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Bhrgus - A Study (An Old and Rare Book)

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About The Book The subject of 'Bhrgus' or 'Bhargavas, a prominent clan of Brahmins of Ancient India has been variously explored by scholars, who have tried to view it from different dimensions. The authoress, extends this subject of 'Bhrgus' to an all encompassing perspective. Bhrgu dominate the immense corpus of Indian mythological literature from the earliest Vedas to the latest Puranas. With the addition of various interpolations by the Puranas, epics etc. i...
About The Book

The subject of 'Bhrgus' or 'Bhargavas, a prominent clan of Brahmins of Ancient India has been variously explored by scholars, who have tried to view it from different dimensions.

The authoress, extends this subject of 'Bhrgus' to an all encompassing perspective. Bhrgu dominate the immense corpus of Indian mythological literature from the earliest Vedas to the latest Puranas.

With the addition of various interpolations by the Puranas, epics etc. it become necessary to study the all round development of the Bhrgus.

With this aim in mind, the book tries to present, an integrated, cohesive picture of the 'Bhrgus' as they appear in the Sanskrit texts.

It explores the origin of Bhrgu and the development of his descendants through the ages. In doing so it delves deep into the concept of 'Bhrgu as mythical sage', their (Bhrgus) associations with the fire-cult and their significant contribution to the Vedas with due emphasis on their Atharvanic tradition.

In addition to this, it amplifies the various accounts of the Bhargavas in the Vedic mythology. It throws light on their interrelations, functions leading to a systematic geneology.

It imaginatively, probes both the resplendent side of Bhrgus, as the omniscient, omnipotent supermen, and also their darker side; as arrogant, revengeful characters.

It accords due importance to Bhirgavas as the promulgators of "Bhrgusamhita and also deals with their astrological and astro -nomical tradition.

The book leaves no stone unturned in he study of "Bhrgus'. It thus tries to reveal the diverse religious, social and cultural history of the country opening new avenues in this field.

It would greatly enlighten the scholars and the persons who are interested in the rich cultural and religious literature of India.


About the Author

Dr. (Mrs) Jayanti Panda received her B. A. (Hons.) and M.A. ( Sanskrit) degrees from Utkal University in 1974 and 1976 respectively.

She was conferred the Ph. D. degree for her research on the cultural and religious history of India, with particular emphasis on the study of the Bhargavas, a prominent clan of Brahmins of Ancient India.

She is a member of All Orissa Association of College Teachers and also a member of All India Oriental Conference, Poona.

Besides working as a lecturer in Sanskrit , M .S College, Baramba, Cuttack, she is at present actively engaged in the further research on the Angirasas in Ancient India, and is also contributing informative article to various research journals of India.



The Bhrgus or the Bhargavas are a family of Brahmin seers and priests, who descended from an eponymous ancestor, the great Rsi Bhrgu. The glory of the Bhargavas is sung in the Vedic as well as post-vedic literature. But they escaped the attention of the scholars for a pretty long time. A. Padmanabhayya brought out a monograph on the "Ancient Bhrgus" in 1931. This small monograph broadly deals on the cradle of the ancient Bhrgus, their immigration into the Indian sub-continent and their identification with the Dravidians of Southern India. Apart from Padmanabhayya's essay, the great bulk of scholarly effort in this area has been directed to the only Bhargava figure, Parasurama. Among them, mention may be made of I. Karve, "The Parasurama myth" (1932), Anujan Achan's, "The Parasurama Legend and Its Significance" (1935), S. S. Janaki, "Parasu- rama" (1966), J. Charpentier, "Parasurama : the Main Outline of His Legend", and R.P. Goldman, "Some Observations on the Parasu of Parasurama", (1972). But the other members of the Bhargava race have hardly attracted any attention of the scholars.

Among the pioneers in the field of study of the Bhargavas, V.S. Sukthankara heads the list. The result of his study appeared in the form of his epoch-making article on the Mahabharata, "The Bhrgus and the Bharata: a Text Historical Study" in 1936. In course of his extensive critical study of the Mahabharata, he noticed a disproportionate amount of the mythic and legendary material on the histories and exploits of the Bhrgus and posited that in the present version of the Mahabharata, there was conscious or deliberate weaving together of the Bharata legends with Bhargava stories. Ultimately he came to the conclusion that the warrior epic underwent thorough revision at the hands of- Bhargava redactors. And he hoped that if the epic would be examined more minutely, still further evidence of Bhargava material, hitherto undiscovered would be brought to light.

