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Rishi
Rishi
(Sanskrit: ऋषि IAST: ṛṣi) is a Vedic term that denotes an inspired poet of hymns from the Vedas. Post-Vedic tradition of Hinduism
Hinduism
regards the rishis as "seers", "great sadhu" or "sages" who after intense meditation (tapas) realized the supreme truth and eternal knowledge, which they composed into hymns.[1]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 "Seer" of the Vedas 3 Rishi
Rishi
in Indonesia and Khmer temples 4 Ruesi in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos 5 Other uses 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

Etymology[edit] The word Rishi
Rishi
(Great Yogi, Phra Ruesi, Lao: ພະລືສີ, Thai: พระฤาษี) may be derived from two different meanings of the root 'rsh'. Sanskrit
Sanskrit
grammarians[2] derive this word from the second meaning: "to go, to move".[3] V. S. Apte[4] gives this particular meaning and derivation, and Monier-Williams[5] also gives the same, with some qualification. Another form of this root means "to flow, to move near by flowing". (All the meanings and derivations cited above are based upon Sanskrit English Dictionary of Monier-Williams).[5] Monier-Williams
Monier-Williams
also quotes Tārānātha who compiled the great (Sanskrit-to-Sanskrit) dictionary named "ṛṣati jñānena saṃsāra-pāram" (i.e., "one who reaches beyond this mundane world by means of spiritual knowledge"). More than a century ago, Monier-Williams
Monier-Williams
tentatively suggested a derivation from drś "to see".[6] Monier-Wiliams also quotes the Hibernian (Irish) form arsan (a sage, a man old in wisdom) and arrach (old, ancient, aged) as related to rishi. Monier-Williams
Monier-Williams
also conjectures that the root drish (to see) might have given rise to an obsolete root rish meaning "to see". However, the root has a close Avestan
Avestan
cognate ərəšiš[7] "an ecstatic" (see also Yurodivy, Vates). Yet the Indo-European dictionary of Julius Pokorny connects the word to a PIE
PIE
root *h3er-s meaning "rise, protrude", in the sense of "excellent" and thus cognate with Ṛta
Ṛta
and right and Asha. In Sanskrit, forms of the root rish become arsh- in many words, (e.g., arsh) Modern etymological explanations such as by Manfred Mayrhofer in his Etymological Dictionary[8] leave the case open, and do not prefer a connection to ṛṣ "pour, flow" ( PIE
PIE
*h1ers), rather one with German rasen "to be ecstatic, be in a different state of mind" (and perhaps Lithuanian aršus). Some of the earliest lists of Rishi
Rishi
are found in Jaiminiya Brahmana verse 2.218 and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
verse 2.2.6.[9] "Seer" of the Vedas[edit]

A temple relief showing a Rishi.

In the Vedas, the word denotes an inspired poet of Vedic hymns.[1] In particular, Ṛṣi refers to the authors of the hymns of the Rigveda. Post-Vedic tradition regards the Rishis as "sages" or saints, constituting a peculiar class of divine human beings in the early mythical system, as distinct from Asuras, Devas and mortal men. Swami Vivekananda described "Rishi"s as Mantra-drashtas or "the seers of thought". He told— "The truth came to the Rishis of India
India
— the Mantra-drashtâs, the seers of thought — and will come to all Rishis in the future, not to talkers, not to book-swallowers, not to scholars, not to philologists, but to seers of thought."[10] The notable female rishikas who contributed to the composition of the Vedic scriptures are: The Rig Veda
Rig Veda
mentions Romasha, Lopamudra, Apala, Kadru, Visvavara, Ghosha, Juhu, Vagambhrini, Paulomi, Yami, Indrani, Savitri, and Devayani. The Sama Veda
Sama Veda
adds Nodha, Akrishtabhasha, Sikatanivavari and Gaupayana. In Mahabharata
Mahabharata
12, on the other hand, there is the post-Vedic list of Marici, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya and Vashista. The Mahābhārata list explicitly refers to the saptarshis of the first manvantara[5] and not to those of the present manvantara. Each manvantara had a unique set of saptarshi. In Harivamsha 417ff, the names of the Rishis of each manvantara are enumerated. In addition to the Saptarṣi, there are other classifications of sages. In descending order of precedence, they are Brahmarshi, Maharshi, Rajarshi. Devarṣi, Paramrṣi, Shrutarṣi and Kāndarṣi are added in Manusmriti iv-94 and xi-236 and in two dramas of Kālidasa. The Chaturvarga-Chintāmani of Hemādri puts 'riṣi' at the seventh place in the eightfold division of Brāhmanas. Amarakosha[11] (the famous Sanskrit
Sanskrit
synonym lexicon compiled by Amarasimha) mentions seven types of riṣis : Shrutarshi, Kāndarshi, Paramarshi, Maharshi, Rājarshi, Brahmarshi and Devarshi. Amarakosha strictly distinguishes Rishi
Rishi
from other types of sages, such as sanyāsi, bhikṣu, parivrājaka, tapasvi, muni, brahmachāri, yati, etc. Rishi
Rishi
in Indonesia and Khmer temples[edit] Most medieval era Hindu temples of Java, Indonesia show Rishi
Rishi
Agastya statues or reliefs, usually guarding the southern side of Shaivite temples.[9] Some examples include Candi Sambisari
Candi Sambisari
and the Prambanan temple near Yogyakarta.[12] Rishi
Rishi
Agastya
Agastya
is known as Phra Reusi Akkhot in Thailand.[9] Ruesi in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos[edit]

