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Encyclopedia > Agastya
This article contains Indic text.
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In Hinduism, Agastya (अगस्त्य in devanagari, pronounced /ə gəs tyə/) is a legendary Vedic sage or rishi. Some[attribution needed] say that it was the sage Agastya who first brought and popularized the Vedic religion to south India. Agastya and his clan are also credited[attribution needed] to have "authored" many mantras of the Rig Veda, the earliest and most revered Hindu scripture, in the sense of first having the mantras revealed in his mind by the Supreme Spirit Brahman. In some reckonings, Agastya is also said to be one of the greatest Seven Sages or Saptarshis. The word is also written as Agasti. A-ga means a mountain, Asti, thrower. Also a name of Lord Shiva. Agastya the Rishi, was born of both Gods, Mitra and Varuna of Urvashi. Agastya is also the Indian astronomical name of the star of Canopus, is said to be the 'cleanser of waters', since its rising(pre-monsoon period (April-May)) preceds the calming of the waters of Indian Ocean. Other reference is in Mahabharata in Sauptikaparva as the teacher of the teacher of Guru Drona, who gave Drona, the greatest of weapons, Brahmastra (used by both Arjuna and Ashwatthama at the end of the war). Image File history File links Example. ... The Brahmic family is a family of abugidas (writing systems) used in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria. ... Hinduism (known as in some modern Indian languages[1]) is a religion that originated on the Indian subcontinent. ... Rigveda manuscript in Devanagari (early 19th century) DevanāgarÄ« (देवनागरी — in English pronounced ) (ISCII – IS13194:1991) [1] is an abugida alphabet used to write several Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Konkani, Bhojpuri and Nepali from Nepal. ... This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ... A rishi (Sanskrit ऋषि: ṛṣi) is a Hindu saint or sage, originally a divinely inspired poet or singer. ... The Vedas are part of the Hindu Shruti; these religious scriptures form part of the core of the Brahminical and Vedic traditions within Hinduism and are the inspirational, metaphysical and mythological foundation for later Vedanta, Yoga, Tantra and even Bhakti forms of Hinduism. ... In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ... The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... Brahman (Devanagari: ब्रह्म) is the concept of the Godhead found in Hinduism. ... SaptaÅ—iÅŸhi or SaptarÅŸi (सप्तर्षि, pronounced as sÉ™ptÉ™rÅžhi) in Sanskrit means the Seven Sages or rishis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and other Hindu literature. ... Shiva (also spelled Siva; Sanskrit ) is considered to be the supreme God in Shaivism, a denomination of Hinduism and one of the five primary forms of the Divine in Smarta tradition or Smartism, a denomination of Hinduism. ... *mitra (Proto-Indo-Iranian, nominative *mitras) was an important Indo-Iranian divinity. ... In Vedic religion, Varuna (Devanagari:वरुण, IAST:) is a god of the sky, of rain and of the celestial ocean, as well as a god of law and of the underworld. ... Canopus (α Car / α Carinae / Alpha Carinae) is the brightest star in the southern constellation of Carina, and the second brightest star in the sky, with a visual magnitude of −0. ... Manuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra The (Devanagari: ) is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the . ... In the epic Mahabharata, Drona (Sanskrit: द्रोण, droNa) or Dronacharya (द्रोणाचार्य, droNāchārya) is the royal guru to the Kauravas and the Pandavas. ... Brahmastra is an arrow created by Brahma. ... Krishna to Arjuna: Behold My mystic opulence! Arjuna (Sanskrit: अर्जुन, arjuna) is one of the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. ... In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Ashwatthama (Sanskrit: अश्वत्थाम, ashvatthāma) or Ashwatthaman (Sanskrit: अश्वत्थमन, ashvatthamana) was the son of guru Dronacharya. ...

Contents

Humbling the Vindhya mountains

Legend says that the Vindhya mountains that separate north and south India from each other once showed a tendency to grow so high as to obstruct the usual trajectory of the sun. This was accompanied by increasing vanity on the part of that mountain range, which demanded that Surya, the sun-God, should circum-ambulate the Vindhyas in the same way as he does Mount Meru (identified by some as being the north pole). The need arose to subdue, by guile, the Vindhyas, and Agastya was chosen to do that. The Vindhya Range is a range of hills in central India, which geographically separates The Indian subcontinent into northern India and Southern India. ... South India is a linguistic-cultural region of India that comprises the four Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry, whose inhabitants are collectively referred to as South Indians. ... The Vindhya Range is a range of hills in central India, which geographically separates The Indian subcontinent into northern India and Southern India. ...


