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India is a land of multiple religions. And these religions have been guided and guarded by the philosophies given by great saints and hermits. Here we have brought you information on some of the most influential sages and gurus. Take a look.
Viswamitra was a king turned sage. He was the king Kaushika of Amavasu dynasty. He is one of those most revered 24 sages who knew the Gayatri Mantra. It is said that he went to meditate on the Himalayas and stayed there for 1000 years. There, Lord Indra is believed to have tested him. Later when Lord Brahma too, along with Lord Indra tested his dedication again, he was given the name - Viswamitra by them. Viswamitra comprises of two words which translate as - the friend of the world. He was given the designation of a Brahmarishi, which only a few sages have.
Not many people know that the gravitational force had been discovered by this great mathematician much before Issac Newton discovered it, as it is believed. He gave the wonderful books named - Lilavati and Bijaganita. He was also the great philosopher who gave the treatise of Sidhant Shiromani. This was not all, he had a lot to say on eclipses, philosophies, mathematical techniques etc.
Guru Vashishtha was the first sage of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. He was a Vedic sage credited to have authored Mandala 7 of Rigveda. Hindu mythology says that he possessed a daughter who could grant all wishes. Popular for his teachings and knowledge, this sage is also remembered for his legendary conflicts with Viswamitra.
The named author of several hymns of the Rigveda, he was a noted philosopher and was also called Kumbha yoni because of having been born out of an earthen pitcher. Described in many places in the Ramayana, his hermitage was believed to be on the banks of the river Godavari. He was the great founder of Tamil language and was one of the seven sages known as Saptarishis.
5. Sage Valmiki
Valmiki is the author of the Ramayana. It is said that he was the incarnation of Lord Brahma as per the Vishnudharmottara Purana. It is said that he should be worshipped if people desire knowledge. Guru Valmiki is believed to have incarnated again as Tulsidas who jotted down the smaller Ramayana in the form of Ramcharitmanas.
An author and a poet of the Sanskrit language, Tulsidas is believed to have authored the Ramcharitmanas. Once his wife said that it would have been much better if instead of giving excessive attention to her, he worshipped the supreme deity. This made him renounce the materialistic world altogether and he began to live life as a hermit. Today he is known as one of the most influential Bhakti poets.
Maharishi Patanjali gave the 196 Yoga Sutras, that are the fundamentals of Yoga today. Anjali is a Sanskrit word which means a divine offering. It is said that, in order to teach Yoga to the world, he fell from heaven into the palms of Gonika, his mother. And that is how he got this name.
Vedvyas was that great poet and writer who authored the holy book Mahabharata. He is among the Ashta Chiranjivis, the eight people who had the boon of immortality. He is one of the central figures in Hinduism. His birth anniversary is celebrated as Guru Purnima.