Bhrigu is one of the Prajapatis and the sons of Creator Brahma.
One of the Saptarishi of the first as well as the present Manvantara.
Father – Lord Brahma
Wife – Khyati, daughter of Daksha
Sons – Shukra, Chyavana, Dhata and Vidhata
Daughter – Sri or Shri, who married Lord Vishnu
1. First compiler of predictive astrology
Bhrigusamhita is believed to be the first book of its kind in the field of astrology.
He compiled about 500,000 horoscopes and recorded the life details and events of various persons. This formed a database for further research and study.
These horoscopes were based upon the planetary positions of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu (North Node of the Moon) and Ketu (South Node of the Moon).
Maharishi taught this art of predictions to his son Sukra and other pupils.
2. Testing Trimurti and the reason behind Bhrigu Samhita
Once upon a time many great sages gathered at the bank of river Saraswati to participate in maha yagya organized at that time. Maharishi Bhrigu was also present there. All the great saints and sages could not decide that out of the Trimurti – Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Shiv who is pre-eminent and to whom should they offer Pradhanta (Master) of that yagya. With the consent of all the great saints present there, it was decided that Maharishi Bhrigu will test and decide who was pre-eminent.
Upon being entrusted with the task Maharishi Bhrigu decided to test Lord Brahma first. He went on to see Lord Brahma in Brahmalok. On reaching Brahmalok Maharishi displayed utter disrespect to Lord Brahma on purpose. Lord Brahma got angry as Bhrigu was his son and wanted to punish Maharishi but Maha Saraswati, wife of Lord Brahma saved Maharishi from his anger (in some versions he himself composed himself to hide the anger). Angry with disrespect and not finding Brahma worth of being ‘Supreme’ Maharishi Bhrigu cursed Lord Brahma that no one will worship Brahma in Kaliyug (in another version Bhrigu cursed Brahma because when he went to Brahma to invite him for a Yagya he was deeply immersed in the music played by Saraswati and couldn’t hear Bhrigu’s calls)
Maharishi Bhrigu then decided to visit Lord Shiva at Kailash Parvat. On reaching Kailash Parvat, Nandi stopped him from going inside because at that time, Shiva and Parvati were sporting fun. Bhrigu curses Lord Shiva to be only worshipped in Linga form.
Then in order to test Lord Vishnu, Maharishi reached Vaikunth Dham. He entered the Dham without Lord Vishnu’s permission and saw that the Lord was resting at that time. Maharishi asked him to wake up, but Lord was in deep sleep. On seeing no reaction from Lord, Maharishi hit Lord Vishnu on his chest (that strike by Maharishi Bhrigu left a foot print on Lord’s chest and that foot print is known as “Shri Vatsa“).
Lord Vishnu got up after the strike and realized what has happened. On realizing that Maharishi had hit him with his foot, Lord asked him, “Maharishi, are you hurt in your foot? My chest is strong but your foot is not so strong”. Seeing the decorum of Lord Vishnu, Bhrigu was pleased and declared him superior amongst the Tridev.
Maha Laxmi, goddess of prosperity and wife of Lord Vishnu witnessed the whole incident, as she was also present in the Dham at that time. She could not tolerate disrespect displayed by Maharishi Bhrigu towards Lord Vishnu and cursed him that henceforth she would never visit Brahmins and they will all live in absence of wealth.
On hearing this curse from Maha Laxmi, Maharishi told her, his very purpose of visiting the Vaikunth Dham and his mission. On hearing this, Maha Laxmi told Maharishi, that her curse will definitely haunt Brahmins but whenever any Brahmin will worship Lord Vishnu, he will be liberated from her curse.
It is after this incident that Maharishi Bhrigu decided to write famous book of astrology, the Bhrigu Samhita, with the blessings of Lord Ganesha and Maha Saraswati, to help Brahmins earn their living.
3. Mention of Bhrigu in the Bhagvad Geeta
maharsheenaam bhriguraham giraamasmyekamaksharam |
yajnyaanaam japayajnyosmi sthaavaraanaam himaalayaha ||
Meaning – Among the great sages I am Bhrigu, among spoken words I am the one letter (Om). Among the sacrificial rituals I am the ritual of japa, and among the immovable objects I am the Himalayas.
4. The Curse behind Lord Vishnu’s Avatars
The Devtas and the Asuras used to fight quite often. More often than not, the Asuras were killed in huge numbers in these encounters. Shukracharya decided to acquire powers that will make the demons invincible and left to perform severe tapasya. He instructed the Asuras to wait in his father, Sage Bhrigu’s hermitage until he returned.
Devtas realised that this was the best time to strike the Asuras and attacked the hermitage. The Asuras fled to Shukracharya’s mother (Bhrigu’s wife) for protection. When the Devtas attacked, the lady used her powers to make Indra completely immobile. Indra could not move at all. He stood there like a statue. This strange sight frightened the Devtas so much that they started to run away.
When Bhrigu’s wife refused to hand over the Asuras, Lord Vishnu had no choice but to summon his Sudarshana Chakra and kill her.
When Bhrigu he returned and found out what had happened, he was greatly angered. Vishnu had committed the crime of killing a woman. Bhrigu therefore cursed Vishnu that he would have to be born several times on earth.