Agastya journeyed from northern solstice to southern solstice, and on the way encountered the now impassable Vindhya mountains. He asked the mountain range to facilitate his passage across to the south. In reverence for so eminent a sage as Agastya, the Vindhya mountains bent low enough to enable the sage and his family to cross over and enter south India. The Vindhya range also promised not to increase in height until Agastya and his family returned to the northern solstice. Agastya settled permanently in the south, and the Vindhya range, true to its word, never grew further. Thus, Agastya accomplished by guile something that would have been impossible to accomplish by force. Ramayana covers this astronomical correction made by Rishi Agastya. It is from here that the science of Vastu Shastra originaged. South India is a linguistic-cultural region of India that comprises the four Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry, whose inhabitants are collectively referred to as South Indians. ...


Agastya and Lopāmudrā

As with all other Hindus, it was necessary for Agastya to marry and sire a son, in order to fulfill his duties to the Manus. Once he resolved upon doing this, Agastya pursued an unusual course of action: by his yogic powers, he created a female infant who possessed all the special qualities of character and personality that would be appropriate in the wife of a renunciate. At this time, the noble and virtuous king of Vidarbha (an area in south-central India, just south of the Vindhya mountains), was childless and was undergoing penances and prayers for the gift of a child. Agastya arranged for the child he had created to be born the daughter of that noble king of Vidarbha. The child was named "Lopamudra" by her parents. Upon her coming of age, Agastya approached the king and sought the hand of his daughter. The king was initially chagrined to hear such a suggestion from a renunciate, but found that his daughter, who had early exhibited extraordinary standards of mind and character, was insistent that he should accept the proposal. She was utterly intent upon exchanging the palace of her father the king for the forest-hermitage of Agastya. Lopamudra and Agastya were duly married and lived a life of extraordinary felicity. This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... Vidarbha is the north-eastern region of Maharashtra state, now forming two divisions (Nagpur and Amravati). ... Lopamudra (Sanskrit: लोपमुद्रा) was an ancient Indian female philosopher. ...


Legends about Agastya

One story about Agastya goes that once the demons had taken refuge in the ocean and it was difficult for the gods to vanquish them, so they went to Sage Agastya for help. Then, after hearing the gods, the sage drank the entire ocean water and held it within him until the demons were destroyed.


Agastya is said[Please name specific person or group] to have "dedicated" all the forest animals to the deity Rudra (later called as Shiva), hence making them fit for eating if killed while hunting. Rudra (Sanskrit: रुद्रः) (Howler) is a Rigvedic God of the storm, the hunt, death, Nature and the Wind. ... Shiva (also spelled Siva; Sanskrit ) is considered to be the supreme God in Shaivism, a denomination of Hinduism and one of the five primary forms of the Divine in Smarta tradition or Smartism, a denomination of Hinduism. ...


Another story has it that two demon brothers, Ilvala and Vatapi, decided to kill Agastya. One of them was good at changing form and the other knew the Sanjivani mantra which, when invoked can bring back a dead person to life. They hatched a plan that the one who could change form would turn into a goat and be killed and fed to Agastya. After Agastya had eaten the goat, the other would invoke the Sanjivani mantra to bring back his brother to life, who in turn would rend Agastya's stomach and come out thereby killing him. By the plan, one changed into a goat and the other disguised himself as a Brahmachari who invited Agastya to a meal. Agastya knew beforehand about the plan due to his immense Vedic powers, but he resolved to teach both a lesson. After the meal, Agastya simply rubbed his stomach saying Jeernam jeernam vathaapi jeernam; literally Digested, digested vathaapi is digested (meaning "The food that is eaten will be digested well") to digest the meal, while the other demon tried to bring his brother to life in vain. Agastya plainly informed the demon that his brother has been digested. Agastya, realising that his liking for meat had nearly gotten him killed (had it not been for his vedic powers), forbade the consumption of meat for all people. Brahmachari is a sacred word in India. ... This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ...


