Biographies | Rishi
Vishwaamitra Jee See also Vashishth Jee
We meet Vishwaamitra Jee in both Maanas and Raamaayan, in Baal Kaand when Raam, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughn brothers reach their adolescent age, then suddenly he appears in Ayodhyaa and takes Raam and Lakshman to protect his Yagya from Raakshas. His story is also narrated in Raamaayan.
Vishwaamitra Jee was born in Chandra Vansh. He was the son of King Gaadhi (read Richeek Muni). MBH, G-4-Van/20 says that Gaadhi was the king of Kaanyakubj Desh. King Gaadhi was in the lineage of Pururavaa, means he was born in Chandra Vansh (read Vishnu Puraan, 4/7). He was the Avataar (incarnation) of Indra. Pururavaa's son was Amaavasu >> Suhotra > Jahnu > Sumantu > Ajak > Balaak > Kush > Kushnaabh > Gaadhi or Kaushik.
Kush was born from Manas of Prajapati, Kushnaabh the righteous king was born to Kush ; Kushnaabh's son was Gaadhi whose son was Vishwaamitra. Vishnu Puraan, 4/7 says that Kushnaabh did so much Tap that even Indra got impressed with his Tap and wished to be born as his son, so he was born to him as his son Gaadhi. And Gaadhi's son was Vishwaamitra Jee. His name was Vishwarath. He is known as Kaushik also because of being born in Kush family.
He had a sister named Satyavatee who was married to Rishi Richeek and their son was Maharshi Jamadagni. Jamadagni married to Renukaa and they had a son named Parashuraam Jee. Thus Vishwaamitra Jee was the brother of paternal grandmother of Parashuraam Jee.
Since Vishwaamitra Jee was born in a Kshatriya family and thus was a King. But as a result of quarrel with Vashishth Jee (see below "Quarrel With Vashishth Jee") he did a severe Tap and rose to the status of Brahmarshi. This, in Hindu scriptures, is the sole instance of a person belonging to a lower order became a Braahman through his severe Tap. He was married to Hemaavatee. He had three children - two sons and one daughter - two sons were (1) Raivya from Hemaavatee; (2) Ashtak from Yayaati's daughter Maadhavee (see MBH-Stories-Gaalav); and one daughter Shakuntalaa from Menakaa Apsaraa. He had 100 other sons also.
He is said to be the author of most of the Mandal 3 of Rig Ved, including Gaayatree Mantra. According to Puraan, only 24 Rishi understood the meaning of the Gaayatree Mantra fully and thus wielded the whole power of it - sage Vishwaamitra was the first and sage Yaagyavalkya was the last Rishi among them.
Birth of Vishwaamitra Jee
How he was born is an interesting story. According to Vishnu Puraan, 4/7, once Satyavatee (Gaadhi's daughter and Vishwaamitra's sister) and her mother (Vishwaamitra's mother) requested Rishi Richeek to give them a son. So Richeek cooked two Charu separately for both of them. But Satyavatee's mother thought that Richeek might have cooked better Charu for his wife, so she asked Satyavatee to give her own Charu. Satyavatee gave her own Charu to her mother and took her mother's Charu herself. When Richeek Rishi came to know about this he said to Satyavatee - "You did not do good by taking your mother's Charu. Now you will have a son who will punish people and your mother will have a Brahm Vettaa (knower of Brahm) son." Satyavtee got scared. She tried to please her husband. So on Satyavatee's request he said, "OK, not your son but your grandson will be like that." So Satyavatee gave birth to Rishi Jamadagni, and her mother had Vishwaamitra Jee who was a great Braahman even being a Kshatriya's son. And thus Vishwaamitra Jee was Maamaa of Rishi Jamadagni.
