Sage Chyavana

Note: In the previous post, we read about how a rakshasa abducted Sage Bhrigu’s wife (Puloma) when the sage had left his house to perform his ablutions. When asked by the rakshasa, Agni Deva identified the pregnant lady as the sage’s wife. The rakshasa abducted her because her father had initially promised to marry his daughter with the rakshasa, but later, went back on his word and married her to Sage Bhrigu. 

After the rakshasa took the form of a boar and forcefully carried away Puloma, her child, who was still in her womb, became angry with the violence that the rakshasa had caused. As a result, the child (who was shining like the sun) came out of Puloma’s womb and fell to the ground. The rakshasa was startled when he noticed the child fall out of Puloma’s womb. He lost his grip on Puloma and fell down on the ground. As soon as the rakshasa fell on the ground, he was burnt to ashes. 

The grief-stricken Puloma picked up her child from the ground and started walking back to her home with tears in her eyes. When the tears fell on the ground, they formed a river whose waters followed Puloma as she walked back to Bhrigu’s ashrama. The great Lord Brahma comforted the crying lady and named the river that was formed from her tears – Vadhusara.

By the time Puloma and her child (Chyavana) returned to the hermitage, sage Bhrigu had also completed his ablutions and was already home. Upon seeing Puloma, he asked her who had identified her to the rakshasa.

Puloma replied that Agni (the God of fire) had identified her to the rakshasa and that the demon carried her away while she cried like a kurari (female osprey bird).

Puloma said, “It was only through the splendor of our child that I was rescued.”

Bhrigu became extremely angry with Agni Deva when he heard Puloma’s words, and in that state of extreme anger, he cursed Agni saying, “You will, from now on, eat all sorts of things.”

Note: Agni is known as the mouth of the Gods and he only consumed those things that were very pure. Sage Bhrigu cursed Agni such that he would have to eat all sorts of things – which meant he would also have to eat impure items. This was very disturbing to Agni.

On a separate note, much later, when Chyavana became a sage, he built his hermitage on the banks of the river Vadhusara which was formed from his mother’s tears. 

The Ayurvedic preparation “Chyavanprash” was named after Sage Chyavana because it was prepared by the Ashwini Kumars (the physicians of the Gods) to help Sage Chyavana restore his health and youth.

In the next post, we will read about how Agni responded to the sage’s curse.

Table of Contents

Previous: A Rakshasa Abducts Bhrigu’s Wife

Next: Agni Deva’s Response to Bhrigu’s Curse

Image Credit: The image at the top of the post was made available in the public domain by Kripal of Nurpur.

Maharishi Bhrigu

Note: In the previous post, after narrating the story of Uttanka going to meet Janamejaya to seek revenge on the serpent king, Takshaka, Sauti asked the ascetics in Naimisha forest which story they wanted to hear next. Saunaka Kulapati, the chief sage, expressed an interest in hearing the story of Sage Bhrigu’s race. In this post, Sauti provides a brief description of Bhrigu’s family.

However, before returning to Sauti’s narration, let’s first learn a bit about Bhrigu’s background.

Sage Bhrigu is one of the saptarishis and also one of the many prajapatis (facilitators of creation). In the Bhagawad Gita, Lord Krishna identified Bhrigu as one of his vibhutis (divine manifestations). 

Sage Bhrigu was the first person to write a treatise on predictive astrology, called the Bhrigu Samhita.

It is believed that Sage Bhrigu’s hermitage (called Deepotsaka) was located near Dhosi Hills, which are on the north-western end of the Aravalli range near the border of Haryana and Rajasthan.

An aerial view of Dhosi Hills showing an ancient parikrama path

The following words were spoken by Sauti to Saunaka Kulapati and the ascetics in Naimisha forest to describe Sage Bhrigu and his family.

We are told that the great and blessed saint, Bhrigu, was created by Brahma from the fire at a sacrifice conducted by Varuna.

Sage Bhrigu had a son whom he loved very dearly. His name was Chyavana. 

Chyavana had a son called Pramati.

Pramati had a son called Ruru who was born from the union of Pramati and the celestial dancer, Ghritachi.

Ruru (the son of Sage Pramati and Ghritachi) was married to Pramadvara. They had a son called Sunaka.

Ugrasrava Sauti addressing Saunaka Kulapati said, “O Saunaka, this great sage, Sunaka, was your ancestor. He was extremely virtuous, devoted to asceticism, proficient in law, and famed among those who possessed knowledge of the Vedas. This reputed sage was truthful and well-balanced in his behavior. ”

This ends Sauti’s brief description of Sage Bhrigu.

Read the note below for more information about Ghritachi and the apsaras.

Apsaras in the Devi Jagadambi Temple at Khajuraho

Note: Apsara Ghritachi was responsible for the birth of many virtuous children on earth. Along with furthering Sage Bhrigu’s lineage by having a son with Sage Pramati, she was also the mother of Nala. She also furthered the Puru dynasty by having ten sons with a descendant of Janamejaya called Raudrasva.

The Natya Shastra, an ancient treatise on performing arts, composed by Bharat Muni mentions several apsaras. Some of them are: Manjukesi, Sukesi, Misrakesi, Sulochana, Saudamini, Devasena, Manorama, Sudati, Sundari, and many others.

Table of Contents

Previous: Ugrasrava Sauti Asks the Ascetics of Naimisha Forest Which Story They Want to Hear Next

Next: A Rakshasa Abducts Bhrigu’s Wife

Image Credits:

  1. The image of Sage Bhrigu is from Bhrigu Stotram. It was made available in the public domain by Shrimati Satish Janardhan Sharma and Dr. Pandit Ramanuj Sharma of Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India.
  2. The image of Dhosi Hills was made available in the public domain by Sudhirkbhargava.
  3. The image of the Devi Jagadambi Temple was made available in the public domain by Benjamín Preciado Centro de Estudios de Asia y África de El Colegio de México.