Avatsara (Sanskrit: अवत्सार, romanizedAvatsāra) is a rishi (sage) featured in the Rigveda. His name first appears in Sukta 44 of the Fifth Mandala.[1][2]

Work

Avatsara is the main poet of Sukta 44 of the Fifth Mandala of the Rigveda, whose hymn addressed to the class of Rigvedic deities called the Visvedevas. He is known for the set of eight hymns of four mantras each appearing in the Rigveda viz. Suktas IX.53 to IX.60, and also in the Samaveda (SV.757, SV.1717).[3] He is stated to be the chief priest of the gods. He is described to offer Agni the six-syllable oblation – O Agni, enjoy the oblation, and was set-free.[4] According to Satyasadha (21.3.13), the Kashyapa pravara (lineage) consists of three rishi–ancestors: – Kashyapa, Avatsara, and Naidhruva.[5] The lineage also belongs to the two of the Sandilya variations.[6]There are eight notable sages belonging to the Kashyapa family – Kashyapa, Avatsara, Nidhurva, Rebha, Devala, Asita, Bhutamsa, and Vivrha; two unnamed sons of Rebha were also authors of Rigvedic hymns.[7]

He is more known for the Suktas 53 to 60 of the Ninth Mandala; these Suktas contain four mantras each, all composed in the Gayatri Metre. In the Rigveda, he addresses Ishvara as, "the fully armed and endowed with many subtle and fine divine powers and destroyer of all evil forces" (RV.IX.53.1). He then addresses Ishvara as, "the purifier or the pure, brilliant as the Sun".[8]

His name appears in the Yajurveda, (Y.V.III.i & III.xviii) where he prays to Agni,[9] and in the Aitareya Brahmana and the Kausitaki Brahmana. From the verses of the Aitareya Brahmana (A.B. ii.24) and Kausitaki Brahmana (K.B.viii.6), both pertaining to the Sacrifice of the Five Oblations, it is stated that Avatsara had reached the home of Agni and had conquered the highest world.[10]

In Rigveda Sukta IX.53, he reminds us that the learned people extract the wisdom of the ancients from the Vedas which are enlightening, and in Rigveda mantra IX.60.3 he states that the Lord, in the form of knowledge and consciousness, resides in the cleansed mind and heart of the learned people and in the mind and heart of all those who know the Lord fully without being aware of knowing Him.[11]

Genealogy

Avatsara is described to be the son of Kashyapa, who whose lifetime was later than Vamadeva (son of Maharishi Gautama), but earlier than Atri.[12] The word, Avata, denotes an artificially dug up water-source or an artificial well.[13][14]

Apart from Kashyapa, the son of Marichi, there appears to have been a second Kashyapa who was the father of Avatsara, Narada and Arundhati, the wife of Vasishtha and it was this second Kashyapa who was one of the Saptarishi.[15][16][17] According to the list of sages provided by the Matsya Purana, Kashyapa had two sons – Avatsara and Asita; Nidhruva and Rebha were Avatsara’s son. But this list is doubted; the genealogy otherwise gives three groups among the Kashyaps, the Sandliyas, Naidhruvas and Raibhyas.[18]

From Book IV Chapter VIII of the Srimad Bhagvatam it is learnt though Maitreya that Dhruva, the son of Uttanapada through Suruti, and the grandson of Svyambhuva Manu, had by his first wife Brahmi, two sons, Vatsara and Kalmavatsara or Kalpa.[19][20]

References

  1. ^ Shrikant G.Talageri. The Rig Veda: A Historical Analysis (PDF). Aditya Prakashan. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
  2. ^ Jayantanuja Bandopadhayaya (2007). Class and Religion in Ancient India. Anthem Press. p. 13. ISBN 9781843313328.
  3. ^ All Four Vedas. Agniveer. 2013-11-10. pp. 124–134, 326, 409–417, 734.
  4. ^ Arthur Barriedale Keith (1998). Rig Veda Brahmanas:The Aitareya and Kausitaki Brahmanas of the Rig Veda. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 419. ISBN 9788120813595.
  5. ^ Dhundiraja Ganesa (1962). Sarautakosah:Encyclopaedia of Vedic Sacrificial Rituals. p. 1016.
  6. ^ The Early Brahmanical System of Gotra and Pravara. Cambridge University Press. 1953. p. 36. ISBN 9781001403793.
  7. ^ Purushottam Lal Bhargava (January 2001). India in the Vedic Age. D.K.Print World. p. 221. ISBN 9788124601716.
  8. ^ Ravinder Kumar Soni. The Illumination of Knowledge. GBD Books. pp. 246–247.
  9. ^ Agniveer (2013-11-10). All Four Vedas. Agniveer. p. 46.
  10. ^ Arthur Barriedale Keith (1998). Rig Veda Brahmanas:The Aitareya and Kausitaki Brahmanas of the Rig Veda. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 153. ISBN 9788120813595.
  11. ^ Ravinder Kumar Soni. The Illumination of Knowledge. GBD Books. pp. 247–248.
  12. ^ Islamkotob. Rig Veda A Historical Analysis. Islamic Books. p. 102.
  13. ^ Arthur Anthony Macdonell. Vedic Index of Names and Subjects Vol.1. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 39–40.
  14. ^ Macdonell, A.A.; Keith, A.B. (1995). Vedic Index of Names and Subjects. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 40. ISBN 9788120813328. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  15. ^ Sita Nath Pradhan (1927). Chronology of Ancient India. Bhartiya Publishing House. p. 90.
  16. ^ Praci-jyoti. Kurukshetra University. 1973.
  17. ^ Ganga Ram Garg (1992). Encyclopaedia of the Hindu World Vol.3. Concept Publishing Company. p. 839. ISBN 9788170223764.
  18. ^ F.E.Pargiter (1997). Ancient Indian Historical Tradition. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 231. ISBN 9788120814875.
  19. ^ Francis Wilford (1799). On the chronology of the Hindus Asiatic Researches Vol. 5. New Jersey College Library. p. 253.
  20. ^ Swami Venkatesananda. The Concise Srimad Bhagvatam. Suny Press. p. 86,90. ISBN 9781438422831.