Parāśara

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Parasara, ParAZara, Paraashara


Parāśara

One of the well-known ṛṣis or sages frequently mentioned in the epics and the purāṇas, Parāśara was the son of the sage Śakti and the grandson of the famous Vasiṣṭha.

He is considered as one of the gotra-pravartakas or the sages from whom the gotras (patriarchal ancestries) originated.

Learning of the cruel end of his father at the hands of a demon, Kalmāṣapāda, he started a sacrifice for the destruction of the race of demons.

He was not only a great sage but also a great scholar of the religious lore. His teachings to other sages and kings like Janaka contain a lot of information on many abstruse facets of religion and philosophy (vide Mahābhārata, Anuśāsanaparva 146 to 149; 150 to 152).

He was the father of another great sage—Vyāsa or Vedavyāsa—through

Satyavatī, the adopted daughter of a chieftain of the fishermen.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

Parāśaragītā (Sāntiparva 296-304) and the Paraśarasmrti are attributed to him.