Biographies | Rishi


Home | Biographies


A-J | K-M | N-S | T-Z | Others

Deerghtamaa Rishi

Deerghtamaa Rishi is the son of Brihaspati and the bother of Rishi Bharadwaaj. He was born blind. Why was he born blind, read the story of his birth below.

He is known for his philosophical verses in the Rig Ved. He was the author of Sookt (hymns) 140 to 164 in the first Mandal (section) of the Rig Ved. Along with Vaam Dev (seer of the 4th Mandal of the Rig Ved), Deerghtamaa accounts for almost 150 of the 1,000 hymns of the Rig Ved. His own verses occur frequently in many Vaidik texts, a few even in the Upanishad. The "Asya Vaamasya..." (Rig Ved 1.164) is one of his most famous poems.

A number of famous sayings originate from the verses of Deerghatamaa. "Another one bites the dust" - the first time the phrase "bites the dust" appears is in the Rig Ved (1.158.4-5) where the poet Deerghtamaa has a prayer to the Divine doctors (Ashwinee Kumaar) and says "may the turning of the days not tire me, may the fires not burn me, may I not bite the earth, may the waters not swallow me".

He was the reputed Purohit or chief priest of King Bharat (Aitareya Braahman VIII.23), one of the earliest kings of the land, after whom India was named as Bhaarat Varsh.

He had a granddaughter, daughter of Kakshivat, named Ghoshaa who has contributed two hymns hymns to the Rig Ved, 10thMandal (39 and 40). We meet Deerghtamaa Rishi in MBH, Aadi Parv, Ch 104 ( MBH, G-1/5).

Birth of Deerghtamaa
How he was born is an interesting story. According to Bhaagvat Puraan, 9/12, this is in the context of Bharadwaaj's birth, that once Brihaspati Jee wanted to take his brother Utathya's pregnant wife Mamataa. Mamataa told Brihaspati that she had already conceived from her connection with his elder brother Utathya and that, therefore, he should not then seek for the consummation of his wishes. She continued - "O illustrious Brihaspati, the child that I have conceived has studied in his mother's womb the Ved with the six Ang. How can then this womb of mine afford room for two children at a time? Therefore, it behoves you not to seek for the consummation of your desire at such a time." But Brihaspati did not listen to her.

Then the child (Deerghtamaa) who was in her womb at that time warned him not to do so - "O father, cease your attempt. There is no space here for two. O illustrious one, the room is small. I have occupied it first. It behoves you not to afflict me." But still Brihaspati Jee did not listen to him and cursed him - "You have spoken me at the time of pleasure that is sought by all the creatures, you remain blind for all your life." and impregnated her with his own child.

Utathya's wife Mamataa got frightened lest her husband leaves her. Therefore she wanted to leave Brihaspati's son. At that time Devtaa said naming the child - "Brihaspati Jee says - "O Fool! this is my Auras son and my brother's Kshetraj son, thus he is the son of both of us (Dwaaj), therefore you don't fear and carry it" At this Mamataa said - "Brihaspati, This child is not of my husband, this is our son, therefore you bring up this child."

Thus both argued for some time and when they could not decide, they left the son in their argument, that is why he was named as Bharadwaaj. In spite of being named by Devtaa, Mamataa thought that this son is born as an illegitimate (Vitath) son, therefore she left it. Marud Gan brought him up and when Raajaa Bharat's Vansh was going to end they gave him to Bharat. The same Vitath (Bharadwaaj) became Bharat's adopted son. The other son, Utathya's son Deerghtamaa was born blind because of Brihaspati's Shaap.

An account of his birth is given by Bheeshm also in Mahaabhaarat, (MBH-stories, 1-5-deerghtamaa)

Marriage of Deerghtamaa
Although Deerghtamaa was born blind but he was as intelligent and learned as Brihaspati. On the basis of his abilities, he was able to marry a young girl of a Braahman named Pradweshee. He had several children from her - Gautam being the eldest.

"Dowson' Classic Dictionary of Hindu Mythology" says that Deerghtamaa who was in Angiraa's family line, was married to Som's daughter Bhadraa. Bhadraa, the daughter of Som, came to be regarded as unrivalled in beauty, so her father Som married her to Utathya thinking him the fittest of husbands for her. Now Varun Dev, who had formerly been enamored of her, carried her off from Utathya's hermitage, when she had plunged into the Yamunaa for a bath. Abducting her thus, Varun took her to his own abode. Utathya then sent Naarad Jee to bring his wife back from Varun's house, but he would not give her up to him. Utathya got very angry at this and drank up all the sea, but still Varun Dev would not let her go. So Naarad Jee came back to Utathya and cheerlessly said, "O great ascetic, Varun has driven me out from his house, seizing me by the throat. He is unwilling to send you back your spouse. Do as you please." Hearing these words of Naarad Jee, Utathya became very angry. Endued with wealth of penances, he solidified the waters and drank them off, aided by his energy. Varun became very sad at this, still he did not give up Utathya's wife.

Then Utathya, that foremost of regenerate persons, filled with wrath, commanded Earth, saying, "O Earth, Do show land where there are at present the six hundred thousand lakes." At these words of the Rishi, the Ocean receded from the spot indicated, and land appeared which was exceedingly sterile. Then he addressed to the countries and to the river: -- "Hey Saraswatee River, disappear into the deserts, and let this land, deserted by thee, become impure." After Utathya had made countries dried up, Varun submitted himself to Utathya and brought back his wife Bhadraa to him. The sage was pleased to get back his wife, and released both the world and Varun from their sufferings.

Deerghtamaa and King Bali
[From Bhaagvat Puraan, 9/14]

Yayaati's son Anu had three sons - Subhaanar, Chakshu and Paroksh. Subhaanar had a son named Kaalnar, his son was Srinjaya, his son was Janamejaya, his son was Mahaasheel, and his son was Mahaamanaa. Mahaamanaa had two sons - Usheenar and Titikshu. Usheenar had four sons - Vrishaadarbh, Suveer, Madra, Kaikaya. Usheenar's brother Titikshu had the on Rushdrath, Rushdrath had the son named Hem, his son was Sutapaa and Sutapaa had the son named Bali. Bali's wife produced six sons from Deerghtamaa Muni - Ang, Vang, Kaling, Suhm, Pundra and Andhra. They inhabited six countries with their own names in East.

Deerghtamaa has written Sookt 140-164 in the Mandal 1 of Rig Ved.



Home | Biographies


A-J | K-M | N-S | T-Z | Others

Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/30/13