bhṛgu भृगु

Definition: Is a sage of almost entirely mythical character in the Rigveda and later. He counts as a son of Varuṇa, bearing the patronymic Vāruni. In the plural the Bhṛgus are repeatedly alluded to as devoted to the fire cult. They are clearly no more than a group of ancient priests and ancestors with an eponymous Bhṛgu in the Rigveda, except in three passages, where they are evidently regarded as an historic family. It is not clear, however, whether they were priests or warriors: in the battle of the ten kings the Bhṛgus appear with the Druhyus, perhaps as their priests, but this is not certain. In the later literature the Bhṛgus are a real family, with sub-divisions like the Aitaśāyana, according to the Kauṣītaki Brāhmaṇa. The Bhṛgus are mentioned as priests in connexion with various rites, such as the Agnisthāpana and the Daśa- peyakratu. In many passages they are conjoined with the Añgirases :u the close association of the two families is shown by the fact that Cyavana is called either a Bhārgava or an Añgirasa in the śatapatha Brāhmaṇa. In the Atharvaveda the name of Bhṛgu is selected to exemplify the dangers incurred by the oppressors of Brahmans: the Srfijaya Vaitahavyas perish in consequence of an attack on Bhṛgu. In the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa u also Bhṛgu has this representative character. Cf. Bhrgravāṇa and Bhārgava.

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