The unfinished task: left by Sukthankar was taken up by late lamented N. J. Shende who tried to study the "Bhrgvangiras Element in the Mahabharata" in his Ph.D. dissertation, submitted to the University of Bombay, 1940. Instead of investigating the glory and greatness of the Bhargavas in the epics proper, he tried to trace the role of Bhrgus and Angirasas in the epic and for that he had to trace their origin in the Vedic sources. Through the evidences collected, he tried to propound the theory that the Bhrgvangirasas were responsible for the final redaction of the Mahabharata. Though he took note of the Vedic as well as Puranic sources, they appear to be very short and sketchy. The article, "The Bhrgus and Atharvans" of V.W. Karambelkar focusses on their development in the Vedas only. In 1976 V.G. Rahurkar brought out a long article on "Bhrgu and the Bhrgus in the Vedic and the Post-Vedic Literature" which lays more emphasis on the Vedic source than on the epic and the Puranic ones. This learned essay tries to touch different aspects of the character of Bhrgus no doubt.

In 1977 appeared the monograph on "Gods, priests and war- riors: The Bhrgus of the Mahabharata" of Robert P. Goldman. Taking the central Bhrguid myths of the Mahabharata into consideration, the learned scholar could establish how the Bhrgus formed an unconventional race, whose behaviour often deviated from the norm set forth in the dharma literature of their fellow Brahmins. And their pre-occupations with death, violence, sorcery, their confusion of class roles, even an open hostility to gods themselves that often led them to serve the demons as their priest etc., are illuminated through this work. When the scholar tried to analyse some important myths from the Mahabharata, what to speak of the Vedic or Puranic ones, even the other myths from the Mahabharata were not paid proper attention.

Though the Bhrgus dominate in the Mahabharata they appear in roles of no less significance throughout the immense corpus of Indian mythological literature from the earliest Vedas to the latest Puranas etc. The Bhrgus of the Vedic literature are significant no doubt. The Puranas present a typically complicated picture of the Bhargavas,' where they are exalted to an even higher status than they are accorded in the epic. While most of the Bhrguid episodes in the Puranas amplify the epic myths, they try to add certain new features to the Bhargava Rsis on the sectarian ground. Thus they appear to be equally important' to study the all round .development of the Bhargavas. With this aim in. view the present investigation is conducted.

In the present study I have tried to present- the role of the Bhrgus as they appear in Sanskrit texts only. In the first chapter attempt is made' to trace the origin of Bhrgu'and the development of his descendants. While Bhrgu is known' as a mythical sage, his clan is well connected with other historical tribes. The Bhrgus as fire-priests, who brought fire to man and as composers of some of the' Vedic' hymns and their close relation with the Atharvanic tradition are given emphasis. The Purana Pancalaksana Texts which constitute the urkern of the Puranas, were formed even before the epic stories were finalised. So an attempt is made to trace the development of the Bhargava myths as they appear in the Purana Pancalaksana Texts in the second chapter. Since the Mahabharata provides the most extensive treatment of the Bhargava mythology, the origin of various sages of the Bhargava corpus, their inter-relation and function leading to a systematic genealogy are aimed at in the third chapter. Due to later redactions, the Puranas developed into more or less a sectarian literature. The sages of the Bhargava family are exalted to an even higher status in the Puranas than in the epics, and the myths relating to them appear to be inflated for sectarian purposes. Beside their sectarian affiliation, the astrological and astronomical traditions elevating some members of the family to the status of a planet are described in the fourth chapter. In the fifth chapter, the result of our investigations in the form of conclusion is summed up.

I am deeply indebted to my Professor Dr. A.C. Swain, M.A., (Banaras), A.M, Ph. D. (Harvard), Professor and Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, who has helped me in diverse manners and encouraged me in my first academic venture. Prof. N. Ray, Department of English, Directorate of the Correspondence Courses, Utkal University and Prof. Dr. C.S.K. Jain, formerly Head of the Department of Hindi, Utkal University read through the massive early draft and suggested different ways to bring it to the present form. I am specially grateful to them Shri D. Panda, M.A., B. Lib. Sc., Librarian, Orissa State Museum Library and Shri P. Padhi, M.A., LL. B., M. Lib. Sc., Assistant Librarian, Parija Library, Utkal University extended their ungrudging help for the work. My special thanks are due to them also.

