--> Skip to main content

Apnavana – Vedic Seer

Apnavana was a seer of the Vedic period. His name appears twice in Rig Veda (IV.7.1; VIII 102.4). He is associated with the Bhrigus to whose family he belonged. His family has been credited with the introduction of Agni-worship. No further information is available about this seer in Vedic literature.

However, puranic tradition gives some information about his personality. He was the son of Maharishi Cyavana, born of his second wife Arushi, daughter of Manu. Apnavana was married to Ruchi, the daughter of King Nahusha, and from her he had a son called Richika. The Bhrigus were the family gurus of the Haihayas. At the time of Apnavana, Mahishmat was the king of the Haihayas, and he founded a city called Mahishmat after his own name.

The predecessors of Mahishmat were very religious and had great respect for the Bhrigus. But Mahishmat was very arrogant and cruel towards his subjects. Apnavana, his family guru, could not bear to see him transgressing religious rules and committing atrocities. One day he went to Mahishmat and advised him to change his ways. He reminded him of his forefathers who had ruled the land with great affection for their subjects and wanted to follow the path of dharma. Instead of following his guru’s advice, Mahishmat became enraged and abused him. From then onwards, the Bhrigus became agagonistic to the Haihayas. When Richika, son of Apnavana, came of age, he decided to leave the city of Mahishmati and settle down in Kannauja in Madhyadesha.