Rishi Panchami: Day to Worship The Sages
Rishi Panchami celebrates the 7 sages who laid the foundation of our religion and imparted their wisdom to us
Rishi Panchami is the fifth day, the next day after Ganesh Chaturthi, and the third day of Teej in the Bhadrapad month of the Lunar calendar. It is a traditional worship of Sapta Rishi. The seven sages are: Kashyapa, Atri, Bharadwaja, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Vashishth
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Why do we celebrate Rishi Panchami?
In Rishi Panchami, the people express respect, gratitude, and remembrance of the great deeds of those ancient Rishis, who devoted their lives to the welfare of society. The fast is to be observed by women.
Nepali women celebrated the annual Rishi Panchami festival, as a part of Teej. On the Rishi Panchami day, the women traditionally undergo a detailed bathing procedure and a puja of the Saptarshis (seven sages). It is believed that the bath and puja ritual would help them get rid of the sins they face for violating restrictions during their periods.
How is Rishi Panchami celebrated in Nepal?
On Rishi Panchami, women take a ritual bath in holy water, be it in a river, pond, or other body of water. They bathe before the rising of the sun, apply special types of mud to their body, use datiwan herb as a toothbrush, offer datiwan leaves to the gods, and fast during the day.
What can be eaten in Rishi Panchami vrat?
The fast is strictly observed in this day. Most of the women used to eat fruit or root vegetables only, however, nowadays, they eat rice and curry after the worship is completed. This is one of the very strict and tough fasts.
Who are Saptarishis or Seven Sages?
The Saptarishi (from Sanskrit: सप्तर्षि) means “seven sages” are the seven rishis in ancient India, who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and other Hindu literature. The Vedic Samhitas never enumerate these rishis by name, though later Vedic texts such as the Brahmanas and Upanisads do so.
The seven sages are: Kashyapa, Atri, Bharadwaja, Vishvamitra, Gautama Maharishi, Jamadagni and Vashishtha.
Kashyapa is the most ancient and venerated rishis, along with the other Saptarishis. He is the father of Adityas, Rudras, Vasus, Daityas, Maruts and so on. A powerful rishi on his own right.
Atri is a Vedic sage, who is credited with composing numerous hymns to Agni, Indra, and other Vedic deities of Hinduism.He is the one most mentioned in its scripture Rigveda.
He was a renowned scholar, economist, grammarian and physician. His contributions to ancient Indian literature, specifically the Rig Veda, provide significant insight into ancient Indian society.He and his family of students were the authors of the sixth book of the Rigveda. In the epic Mahabharata, Bharadwaja was the father of the teacher Guru Drona the instructor to Pandava and Kaurava princes.
Unlike others he was born a King, a Kshatriya after renouncing his kingdom and royal status, Brahmarishi Vishvamitra became the Rajarshi, or ‘royal sage’.
According to Hindu tradition, he is stated to have written most of the Mandala 3 of the Rigveda, including the Gayatri Mantra. The Puranas mention that only 24 rishis since antiquity have understood the whole meaning of and thus wielded the whole power of the Gayatri Mantra. Vishvamitra is supposed to have been the first, and Yajnavalkya the last.
Gautama is prominently mentioned in the Ramayana and is known for cursing his wife Ahalya, after she had relationship with Indra. Another important story related to Gautama is about the creation of river Godavari, which is also known as Gautami.
He is the father of Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. He was a descendant of the sage Bhrigu, one of the Prajapatis created by Brahma, the God of Creation. Jamadagni had five children with wife Renuka, the youngest of whom was Parashurama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Jamadagni was well versed in the scriptures and weaponry without formal instruction.
Vashistha is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda. Vashishtha and his family are mentioned in Rigvedic verse 10.167.4 other Rigvedic mandalas and in many Vedic texts. His ideas have been influential and he was called the first sage of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy by Adi Shankara.
Why is Rishi Panchami is a controversial nowadays?
The logic behind the Rishi Panchami Puja is to seek forgiveness for any errors committed during their periods. Many women these days do not take the menstruation taboo seriously which is a reason for Rishi Panchami Vrat being unpopular these days. Many feminist question this factor and ask that “getting the bad blood out of one’s body is a good thing and a natural thing so during periods we exactly do that so how are we impure?“
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