Finally, I would like to thank Shri B. Patra, M.A., B. Lib. Sc., for his constant help and co-operation without which it would have been impossible for me to accomplish the task.




  Bhrgu as a Rsi 1
  Bhrgu as a Priest 3
  Bhrgu and Matarisvan 5
  Bhrgu and Agni 5
  Ancient clans belonging to the Fire-cult 9
(a) Bhrgu-Angirasa 11
(b) Bhrgu-Atharvan 13
  Bhrgus -an historical tribe 15
  Origin of Bhrgu 17
  Bhargavas 22
  The basis of Purana Pancalaksana 42
  Bhrgu-a mind-born son of Brahma 45
  Bhrgu, progenitor of a race 49
  Relation of Bhrgu with Visnu 52
  Bhrgu and Kavya (Sukra) 56
  Bhargavas 59
  Bhrgu's birth from Brahma's retas 67
  Bhrgu's birth from Brahma's heart 69
  Bhrgu in the assembly of Brahma 70
  Bhrgu in the assembly of Indra 70
  Bhrgu in the assembly of Yudhisthira 71
  Bhrgu's visit to Bhisma 71
  Bhrgu adores Krsna 71
  Bhrgu in the coronation ceremony of Karttikeya 72
  Bhrgu and Drona 72
  Bhrgu and Bharadvaja 73
  Bhrgu, the Architect of Manusmrti 74
  Bhrgu's importance 75
  Bhrgu and Vitahavya 75
  Bhrgu and Sagara 77
  Bhrgu and Agastya 78
  Bhrgu and Agni 79
  Bhrgu and Mount Himavat 82
  Bhrgu and Nahusa 82
  Bhrgu as a Gotrakarin 85
  Bhrgu and the Bhargavas 87
  Cyavana 88
(a) Cyavana and Nahusa 93
(b) Cyavana and Kusika 94
  Aurva 95
  Rcika 96
  Jamadagni and Parasurama 101
  Parasurama and Karna 106
  Parasurama and Drona 108
  Parasurama and Bhisma 109
  Parasurama and Rama Dasarathi 110
  Parasurama, an incarnation of Visnu 111
  Parasurama, a peace maker 111
  Parasurama, the founder of Tirthas 112
  Ruru 112
  Sukra 113
(a) Sukra and Kaca 114
(b) Sukra and Yayati 116
(c) Sukra and Danda 117
(d) Sukra and Meghanada 117
(e) Sukra and Siva 117
  Dadhica 119
  Vipula 121
  Markandeya 121
  Uttanka 123
  Bhrgu and Siva 128
(a) Bhrgu in Daksa sacrifice 128
(b) Bhrgu in the Pine Forest myth of Siva 137
(c) Bhrgu and Anaranya 144
(d) Bhrgu and Grhapati 144
(e) Bhrgu and Upamanyu 144
(f) Manifestations of Bhrgu 145
  Bhrgu and Brahma 146
(a) Bhrgu in Brahma's sacrifice 146
(b) Bhrgu receives Sarasvati mantra and kavaca from Brahma 147
  Bhrgu's curse on Visnu 148
  Bhrgu and Vamana 152
  Bhrgu and Krsna 153
  Bhrgu and the king Ugrasena 154
  Bhrgu and Srivatsa : Favourite of Sri 154
  Bhrgu, a devotee of Visnu 157
  Bhrgu's relation with Visnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana 158
  Bhrgu and Samba 159
  Bhrgu and the Moon 160
  Bhrgu and Vastusastra 161
  Bhrgu deified 161
  Bhrgu and the Vidyadhara 162
  Astronomical and the Astrological concept of Sukra (Venus) the planet 162
(a) The effect of Venus according to his change of position 164
(b) Inauspicious result of Venus 166
(c) Sukravara (Friday) auspicious for certain undertakings 167
  The Bhargavas 168
  The provenance of the Bhrgus 171
  INDEX 197


Sample Pages

Item Code: NAL119 Author: Jayanti Panda Cover: Hardcover Edition: 1984 Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation Language: English Size: 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch Pages: 212 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 410 gms
Price: $30.00
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