Vashishtha is one of the Prajapatis and the son of Creator Brahma.
One of the Saptarishi of the present Manvantara.
Father – Lord Brahma
Wife – Arundhati, daughter of Sage Kardama and Devahuti
Sons – Chitraketu, Surochi, Mitra, Ulban, Vasubhradyaan, Dyumaan and Shakti. He also had a son named Ashmak from Saudaas’ wife
1. Literary works of Vashishtha
Vashishth is credited as the chief author of Mandal 7 of the Rig Veda. 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 Vedic hymn dedicated to him. He has composed “Vashishth Raamaayan“, “Yog Vashishth” and “Vashishth Sanhitaa” also. “Yog Vashishth” consists of 32,000 shlokas and the text is in the form question answers between the Guru (Vashishth) and the pupil (Raam).
2. Kul Guru of Soorya Vansh
Vashishth was the Kul Guru of Soorya Vansh.
3. Vashishth Jee and Raajaa Dileep
King Dileep was childless, so one day he came to Rishi Vashishth and asked for his help. Vashistha told Dileepa that the reason for his being childless was the fact that he had once passed by Kaamdhenu cow without greeting her. He also told him that if he would serve Kaamdhenu’s daughter Nandini for 21 days, then he could get a child. Dileepa did as directed by Vashistha. However on the 21st day a strange thing happened and 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 understood that the lion was no ordinary lion and possessed some divine power and requested it to let Nandini go and instead have him as his prey. The lion agreed and Dileep sacrificed his life for the cow. But then the lion mysteriously disappeared. Nandini 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 – Raghu who laid the foundation of Raghuvansha.
4. Vashishth’s Curse to King Saudaas, King Nimi and Vasus
Vashishth’s Curse to King Saudaas, King Nimi and Vasus are responsible for very interesting tales which we will discuss later
5. How King Kaushika became Vishwamitra
Vashista possessed a cow named Nandini, daughter of Kamadhenu. Nandini could instantly produce food enough for a whole army. The king Kaushika (later called Vishwamitra), once visited Vashistha’s hermitage and was very impressed with the cow and tried to take it away from Vashistha by force, but Kamadhenu/Nandini’s spiritual power was too great for him.
After being unable to conquer Nandini, Vishwamitra decided to acquire power himself through penance like Vashistha. He gained much power and many divine weapons from Shiva. Once again he attempted to conquer Kamadhenu/Nandini. But even the divine weapons he acquired could not defeat the power of Kamadhenu/Nandini.
Understanding the divinity of the cows, Vishwamitra finally decided to become a Brahmarishi himself; he renounced all his possessions and luxury and led the life of a simple forest ascetic.
There are lot of stories involving both Vishwamitra and Vashistha in Hindu mythology and shall be discussed later.