While the Almighty takes different incarnations to protect Dharma, there are divine people who assist the Almighty in spreading the knowledge of Dharma and reminding the duty of every individual to protect it. Such people who are the bridges between mankind and the Almighty are the divine Rishis and Seers. One such noble Rishi who aptly fits this genre is Rishi Vasisht who dedicated his entire life to the good of the society guide mankind to walk on the right way of Dharma. Rishi Vasisht was not alone in this mission and had a wonderful life companion who totally was the reflection of him as his chaste wife Mata Arundhati. She walked in his footsteps while proving that a woman is no less to man in the protection and preservation of Dharma.
Rishi Vasisht was the son of Urvashi, the divine Apsara. Right from the moment he was born, he dedicated his life to penance and meditation and bore several great powers which he offered to the maintenance of Dharma and the good of the society. With his great powers, he went on to become a Brahmarshi, which is the highest position in the Vedic culture. His ashram always resounded with the chants of Vedas where Mata Arundhati was his compatible companion, and Gau Mata Shabala as his sister radiated the ashram with the goodness of Dharma.
The Bhagvat Puran mentions Mata Arundhati as the daughter of Kardama and Devahuti and was given in marriage to Rishi Vasisht on the order of Brahma Ji and since then the couple spent their life in mentoring mankind on Dharma. The Bal Kand of Ramayan mentions the couple having hundred sons of whom their eldest son Shakti was a noble son worthy of them. However, due to the curse of arch rival Rishi Vishwamitr, they lost all their sons, except for the youngest one, Sugeya. But, they never complained and bore the grief as a sacrifice of Dharma, which in turn changed Rishi Vishwamitr as their friend from a rival. Later Shakti’s son and Rishi Vasisht grandson Parashar went on to become the pioneer of medicinal sciences and later his grandson Veda Vyas made Rishi Vashisht’s fame glorify by diversifying the entire Vedas and also being the author of the great epic Mahabharat.
Rishi Vasisth was also the Kul Guru of the Ikshwaku dynasty and the preceptor of Shri Ram. Mata Arundhati mentored Shri Ram and gave him all the love of a mother. Their last son Sugeya studied in the Ashram along with Shri Ram and his brothers. Mata Arundhati equally well versed in the knowledge of Vedas and Shastra’s and gave many discourses to Shri Ram which paved way for him to respect woman and honour womanhood. She was also known for her discourses to the Pandavas in the Mahabharat.
Aptly made for each other, the divine couple is a symbol of compatibility and affection. They are the couple which shine as divine stars in the line of Sapta rishis in the sky. For their compatability, every newly wedded couple takes their blessings when they start their new life as husband and wife by watching them and paying their respects to the noble couple. As the representations of knowledge, Rishi Vasisht and Mata Arundhati are not only the stars in the heavenly skies, but also the lights which illuminates our knowledge as inspiration and example.