The great Bhrigu sage is the first astrologer who composed a collection of horoscopes called Bhrigu Samhita. These are the horoscopes of everyone who has ever lived, lives, and will live on Earth. He is the founder of Jyotish, Vedic Astrology.
He was one of the Seven Sages (Sapta Rishi) in Hindu Mythology, one of the several Prajapati (creature lords) created by the four-headed creator god Brahma. He was the ancestor of the Bhrigu tribe.
Legend of First Birth
Considering the birth of the sage, some legends say the sage was the Manas Putra (Son born from Mind) of Lord Brahma. But in the 5th chapter of the Adi-Parva of the Mahabharata, a different version of his birth is given.
It says that Bhrigu was born from vahni (fire). These statements do not contradict each other. They simply describe different incarnations of Bhrigu.
He first arose from the skin of Brahma. Over time, the sage Bhrigu became famous. He attended the Daksha yajna as one of the ritviks (appointed priests). Satidevi, furious and saddened that her husband Shiva was not invited to the yajna, committed suicide at this celebration.
Upon learning of this, Shiva was furious. From his tangled hair came monsters; they went to the sacrificial arena to capture the ritviks. According to the Fourth Canto of the Bhagavatam, Virabhadra, who emerged from the strands of Shiva’s hair, punished Bhrigu Rishi.
Legend of Second Birth
In Vaivasvata-manvantara, he was born again. This second birth took place during the glorious Brahma-yajna of Varuna. He emerged from the flame as the son of Brahma. The child, born from the seed of Brahma, fell into the sacrificial fire was taken by Varuna and his wife, Charshani.
Accordingly, some Puranas refer to Bhrigu as Varuna-Putra and Charshani-Putra. Because he was born in Varuna Yajna, he is sometimes also called Varuni Bhrigu.
Family from First Birth
On his first birth, rishi Bhrigu married Khyati, and they had a daughter, Lakshmi, and three sons, Dhata, Vidhata, and Kavi. Mahameru’s daughters, Ayati and Niyati, married Dhata and Vidhata, respectively. These two couples gave birth to two sons, Prana and Mrikand.
The family tree of this first Bhrigu-vamsa is given according to the 10th chapter of the First Canto of the Vishnu Purana.
Family From Second Birth
In his second life, Rishi Bhrigu married Puloma. They had six sons: Bhuta, Chyavana, Vajashirsha, Shuchi, Shukra, and Savana. His son Shukra became more famous than his father; he is popularly known as Shukracharya: Master of Demons (Asuras).
Curse to Lord Vishnu – Birth as Lord Rama
Once a terrible battle broke out between the demigods and the asuras. In this war, the asuras not only failed but also many of them died. Diti, the mother of the asuras, complained to Bhrigu with tears in her eyes.
Puloma, Shukra’s mother, promised to help her. She immediately went to the forest and indulged in severe penance to destroy the demigods. Frightened by the power of her penance, the demigods turned to Vishnu for protection. The latter sent a vajra against Bhrigu’s wife, Puloma.
The weapon decapitated the ascetic. Enraged, Maharishi Bhrigu cursed Vishnu to be born in the mortal realm and suffer separation from his wife. Cursed by the sage, Vishnu directed His chakra at him.
Bhrigu fled in horror, and in the end, he asked for forgiveness from Vishnu, reclining in the Milky Ocean. Vishnu withdrew the chakra. Bhrigu brought Puloma back to life. In fulfillment of the curse of Bhrigu, Vishnu agreed to appear in this world as Shri Rama, the son of Dasaratha, and experience the pain of separation from His wife (Uttara-Ramayana).
Test for Supreme Lord
Once all the maharishis gathered together to perform a yajna on the banks of the Saraswati. A disagreement arose among them: Which Trimurti is the most powerful? Some said that it was Brahma, others proclaimed the most powerful Vishnu, and still, others claimed the superiority of Shiva. Bhrigu was entrusted to judge the disputants.
He first went to Lord Brahma; upon his arrival, he found Lord Brahma in the throne room, in the company of his consort Sarasvati and surrounded by sages and demigods. Silently Bhrigu Muni entered and sat down on the throne next to Brahma.
