Rishi Angiras

Rishi Angirasa is one of the Saptarishis (Seven Immortal Sages) and the Manasaputra (son born of the mind) of Brahma, and is one of the Projenitors of humankind. Many verses in the Vedas are attributed to Rishi Angirasa.

He, along with sage Atharvan, are said to have composed (heard) most of the Atharvana Veda. Through his tapas, Rishi Angiras came to be known as Angira, “shining like fire”. In the beginning of time, Rishi Angiras, at the behest of Bhagwan Sanatkumara, built the ancestral Himalayan cave in the region of Mt. Kailash where Lord Shiva resides, guiding aspirants along the path.

Sage Angirasa and Saunaka, the Householder

One of the stories related to Rishi Angirasa is mentioned in the Mundaka Upanishad. A householder by the name Saunaka carried his firewood and reached the forest where Rishi Angirasa was. He approaches the Sage reverently and beseeched “O Holy Sage, teach me that through which the whole universe can be known.” Rishi Angirasa goes on to explain the two different kinds of knowledge on this Earth. The lower knowledge he stated, are the sciences, hymns, rituals, grammar, poetry astrology etc. The higher knowledge is that which leads a man to that which never dies. The Indestructible.

Rishi Angiras explained this further says “This body is like a tree in which two birds live. They look alike. The lower bird is tasting the fruits of the tree and some are sweet and others are sour. The higher bird is just watching the lower bird.  One day the lower bird is tired of everything and starts to weep. The lower bird sees the higher bird which is calm, unattached and at peace. The lower bird hops towards the higher one. It suddenly realizes that the upper bird is also just himself, his true Self . Knowing this, his grief disappears. He realises that the Ego was not real, the Self was real, the observer of all.”

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