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By Prof. Rishabh Shastri


A Short Biographical Sketch Of Rishi Parashar

By Prof. Rishabh Shastri

One of the great sages of the Rigveda and the great seeker of the Gayatri Mantra, the great Holy Vedas, Grandson of Maharishi Vasishtha, father of Jyotish-Acharya, Smritikar and the cosmologist Rishi Parashar, was Shaktamuni and his mother's name was Adyashyanti. Sage Parashar had communicated with Nishadaja's daughter Satyavati in her virgin state, which led to the birth of VedaVyas, the author of 'Mahabharata'. Satyavati later married King Shantanu.

Parashar was a disciple of Bashkal and Yajnavalkya. Rishi Parashar’s father was eaten by the demon Kalmashapad. When Parashar Rishi came to know about this, he started the Rakshasa-Session Yagna for the complete destruction of the demons, in which one demon was drawn and consumed in it.

Many demons were becoming Swaha, so Maharishi Pulastya approached Parashar Rishi and requested him to stop this Yagya and he also preached Non-Violence. Parashar Rishi's son VedVyasa also prayed his fathe Parashar to stop this Yajna. He explained that it is unfair to kill all demons without any fault. After the prayers and sermons of Pulastya and Vyasa, he stopped this by giving a complete sacrifice of the demon-session yagna.

Actually, the story goes like this that it was a matter of a day that Shakti was coming from the east direction by way of Ekayan. King Kalmashapad was coming from the other side (West). The path was so narrow that only one person could leave and the other needed to be removed. But the king had arrogance of the scepter and Shakti the arrogance of being his sagehood. The sage is bigger than the king, so the king should have gone away. But away from the king's retreat, he started beating sage Shakti with whips. The king's actions were like demons, so Shakti cursed the king to be a demon. King Kalmashapad became a demon by the curse of Shakti. The king who became a demon made his first grass power and the life of sage Shakti ended.

Maharishi Parashar and Ved Vyas

Rishi Ved Vyas, son of Maharishi Parashar, who composed the 'Mahabharata'. The other name of VedaVyas was Krishna Dwaipayana. The mother of VedVyas was Satyavati. Satyavati was also named Matsyagandha, because her organs smelled of fish and she used to work as a boat-Woman. Once, when Rishi Parashar was crossing the Yamuna River by her boat. While he was sitting in her boat, after observing Satyavati's beauty in his mind, feelings of attachment awakened and he requested Satyavati for love.

Satyavati gets into some thinking after hearing this and then she tells him that 'O Munivar! You are a theologian and I am Nishada Kanya (Daughter of a Hunter), so this relationship is not right. 'Then Parashar Muni says, 'Don't worry, because you will not lose your virginity even if you have a relationship with me and you will remain a virgin even if you have maternity.' Hearing this, Satyavati accepts Muni's request. Sage Parashar spreads dense fog all around with his yogic power and engaged with Satyavati.

Later he blesses the sage Satyavati that the smell of fish coming from her body will be transformed into aroma. Later, Satyavati gets a son only on the island of this river. This son is later called Ved Vyas. Vyasa was of dark complexion, due to which he was called 'Krishna' and was born on an island between the Yamuna and hence he was also called 'Dwaipayana'. Later, he became famous by the name of VedVyas due to commenting on the Vedas.

Parashar's compositions:

Rishi Parashar had acquired knowledge of many disciplines and given them to the world. Parashar has contributed many verses in the Rigveda. The Vishnu Purana, Parashar Smriti, Videharaja Janaka referred to as Gita (Parashar Geeta), Brihat Parashar Samhita etc. are magnum compositions of Parashar.

Parashar Gita

In the dialogue of Bhishma and Yudhishthira in the Shanti Parva of Mahabharata, Yudhishthira reveals the conversation between Bhishma to Raja Janak and Parashar to Yudhishthira. This conversation is known as 'Parashara Geeta'. There are talks of knowledge related to “Religion and Action”. In fact, during the Shanti Parva, a detailed description of the answers to all kinds of philosophy and religion questions is available.

Parashar's Astrological Compositions 

Parashar Rishi composed many texts out of which his texts written above astrology are very important. Astrology of ancient and present is based on the rules laid down by Parashar. Rishi Parashar has written the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastram, Laghu - Parashari (Astrology).

Other compositions of Parashar

Brihat Parashariya Dharma Sanhita, Parasarya Dharmasanhita (Smriti), Parashar Samhita (Vaidyak), Parashariya Puranam (mentioned by Madhvacharya), Parasarahodityan Natyasastram (mentioned by Chanakya), Parasaroditya, Vastu Shastram (Vishwakarma mentioned), Etc. are his compositions. Parashar Smriti is a religious Text in which great emphasis on religious and devotion given great importance.

Sage Parashar was a sage endowed with divine and supernatural power.He revealed the knowledge of theology, astrology, architecture, Ayurveda, ethics, thematic. The texts written by him are Vrihat Parashar Hora Shastram, Laghu-Parashari, Vrihat Parashari Dharma Samhita, Parashar Dharma Samhita, Parasaroditam, Vastushastriam, Parashar Samhita (Ayurveda), Parashar Mahapuran, Parashar Ethics, etc. There are popular texts for the welfare of human beings, whose relevance still remains today.  Brihat Parashary Hora Shastram (BPHS) is considered as The Magnum Opus or Bible of Indian Astrology.

My humble Pranams at the lotus feet of great Maharshi PARASHAR,

Thanks for Reading this short Article  

Jay Maa Tara

Sarvesang Mangalam Bhavatu