Indian Mythology: The Seven Great Sages or Saptarishis
What exactly are Saptarishis
Hindu Mythology has three main Gods: Brahma, the Creator, Vishnu, the Preserver and Mahesha (Shiva),the destroyer. The Saptarishis mean Sapta=Seven Rishi(s)=Sage(s) or the Seven Rishis in Sanskrit, an Indian language from which most of Indian languages have evolved. These Seven Rishis are the great seers, caretakers, mind born sons of Brahma.In a similar way, Greeks too had seven wise men namely Cleobulos, Periandros, Bias, Pittacos, Chilon, Solon and Thales which shows that mythologies around the globe do have parallel connections though it will take another hundred years for researchers to prove it.They live for a period of time known as a manvantar (306,720,000 Earth Years). Though incredulous, that is what Indian mythology is about.
So which are the Saptarishis
There are various books written in Hindu mythology and some books have a slight variation in the listing of which exactly are the seven rishis. The most popular Seven Rishis recognized are Atri, Vashishta, Kashyapa, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadvaja and Gautama. As given below, there is variation according to different literature
Literature Variation of Saptarishis
The Light Masters
The complex hindu time cycle
The Hindu time cycle is fairly complex but neatly explained in this website. So delve into it only if you have patience. But I must say it is interesting.
So what is the fuss about
They are said to be 'seers' by virtue of being able to see the divine law which rules all creation and also sustains it.They are also said to be first Brahmans or the sons of Brahma. They have divine powers and are free from worldly pleasures, the circle of life and death and karma. They bring down to the earth the Knowledge required and Energies to strengthen the processes of Transition or Pralaya. They are the most evolved Light Beings in the Creation and the guardians of the Divine Laws. They are given more importance than the "Devatas" or the other Gods.
Wisdom from the ages ebook
The Big Dipper or Ursa Major
The Seven stars of The Big Dipper or the Ursa Major are known as the Saptarishis or Saptarshis in Indian Astronomy. They are said to revolve around Dhruva or the Pole Star. The Seven corresponding Ursa Majoris stars with the rishis or "sages" is as follows:
Alpha Ursa majoris: Kratu
Beta Ursa majoris: Pulaha
Gamma Ursa majoris: Pulastya
Delta Ursa majoris: Atri
Epsilon Ursa majoris: Angiras
Zeta Ursa majoris: Vasishtha
Ita Ursa majoris: Marichi
As can be seen, again a variation in names of these rishis is observed.