Who is ऋषि?
Secular schooling teaches that those with beard, retired to jungle, living primitive life, are rishi(s).
Ask your siblings, children, nephews, nieces, young friends about Rishi and they will reply their imagination about Rishi like this:
*Rishi lives in jungle
*Rishi lives in temporarily created raw houses created using wood, clay and leaves.
*Rishi wears tree’s leaves and tree skin
*Rishi sits on deer skin
*Rishi had long beard and mustache since they don’t know how to shave
*They were not wealthy and powerful and lived by begging.
In short, संन्यास आश्रम dominates when we describe Rishi. That is so limited understanding!
Who is ऋषि?
साक्षात्कृतधर्माण ऋषियों बभूवुः | – यास्क
जो धर्म का साक्षात्कार करवाए वह ऋषि है |
In our body, our senses are ऋषि as they help us in realizing dharma based living. Sharper the senses, better the realization of dharma.
In this physical world, all those individuals, who helps you, helps society for common goal of self-realization, is Rishi.
‘यस्य वाक्यं स ऋषि: या तेनोच्यते सा देवता |
One whose experience is recorded, is a Rishi and the object of his experience is Devata.
Strength and virility is sign of ऋषि. They cannot be weak and timid.
In rigveda, Rishi Vashishth says:
मा अहं मृण्मये गृहं गमम् | – 7-81-1
“We don’t live in weak clay houses!” (Weak body/Weak society)
बर्हन्तं मानं सहस्रद्वारं गृहं जगम| 7-88-5
“We live in big house with thousand portals(doors)”
धरुवं यशश्छर्दिरस्मभ्यं | 7-74-5
“We live in home with strength and stability”
So far study of books written on Vedas suggest that every single hymn of Rugved talks about interconnectedness and unity of the universe. So if above verse describes homes, it is related to our Body as ‘Home’, Physical Home where we live and Earth as Home.It may be ideal reality for us but it is very normal routine for Rishi and his times!
Rishis cannot be weak, unorganized and barbaric as described by teachers, textbooks and media.Rishis were scientists with incomparable intellect. Rishis were mighty warriors with incomparable body. They knew how to live in nature harmoniously and that doesn’t mean that they did not know how to build strong clay houses! Clay = Old fashioned, Living in Nature = non civilized are myths and we must break it otherwise coming generation would never feel like going in and learning from Nature. Forget about respecting and learning from Rishis. Due to this nonsensical, thoughtless and superfluous image presented to school children by parents and teachers, children can never connect with image of real Rishi!
Who Rishi? What is his power?
The real MAN who can stand against दानव,राक्षस and असुर. In history of Bharat, whenever Dev and/or Aarya kings became pale and weak by mental strength of fighting, Rishis came forward to start people movements, fought against evil forces and re-established पूर्ण-स्वराज्य.
आ यद वाम ईयचक्षसा मित्र वयं च सूरयः |
वयचिष्ठे बहुपाय्ये यतेमहि सवराज्ये || – Rigveda 5/66/6
सूरयः – Allow only scholars, experienced and established person of excellence to contest election. Reject everyone else. Use Right to Recall if we have made collective mistake of sending wrong person.
वयचिष्ठे – Candidate/Govt must work for welfare of all by keeping balance check on national security and integrity in mind
बहुपाय्ये – Majority’s vote should be final, abolish pseudo majority exists in coalition politics.
मित्र – Selfless candidate, 100% devoted to nation, no self-interest adn NO PERSONAL LIFE AS WELL.
When no one was ready to fight against Ravan, it was group of Rishis who create necessity for fight and inspired Dashrath to start AshwaMegh yagna.
What was AshwaMegh yagna? Nothing but conference on National integrity and security arranged by ऋषिगण, sponsored by Ayodhya state (Gokul/Dwarka/Indraprasth in Krishna’s time).
Look at their agreed manifesto:
ततो देवाः स गन्धर्वाः सिद्धाः च परम ऋषयः |
भाग प्रतिग्रहार्थम् वै समवेता यथाविधि || १-१५-४
ताः समेत्य यथा न्यायम् तस्मिन् सदसि देवताः |
अब्रुवन् लोक कर्तारम् ब्रह्माणम् वचनम् ततः || १-१५-५
भगवन् त्वत् प्रसादेन रावणो नाम राक्षसः |
सर्वान् नो बाधते वीर्यात् शासितुम् तम् न शक्नुमः || १-१५-६
त्वया तस्मै वरो दत्तः प्रीतेन भगवन् तदा |
मानयन्तः च तम् नित्यम् सर्वम् तस्य क्षमामहे || १-१५-७
उद्वेजयति लोकान् त्रीन् उच्छ्रितान् द्वेष्टि दुर्मतिः |
शक्रम् त्रिदश राजानम् प्रधर्षयितुम् इच्छति || १-१५-८
ऋषीन् यक्षान् स गन्धर्वान् असुरान् ब्राह्मणान् तथा |
अतिक्रामति दुर्धर्षो वर दानेन मोहितः || १-१५-९
नैनम् सूर्यः प्रतपति पार्श्वे वाति न मारुतः |
चलोर्मिमाली तम् दृष्ट्वा समुद्रोऽपि न कंपते || १-१५-१०
तन् महन्नो भयम् तस्मात् राक्षसात् घोर दर्शनात् |
वधार्थम् तस्य भगवन् उपायम् कर्तुम् अर्हसि || १-१५-११
Then the deities along with celestial beings, siddha-s, i.e., the souls that obtained salvation, and also other esteemed sages who by now are the residents of Heavens have duteously assembled in the firmament to receive their part of the oblations. [1-15-4]
Those deities who procedurally assembled there in that congregation then spoke to Brahma, the creator of worlds. [1-15-5]
“Oh! God, the demon named Ravana is torturing all of us with his intrepidity, as you have blessed him, and we are unable to control him. [1-15-6]
“You have given boon to him appreciating his ascesis and oh, god, with high regard to that boon of yours we are tolerating all the cruel acts of Ravana from then onwards [1-15-7]
“That malevolent Ravana is tormenting all the three worlds, hating the functionary deities of cosmos, and always desires to assail Indra, the king of all the functionary deities of universe. [1-15-8]
“That invincible one is further self-conceited by the boons you have accorded, and he is overbearingly torturing the sages, celestial beings like yaksha-s, gandharva-s, asura-s, and like that even the Brahmans. [1-15-9]
“The Sun-god will not verily parch Ravana, the Air-god will not puff at his sides, and on seeing Ravana, the lord of the undulating waves, namly the ocean will not pulsate either. [1-15-10]
“Thereby, there is a great panic for all of us from that demon with an awesome look, hence oh, god, it will be apt of you to give a thought for his elimination. [1-15-11]
And under the rule of Dashrath, process of killing Ravan started. What are the steps to eliminate evil?
