सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "Kashyapa"







In General

Kashyapa ( also called Kapila) was the genius Sage who developed one of the most vibrant philosophy of all times, the great Sankhya Philiosphy. Purana consider him as one of the Saptharshi and Prajapati. Like many other sages all these Kashyapa may not be a single person, but many from one Guruparambara. He was the son of Kardama Prajapathi and Devahuti and is considered as an Avatar of Vishnu. But according to some other version on his birth, he is the son of Saptharshi Marichi. Some part of Rig Veda is attributed to him. An Upa Purana Known as ‘Kapila Puraṇa’ also goes to his credit. He composed the book ‘Kashyap Samhita’, an early book on Ayurveda and was an expert surgeon. Mahabharata give a reference on a text called ‘Nigandu’, an earliest dictionary on difficult words in Sanskrit, written by Kashyapa. This was the basic book upon which Yaska wrote Nirukta, a Vedanga.

Kapila clearly represented the philosophical side of Indian philosophy and is one of the greatest intellectual geniuses Hindu culture has ever produced. But it doesn’t mean he was fully against Karma Marga. He is prominent in the Bhagavata Purana, preaching bhakti to his mother Devahuti. Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita partly feature a theistic version of his Samkhya philosophy. However Kapila protested against the sacrifice of animals in Yajna. It says in Purana that Kapila taught his disciple Asuri the philosophy known as Samkhya yoga. Asuri might have been the propagator and famous philosopher of Sankya philosophy, but no written document of him was not recovered so far.


Prajapati Daksha gave his thirteen daughters, Aditi, Diti, Kadru, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavasa, Ida, Khasa and Muni in marriage to Kashyap. He is the father of major part human race, Devas by his first wife Aditi and Asura by his second wife Diti. Garuda, Sarpa and many other species are also born with his parentage. He was father of Vivaswat. The seers Avatsara and Asita are also his sons.

Once, the sons (60,001) of King Sagara thought that Kapila had stolen their sacrificial horse and they entered Patala. They disturbed Kapila from his meditation, who turned them to ashes with a glare. The Nagas fled Patala in fear. Sagara sent his adopted son Amshuman (Kashyapa’s grandson) to Patala to recover the horse. Amshuman respectfully approached Kapila and recovered the horse. After many years, Bhagiratha, a descendent of Sagara brought the Ganges into the earth, and into this point where his ancestors were burnt to ashes to cure the curse of Kapila. A pilgrim spot in Haridwar known as Kapilastaan, is believed to be as Kapila's hermitage.

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Word Sanskrit IAST In General Veda Purana