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Kakshivanta – A Great Vedic Sage


Kakshivanta was a great vedic sage and he was frequently mentioned in Rig Veda and other Vedic scriptures. Kakshivanta’s epithet Pajriya (Rig Veda I.116.7; 117, 6) indicates that he was from a Pajra family.

In the entire Vedic literature, except in one mentioned along with Dirghatamas (VII.9, 10), he is not connected with any sage anywhere.

The descendents of Kakshivanta are called Pajras. In Brihaddevata, Kakshivanta appears as the son born of a female slave named Usij. He had a miraculous birth from the Kakshi (armpit) and hence got his name Kakshivanta.

In one of the hymns of Rig Veda (I.126), he is shown to celebrate his patron prince Svanaya Bhavya, who dwelt on Sindhu (Indus), and bestowed magnificent gifts on him. 

The list of narasamas (praises of heroes) in Sankhayana Srautasutra (XVI. 4, 5) also mentions Kakshivanta Ausija in honor of Svanaya Bhavayavya. He obtained a maiden named Vrichaya as his wife in his old age (Rig Veda VI.51, 13). He appears to have attained the Vedic ideal of living a hundred autumns(jivema saradah satam) and seems always to be thought of as belonging to the past.

Atharva Veda, Aitareya Upanishad and Jaiminiya Brahmana refer to him as a teacher of the past. Once he is mentioned with the semi-mythical Kutsa and Kavi Usanas also. In Satapatha Brahmana (II. 3, 4, 35), he is referred to as opulent, promoter of prosperity, nimble, killer of woe, sweet voiced and the one who bestows wealth and offers soma.




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