“In case of fighting against corruption, top down approach has less chances for success compare to bottom up approach, provided you have patience.
Top down approach : Become crowd of frustrated citizens, Protest, Topple Govt, Replace with new corrupt breed and the cycle goes on
Bottom up approach : Become group of alert citizens and educate each other for civic duties and rights, Replace corrupt govt, Have Right To Recall with you
Aggressive and ignorant झुंड/भीड़ cannot bring revolution.Alert and educated समूह can, will.”
Under the expert guidance of ऋषिगण, leaders of different states decided to support Dashrath(Nominating him as Prime Minister, like in Chanakya’s time, Chandragupt received support) Everyone was given tasks.ऋषिगण started their work as soon as clarion call was given.King Dashrath and his allies too started the movement. Since Ravan was fully confident that मनुष्य(आर्य) are weak and cannot kill him, he had no trace about Dashrath’s preparation. But he did have threat from Rishis and their work so he often sent his army to destroy Rishi’s work.
Here are the measures taken by ऋषिगण
All ऋषि went into different directions after Security Conference held at Ayodhya
They resumed their universities with focused goal i.e. to destroy Ravan Rajya and establish Raam Rajya (Remember, this is Dashrath’s time! Raam and others sons have not seen world yet! Before inviting Raam like personality on Earth, lot of ground work was being done by ऋषिs)
They started preparing तरुण/तरुणी in their ashram. They integrated new courses in Gurukul related to weapon research and mandatory military training for all students (Later during Raam’s vanvas, he was gifted many weapons by different ऋषिs. Read Ramayana for details)
ऋषि कश्यप’s bastion was meeting place for all. कश्यप’s gurukul was known to decide future strategies.
ऋषिs went into most interior part of Bharat to identify प्रतिभा, train them and asked to be prepared for Raam’s visit.
Here are the measures taken by Dashrath
He sent Raam on तीर्थ यात्रा at the age of 16(!) to let him know and understand the dire situation of आर्यवर्त.
Raam was sent to Rishi Vasshisth Asshram for preparation
Again when Raam was ready, he was summoned to do nationwide awareness program (The final clarion call before final battle!) – We call it वनवास. Can’t we rationally judge that how can Noble King Dashrath and his family deport their beloved son on whom they rely heavily to kill Ravan? Story of Kaikai to force Dashrath to send Raam in jungle is nothing but Rishi Valmiki’s expertise to weave then social issues and let common mass understand the value of evils in family and become aware of them.
Raam spent 14 years of his youth, travelling across nation, meeting people of different clans, groups and states, awakening their soul, making them bold and powerful, gathering support. (In his task, great psychiatrist and warrior Hanumaan helped selflessly!)
From Ashwamegh Conference to killing of Ravan, it took innumerable(Too numerous to be counted) man hours in 48 years of तपस्या!
गृहस्थ ऋषि is the most sublime possible archetype (Something that serves as a model or a basis for making copies) gifted by culture(संस्कृति) of our motherland. More गृहस्थ ऋषि(s) society can produce, mightier the Nation will become. When we use गृहस्थ prefix for ऋषि, it does not mean ऋषि will downgrade his living as per ordinary गृहस्थ (Having attachments for Sansar and Sanaric vices) but quite reversal of it, ऋषि demonstrates perfect detached living. This is very critical subject of research. Experiment and document this archetype in present state of universe.
Dr. XYZ is first XYZ and then Dr. XYZ is inherent nature and being Dr is unavoidable duty. Similarly, गृहस्थ ऋषि is first ऋषि and being गृहस्थ is unavoidable duty. If you become ऋषि, you can become गृहस्थ and yet remain unaffected by सांसारिक illusions. That is the purpose of producing गृहस्थ ऋषि(s).
With life progression, गृहस्थ ऋषि will become संन्यासी ऋषि. Swa-Dharma changes with age, prefix changes with time but inherent nature remains same i.e. Being ऋषि.
Gotra means lineage. We Sanatani(s) trace our ancestry to seven rishis. We call ourselves Rishi putra.
So does this imply a belief in exclusive lineage? The answer becomes clear when you read in the Vedas that the seven rishis reside in the brain as far as आधिभौतिक plane of the Universe matters!
The primal rishis are the senses, or cognitive centers. The rishi lineages or Gotra simply celebrate the association of one dominant sense or another in the family’s ancient history.
Do SAdhana, work hard, discover your father, Rishi within and live life to sustain the world.