Everyone present was pleased about his arrival, but nevertheless, they wondered what the reason for such impolite attitude of Bhrigu Muni towards Brahma was. Brahma felt offended and, with difficulty, restrained the anger that boiled in him.
Seeing the anger of Brahma, Bhrigu realized that the worldly mode of passion causes this anger, and therefore Brahma, who fell under its influence, cannot be the supreme Lord. He cursed Lord Brahma, saying, “From now on, no one on Earth will worship you, and not a single temple will be built in your honor.”
Having pronounced this curse, Bhrigu went to the silver mountain Kailash, where Lord Shiva always resides with his wife.
Bhrigu Muni found them sitting together and enjoying the hymns sung by Nandishwar, Bhringishwar, and Chandishwar, the faithful servants of Shiva. He went straight to the inner chambers where Shiva enjoyed the company of his consort. Seeing a stranger, Parvati blushed and, embarrassed, left the room, and Lord Shiva became indescribably furious.
Lord Shiva drew his trident and swung it at Bhrigu Muni. But Parvati stopped him in time. Lord Shiva calmed down as soon as he fell into anger. And so, Rishi Bhrigu cursed Shiva, saying, “From now on, you will be worshiped on Earth only in the form of a lingam. And no temple in the world will have your real deity!”. After that Bhrigu Muni left and moved on to the abode of Sri Vishnu.
At that time, Vishnu was reclining on Shesha Naga, and Lakshmi Devi was massaging His feet. Agitated by the events in the abodes of Brahma and Shiva, Bhrigu Muni, without saying a word, approached the reclining Lord Vishnu and kicked Him in the chest.
But Vishnu was not at all embarrassed by such an appeal. Smiling, He asked the sage if he had hurt his leg. Hastily getting up from his bed, Lord Vishnu seated Bhriga on him and began, rubbing his feet, asking the guest about the purpose of the visit.
Seeing that the offensive behavior did not hurt Lord Vishnu in the least, Bhrigu realized that it was Vishnu who was the Supreme Lord. Immediately falling at the feet of the Lord, Bhrigu begged for His forgiveness.
After explaining the purpose of his visit, Bhrigu invited the Supreme Lord to visit the sacrifice arranged by the sages and accept all their offerings. The Lord promised that He would certainly come there at the proper time.
And the happy Bhrigu returned to the banks of the Ganges to tell the sages about what had happened to him. Hearing his story, the wise men were pleased and continued the sacrifice they had begun.
About Bhrigu Samhita
Bhrigu Samhita is a grandiose and mystical work of the divine sage that describes the evolution and structure of the universe, as well as an extraordinary collection of horoscopes, known as the “collection of horoscopes on palm leaves.”
Originally, Bhrigu Muni actually wrote these horoscopes on palm leaves. This collection is quite large and is divided into several parts, which are kept in different states of India.
Its custodians, the Bhrigu-Shastri, have been carefully rewriting them and monitoring their preservation for five thousand years now. These are special priestly clans in which the ability to calculate and find a horoscope in a collection is passed down from generation to generation.
Some facts about Rishi Bhrigu
- According to Valmiki Ramayana, it was Bhrigu who blessed Sagara, the king of the Solar Dynasty, to have offspring. Together with his wives, Keshini and Sumati, Sagara practiced austerity at Bhrigu Prasravana in the Himalayas. A hundred years later, pleased with them, Bhrigu blessed the king to have numerous descendants from one wife and the only son-progenitor from another.
- According to Brahmanda Purana, having exterminated the Kshatriyas, Parasurama went to the ashram of Bhrigu, the ancestor of his dynasty, and received his blessings.
- According to Mahabharata, Rishi Bhrugu was an honorary member of the assembly of Yudhishthira and a member of Indra’s assembly. Thanks to Bhrigu, Indra shone in all his glory. He was also a respectable member of the assembly of Brahma.
- According to Mahabharata, on his way to Hastinapur as a messenger of peace, Shri Krishna traveled around Dakshinavarta with the sage Bhrigu.
- Bhrigu appeared on the battlefield where the Kuru and the Pandavas fought and tried to keep Dronacharya from participating in the battle.