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Agastya

Other names : Agatsya

M

aharishi Agastya was born as a result of the spilling of the semen of the gods Mitra and Varuna into a pot. When they first beheld the lovely apsara (celestial dancing girl) Urvashi out and about, first Mitra and then Varun (sea-god) ejaculated their semen, and caught it in a pot. Agastya was generated from this mingling of the two divine deposits; hence he is referred to as a son of Mitravarun.

 

Later, from the same pot, Vashishtha was born from the seed of Varuna; therefore he also was considered the offspring of Mitravarun. However, before this particular birth, he had been stripped of his earthly body as a result of the curse of King Nimi, hence by acquiring this new earthly body, he was known as an earthly son of Brahma. Having been born from a “ghat” (earthen pot), Agastya was also called “Ghat” Yogi (sage). According to the tales told in Puranic literature, Agastya is considered a brilliant sage.

Maharishi Agastya was born as a result of the spilling of the semen of the gods Mitra and Varuna into a pot. When they first beheld the lovely apsara (celestial dancing girl) Urvashi out and about, first Mitra and then Varun (sea-god) ejaculated their semen, and caught it in a pot.

Once upon a time, the nest of a bird dwelling on the banks of the sea was swept away by the ocean waves. The eggs of the bird were carried away in the nest. The bird couple was helpless against the power of the ocean to save their eggs, and so they appealed to Agastya Rishi for help. Agastya called out to the ocean and requested the return of those eggs. The ocean did not pay any heed to him. Now Agastya was furious. Scooping up three handfuls of ocean water and drinking it, he caused the transfer of the entire mass of water contained in the ocean into his stomach. It was only on the request of Lord Brahma for the welfare of the world, that Agastya restored the waters back to the ocean.

 

 

Scooping up three handfuls of ocean water and drinking it, he caused the transfer of the entire mass of water contained in the ocean into his stomach. It was only on the request of Lord Brahma for the welfare of the world, that Agastya restored the waters back to the ocean.

Once, the Vindhyachal Mountain was doing penance to achieve height, and rose higher and higher until till it blocked the path of the sun. As soon as the chariot of the sun was blocked from making his round, half of creation was clothed in ongoing darkness. The gods then prayed to Brahma for his help. Brahma appeared and when told the problem, advised them that the Vindhyachal considered Agastya his guru, and only he could help them out now.

 

In those days Agastya used to live in Kashi, in the North of India. To help the gods with the problem of Vindhyachal, he began a journey from his home in the north, down to the south of India. When Vindhyachal saw Rishi Agastya approaching, Vindhyachal bowed down with great deference at his feet, lying prone in a “dandavat” (the full body, including head and feet, lying face down on the ground) posture. Sage Agastya crossed over his prostrate form and blessed him, saying to Vindhyachal, “I am an old man who has difficulty climbing. Until I return from the south, please as a favor to me, stay in this prone position so I shall not have trouble climbing over you.” Vindhyachal happily agreed to do so. Agastya then settled down in the Dandaka forest in South India. He never returned to the North. So the Vindhyachal Mountain still remains in its place, in a prone position. Tadaka and Mareech also became man-eating demons as a result of a curse laid on them by Agastya. There are numerous such tales of Agastya’s power and prowess.

“dandavat” (the full body, including head and feet, lying face down on the ground) posture

Lord Rama bestowed the ultimate bliss on Rishi Sharabhanga in the Dandaka forest and reached Sootikshana’s ashram. Sootikshana was a disciple of Sage Agastya. Along with him, Rama, Sita and Lakshman went to the ashram of Sage Agastya. Shri Rama spent many peaceful days there, and Sage Agastya gave him many celestial weapons. It was at his suggestion that Rama chose to build his forest dwelling at Panchavati, on the banks of the river Godavari, and stayed there for a long time.

 

During the battle between Rama and Ravana, after the abduction of Sita, Sage Agastya went to Rama and gave him the “Aditya Hriday” (prayer for invoking the Sun God). It was this special invocation that helped Rama to overpower and kill Ravana.

During the battle between Rama and Ravana, after the abduction of Sita, Sage Agastya went to Rama and gave him the “Aditya Hriday” (prayer for invoking the Sun God). It was this special invocation that helped Rama to overpower and kill Ravana.

When Rama was crowned King of Ayodhya, Agastya Rishi came and gave several discourses on his duty, ethics and royal decorum. For a long time Rama, Lakshman, Bharat, and Shatrughna had the benefit of his august company. Like Guru Vashishtha and Vishwamitra, Sage Agastya made a major contribution to the role Rama played out in his avatar (incarnation) on earth.

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