m. (wrongly written vaśiṣṭha-),"the most wealthy", Name of a celebrated Vedic ṛṣi- or sage (owner of the"cow of plenty" , called nandinī-, offspring of surabhi-, which by granting all desires made him, as his name implies, master of every vasu-or desirable object;he was the typical representative of Brahmanical rank, and the legends of his conflict with viśvā-mitra-, who raised himself from the kingly or kṣatriya- to the Brahmanical class, were probably founded on the actual struggles which took place between the Brahmans and kṣatriya-s;a great many hymns of the are ascribed to these two great rivals;those of the seventh maṇḍala-, besides some others, being attributed to vasiṣṭha-, while those of the third maṇḍala- are assigned to viśvā-mitra-;in one of vasiṣṭha-'s hymns he is represented as king su-dās-'s family priest, an office to which viśvā-mitra- also aspired;in another hymn vasiṣṭha- claims to have been inspired by varuṇa-, and in another[ ] he is called the son of the apsaras-urvaśī- by mitra- and varuṇa-, whence his patronymic maitrāvaruṇi-;in manu- , he is enumerated among the ten prajā-pati-s or Patriarchs produced by manu-svāyambhuva- for the peopling of the universe;in the he is mentioned as the family priest of the solar race or family of ikṣvāku- and rāma-candra-, and in the purāṇa-s as one of the arrangers of the veda-s in the dvāpara- age;he is, moreover, called the father of aurva-[ ],of the sukālin-s[ ],of seven sons[ ] , and the husband of akṣa-mālā- or arundhatī-[ ]and of ūrjā-[ ];other legends make him one of the 7 patriarchal sages regarded as forming the Great Bear in which he represents the starSeeṛṣi-) etc. (see)
वसिष्ठः (also written वशिष्ठ) N. of a celebrated sage, the family priest of the solar race of kings, and author of several Vedic hymns, particularly of the seventh Maṇḍala of the Rigveda. He was the typical representative of true Brāhmanic dignity and power, and the
efforts of Viśvāmitra to rise to his level from the subject of many legends; cf. विश्वामित्र. -2 N. of the author of a Smṛiti (sometimes ascribed to the sage himself). -ष्ठम् Flesh.
spv. [brightest: √ 1. vas] best, most excellent, wealthiest (V., E.); m. N. of one of the leading Vedic Rishis, com- poser of the seventh Mandala of the RV.; in C. he is regarded as one of the seven Rishis and is mentioned as a lawgiver (often incor rectly spelt Vasishtha).
Is the name of one of the most prominent priestly figures of Vedic tradition. The seventh Maṇdala of the Rigveda is ascribed to him ; this ascription is borne out by the fact that the Vasisthas and Vasistha are frequently mentioned in that Maṇdala, besides being sometimes referred to elsewhere. That by the name Vasiṣçha a definite individual is always meant is most improbable, as Oldenberg shows; Vasiṣtha must normally mean simply ‘ a Vasiṣtfia.’ But it is not necessary to deny that a real Vasiṣtha existed, for one hymn seems to show clear traces of his authorship, and of his assistance to Sudās against the ten kings. The most important feature of Vasiṣtha’s life was apparently his hostility to Viśvāmitra. The latter was certainly at one time the Purohita (‘ domestic priest ’) of Sudās, but he seems to have been deposed from that post, to have joined Sudās’ enemies, and to have taken part in the onslaught of the kings against him, for the hymn of Sudās’ triumph has clear references to the ruin Viśvāmitra brought on his allies. Oldenberg, however, holds that the strife of Viśvāmitra and Vasistha is not to be found in the Rigveda. On the other hand, Geldner is hardly right in finding in the Rigveda a compressed account indicating the rivalry of śakti, Vasiṣṭha’s son, with Viśvāmitra, the acquisition by Viśvāmitra of special skill in speech, and the revenge of Viśvāmitra, who secured the death of śakti by Sudās’ servants, an account which is more fully related by Sadguruśiṣya, which appeared in the śātyāya- naka, and to which reference seems to be made in the brief notices of the Taittirīya Samhitā and the Pañcavimśa Brāhmaṇa regarding Vasiṣtha's sons having been slain, and his overcoming the Saudāsas. But it is important to note that no mention is made in these authorities of Sudās himself being actually opposed to Vasistha, while in the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa Vasiṣtha appears as the Purohita and consecrator of Sudās Paijavana. Yāska recognizes Viśvāmitra as the Purohita of Sudās; this accords with what seems to have been the fact that Viśvāmitra originally held the post. Probably, however, with the disappearance of Sudās, Viśvāmitra recovered his position, whereupon Vasiṣtha in revenge for the murder of his sons secured in some way unspecified the defeat of the Saudāsas. At any rate it is hardly necessary to suppose that the enmity of the Saudāsas and Vasiṣthas was permanent. There is evidence that the Bharatas had the Vasisthas as Purohitas, while other versions regard them as Purohitas for people (prajāh) generally. It seems that the Vasiṣthas were pioneers in adopting the rule that Purohitas should act as Brahman priest at the sacrifice: the śatapatha Brāhmaṇa states that the Vasiṣthas were once the only priests to act as Brahmans, but that later any priest could serve as such. A rivalry with Jamadgni and Viśvāmitra is reported in the Taittirīya Samhitā. Parāśara and śatayātu are associated with Vasiṣtha in the Rigveda, being apparently, as Geldner thinks, the grandson and a son of Vasiṣtha. According to Pischel, in another hymn, Vasiṣtha appears as attempting to steal the goods of his father Varuṇa; Geldner also shows that the Rigveda contains a clear reference to Vasistha’s being a son of Varuṇa and the nymph Urvaśī. Perhaps this explains the fact that the Vasiṣthas are called the Tptsus in one passage of the Rigveda; for being of miraculous parentage, Vasistha would need adoption into a Gotra, that of the princes whom he served, and to whom Agastya seems to have introduced him.
There are numerous other references to Vasistha as a Ṛṣi in Vedic literature, in the Sūtras, and in the Epic, where he and Viśvāmitra fight out their rivalry.
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