A statue of a Ruesi at Wat Suan Tan in Nan, Thailand

Ruesi (sanskrit: ṛṣi , Khmer: តាឥសី, Thai: ฤๅษี, Lao: ລືສີ) is a hermit sage, the equivalent of Rishi
Rishi
in India.[citation needed] Other uses[edit] Rishi
Rishi
is also a male given name, and less commonly a Brahmin last name. In Carnatic music, "Rishi" is the seventh chakra (group) of Melakarta ragas. The names of chakras are based on the numbers associated with each name. In this case, there are seven rishis and hence the 7th chakra is "Rishi".[13][14] The descendant families of these Rishis, refer to their ancestral lineage through their family "gotra". This is a common practice among the Brahmin sects of the current Hindu society. See also[edit]

Devarishi Saptarishi Rishi
Rishi
Panchami Rishikas Sadhu Rishabha (Hinduism) Rishabhanatha Pravaras Ataptatanu Sramana Apaurusheyatva jogi (Yogi) Yogini Kavi Rishu

Notes[edit]

^ a b Hartmut Scharfe (2002), Handbook of Oriental Studies, BRILL Academic, ISBN 978-9004125568, pages 13–15 ^ cf. Commentary on Unadi-Sutra,[by whom?][year needed] iv, 119 ^ Dhātupāṭha of Pānini, xxviii). V. S. Apte ^ V. S. Apte (Sanskrit-Hindi Kosh, 1890, reprint 1997 by Motilāl Banārasidās Publishers, Delhi) ^ a b c Monier-Williams, Monier (1899), A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p. 226  ^ http://flaez.ch/cgi-bin/mw.pl?query=RSi ^ Yasna
Yasna
31.5; cf. 40.4 ^ Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen, Heidelberg 1986, I 261 ^ a b c Justin McDaniel (2013), This Hindu holy man is a Thai Buddhist, South East Asia Research, Volume 21, Number 2, page 309, 303-321 ^ " Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
on Rishis". Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
Quotes. Retrieved 12 April 2014.  ^ Amarakosha (2.7.41–42) ^ Maud Girard-Geslan et al (1997), Art of Southeast Asia, Harry Abrams, Paris, page 350 ^ South Indian Music Book III, by Prof. P Sambamoorthy, Published 1973, The Indian Music Publishing House ^ Ragas in Carnatic music
Carnatic music
by Dr. S. Bhagyalekshmy, Pub. 1990, CBH Publications

References[edit]

Apte, Vaman Shivram (1965), The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary (Fourth Revised and Enlarged ed.), New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0567-4  Apte, Vaman Shivram (1966), Sanskrit-Hindi Koṣa (Reprint 1997 ed.), New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass  Chopra, Deepak (2006), Life After Death: The Burden of Proof (first ed.), Boston: Harmony Books  Kosambi, D. D. (1956), An Introduction to the Study of Indian History (Second ed.), Bombay: Popular Prakashan Pvt Ltd, 35c Tardeo Road, Popular Press Bldg, Bombay-400034  Śāstri, Hargovind (1978), Amarkoṣa with Hindi commentary, Vārānasi: Chowkhambā Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Series Office 

Further reading[edit]

Rishikas of the Rigveda

External links[edit]

The dictionary definition of rishi at Wiktionary

v t e

Rishis

Saptarshi

1st (Svayambhuva) Manvantara

Marichi Atri Angiras Pulaha Kratu Pulastya Vasistha

2nd (Svarocisha) Manvantara

Urja Stambha Prana Dattoli Rishabha Nischara Arvarivat

3rd (Uttama) Manvantara

Kaukundihi Kurundi Dalaya Sankha Pravahita Mita Sammita

4th (Tapasa) Manvantara

Jyotirdhama Prithu Kavya Chaitra Agni Vanaka Pivara

5th (Raivata) Manvantara

Hirannyaroma Vedasri Urddhabahu Vedabahu Sudhaman Parjanya Mahamuni

6th (Cakshusha) Manvantara

Sumedhas Virajas Havishmat Uttama Madhu Abhinaman Sahishnnu

7th (Vaivasvata) Manvantara

Kashyapa Atri Vasistha Vishvamitra Gautama Jamadagni Bharadwaja

Other

Four Kumaras Agastya Agnivesa Aruni Ashtavakra Astika Atharvan Atreya Aupamanyava Aurava Avatsara Bhrigu Bhringi Brahmarshi Chyavana Dattatreya Dadhichi Devala Dirghatamas Durvasa Garga Gritsamada Jahnu Jaimini
Jaimini
(Mimansa) Kambhoja Kambu Swayambhuva Kanada (Vaisheshika) Kanvas Kanwa Kapila
Kapila
(Samkhya) Kindama Kutsa Mandavya Markandeya Nachiketa Narada Parashara Rajarshi Raikva Renukacharya Rishyasringa Sakayanya Sandipani Sankriti Satyakama Jabala Shukra Shuka Upamanyu Vaisampayana Valmiki Vartantu Vibhandak Rishi Vyasa
Vyasa
(Vedas, Vedanta) Yajnavalkya

Other Hindu sages Portal

v t e

Rigveda

Mandalas

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Deities

Devas

Agni Indra Soma Ushas

Visvedevas Maruts Ashvins Tvastar Rbhus Pushan Rudra Asuras

Mitra Varuna Aryaman Apam Napat

Demons

Vritra Dasas Danu Danavas

Rivers

Sapta Sindhu Nadistuti Sarasvati Sindhu Sarayu Rasā

Rishis

Saptarishi

Gritsamada Vishvamitra Vamadeva Atri Angiras Bharadvaja Vasishta

.