Monday, July 1, 2013


Rishis, Maharishis were expert in any subject, while Munis, Mahamunis were saintly persons who had renounced worldly pleasures. However both worked for welfare of humanity and environment. WE understand that with the passage of time some CHANGES do take place. But usually such changes take place when the successive generation, for certain positive or negative reasons, want those changes.
One such change that has happened, with the passage of time, is the erosion of difference between what the original difference in meaning between RISHI and MUNI was. 
Munis were saintly and scholarly persons who have started renouncing physical affects and pleasures. Mahamunis were the one who had renounced all worldly pleasures, had extreme knowledge about at least one subject. 

‘Rishis’ were expert in any subject and persons with better knowledge and human and environment friendly approach of the subject. Masters among experts were called ‘MAHARISHI’, and grandmasters, ‘BHRAMRISHI’. Remember it was extremely difficult to be called Bhramrishi. History tells us Maharishi Vashisht was honoured as Bhramrishi. Kaushik, later known as Vishwamitra was also honured as Bhramrishi. The original Saptrishis were Bhramrishis. The main difference between rishis and munis was that munis were ‘saintly persons’ who had already started the process of renouncing worldly pleasures, while rishis were expert in any subject with aptitude and intention to use the knowledge for humanity and environment.

As mentioned above Saptrishis were experts in their respective subjects; but they had not renounced worldly pleasures and could NOT be classified as munis. Later the name of the Saptrishis became the title or ‘gotra’ of Brahmins and had since been used as such. This is one erosion that had taken place and is physically verifiable even today. 

But first we need to understand that Saptrishis were experts in different subjects. They were not recognized or decorated because they were saints. No they were experts in different field. For instance Bhrigu was famous for his knowledge on astronomy. Vashisht and Jamadagni, were Maharishi, for their knowledge of using natural resources for the growth of humanity in such a way that the natural resources do not deplete (Kamdhenu).

Saptarshis, as given in major Hindu texts :
1. The Shatapatha Brahmana and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.2.4) acknowledge the names of seven rishis (or Saptarshis) as:Atri,Bharadvaja, Gautama, Jamadagni, Kashyapa, Vashista, Vishvamitra  
2. Krishna Yajurveda in the Sandhya-Vandana Mantras has it as:Angiras, Atri, Bhrigu, Gautama, Kashyapa, Kutsa, Vashista 
3. Mahabharata gives the Seven Rishis’ names:Marichi,Atri,Pulaha,Pulastya,Kratu,Vashista,Kashyapa. 
4. Brihat Samhita gives the Seven Rishis’ names as:Marichi,Vashista, Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu
The reason for the differences in the mentioned list is that there are seven Rishis who govern the functioning of the Cosmos in Batches and all the above mentioned Rishis have had the post of a 'Saptarishi' at some point in time. Source & Link: Saptarishi

Now regarding Munis; as said earlier the difference in the meaning of Muni and Rishi got eroded at some time, and because of the convenience of religious and other rulers at that time, it could not be reversed, or set right. However Sanatan Dharm does have a back up support. Visible backup support is Buddhist and Janis who had PRESERVED the true meaning of MUNI, and, according to them, they are the persons who have renounced worldly pleasures. During Dwaaper yug Parasher, the renowned Jyotish was a Mahamuni. 

The other thing that was important to understand is that Saptrishi were the centralized committee to make Dharmic laws, and Dharm was ALWAYS meant to cater to the growth and aspiration of society. 

You may also like to read: 

No comments :


A Consulting Engineer, operating from Mumbai, involved in financial and project consultancy; also involved in revival of sick establishments.

ABOUT MY BLOG: One has to accept that Hindus, though, highly religious, are not getting desired result as a society. Female feticide, lack of education for girls, dowry deaths, suicides among farmers, increase in court cases among relatives, corruption, mistrust and discontent, are all physical parameters to measure the effectiveness or success/failure of RELIGION, in a society. And all this, despite the fact, that spending on religion, by Hindus, has increased drastically after the advent of multiple TV channels. There is serious problem of attitude of every individual which need to be corrected. Revival of Hindu religion, perhaps, is the only way forward.

I am writing how problems, faced by Indian people can be sorted out by revival of Hindu Religion.