Kaśyapa

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Kasyapa, KaZyapa, Kashyapa


Kaśyapa was the son of the sage Marici and Kalā[1]. He was the grandson of Brahmā, the creator. He had married the 13 daughters of Dakṣa and thereby became the father of the:

  • Devas - gods
  • Asuras - demons
  • Siddhas
  • Gandharvas
  • Yakṣas - demigods
  • Nāgas - reptiles
  • Other animals

In short, he was the father of the whole creation. Hence, when the gotra (lineage) of a person is not known, he is permitted to say ‘Kāśyapagotra’.[2]

Kaśyapa and Aditi (the eldest wife) took rebirth as Daśaratha and Kausalyā, Vasudeva and Devakī, since they had got the boon from Lord Viṣṇu to be born as their son.

References in Scriptures

The sage Kaśyapa has been mentioned in many scriptures. They are:

  1. Ṛgveda[3]
  2. Rāmāyana,[4]
  3. Mahābhārata[5]
  4. Visnupurāna[6]
  5. Bhāgavata[7]

It is difficult to say whether all these Kaśyapas are same or different.

References

  1. Kalā was daughter of Kardama and Devahuti.
  2. It is necessary to know the gotra in the performance of religious ceremonies.
  3. Ṛgveda 9.114.2
  4. Bālakānda 70 and 75
  5. Adiparva 63
  6. Visnupurāna 1.15 and 21
  7. Bhāgavata 4.1
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore