Vasishtha, aka: Vashishtha, Vasiṣṭha, Vāsiṣṭha; 9 Definition(s)


Vasishtha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit terms Vasiṣṭha and Vāsiṣṭha can be transliterated into English as Vasistha or Vasishtha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Āstika (orthodox philosophy)

One of the Seven Great Sage(Saptarshi).

One of the "twenty-one Prajapatis"; Mahabharata, Book 1, section I.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Indian Philosophy
context information

The term āstika refers to six mainstream schools of Hindu philosophy, accepting the Vedas as authorative. They are: Nyāyá (logic), Vaiśeṣika (atomism), Sāṃkhya (enumeration), Yoga (Patañjali’s school), Mimāṃsā (Vedic exegesis) and Vedanta (Upaniṣadic tradition). Together they also go by the name ṣaḍdarśana (‘six systems’).

Śāktism (Śākta philosophy)

Vaśiṣṭha (वशिष्ठ):—One of the mind-born sons of Brahmā, according to the Devī-bhāgavata-purāṇa (chapter on the Devī-yajña). They were created by the sheer power of mind.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam
Śāktism book cover
context information

Śākta (शाक्त, shakta) or Śāktism (shaktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devī) is revered and worshipped. Śākta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.


1a) Vasiṣṭha (वसिष्ठ).—A sage who called on Bhīṣma lying on his death-bed; also called on Parikṣit practising prāyopaveśa;1 was invited for Yudhiṣṭhira's Rājasūya;2 came to see Kṛṣṇa at Syamantapañcaka;3 one of the sages who left for Piṇḍāraka.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 9. 7; 19. 9.
  • 2) Ib. X. 74. 7.
  • 3) Ib. X. 84. 4.
  • 4) Ib. XI. 1. 12.

1b) A son of Brahmā, born of his breath; married Kardama's daughter, Arundhatī. Father of seven sons, all Brahmaṛṣis; cursed the fires Pāvaka, Pavamāna and Śuci who were born sons of Vijitāśva;1 when invited to be Nimi's ṛtvik, he went away to Indra's yajña to which he had been called earlier and asked Nimi to wait till his return. On Nimi continuing his sacrifice with the help of other ṛtviks, Vasiṣṭha cursed him and was in turn cursed to be born of Ūrvaśī and Mitrāvaruṇa.2 A sage of the Kṛtayuga: Heard the Nīlakaṇṭha legend from Kārtikeya; present at Rati's marriage;3 suggested to Diti the observance of the madanadvādaśīvrata.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 12. 22-3; 24. 23; IV. 1. 40; 24. 4; 29. 43; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 32. 96 and 115; III. 8, 82; Matsya-purāṇa 187. 45.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 18. 5; IX. 13. 1-6.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 25. 15; 27. 103; IV. 40. 48; Matsya-purāṇa 201. 1, 14-6.
  • 4) Matsya-purāṇa 3. 7 and 34; 7. 5, 9.

1c) A siddha;1 the ācārya of Śrāddha deva. Finding no issue to him. Vasiṣṭha offered a sacrifice to Mitra and Varuṇa. At this time Śrāddhā, the king's wife desired to have a daughter and expressed it to the Hotā who uttered the mantra in such a way as to get a daughter. Ilā was born; but Śrāddhadeva was not pleased. So Vasiṣṭha converted Ilā into a male by name Sudyumna;2 was present at Ambarīṣa's asvamedha;3 the ideal Purohīta.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 15. 13.
  • 2) Ib. IX. 1. 13-22, 36-7; Matsya-purāṇa 245. 86.
  • 3) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 4. 22.
  • 4) Ib. XI. 16. 22.

1d) A sage of the Vaivasvata epoch; his sons Mānasa pitṛs; fought in the form of a bird for years a battle with Viśvāmitra concerning Hariścandra;1 acted as Sāmaga in his Puruṣamedha;2 cursed Saudāsa to become a Rākṣasa; with the king's assent, Vasiṣṭha begot Aśmaka on Madayantī.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VIII. 13. 5; 1. 24; Matsya-purāṇa 9. 27; 12. 4-5; 15. 12; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 1. 32.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 7. and 23.
  • 3) Ib. IX. 9. 18-23, 38.

1e) The sage presiding over the months of Śuci (Āṣāḍha) and Śukra;1 in the Viśvacakra.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 36; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 6.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 285. 6.

1f) The eighth Veda Vyāsa. Heard the brahmāṇḍa purāṇa from Indra and narrated it to Sārasvata;1 āśrama of, on the Ūrjjanta hill.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 118; IV. 2. 47; 4. 60.
  • 2) Ib. III. 13. 53 and 74.

