VASISHTA KULAPATHY (ACHARYA-THE TEACHER)
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About VASISHTA KULAPATHY (ACHARYA-THE TEACHER)
he Rishi or Sage are seers who know, and by their knowledge are the makers of shastra and "see" all mantras. The word comes from the root rish Rishati-prapnoti sarvvang mantrang jnanena pashyati sangsaraparangva, etc. The seven great Rishis or saptarshi are Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya, and Vashishtha.In the present manvantara the seven are Kashyapa, Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Bharadvaja.
Sage Vashishta is one of the Saptarishis and Rajguru of the Suryavansha or Solar Dynasty. He was the mānasaputra of Brahma. He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners. Arundhati is the name of the wife of Vashista.
Initially, Vashishta acted as the priest for whole of the Suryavansha, but often he had altercation with 'Nimi', he quit all the other branches of the Suryavansha and he made his hermitage near Ayodhya and acted as a priest only for 'Raghuvansha' (descendant of Raghu).
Whenever a famine occurred or there was no rainfall in Ayodhya, he came to the rescue of the subjects by the powers achieved from penance. He also saved the people of Ayodhya from any danger.
When sage Bhagiratha was unsuccessful in his attempts to bring the Ganges from heaven to earth, Sage Vashishta was the one who gave him a mantra with which he succeeded.
When king Dileep wanted a son for a long time, Vashishta asked him to serve the 'Nandini' cow as a result of which he became a father.
The Role he played in Ramayana:
Sage vishwamitra asks Dasarata to send his sons Rama and Lakshmana to the forest to protect his yagna from the demons. Dasarata hesitates to send. Here sage Vashishta advices Dasarata to send them.It is very beautifully seen as to how the guru removes this ignorance in king Dasaratha’s mind. Sage Vashista spent time to explain the king. After having been convinced by Sage Vashista, he very affectionately called his two sons and permitted the to accompany sage viswamitra.The fact that King Dasaratha was not blessed with a son made him very depressed. Dasaratha, being a great king went to seek his guru’s advice to seek a remedy for his sorrow. It is said that one can confide their concerns to their guru and it is only a guru who can direct us in the right path.
And Sage Vashishta said, “You will have four sons and these four sons and they will be very learned and will be known throughout the three worlds and wipe out the fears of the devotees”
Sage Vasishta having blessed King Dasaratha, invited a very learned sage, Shringi to perform Putra Kameshti Yagna. Following the yagna, Kausalya Maata gave birth to four sons, the eldest of them being Lord Rama and the other being Bharatha, Lakshmana and Shatrugna.
It is very clearly seen in Balkand, King Dasaratha consulted his Guru SageVashista for every advice during the childhood face to ensure that his sons cultivated good habits.
It was Sage Vashista who had named the fours sons to be Rama, Lakshmana, Bharataha and Shatrugna.Vashishta also wrote a pamphlet named as the
Vasishta Smriti and the pamphlet was written on dharma righteousness. He also composed another treatise named the
Vashishta Ramayana. Vashishta had the belief that the divine and individual efforts were very necessary for achieving anything in this world. According to him, the habit of laziness is actually a disease that is responsible to bring unhappiness in a man
Kulapati (Acharya, The Teacher)
Vasishta is supposed to have been born as the result of Brahma's will-power. He was a great ascetic, laboured for the welfare of the world. Vasishta was not a recluse, he was householder. He married Arundhati. Arundhati is famous for virtues and devotion to her husband. There is a small star close to Vasish in the Great Bear or Saptarshi Mandal. They have named it after Arundha Among the Hindus, immediately after, the wedding, the bride is shown Arundhati and she worships the star. It is a symbolic acceptance of the ideal of virtue and devotion by the bride.
Vasishta had his hermitage on the banks of the river Saraswati. Arundhati spent all her time in the service of husband. He had with him thousand of disciples and taught them he Vedas.
Vasishta was affectionately addressed by his disciples as Kulapati or chiefpreceptor. In those days a teacher who fed and taught at least ten thousand students was called Kulapati. Vasishta's daily routine was to teach his disciples, to preach dharma to the visitors and to practise tapas or austerities.
There was an atmosphere of peace in the hermitage. The plants and trees were full of flowers and fruits. A variety of birds sang and flew about in the hermitage. Herds of deer and cows lived there. There was regular performance of several holy sacrifices for the good of the world. Several Hundreds of visitors used to come to the hermitage to meet Vasishta. The merit earneds by the performance of tapas was Vasishta's great strength.
He was a man of peace. He had conquered desire and anger. His Ashram needed great quantities of milk, curds and ghee for the feeding of thousands of his disciples, guests and performance of sacrifices regularly. Devendra had gifted to Vasishta a divine cow, having admired his generosity and performance of sacrifices. The cow was called Nandini. She was the daughter of Kamadhenu. Since it was a divine cow it had extra ordinary powers. The Ashram got plenty of milk and ghee from this cow. Since it had moonlike patches all over the body, it was also called 'Shabala.' The word mean many-coloured. Vasishta and Arundha were very fond of Nandini.
Vasishtha -- Brahman Sage and spiritual advisor to the King of Ayodhya. Offers the King important advice on all aspects of rule and major decisions, including the decision to let Rama go off and kill demons, and the decision to make him King.