Did you know Brahmarishi Vishvamitra has been considered the most admired rishis in ancient India? He was also known as the most famous and bravest king of his time. Rishi Vishvamitra according to the Puran was the first
Rishi out of the other 24 rishis who understood the Gayatri mantra thoroughly. Vishvamitra has been credited with the majority portion as an author of Mandala 3 of Rigveda with Gayatri’s mantra as well.
So, today I’m going to tell you all about Rishi Vishvamitra, his works, his life, and all the other details. But let’s understand the meaning of the term ‘Rishi’. It is a Sanskrit word that means an expert and enlightened person to whom knowledge has been disclosed.
Birth and Life of Rishi Vishvamitra
Rishi Vishvamitra was born in Kaushik but by birth, he wasn’t a Brahamana but a determined warrior. The son of King Gaadhi and descendant of the ancestor sage Kusha Vishvamitra was known as Kshatriya King Kaushika. There isn’t much detailed information about the life of Vishvamitra but in Mahabharata, chapter 27 of Harivamsha, and in Vishnu Purana a lot has been described by this great sage.
It is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana that Rishi Vishvamitra married a young lady who belonged to the Purukutsa dynasty and later they had their son named Gaadhi and he later had his daughter named Satyavati but don’t get confused as she wasn’t Satyavati from Mahabharat.
Here’s a little back story of Satyavati she was married to Ruchika who was a Brahman and his ambition was to have a son who has all the qualities of a Brahman and he prepared a sacrificial offering and he gave it to Satyavati so that he could accomplish his wish. Ruchika gave Satyavati’s mother the same offering because she requested it as he wanted to conceive a son with the qualities of Kshatriya.
But secretly Satyavati’s mother exchanged her offering with her daughter and later Satyavati gave birth to “Jamadagni” who was Brahman but gained the qualities of Kshatriya and Satyavati’s mother gave birth to “Rishi Vishwamitra” who gained the qualities of Brahman.
Achievement in Archery and Divine Power
Once Kamdhenu, another king with his power in yoga, created an army of sixteen to fight with the army of Rishi Vishvamitra. But Visvamitra on the other hand with his might destroyed the whole sixteen soldiers army but this was unbearable for Kamdhenu so he then built an army of Huns, Barvars, Kambojas, Sakas, etc.
But Vishvamitra killed those as well after that Kamdheru produced destructive weapons and it killed hundreds of soldiers. This wasn’t bearable destruction so the sons of Vishvamitra tried killing Vashishtha but he in return swallowed all the sons except one.
Later, Rishi Vishvamitra gave his throne to his remaining son and went to caves for self-punishment as he was deeply hurt by losing all his son and his army. He pleased Mahadev with his immense self-punishment and acquired full knowledge of Archery which included divine powers.
Dispute with Vashishta
Rishi Vishvamitra and Rishi Vashishta both always had clashes with each other. Once the former cursed to become a crane to King Harishchandra and when Vashishta came to know about this he too converted himself in a crane to give company to the king. So, between these two Rishi’s the conflicts were very huge and sometimes the creation God Brahma had to interfere between their wars.
After Rishi Vishvamitra learned and gained all the knowledge about archery and all other weapons from Lord Mahadev he finally succeeded in killing hundreds of sons of Vashishta but unfortunately, he couldn’t kill Vashishta himself.
All these incidents affected a lot to the life of Rishi Vishvamitra and he then understood that physical strength is not greater than spiritual powers. Vishvamitra then resigned from the throne and began the new journey which included intense Tapasya and meditation to become a sage and later Lord Brahma himself gave him the title of “Brahmarishi”.
Indulge in different works and Legends
Rishi Vishvamitra has been included in many works of Sanatana Dharma and it is also said by the other great sages that Vishvamitra created a collateral universe for the king Trishanku known as “Trishanku Swarga”.
He also has been the instructor for Lord Rama, Lakshman, and his brother Vishnu who is the seventh avatar; he gave them the knowledge of archery and other weapons. He taught them how to fight with powerful enemies like Maricha, Tataka and trained them to use weapons.
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Vishvamitra and Menaka
While Rishi Vishvamitra was performing his self-punishment he was interrupted through the Apsara Menaka and she was born from the ocean of churning by the Asuras and Devas. Menaka was considered as the most clever, sharp, and beautiful apsaras and she tried to distract Vishvamitra from his meditation and she was successful in her intentions.
Eventually, she falls in love with him and their baby girl is Shakuntala and she grows up in the ashram of Sage Kanva and there she too falls in love with King Dushyanta and they then have a baby boy known as ‘Bharata’.
Gayatri Mantra is considered the most powerful prayer among Hindus and Rishi Vishvamitra is known as the sage who found the sacred Gayatri Mantra. Gayatri is the name of a Vedic meter in which the verses are being composed and from the Rigveda, it’s a verse from Sukta.
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि।
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥
In normal language: Aum Bhur Bhuvah Svah Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat
Meaning of this: we try and meditate on the glory of the Creator,
Who is worthy to Worship, Who is our source of knowledge Who is the brightness in our lives May he luminous our intellect
In his journey to becoming a Brahmarishi Rishi Vishvamitra has faced a lot of challenges in his life but it made him free from all kinds of jealousy, anger, negative thoughts. He proved that he has fully gained control of his emotions and reactions when once a Brahman tried his best to make him angry but Vishvamitra smiled throughout the situation.
This way he continued with his long years of meditation and sadhana until that day when lord Brahma appeared and said to him “indeed you’re a Brahmarishi”. And this way after so many years of Tapasya and struggles he was named Brahmarishi.
So, here we come to an end for this article, and definitely, this shows how spiritual beliefs can change your life and make you a great person inside out.
This was all about Rishi Vishvamitra and his life. I hope this article was helpful to you. Thank you!