Brahmarshi

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In Hinduism, Brahmarishi (from Sanskrit Brahma+Rishi) is the highest of the Rishis, Hindu sages - One who has understood the meaning of Brahman.

Contents

Order

The title of Brahmarishi was a status defined and recognized in the sacred Vedas of Vedic religion and Hinduism.

A Brahmarishi is the penultimate expert of religion and spiritual knowledge. Below him are the Maharishis (Great Rishis).

The Sapta Rishis created out of Brahma's thoughts are perfect brahmarishis. They are greater than the Devas in power and piety.

Vishwamitra was the only brahmarishi who rose to the position out of pure tapasya, a journey lasting tens of thousands of years as explained within Hindu mythology. Originally belonging to the kshatriya caste of kings and warriors, he rose by pure merit to a rank most of the brahmin order cannot reach.

Bhrigu, Angira, Atri, Vishwamitra, Kashyapa, Vasishta, and Agastya are the seven brahmarishis.

Source and Power

The source of a brahmarishi's power is the Brahman, or Supreme Godhead. The knowledge of the Supreme is attained after years of tapasya, medidation, study and dedicated service to the Supreme. It is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual exertion, as per the accounts in works of Hindu mythology and religion.

Brahmarishis are capable to defeating all human and magical weapons and dangerous phenomena. They are not influenced by the material world, nor the cycle of life and death, and karma.

In the Ramayana, Guru Vasishta flayed all of king Kaushika's celestial weapons with a single wooden stick that imbibed the power of Brahman. Kaushika, who became Vishwamitra after tens of thousands of years of penance created an entire, separate universe for Trishanku.

Modern Relevance

A Brahmarishi is a perfect example that may be taken from Hindu scriptures to describe the essential unity with Brahman that is necessary for spiritual realization and moksha. Once with the Supreme, nothing may affect the person, who has thus reached a perfect state of mind and matter.

The relevance of the brahmarishi status is restricted to religion and Hindu mythology. Since the order was created divinely, and is appointed by Lord Brahma, it is impossible for Hindu priests and scholars, or contemporary society to anoint a brahmarishi.

Morever, in the Kali yuga it is considered impossible for ordinary humans to accumulate as much religious merit, or live as long to do so, if the mythical accounts are to be referred to.

See also

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