1g) Born in the vāruṇi-yajña from the centre of Vasu (sacrificial fire), and hence Vasumat; progenitor of Pitṛs, Sukātas.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 1. 21 and 46; 10. 96; Matsya-purāṇa 195. 11; 200. 1.

1h) Cursed Haihaya to be ruined; of madhyama bhakti;1 a mahaṛṣi and a Brahmavādin.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 30. 70; 34. 40.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 145. 90 and 109; 171. 27.

1i) A contemporary of Sagara; the kulaguru of the Ikṣvākus; narrated Paraśurāma's story to Sagara; blessed Sagara who enjoyed rule after world conquest; consoled him on the death of Sāgaras; agreed to anointing Aṃśumat as yuvarāja.1 Gave Prathiṣṭhāna to Sudyumna.2 Took Ikṣvāku to task for getting hare's flesh already tasted by Vikukṣi; was in charge of the kingdom when Trayyāruṇi went to the forest; met Kalmāṣapāda's queen for Aśmaka's birth;3 Purohita of Daśaratha and Rāma.4 Observed ādityaśayanavrata.5

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 31. 1; 47. 99; 48. 29; 49. 1 and 38; 54. 20-22.
  • 2) Ib. III. 60. 21.
  • 3) Ib. III. 63. 15, 82-93, 177; 64. 4; 73. 91.
  • 4) Ib. IV. 15. 40; 20. 103; 40. 48 and 89; Matsya-purāṇa 47. 245; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 4. 99.
  • 5) Matsya-purāṇa 55. 32.

1j) Another name for Āpava sage.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 69. 44.

1k) (Dvaipāyana) a sage of the first epoch of Sāvarṇa Manu;1 father's father of Parāśara; on the evils of anger.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 11.
  • 2) Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 1. 12-16.

1l) The younger brother of Agastya cursed Nimi to become bodyless, a purohita of Nimi.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 61. 19, 32-33; 201. 14-16.

1m) The purohita of Dharmamūrti of Bṛhatkalpa;1 praised Śiva out to burn Tripuram2

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 92. 21; 102. 19; 126. 7.
  • 2) Ib. 133. 67.

1n) A master of the science of architecture.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 252. 2.

1o) A son of Vāli the avatār of the Lord.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 23. 160.

1p) A resident of Brahmakṣetra.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 59. 105.

1q) (Hiraṇyanābha Kauśalya). a disciple of Jaimini who taught him 500 saṃhitas; he in his turn taught them to Yājñavalkya.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 88. 207; 98. 92.

1r) See Vāsiṣṭhas; to them the Pravara is Ekārṣeya.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 200. 2.

2a) Vāsiṣṭha (वासिष्ठ).—A deva gaṇa of eleven groups.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 64; III. 1. 50; 8. 100; IV. 39. 55.

2b) Had seven sons by Urjā: they are Raja, Putra, Ardhabāhu, Savana, Ādhana, Sutapa and Śukla; also daughter Puṇḍarīkā; according to the Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa the seven are Rakṣa, Garta, Urdhvabāhu, Savana, Pavana, Sutapa and Śamku.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 28. 34-6; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 11. 41-2.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Vasiṣṭha (वसिष्ठ) is mentioned as one of the seven mind-born sons of Brahmā, also known as the seven prajāpatis, or the seven brahmās, according to the the first chapter of the Brahma-purāṇa (on the origin of Devas and Asuras). Accordingly, “Desirous of evolving creation befitting these, he created Prajāpatis (Lords of subjects) viz. Marīci, Atri, Aṅgiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu and Vasiṣṭha. Thus the lord of great refulgence created seven mental sons. In the Purāṇas these are known as the seven Brahmās”.

The Brahmapurāṇa (mentioning Atri) is one the eighteen mahāpurāṇas originally composed of over 10,000 verses. The first three books of the extant edition contains a diverse amount of topics such as creation theory, cosmology, mythology, philosophy and genealogy. The fourth and last part represents pilgrimage’s travel guide (māhātmya) and narrates the legends surrounding numerous holy spots (tīrtha) around the Godāvarī region in India.

(Source): Wisdomlib Libary: Brahma Purana
Purāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Dhanurveda (science of warfare)

Vasiṣṭha (वसिष्ठ) was one of the seven great sages (Sapta Ṛṣis) whose activities can be traced from the Vedas down to 10th century A.D, inscriptions. He is first noticed in the Ṛgvedas and later in the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa. He wasa great teacher. He taught many disciples the Vedas and the Vedāṅgas.