He had several wives - Hemaavatee, Shalaavatee, Maadhavee (Yayaati's daughter, read Gaalav's story from MBH), Renu etc. He had 100 sons - Madhuchchhandaa, Kati, Kratumaan, Hareet, Jaya, Yaagyavalkya, Paanini, Gaalav, Mudgal, Sankruti, Deval, Ashtak (from Yayaati's daughter Maadhavee) etc. Vishwaamitra had a daughter also from Menakaa. When Menakaa went to Swarg, she left the daughter in forest. Maharshi Kanv got her and brought her up in his Aashram. He named her Shakuntalaa because she was cared Shakunt birds before Kanv Rishi found her. (her story is given in MBH, Aadi Parv)
Quarrel with Vashishth Jee
Now Vashishth Jee had a cow named Nandinee who was the daughter of Kaamdhenu cow. Vashishth Jee requested Nandinee and said, "Our Raajaa is our guest today so please arrange everything for him." So in minutes she arranged everything. Vishwaamitra saw all this. It was a wonder of wonders for him. He thought that being a King he should have that cow, what a Rishi is doing with that cow? But still he requested politely Vashishth Jee to give that cow to him as gift. And in return he would give him 100,000 cows, jewels, 14,000 elephants, 8,000 gem studded chariots and many other things.
Vashishth Jee said, "Raajan, This cow is the gift of Kaamdhenu to me to fulfill my needs of my daily activities. This is the only thing I have." "But I am the Raajaa. I should have such things, what you would do of that?" Vashishth Jee said - "I have no power to gift you this." Vishwaamitra Jee said - "I am only requesting you but if you don't give it to me, you cannot stop me taking her from here."
And then Vishwaamitra Jee ordered his soldiers to take that cow forcefully, as Vashishth Jee didn't agree to give that cow to him. They tied a rope in her neck and pulled her. She cried and requested Vashishth Jee to protect her. Vashishth Jee shook his head in helplessness, then she asked his permission to protect herself. Vashishth Jee gave the permission. She roared "Humbhaa" and out of her each hair on her body came out numerous soldiers. Vishwaamitra's army could not fight with that divine army. In a rage Vishwaamitra sent his 100 sons to attack Vashishth, but they were all burned only in one roar of Vashishth Jee.
Tapasyaa for Shiv to Get Weapons
The power and strength of Vashishth's Tapas was concentrated in his staff. In his anger Vishwaamitra released one by one all his powerful weapons. Roudra, Aindra, Paashupat Astra followed each other to the incantation of Mantra. But all of them were rendered powerless before Vashishth's Brahm Dand. Vishwaamitra was furious with anger. When he had used all his weapons in vain, he took out the divinely endowed arrow called Brahm Astra and fitted it in his bow. It frightened all in the Ashram as well divine beings in heaven. Every one became concerned for Vashishth. Vishwaamitra released it against Vashishth invoking it by the spiritual powers of Mantra. Vashishth stood undisturbed. He appeared like a bright flame at this moment; sparks of fire emanated form his body. The staff in his hand looked like the staff in the hands of Yam, the god of Death. The Brahm Astra sped like lightning towards Vashishth making frightening noise like thunder. It pounced on Vashishth's Brahm Dand and was absorbed into it. The other saints who saw this praised Vashishth's strength said - "Great man, your strength beyond our guess. Control your I and become peaceful." Vashishth Jee became calm. Vishwaamitra aimed many arrows at Vashishth Jee, but all went in vain. Nothing worked.
Vishwaamitra's all arrows and powers went useless before that Dand. He was very much ashamed of his weapons. His whole Tapasyaa proved useless to him in front of Vashishth's Power of Tap. At this he uttered, "Dhig-Balam, Dhig-Kshatriya, Brahm-Tejo-Balam Balam". It means that arms power is worse than useless before Brahm Tej power.
Vishwarath and Tapasyaa to Get Powers - As Raajarshi
Vishwaamitra Jee and Trishanku
So Trishanku went southwards and found the hundred sons of Vashishth Jee. He requested them too for this, but they said, "Whatever our father cannot do we cannot do." "I will find someone else if you don't do this." At this reply the sons felt insulted and gave him Shaap, "You have turned out to be a traitor to your Guru so be a Chaandaal" (the lowest cast people in Hindu society). Immediately Trishanku lost his color and beauty. He became black and his beauty was gone and he became a Chaandaal. He went further South and found Vishwaamitra Jee there. He requested Vishwaamitra Jee too to send him to Swarg with his mortal body. He immediately got ready to send him to Swarg so Trishanku came back to his kingdom.
