viśvāmitra विश्वामित्र

Definition: (‘Friend of all ’) is the name of a Rṣi who is mentioned in the Rigveda, and to whom the third Maṇdala is attributed by tradition. In one hymn which appears to be his own composition, he praises the rivers Vipāś (Beas) and śutudrī (Sutlej'). There he calls himself the son of Kuśika, and seems unquestionably to be the helper of the Bharatas, whom he mentions. The tribe, engaged in a raid, apparently came to the rivers from the east. Anxious to cross them, they The Viśvāmitras are mentioned in several other passages of the Rigveda, and are also designated as a family by the term Kuśikas. In the Epic Viśvāmitra is represented as a king, who becomes a Brahmin. There is no trace of his kingship in the Rigveda, but the Nirukta calls his father, Kuśika, a king; the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa10 refers to śunahśepa as succeeding to the lordship of the Jahnus, as well as the ‘divine lore’ (daiva vedd) of the Gāthinsj^and the Pañcavirçiśa Brāhmana17 mentions Viśvāmitra as a king. But there is no real trace of this kingship of Viśvāmitra: it may probably be dismissed as a mere legend, with no more foundation at most than that Viśvā¬mitra was of a family which once had been royal. But even this is doubtful.


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