(Source): Dhanurveda
Dhanurveda book cover
context information

Dhanurveda (धनुर्वेद) refers to the “knowledge of warfare” and, as an upaveda, is associated with the Ṛgveda. It contains instructions on warfare, archery and ancient Indian martial arts, dating back to the 2nd-3rd millennium BCE.

Discover the meaning of vasishtha or vasistha in the context of Dhanurveda from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

Vashistha is one of the Saptarishis (seven great Rishis) in the seventh, i.e. the present Manvantara, or age of Manu. Vashista is a manasputra of God Brahma. He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners. Arundhuti is the name of the wife of Vashista. RigVeda 7:33 mentions Vashistha rishi as son of MitraVaruṇa and Urvasi.

Vashistha, as one of 9 Prajapatis, is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda. Vashistha and his family are glorified in RV 7.33, extolling their role in the Battle of the Ten Kings, making him the only mortal besides Bhava to have a Rigvedic hymn dedicated to him. Another treatise attributed to him is "Vashistha Samhita" - a book on the Vedic system of electional astrology.

In the Vinaya Pitaka of the Mahavagga (I.245)[6] section the Buddha pays respect to Vashistha by declaring that the Veda in its true form was declared to the Vedic rishis "Atthako, Vâmako, Vâmadevo, Vessâmitto, Yamataggi, Angiraso, Bhâradvâjo, Vâsettho, Kassapo, and Bhagu" and because that true Veda was altered by some priests he refused to pay homage to the altered version.

etymology: Vashistha (Sanskrit: वशिष्ठ, वसिष्ठ, Thai: Vasit, Tamil: வசிஷ்டர்)

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Vasiṣṭha (वसिष्ठ).—He was the Lord’s third Gaṇadhara. He was the son of the king Mahendra of Kampilapura. He came to the Lord’s first Samavaśaraṇa and being initiated there, became the third Gaṇadhara.

(Source): HereNow4U: Lord Śrī Pārśvanātha

Vasiṣṭha (वसिष्ठ) refers to one of the two Indras (lords) of the Dvīpakumāra (island youths) class of “residential celestial beings” (bhavanavāsin), itself a main division of devas (celestial beings) according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 4.3. The Dvīpakumāras perform miraculous activities in the continents. Pūrṇa and Vaśiṣṭa (Vasiṣṭha?) are the two lords in the Fiendish-youths residential celestial beings.

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 4: The celestial beings (deva)
General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

vaśiṣṭha (वशिष्ठ).—m S The name of an eminent Rishi or saint. Used, appellatively, of a man carefully observant of all commanded or established rites and usages. Also vaśiṣṭha vāmadēva A name applied to a person both practical and contemplative.

--- OR ---

vāśiṣṭha (वाशिष्ठ).—m A tribe, or an individual of it, of Brahmans in S. Konkan̤.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Relevant definitions

Search found 286 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

In the Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha, a pervasive layer of Vedānta ideas has been added to the advaita or no...
Vasiṣṭhāsana (वसिष्ठासन, “Vasiṣṭha posture”) is a Sanskrit word referring to a type of postu...
Vasiṣṭhaputra (वसिष्ठपुत्र).—Ūrja.** Vāyu-purāṇa 62. 16.
Vasiṣṭhatīrtha (वसिष्ठतीर्थ).—Sacred to the Pitṛs.** Matsya-purāṇa 22. 68.
Vasishtha Shiksha
Vasishtha Shiksha (वासिष्ठ शिक्षा, Vāsiṣṭha Śikṣā): Name of a traditional Hindu treatise on ...
Varuṇa (वरुण) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—One ...
Mitrā (मित्रा) or Mitratithi is the name of the seventh of fifteen tithis (cycle of time) ...
iḷā (इळा).—m A curved instrument for cutting grass. iḷā mōḍūna khiḷā karaṇēṃ Destroy some large...
Śakti (शक्ति).—Faculty of import or denotation which is possessed by the words permanently acco...
Indra (इन्द्र) is the name of a ancient authority on the science of Sanskrit metrics (chandaśās...
Sāgara (सागर) or Saptasāgara refers to the “seven oceans” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (se...
prajāpati (प्रजापति).—m A name of Brahma'. A king.
Saudāsa (सौदास).—Also called Mitrasaha and Kalmāṣānghri; (Kalmāṣapāda, Vāyu-purāṇa) son o...
Cakra (चक्र) is the name of an author of works dealing with prosodoy (chandas or chandaśśāstra)...
Sūcī (सूची) refers to “point” and represents one of the thirty-two mudrās (hand gestures) of th...

Relevant text

- Was this explanation helpful? Leave a comment:

Make this page a better place for research and define the term yourself in your own words.

You have to be a member in order to post comments. Click here to login or click here to become a member.