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Gritsamada Rishi In Rig Veda – Mahabharata – Puranas

Gritsamada Rishi is a seer in the Vedas. Thirty five hymns out of the forty three in the second mandala of Rig Veda. The remaining eight hymns belong to Somahuti Bhargava (Rig Veda 2.4-7) and to Kurma Gritsamada (2.27 – 30). The Rishi is also mentioned in the Mahabharata and Puranas.

As per Rig Veda Anukramani and Sayana’s commentary, Gritsamada was the son of Sunahotra of the Angirasa family.

Once while he was performing a yajna, he was attacked by demons. Indra rescued him and at his command agreed to be the adopted son of Saunaka of the Bhrigu family and so he came to be known as Saunaka Bhargava.

Gritsamada Rishi In Mahabharata And Puranas

The Mahabharata and Puranas, such as Vishnu Purana, and Harivamsa, give a slightly different account.

Gritsamada Rishi appears as a gotra rishi (clan sage) in Sutra literature and his pravara (genealogy) is also mentioned.

According to Gotra Pravara lists, he belongs to the Bhrigu stock and according to Matsya Purana (195.44 – 45), his paternal name was Saunaka.

According to Kausitaki Brahmana (2.2-4), he is a Bhargava, i.e. born in the family of Bhrigu, and a Babhrava, i.e born in the Babhir family.

Importance Of Hymns By Gritsamada

Gritsamada Rishi was a devout worshiper of Indra, and a promoter of devotion to Indra, as can be seen from his hymns in honor of Indra. He was also a worshipper of Brihaspati, the Lord of the magic power of prayer.

Brihaspati is called Ganapati (Rigveda 2.23.1) and Ganesha Purana (1.37) has a legend which shows how Gritasamada Rishi came to be connected with the mantra gananam tva (Rig Veda 2.23.1). His hymn in honor of Rudra (2.33) may suggest his inclination towards Rudra and his contribution to the Rudra cult in Rig Veda. The Apri hymn (Rig Veda 2.3) suggests his contribution to ritualism.

From the hymn in Rig Veda II, it may be inferred that Gritsamada longed for a long, healthy and pious life in company of heroic sons in the regions with rich pasture lands and abundant waters.

Gritsamada hymns are said to be the foremost of the best and illustrate the skilful use of rhetorical devices, choice of words and figures of speech.