Sage Agastya is one of the most famous saints of ancient India. He shared his knowledge through Samhitas, which is very popular in India today. The popular belief is that he is a descendent of Brahma. He is also believed to have connected the north and south Hindu traditions in India. There is an interesting story, which narrates how Agastya got his name.
Legend has it that once Sage Narada went to the Vindhya mountains and met the chief of the mountains. Vindhyan invited Sage Narad and paid him respects. Sage Narada was famous for creating confusion and fights. He often did it to achieve something good for the world. Vindhyas is a range of hills located in central India.
During the meeting with Vindhya, Sage Narada narrated about the haughtiness of Mount Meru. He said that Mount Meru has become very proud and considers himself to be the highest mountain.
To teach Mount Meru a lesson, the Vindhyas started to grow its peaks - to become the biggest mountain in the world. Soon the mountain peaks blocked the path of sun and moon.
Devas became worried as sunlight did not reach on all parts of earth. They approached Sage Agastya for a solution. He promised to help them.
He travelled from his ashram in the Himalayas and reached the Vindhyas. Vindhya and other mountain peaks immediately bowed down (reduced size), offered their respects, and allowed Him to pass to the south side.
Agastya said to Vindhya that he is going to South India and should remain in the same posture until he returns.
Agastya then set up an ashram in South India and stayed there. Vindhyas never raised its peak and remained in the same posture.
As the Sage was able to bend mountain – Agat – he got the name Agastya.
Symbolically, it states that it was Sage Agastya who combined the wisdom of the Himalayas and South India.