Other names: Bhrigoo, Bhreegu
In the ancient stories, Bhrigu has been called the philosopher Muni, and the one who fought for the interest of the devtas. Back in ancient times he was one of the Vedic Purohits (priest). It is mentioned in Rigveda that Bhrigu was the first person to acquire Agni.
Agni is said to be the gift of Bhrigu. He brought Agni (fire) to the humans. The meaning of the word “Bhrigu” is “radiant”. That is why he has been compared in Vedic literature with the Sun.
Maharishi Bhrigu had two wives: Mata Khyati and Mata Pulauma. His son Shukra (Venus) was the Guru of the Demons. Daksha Prajapati had not invited Shiva to attend the Yagya that he had organized. Sati, consort of Shiva and daughter of Daksha went to the yagya without invitation. There she saw her husband Shiva being insulted before all, and in anger burnt herself to death. At this, Virabhadra, a member of Shiva’s group, destroyed the yagya.
Maharshi Bhrigu was present there. He pleaded with Shiva for protection and Shiva assured him of safe passage. During the war between the Devtas and Demons, Bhrigu had fought from the side of the devtas. Bhrigu had the knowledge of Sanjeevani Vidya (the act of restoring a dead man to life) also.
According to another story, when Vishnu did not protect Bhrigu’s yagya from the demons, angry Bhrigu cursed him to take birth ten times. Lord Vishnu’s famous ten incarnations are the result of this curse.
According to one more story, in ancient times, many great sages gathered at the bank of the 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 which one out of the Tridev, Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Mahesh, was the superior one, and the one 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 would test them and decide who was the superior amonst the Tridev.
Maharishi decided to test Brahmaji first. He went to see Brahmaji in Brahmalok. On reaching Brahmalok Maharishi displayed utter disrespect to Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma got angry and wanted to punish Maharishi but Mata Saraswati, wife of Lord Brahma, saved Maharishi from his anger.
Angry with the disrespect, Bhrigu cursed Brahmaji that no one will worship him.
Maharishi Bhrigu next decided to visit Lord Shiva (Mahesh) at Kailash Parvat. On reaching Kailash Parvat, Nandi stopped him from entering because at that time, Shiva and Parvati were engaged in love-sport.
Angry Bhrigu cursed Shiva that the shape of his idol would be described as having the shape of a phallus.
That left Lord Vishnu now. 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 the Lord was in a deep sleep. On seeing no reaction from the Lord, Maharishi kicked 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 Vats” to this day.)
Lord Vishnu woke up after the strike and realized what had happened. On realizing that Maharishi had struck him with his foot, Lord asked him, “Maharishi, has your foot been hurt? 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.
According to Hindu mythology, goddess of wealth and wife of Lord Vishnu, Mata Laxmi also witnessed the whole incident, as she was also present in the Dham at that time. She could not tolerate the disrespect displayed by Maharishi Bhrigu towards Lord Vishnu, and so cursed him that henceforth she would never visit Brahmins and so they would all live in absence of wealth.
On hearing this curse from Mata Laxmi, Maharishi told her his purpose for visiting the Vaikunth Dham. On hearing this, Mata Laxmi calmed down and told Maharishi, that her curse will definitely haunt Brahmins but whenever any Brahmin will worship Lord Vishnu, he will be liberated from that curse.
Maharishi Bhrigu collected many birth charts, wrote their predictions for their full life and compiled them together to be known as Bhrigusamhita today. Bhrigusamhita was destroyed in Banaras University, but a few pages of the book are still extant in Hoshiarpur city in Punjab. Bhrigusamhita was the very important and first book of its kind in the field of astrology.
Maharishi Bhrigu decided to write a famous book of astrology “Bhrigusamhita”, with the blessings of Lord Ganesha and Mata Saraswati, to help Brahmins earn their living.