In the meantime there were no rains for in Vishwaamitra's kingdom for some time. And since Vishwaamitra Jee had already gone for Tap so Trishanku took good care of Vishwaamitra's family, so he was very happy with Trishanku. He said to Trishanku, "You have to go to pilgrimage first to become pure before you could go to Swarg, because you have a Guru Putra's curse." So both set out for pilgrimage.
On their way, they met Muni Maarkandeya at Arbudaachal. Vishwaamitra Jee told him everything in detail and said - "I have taken the vow to free Trishanku from Vashishth's sons' Shaap, but I have not succeeded yet, so I have renounced the world. Maarkandeya Muni consoled him and instructed him to go to Haatakeshwar where taking a dip in Paataal Gangaa will purify Trishanku. Trishanku did so and he was surprised to see that all the qualities of a Chaandaal had vanished from him and he was purified. Vishwaamitra Jee was also very happy to see this.
He assured Trishanku to do such rites which could take him to Swarg with his mortal body. He had another purpose also in doing this - he wanted to defeat Vashishth Jee by doing this. So he sent his disciples all around with this message to join him in these rites, and if anyone refused to join him then let him know about him. One Mahodaya and the 100 sons of Vashishth Jee refused to join him, so Vishwaamitra Jee gave Shaap to Mahodaya to be ruined and to 100 sons of Vashishth to be burned. Vashishth's sons were burned immediately. Story of Kalmaashpaad on page MBH, G-3-Youth/7 and MBH, G-4-Van/22 says that Vashishth Jee was so grieved with this he tied himself and threw in Vipaashaa River (Vyaas River of Panjaab), but when he rose on waters, he was free.
Then Vishwaamitra Jee went to Brahm Lok to request Brahmaa Jee to be present at the Yagya to send Satyavrat to Swarg with his mortal body, and asked Satyavrat to make necessary preparations for the Yagya. Brahmaa Jee said although it was impossible to go Swarg with the mortal boy but if he will complete all rituals diligently then he could go there. Vishwaamitra didn't like his comments and he challenged him that no power could stop him sending him there.
So they started Yagya. It continued for 12 long years but there was no sign to go to Swarg. Satyavrat got dejected and intended to go to forest for Tap. He could not go to his kingdom because he was afraid that Vashishth's sons would make fun of him. But Vishwaamitra Jee consoled him that he would surely send him to Swarg, he should just wait. Then he worshipped Shiv Jee. Shiv Jee got pleased and granted him the desired Var. Vishwaamitra asked him to bestow the powers to create universe like Brahmaa Jee. Shiv Jee did so and disappeared.
Now Vishwaamitra was eager to test those powers. The actual ceremony was started and Vishwaamitra Jee offered Havishya (shares of Devtaa offered in Yagya) to Devtaa, but no Devtaa came to accept it. He said to Trishanku, "Don't be disappointed, I will send you to Swarg with the influence of my Tap." He used his half of Tap to send Satyavrat to Heaven with his mortal body, so he started rising in his mortal body.
Seeing Satyavrat coming towards Swarg, Indra said, "You have no respect for your Guru, so you have no place in our world." and pushed him down. Now he started falling down. He cried, "O Vishwaamitra, Save me." Vishwaamitra said - "Don't fear at all. I will create a Heaven around you." and made him stay in mid-heavens. To finalize the act he created 7 planets, a new Saptarshi and 27 constellations in southern sky. Soon the place was filled with his creation resulting chaos all over.
Brihaspati and Naarad Jee came to explain him that it was not good, but Vishwaamitra Jee did not listen to them, he said - "Well, Now I have already started created the second Heaven, now I cannot go back, because if I stop this now, the equilibrium of all Nakshatra will be imbalanced. Naarad Jee said - "If you both will stick to your intentions, then how the solutions will come?" Brihaspati Jee said - "There is one solution if Vishwaamitra can help us." Vishwaamitra Jee got ready.
