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His story appears in V-Raamaayan,7/22 also
See also   Vishwaamitra Jee

Vashishth Jee is one of the ten Maanas sons of Brahmaa Jee: Angiraa, Atri, Bhrigu, Daksh, Kratu, Mareechi, Pulah, Pulastya, Naarad, Vashishth. According to MBH, G-1-Beginning/3 later he came to be known as Apav. According to Bhaagvat Puraan, 4/1 Vashishth Jee was married to Kardam Jee's one of the nine daughters - Arundhatee (Oorjaa or Oorjswatee). Vashishth Jee himself is one of the Sapt Rishi. The star Mizar of the stellar constellation Ursa Major is thought of as Vashishth and the small one beside it, Alcor, as Arundhatee. Maanas, 7/6 says that when Brahmaa Jee appointed him as the Purohit of Soorya Vansh (in which Raam was born). He tried to refuse it on the basis of that for a good Braahman, Purohit's job is not a good Karm; but Brahmaa Jee convinced him that he should accept it and he would be benefited from this job in his later years as Vishnu is going to incarnate in that family, so he accepted it.

According to MBH, G-3-Youth/6, once Soorya Dev addresses him as Vibhaakar when Vashishth Jee goes to him to ask for his daughter Tapatee's hand for the Kuru King Samvaran.

But why Samvaran remembered his Chief Priest Vashishth? How was he his Chief Priest? Vashishth Jee was appointed the Chief Priest of Soorya Vansh and Kuru Vansh was the Chandra Vansh. How come that he was there?

Vashishth Jee Dies, Vashishth Jee Lives
[Bhaagvat Puraan, 9/7]

Ikshwaaku (Manu's son born from his sneeze) had three sons, Vikukshi, Nimi, and Dand (on whose name was Dandak Van where Raam lived in exile). Once Nimi wanted to do a Yagya, so he requested Vashishth Jee to be his Hotaa. Vashishth Jee said, "At present I am going to do Indra's Yagya, but I will come back soon, so wait for me." And he went away. Nimi thought "Life is too short", so he appointed another Hotaa till Vashishth Jee came.

When Vashishth Jee came back from Indra's Yagya, and he came to know that Raajaa Nimi had appointed another Hotaa, so he cursed him, "You are very proud of your knowledge and thoughtfulness, so your body should fall down." His curse was not according to Dharm, so Raajaa Nimi also cursed him, "You also did not respect Dharm because of your greed, so your body should also fall down." After saying this Nimi left his body through Yog, and Vashishth Jee also left his body. Then Vashishth Jee was reincarnated as the son of Mitra Varun and Urvashee. And the same Vashishth was the Purohit of Soorya Vansh in Raam's times.

Rebirth of Vashishth Jee
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 both were born from a Kumbh that is why both are 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. He appeared first from the pot and Agastya Jee appeared later from that pitcher.

Vashishth's Children
--He had seven Brahmarshi from Arundhatee: (1) Chitraketu, (2) Surochi, (3) Mitra, (4) Ulban, (5) Vasubhradyaan and (6) Dyumaan; and Shakti, etc 100 sons from his another wife.
--V-Raamaayan, 2/14/31 mentions a name of his son as Suyagya too whom Raam gave an elephant, given to Him by His Maamaa, along with 1,000 elephants.
--He had one Ashmak named son from Saudaas' wife - see below "Vashishth's Shaap to King Saudaas".
--His 100 sons were killed by Vishwaamitra Jee during their quarrel,
--Shakti was also killed during the same context.
--Fortunately Shakti's wife Adrishyanti was pregnant at that time. She gave birth to Maharshi Paraashar after the death of her husband Shakti.