Other facets of Agastya

He is considered as the first and foremost person of Siddha. He is considered the guru of many other Siddhars. He is also called Kurumuni, meaning short (kuru) saint (muni). His contributions were to the field of Medicine (Siddha) and Astrology - especially Nadi Jodhidam(Jos(i)yam or Jothisyam). He is said[Please name specific person or group] to have lived for over 5000 years, and that one of his medicinal preparations, Boopathi Kuligai, is so powerful that it can even bring the dead back to life. Three of his students and disciples were Therayar, Tholkappiar and Mahavatar Babaji. A Siddha in Sanskrit means One who is accomplished and refers to perfected masters who have transcended the Ahamkara (Ego or I-maker), have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and have transformed their bodies composed of dense Rajo-tama Gunas into pure Satvic light. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Siddha. ... A Siddha in Sanskrit means One who is accomplished and refers to perfected masters who have transcended the Ahamkara (Ego or I-maker), have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and have transformed their bodies composed of dense Rajo-tama Gunas into pure Satvic light. ... Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut. ... Tholkappiar was the author of the book Tholkappiyam, a book which contains the grammer usage for tamil. ... Mahavatar Babaji - a drawing from Autobiography of a Yogi, commissioned by Yogananda and based on his own meeting with Babaji Mahavatar Babaji is the name given to an Indian yogi and holy man by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples[1] who met Mahavatar Babaji between 1861 and 1935. ...


Unity of Vishnu and Shiva

At a Saivite temple named Kutralam, formerly a Vishnu temple, in Tamil Nadu, Agastya, in one legend, was refused entry. He then appeared as a Vaishnavite devotee and is said[Please name specific person or group] to have miraculously converted the image to a Shiva linga. A symbolic meaning of this conversion, in one interpretation, is to show that Vishnu and Shiva are different aspects of the one and same God. Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ... Linga worship (Estate of Cynthia and Harlen Welsh) Lingam or Linga is the Sanskrit word for mark. ...


Certain important Stotrams

  • The Lalitha sahasranama, which describes the 1000 names of the mother Goddess (Known commonly as Gowri, Parvati or Durga), was first revealed to the world when Hayagriva, a manifestation of Vishnu, taught the same to Agastya.
  • Agastya is said[Please name specific person or group] to have composed the Aditya Hridayam, a hymn to Surya, and taught the same to Rama just before the war between Rama and Ravana.

A Sahasranama is a litany of one thousand names of God or Goddess. ... This 14th century statue depicts Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right}. It is housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In Hinduism, Gowri or Dakshayani is the Goddess of marital felicity and longevity, who is worshipped particularly by ladies to seek the long life of... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: , Bengali: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. ... In Hinduism, Hayagriva is a minor avatar of Vishnu. ... Vishnu (IAST , Devanagari ), (honorific: Sri Vishnu) also known as Narayana is the Supreme Being or Ultimate Reality for Vaishnavas and a manifestation of Brahman in the Advaita or Smarta traditions. ... The Aditya Hridayam, is a hymn associated with the Sun or Surya and was recited by the great sage Agastya to Rama on the battlefield before fighting with Ravana. ... In Hinduism, Surya (Devanagari: सूर्य, sūrya) is the chief solar deity,one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wife Aditi[1] ,in Nordics Tyr he is said to be the son of Dyaus Pitar. ... Lord Sri Rama (center) with wife Sita, brother Lakshmana and devotee Hanuman. ... Lord Sri Rama (center) with wife Sita, brother Lakshmana and devotee Hanuman. ... A depiction of Ravana, Hindu rakshasa King of Lanka In Hinduism, Ravana (Devanagari: रावण, IAST ; sometimes transliterated Raavana and as Ravan or Revana) is the principal antagonist of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. ...

See also

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Siddha. ... Mahavatar Babaji - a drawing from Autobiography of a Yogi, commissioned by Yogananda and based on his own meeting with Babaji Mahavatar Babaji is the name given to an Indian yogi and holy man by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples[1] who met Mahavatar Babaji between 1861 and 1935. ... Thirumoolar also spelt Tirumular or Thirumular is one of the 18 Siddhars. ... Bogar was a legendary South Indian siddhar (herbal healer). ... Avaiyar is a female icon of Tamil literature. ... Abithana Chitamani is an encyclopedia on Tamil Literature written by A. Singaravelu Mudaliar. ...

Reference

  • Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dhallapiccola
  • Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Sir Monier-Monier Williams
  • The Sauptikaparvan of the Mahabharata A new verse translation by W.J. Johnson

External links

  • Project Madurai Home Page
  • Tamil Siddhars
  • http://www.agasthiar.org/
  • http://www.agnisiksha.org/

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