Now everything was two, one was created by Brahmaa Jee and the other one was created by Vishwaamitra. This created a fallout of natural course of events. Everybody requested Brahmaa Jee to bring an order in the universe. Brahmaa Jee asked Vishwaamitra to stop his creation. He said - "Since my words cannot be untrue, so let those constellations be there permanently and amidst them Trishanku will be there in his earthly body. I will create a new Indra and I will see that other heavens do not have any Indra at all. Or I could do it only if Indra will allow Trishanku to go to Swarg with his mortal body." At last Brahmaa Jee allowed him to go to Swarg.
Vishwaamitra Jee was very happy to win Indra, Devtaa and Vashishth, but to his dismay his all powers were gone through his anger. So he went to Pushkar Jee to do Tapasyaa again.
Vishwaamitra and Saudaas (Kalmaashpaad)
This time, Ambareesh, the King of Ayodhyaa, decided to do a sacrificial rite to get a son and vowed to perform it with his son as a sacrifice, that if he will have a son, he will sacrifice him. He had a son through that sacrifice, but he always postponed the sacrifice because he did not want to part with his son. Later that son ran away in the forest and stayed there for several years.
Once the son heard that his father was very ill, he came home to see him. He bought the middle son of Muni Richeek, Devaraat (Richeek and Satyavatee's son, and Rishi Jamadagni's elder brother), for the sacrifice by paying 100,000 cows. Muni Richeek had three sons. He did not want to give his eldest son, and his wife did not want to give her youngest son, so only their middle son, Devaraat, was available for sacrifice. Devaraat was very sad with this whole affair but seeing his parents' intention he agreed.
On their way, they rested in Pushkar Jee. There he met his Maamaa (mother's brother) Vishwaamitra Jee. He requested him to save his life, at the same time not to ruin Raajaa's Yagya too. Seeing his nephew (sister's son's son), merely a boy, in trouble he pitied him and taught him two Mantra in praise of Indra, and said, "When they tie you with the sacrificial alter you chant these Mantra with devotion, Your life will be saved." He did the same. As he chanted those Mantra, hearing those Mantra Indra got very pleased and spared his life, at the same time spared the life of Ambareesh's son also. Thus Vishwaamitra saved Devaraat's life as well as Ambareesh's son's life. Since then Devraat was called as Shunahshep. (he was Bhrigu Vanshee Aajeegaart's descendent).
Later Vishwaamitra Jee adopted him as his son and asked his all sons (100) to regard him as their eldest brother. His eldest son with his 48 younger brothers did not like it, so he gave them Shaap - "All of you become Mlechchh." So they became non-Hindu - Mlechchh. All others accepted him as their eldest brother. He blessed them and said - "He is also of your Gotra, so respect him and obey him." He started several other Gotra besides Kaushikee Gotra. Thus Vishwaamitra Jee had again lost his spiritual powers by cursing his sons.
Vishwaamitra and Rambhaa
Indra started singing and Vishwaamitra said - "What a divine notes?" Rambhaa approached him, and Vishwaamitra opened his eyes nd seeing Rambhaa near him, he exclaimed - "Rambhaa? Indra's court Apsaraa? Indra's another trick?" Vishwaamitra again got angry and cursed her to be a rock for 10,000 years till a Braahman comes and delivers her from this curse. As Indra heard this he fled from the scene. Vishwaamitra again fell into his thoughts and promised himself not to eat and speak till he conquers this passion. This time he went eastward and started his Tapasyaa again. When he became sure that he had conquered his passion, he decided to break his fast.
Vishwaamitra and Indra
Indra said - "Vishwaamitra got the Kheer in the return of his Tapasyaa. If he had eaten it, he would have been very powerful and could shake Tri-Lok that is why I had to come and ask it in alms which he gave readily."
Vishwaamitra Jee and Menakaa - As Maharshi, Then Brahmarshi
Then one day he thought "Why did I leave my Tap? Is it just for this Apsaraa?" He wanted to be angry with her, but he controlled his anger and sent her to Swarg, and he himself went for Tapasyaa again. This time he went to Himaalaya, to Kaushikee River (she was his sister Satyavatee who got converted into a river) to do his penance. He overcame his habit of anger and did Tap in peace there.
Vishwaamitra Jee is Brahmarshi
Why Vishwaamitra Jee Was Not Declared Brahmarshi?
Thus Vishwaamitra Jee
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 05/03/13