Abilities of Vashishth Jee
Vashishth was the Sad-guru of his time, possessing 20 "Kalaa" (divine arts) and had complete knowledge of the whole cosmos and the God. Many of his Shlok are found in Ved as well. Vashishth is credited as the chief author of Mandal 7 of the Rig Ved. He and his family are glorified in Rig Ved 7.33, extolling their role in the Battle of the Ten Kings, making him the only mortal besides Bhav to have a Rig Vaidik hymn dedicated to him. He has composed "Vashishth Raamaayan", "Yog Vashishth" and "Vashishth Sanhitaa" also. "Yog Vashishth" consists of 32,000 Shlok and the text is in the form question answers between the Guru (Vashishth) and the pupil (Raam). You may read Yog Vashishth here.

Vashishth and Soorya Vansh

Vashishth Jee was the Kul Guru of Soorya Vansh. As a Kul Guru he has many incidents with Soorya Vansh. Some of them are given below.

Vashishth Jee and Raajaa Satyavrat (Trishanku)
This Kathaa comes in Skand Puraan's Naagar Khand. Once there was a very mighty King named Satyavrat (popularly known as Trishanku after this event) in Soorya Vansh (lineage). Brahmaa Jee had appointed Vashishth Jee as Purohit of Soorya Vansh. Satyavrat was so much proud of his might that he thought he could go to Swarg with his mortal  body. So he went to his Purohit Vashishth Jee and expressed his wish and asked the way. Vashishth Jee said - "There is no way one can go there with this body."

Trishanku didn't like it, so he gave a thought to try Vashishth's 100 sons, but they also agreed with their father. Trishanku got disappointed as well as furious and told that he would appoint some other Rishi to do that Yagya and they lacked required knowledge to perform such a Yagya. At this Vashishth's sons gave him Shaap - "Be a Chaandaal (a low caste)." The next moment he became a Chaandaal. Now he was so much ashamed of himself that he handed over his kingdom to his son Harishchandra and he himself went to the forest.

One day, while wandering in the forest, Trishanku met Sage Vishwaamitra Jee. He narrated his plight to him too. Since Vishwaamitra was the competitor of Vashishth Jee, he got an opportunity to prove his superiority over Vashishth Jee. He told him that he could send him to Swarg with this mortal body, but he had to go for a pilgrimage to become pure before that. Since he had insulted his Guru, he has to be sinless first. So both set out for the pilgrimage.

On their way to the pilgrimage, at Arbudaachal, they met Muni Maarkandeya. 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 Haatkeshwar 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.

Now Vishwaaitra Jee got ready to do the Yagya to send Satyavrat to Heaven with his mortal body. So he went to Brahm Lok to request Brahmaa Jee to be present at the Yagya to send Trishanku to Swarg with his mortal body, and asked Trishanku to make necessary preparations for the Yagya. Brahmaa Jee said "Although it is impossible to go to Swarg with the mortal boy but if you 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. Trishanku 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 with him and granted him the desired Var. Vishwaamitra Jee asked him to bestow him the powers to create universe like Brahmaa. Shiv Jee granted this Var also and disappeared.

Now Vishwaamitra was eager to test those powers. He did so and created everything anew from stars etc to sky, river mountains etc. Soon the place was filled with his creation resulting chaos all over. Now everything were two, one was created by Brahmaa Jee and the other one 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 replied that he could do it if Brahmaa Jee will allow Trishanku to go to Swarg with his mortal body. At last Brahmaa Jee allowed him to go to Swarg.

This version was according to Skand Puraan. According to Bhaagvat Puraan, 9/4, Vishwaamitra Jee sent him upward, while Indra sent him back to Earth. Thus he went up by Vishwaamitra's Tap power and came down by Indra's power. So he remained in between, that is why he got popular by the name Trishanku. Trishanku means hanging in between. Trishanku star can be seen even today.

