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The Rishis of India

by Vikas Kamat

First Online: November 01, 2007
Page Last Updated: April 04, 2014

The Rishis (rough transliteration; a.k.a. Rushi, rshi) are the Hindu sages and seers who developed the Hindu beliefs and philosophies. The Vedas, the sacred hymns known as the matras, and all the great schools of Indian thought are attributed to the various Rishis, who are believed to have been divinely inspired.

Some Great Rishis of India

  • Agastya --The Hindu sage (Rishi) who drank the ocean empty.
  • Bhairatha -- The Hindu sage who brought the river Ganga from heaven to earth.
  • Bharadwaj --A sage of Dwaparayuga period; father of teacher Drona
  • Bharata -- Sage who wrote the treatise on Indian Dance known as Natyashastra
  • Brahaspati -- Name of a wise Hindu sage who accumulated tremendous knowledge
  • Dadheechi Hindu sage who sacrificed his backbone so good may triumph over evil
  • Dattatreya -- A sage who had elements of all three Vedic Gods (Trimuttis)
  • Durvasa -- An ill tempered sage from Indian mythologies who cursed Shakuntala.
  • Gowtama -- Sage of Ramayana period who cursed his wife Ahalya into becoming a stone for her infidelity
  • Jamadagni --A sage from Indian mythologies who is the father of Parashurama.
  • Kamban -- South Indian Poet-sage of 11th century A.D. who wrote the masterpiece Ramayana in Tamil
  • Madhvacharaya (1239-1319), Hindu sage who advocated Dvaitism, which emphasized the immutable difference between the individual soul and the supreme soul
  • Manu -- The sage who set up the laws for man-woman relationship in the society
  • Narad -- Hindu sage and traveler; devotee of Lord Vishnu [more]
  • Parasar --a sage who begot Vyasa though Satyavati before she married Shantanu
  • Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) --A great sage of India, who made great inroads into peace and spiritual knowledge
  • Vaishampayana -- A sage, and a pupil of Vyasa who recited the story of Mahabharat at a sacrifice held by Janamejaya.
  • Valmiki --Hindu sage who is believed to have composed the epic Ramayana.
  • Vatsyayana -- The Hindu poet who wrote the famed treatise Kamasutra of Vatsyayana
  • Vishwamitra A great Hindu sage and scholar who is referred to as the Brahmarshi; tested truthfulness of Harischandra
  • Vyasa Ancient Indian sage and writer of the epic Mahabharata; son of Parasar and Satyavati
  • Yajnavalkya A great Hindu scholar and sage (Brahmarshi), said to have written the Shukla Yajurveda

Pictures of Great Rishis

Rashtrothan Parishad/Kamat's Potpourri
Sage Vasishta
Sage Vasishta
Sage Vasishta was the preceptor of Rama

The Holy Men of India
Holy Men of India

Pictures!
Swamiji of Chitrapur Muth Swami Vivekananda - the Most Famous Hindu MonkSahajananda Swami (1781-1830)Portrait of Ramana MaharshiSaint Tulasidas Writing his Masterpiece Ramacharitamanas
Portrait of ChanakyaPhilosopher MadhvacharyaThe class of Sadhus,includes all type of devotees, some even practising quaint rituals.Priest Krishna SharmaA Priest of the Konkani Community with Vermilion on Forehead
Sage Madhvacharya who formulated DvaitismA <b>Muth</b> and its Swamiji are the nucleus of cultural, spiritual and philanthopic activitiesThe Swamiji of the Gokarn Paratkal MuthPicture of Swami Raghavendara from a Calendar PaintingA Sadhu at Varanasi
Swami Sahajand SaraswatiPicture of a Sadhu (Ascetic)An ascetic (Sadhu) performing ritualsSai Baba of Shirdi


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