Read this story below - "Another Legend of the Birth of Agastya Muni".

Another Legend of the Birth of Agastya Muni
According to another legend (this story comes in Bhavishya Puraan, 4/38), both Vashishth and Agastya Muni are called Kumbhaj. Kumbhaj means "born from a Kumbh (pitcher or pot)". Because he was born from a Kumbh that is why he is called Kumbhaj. When Kaalakeya Raakshas were troubling Devtaa, Indra asked Agni Dev and Vaayu Dev to kill them wherever they find them. They killed many Raakshas still many of them hid in ocean.  They thought, since these coward have hidden in the ocean, they cannot harm us" so they came back. But when Indra heard this he became angry that why didn't they kill them all. They pleaded - "If we had churned the ocean we could kill many innocent animals also in it, and that is not the Dharm." And Agni Dev told that he could not kill them in ocean. Indra got very angry at this and said - "One, you have disobeyed me and second, you are teaching me Dharm? Earth is a good place to discuss all this, so go and born on Prithvi. And O Agni, you will drink ocean there." So they became the sons of Mitra and Varun from Urvashee Apsaraa.

Once Mitra and Varun were going somewhere that they saw Urvashee Apsaraa. Seeing her their semen fell which they carefully kept in a pitcher. From the same pitcher were born these Agastya and Vashishth Rishi. Agastya being the incarnation of Agni Dev and Vashishth being the incarnation of Vaayu Dev. Because of Nimi's Shaap the first Vashishth (Brahmaa's son) had left his body and then took rebirth from the pot as Agni Dev's incarnation. Vashishth Jee appeared first from the pot and Agastya Jee appeared later from the same pitcher.

Agastya Jee's mention is in both Raamaayan and Mahaabhaarat, G-4-Van/17 and in other references also. His other stories are more popularly known than the account of his life given in Raamaayan and Mahaabhaarat.

Agastya Muni Marries
According to Mahaabhaarat, G-4-Van/17 once Agastya Jee saw his Pitri hanging upside down in a pit. He asked them what was the matter with them. They told him that they longed for Agastya's son so that they are saved from that Hell. Agastya agreed and looked for a wife to produce a son from her; but he could not find such a woman from whom he could produce himself as her son. So he took all the beautiful parts of from all the creatures of the world and joined them to make a woman. At that time the King of Vidarbh Desh was doing Tapasyaa for a child, so Agastya Muni gave that woman to him and that girl was born in his house. Gradually she started growing up into a young beautiful woman. She was so qualitative that nobody dared to ask her hand. Seeing this the King got worried as how he would marry her?

When Agastya Muni thought that the girl must have been grown up to take responsibility of the house, he approached the King and asked his daughter's hand. The King got stunned to hear his proposal. he consulted his queen but she also couldn't say a word because of Rishi's curse. Both did not to marry their qualitative daughter to a Muni, but could not refuse also because of the fear of curse. At that time Lopaamudraa came and said to her father - "Please give me to Muni, and save yourself from his curse." So the King married her to Muni with proper rites. Muni asked her to take off her royal clothes and jewelry, so she did it and wore bark clothes and deer skin. And Muni brought her to his Aashram at Gangaadwaar. Both started living harmoniously. After some time Agastya Jee, pleased with her services, good conduct, beauty and grace called her for matrimonial bliss.

Lopaamudraa said - "Although it is right that a man marries a woman for children, but I do not wish to be approached in these rags dyed in red. I wish to wear beautiful ornaments and clothes, and I wish that you also adore yourself with flowers." Agastya Jee said - "I do not have wealth as your father has." Lopaamudraa said - "But you have lots of wealth of your asceticism. With that power you can bring anything in just a blink of an eye. And it is not sin also to adore oneself on such occasions. So until you come to me like this I will not be approachable." Agastya Jee said - "But this will destroy my powers." Lopaamudraa said - "I do not wish to destroy your powers at the same time I do not wish that you should approach me like this." Agastya Jee said - "All right, If you have resolved this in your mind then I will have to go in search of wealth."

So Agastya Jee went to Shrutashrav king and asked to give him some wealth so that others are not hurt. he presented his income and expenditure and asked him to take whatever he wanted. Rishi of great intelligence thought that if he took anything from it, it will hurt other creatures, so he took along Shrutashrv and went to Vradhnashwa and said the same thing to him too. He also did the same what Shrutashrav did and Agastya Jee could not take anything from him, so he took along both the kings and came to Purukuts' son Trasdasyu and said the same thing. He also said the same thing whatever the other two kings said, so Agastya Jee could not take anything from him too. But then the three kings suggested him to go to a Daanav named Ilval as he had a lots of wealth. Everybody approved this suggestion so all set off to see Ilval. (read this story of Ilval and Vaataapi further on Next Page)

Disciples of Agastya Muni
MBH, G-2-Childhood/3 says that Agastya Muni had a disciple named Agnivesh. He was a great learned man in arms. Dronaachaarya Jee learned science of arms from him too. Then he sent his own disciple Arjun to learn Brahmshir from him.

Works of Agastya Muni
Agastya Muni has given us the following --
(1) Lalitaa Sahastra Naam - The Lalitaa Sahastra Naam, which describes the 1000 names of the Goddess Lalitaa (commonly known  as Daakshaayanee, Paarvatee or Durgaa), was first revealed to the world when Hayagreev, a manifestation of Vishnu, taught the same to Muni Agastya. Thus he was the first Rishi who heard this directly from Bhagavaan's Avataar Hayagreev.

(2) Aaditya Hridayam - Agastya is the progenitor of the Aaditya Hridayam, a hymn to Soorya, taught to Raam just before Raam's battle against Raavan to kill him.

(3) Saraswatee Stotra - Agastya Jee also composed Saraswatee Stotra.

(4) Naadee Astrology - He has contributed to Eeshwar Naadee Astrology too.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 04/19/13