Vashishth Jee and Raajaa Dileep
Raajaa Dileep was childless, so he came to Vashishth Jee and asked the reason. He told that once you passed by Kaamdhenu cow without greeting her that is why you don't have a child. He also told him that if he would serve her (Kaamdhenu's) daughter Nandinee for 21 days, then he could get a child. He did so, but on the 21st day the cow was attacked by a lion. Dileep immediately drew his bow and tried to shoot the lion. But he found that his arm was paralyzed and he could not move it. He reasoned that the lion must have some sort of Divine power. So to confirm this, the lion started to speak to him. It is said that Dileep had no chance of saving the cow because the cow was the lion's chosen meal. The lion told Dileep to return to Vashisht's Aashram. Dileep replied by asking if the lion would let Nandinee go if he offered himself in Nandinee's place. The lion agreed and Dileep sacrificed his life for the cow. But then the lion mysteriously disappeared. Nandinee explained that the lion was just an illusion to test Dileep. Because Dileep was truly selfless, Nandinee granted him with a son, and he had a son - Bhageerath who brought Gangaa on Prithvi.

Vashishth's Curse to King Saudaas
[From Bhaagvat Puraan, 9/5;   see also Vishnu Puraan, 4/4]

Raajaa Saudaas was in the lineage of Sagar >> Bhageerath >> Rituparn. Once Raajaa Saudaas went on a hunting trip. There he killed some Raakshas but left his brother. The brother considered the act of killing his brother unjust and went to the palace of Raajaa to take revenge of his brother in the form of a cook. One day when Guru Vashishth Jee came to Raajaa's palace, he offered him food. The cook offered him human flesh in the food. When Vashishth Jee found the food completely uneatable, he gave Shaap to Raajaa in a great anger - "You will become a Raakshas because of this act."

When later Vashishth Jee came to know that this was the act of a Raakshas not of Raajaa, then he lessened the duration of Shaap only for 12 years. At that time Saudaas also got ready to give Shaap to Vashishth Jee, but his wife Madayantee stopped him to do so. Then Saudaas asked - "Directions, sky, Prithvi all are living beings, then where I should drop this Abhimantrit Jal?" At last he dropped it on his own feet - that is why he was called as Mitrasaha. His feet became black because of that Jal - that is why he was named as Kalmaashpaad.

Because of the Shaap he had become Raakshas. One day he saw a Braahman couple together, he was hungry, so he caught the Braahman. Braahman's wife's desire was still not fulfilled. She said - "Raajan, You are not a Raakshas, you are the husband of Madayantee and come from the respectable Ikshwaaku family. You should not behave in such unreligious way. We want to have a child, so please leave my husband and give him to me. This human body makes Dharm, Arth, Kaam, and Moksh all the four available to a human being, that is why to kill this body is called to kill all Purushaarth (efforts). And this Braahman is very learned. You are very mighty and know the secrets of Dharm. As it is not good for a father to kill his son, it is not good for you to kill my good Braahman husband. If you still want to eat my husband, then eat me first, because I will not be alive without him even for a moment." And Braahman's wife started crying. But Saudaas did not pay any attention to her request and ate the Braahman. Then Satee Braahmanee gave Shaap to Raajaa - "You have eaten my husband in this situation (when we wanted to have a child), you will also die whenever you will want to have a child." After giving Shaap to Saudaas she became Satee with her husband's bones.

After 12 years, Raajaa got freed from the Shaap. He could not produce a child because of the Braahmanee's Shaap, so he remained childless. Then Vashishth Jee arranged his wife's pregnancy on his request. She was pregnant for seven years but the child did not born. Then Vashishth Jee hit a stone on her stomach then the child was born. Because he was born with the help of Ashm (stone), he was called Ashmak.

Vashishth Jee and Raajaa Raghu
Raajaa Raghu of Ikshwaaku Vansh was married to Indumatee. They had a son named Aj. Indumatee died young, and King forgot his royal duties in her sorrow. Vashishth Jee said - "Birth and death are not in our control. You may die in her sorrow, but still you will not get her back. Storms come but mountains do not move, you should be like a mountain."



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 06/19/13