Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffery D. Long, Rita D. Sherma, Pankaj Jain, Madhu Khanna


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_551-1


Agastya is a seer (ṛṣi), associated with Vasiṣṭha, husband of Lopāmudrā, and bound to the practice of curse (śapa), a sort of culture hero connected with the process of Sanskritization of Southern India.


Agastya (Agasti) is a seer, ṛṣi, considered to be the author of a number of hymns in the Ṛgvedasaṃhitā. According to the Ṛgveda, Agastya and Vasiṣṭha are sons of Mitra and Varuṇa, whose seed fell from them at the sight of the celestial nymph Urvaśī. Known also as Maitravāruṇi (son of Mitra and Varuṇa) and Aurvaśīya (son of Urvaśī), Agastya was born into a water jar, circumstance from which he derives his names Kalaśisuta, Kumbhasambhava, and Ghaṭodbhava; when he was a child, he was very small, a span in length, circumstance from which he derives his name Māna (a measure of two añjalis that is a measure of corn, sufficient to fill both hands when placed side by side, equal to a kuḍava). Probably later than Vasiṣṭha though associated with him, he is not one of the...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Studi umanistici StudiUmUniversità degli studi di TorinoTorinoItaly