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From  Wikipedia

Ribhus are the three semi-divine beings of the Rig Ved and the Atharv Ved - Ribhu, Vaja and Vibhvan, collectively called by the name of their leader Ribhus.

They are supposed to dwell in the solar sphere, and are the artists who formed the horses of Indra, the carriage of the Ashwinee Kumaar, and the miraculous cow of Brihaspati. They made their parents young, and performed other wonderful works. They are supposed to take their ease and remain idle for twelve days (the twelve intercalary days of the winter solstice) every year in the house of the Sun (Agohya), after which they recommence their working.

Intercalation is the insertion of a leap day, week or month into some calendar years to make the calendar follow the seasons or Moon phases. Lunisolar calendars may require intercalations of both days and months.

When the gods heard of their skill, they sent Agni Dev to them with the one cup of their rival Twashtaa, the artificer of the gods, bidding the Ribhus construct four cups from it. When they had successfully executed this task, the gods received the Ribhus among themselves and allowed them to partake of their sacrifices. They appear generally as accompanying Indra, especially at the evening sacrifice. In later mythology, Ribhu is a son of Brahmaa. All the three are said to be the sons of Sudhanvaa, a descendant of Aangiras.

Eleven hymns of the Rig Ved are dedicated to them,
Rig Ved 1.20,   1.110,   1.111,   1.161,
Rig Ved 3.60; 
Rig Ved 4.33-37,
Rig Ved 7.48.

The adjective used to qualify Ribhu in its lexical meaning "skillful" is also applied to Indra, Agni and the Aditya in the Rig Ved.

From   Vishnu Puraan, 2/7, p 147-

In later Hindu mythology (Vishnu Puraan) Ribhu was Brahmaa's son and was born in Shwet Varaah Kalp. He was the incarnation of Mrigshring Muni. Ribhu's story comes in several Puraan - Vishnu Puraan, 2/7 Naarad Puraan, 1/22, and  Agni Puraan, 32. He has a Geetaa on his name  "Ribhu Geetaa", this appears in Skand Puraan. Its small part can be read here.

There is a story in Vishnu Puraan, Dwiteeya Ansh about Jadbharat, in which Jadbharat tells the story of Ribhu to the King of Sauveer country to explain him the "Paramaarth". Ribhu had a disciple named Nidaagh - son of Pulastya Rishi. Since Ribhu was very learned in Paramaarth and A-Dwait thoughts, he preached the same to Nidaagh also, but Ribhu knew that Nidaagh could not grasp it.

Nidaagh used to live on a bank of a river. Once Ribhu came to him in disguise of a beggar and asked him for some food. Nidaagh got very happy to see him and offered him good food. Nidaagh did not recognize him so he asked him - "Who are you? Where are you coming from? Where will you go?" At this Ribhu preached him A-Dwait thoughts and went away.

Ribhu again came after 1,000 years to preach A-Dwait thoughts to him. At that time he was standing outside the city and waiting for the King to enter the city. There was lot of crowd at the gate of the city. Ribhu asked, "Why are you standing here?" Nidaagh said - "I am waiting for the King to pass and crowd to become less. See, he is coming there riding the elephant." Ribhu asked - "Who is the King and who is the elephant?" Nidaagh said - "Who is sitting up on the elephant is the King, and who is below the King is the elephant." At this Ribhu asked - "Who is up and who is below?" Hearing this Nidaagh climbed up on Ribhu and said - "See, Now I am the King who is up, and you are the elephant who is below."

Ribhu asked - "Then who are you and who am I?" Hearing this Nidaagh fell on Ribhu's feet saying, "You cannot be anybody else than my Guru who is profoundly knowledgeable in A-Dwait thoughts." Ribhu said - "I just came here to preach you this that this whole world is different forms of Vishnu only, nothing else." And Ribhu went away. Nidaagh also went to his home.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/03
Updated on 06/24/13