Biographies | Rishi
Vyaaghrapaad was a sage and was the son of Rishi Madhyaandin. Madhyaandin was a great Maharshi and he taught his son all Ved etc and made him a great Shad Kalaa Dhurandhar (skilled in six types of Poojaa of Shiv) as a devotee of Shiv of ancient India. But the son wanted something more so with the permission of his father he went to Tillai forest and started worshipping Shiv there.
There he used to pick Bilva Patra and untouched flowers even by honeybees to offer to Shiv. Once pleased with his Bhakti, Shiv appeared before him and asked him ask for a boon. He said - "Your continuous Bhakti is enough for me." But Shiv insisted that he should ask for something more. Vyaaghrapaad said - "Hey Karunaamaya, I worship you daily, I collect Bilva Patra and flowers for your Poojaa daily, this gives me immense pleasure. For them I have to wander around forest to forest, so when I go there, I have to walk on rough ground, sharp stones, thorns etc which give me lots of pain so if you can give me the feet of a Vyaaghra (tiger, but in Adhyaatm Tattwa language Vyaaghra means Moksh), I can bring them to you without any pain." Shiv smiled and said - "So be it." Shiv was very happy with his clear pure devotion to himself. Since then he became known as Vyaaghrapaad. Vyaaghra means tiger and Paad means feet. Thus Vyaaghrapaad, literally means "with the feet of tiger", so since he had got the feet of a Vyaaghra he was called Vyaaghrapaad. Later the place where he lived, was called Vyaaghrpaad Puree. As he had got tiger's legs and feet, he could go anywhere easily without hurting himself, even he could climb trees also.
When he became 16 years of age, his father came to take him to home but he was very happy to find him attained very high spiritual level. He told him to come home and get married. So Vyaaghrapaad came home and got married to the sister of Sage Vashishth. Then they had a son named Upamanyu. (see the Note at the bottom also) Thus Vashishth Jee was the Maamaa of Upamanyu. Later Vashishth Jee asked Vyaaghrapaad to move to his Aashram and there Upamanyu had the milk of Kaamdhenu (Vashishth Jee had this cow with him for a long time). After living for some time there Vyaaghrapaad came to his own city, Vyaaghrapaad Puree, but there arose a grave problem. The child Upamanyu would not accept any other milk other than the Kaamdhenu milk and started starving. Vyaaghrapaad got very worried seeing this so he took the child to Shiv Ling. Shiv Jee came down and created a sea of milk for him.
Mahaabhaarat, Anushaasan Parv, 14 says that Vyaaghrapaad Rishi had two sons - Upamanyu and Ayod-Dhaumya. Upamanyu was his elder son and Dhaumya was his younger son. It is also known that Upamanyu, his son, was the disciple of Maharshi Ayod-Dhaumya (see MBH, G-0-Prolog/4). Once, even Krishn took Shiv Deekshaa from Upamanyu to have Darshan of Shiv to get children from Satyabhaamaa - read MBH, Anushaasan Parv, 14 .
Besides a mention is made of Vyaaghrapaad in the story of Khar (who was in Raam's time, Tretaa Yug) that Khar gave Shiv Ling to Vyaaghrapaad; it means that Vyaaghrapaad lived in Khar times and that was also before Raam times, because at that time Khar was still getting boons.
According to one view, Nandinaath has been said to initiate eight disciples - Sanatkumaar, Sanakaar, Sanadanaar, Sananthaanar, Shiv Yog Muni, Patanjali, Vyaaghrapaad and Thirumular; and sent them to various places to spread the teaching of A-Dwait Shaivism.
Vyaaghrapaad lived in Chidaambaram and used to worship Shiv in the temple of Chidaambaram, Tamilnaadu. This whole area is known as Vyaaghra Puree on his name. He witnessed Shiv's dance also here.
His pictures are found as a human being with the legs of a tiger. Surprisingly
he is also depicted with a tiger-like tail also.
He is the Mantra Drashtaa of many Rig Ved Mantra.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/30/13