2. BRAHMARISHI VASHISHTA :
Ancient Rishis of Bharatham :
Brahmarishi Vashishta Brahmarishi Vashishta was the manasputra of Lord Brahma of the first Yuga of the creation. His wife was Arundhati. When Lord Brahma asked him to become the priest of the 'Surya-Vansha' (descendants of the Sun god), Vashishta declined. Since, he was free from greed for wealth, hence he disliked the idea of doing a mean job like that of a priest. But when Lord Brahma said that Lord Vishnu would take an incarnation in this very 'Surya-Vansha', Vashishta agreed to accept this designation.
Initially, Vashishta acted as the priest for whole of the Suryavansha, but often he had altercation with 'Nimi', he quit all the other branches of the Suryavansha and he made his hermitage near Ayodhya and acted as a priest only for 'Raghuvansha' (descendant of Raghu).
Whenever a famine occurred or there was no rainfall in Ayodhya, he came to the rescue of the subjects by the powers achieved from penance. He also saved the people of Ayodhya from any danger.
When sage Bhagiratha was unsuccessful in his attempts to bring the Ganges from heaven to earth, Sage Vashishta was the one who gave him a mantra with which he succeeded.
When king Dileep wanted a son for a long time, Vashishta asked him to serve the 'Nandini' cow as a result of which he became a father.
Once, when Vishwamitra was still a king and had not become a Brahmaharshi came to his hermitage along with his troops, he was amazed with the efficiency with which Vashishta could treat him and his whole army by the help of his cow 'Kamadhenu'.
Vishwamitra wanted to acquire Kamadhenu but Vashishta refused because a sage can never buy or sell a cow. So when Vishwamitra wanted to have Kamadhenu forcibly, Vashishta created an army by his divine powers and defeated him.
Then Vishwamitra did a penance and received many divine weapons form Lord Shiva. But was again defeated by Vashishta's 'Brahmadanda' (a divine weapon).
Vishwamitra thus realised his folly and became a Brahmarshi.
Even after the killing of his hundred sons by Vishwamitra, Vashishta did not get angry. Again, once when Vishwamitra had secretly come to kill Vashishta, he heard him saying: " In a moonlit night like this, only Vishwamitra is capable of doing such penance which could please Lord Vishnu.
Vishwamitra was very much ashamed to hear such words from Vashishta and whom he had come to kill. He was full of repentance and fell on his feet,Vashishta took him into his embrace. Vashishta considered himself the most fortunate after having Lord Rama as his disciple. He gave discourses on the 'Yogavashishtha' which he had written. The importance of Karma (action) and right conduct had been described in detail in 'Yogavashishtha'.
Maharshi Vashishta was omniscient. If he wanted he could have stopped Shri Rama from going into exile. But he knew very well that Rama's going into exile would be fruitful to mankind.
Maharshi Vashishta with his wife Arundhati are also known as 'Saptarishis' even today.