49 Facts About Agastya


Agastya is considered to be the father of Siddha medicine.


Agastya is revered in the Puranic literature of Shaktism and Vaishnavism.


Agastya is one of the Indian sages found in ancient sculpture and reliefs in Hindu temples of South Asia, and Southeast Asia such as in the early medieval era Shaiva temples on Java Indonesia.


Agastya is referred to as Mana, Kalasaja, Kumbhaja, Kumbhayoni and Maitravaruni after his mythical origins.


Agastya is the named author of several hymns of the Rigveda.


Agastya is born from this jar, along with his twin sage Vashistha in some mythologies.


Agastya is a Tamil Brahmin who leads an ascetic life, educates himself, becoming a celebrated sage.


Agastya's parents were unwilling to bless the engagement, concerned that she would be unable to live the austere lifestyle of Agastya in the forest.


However, the legends state that Lopamudra accepted him as her husband, saying that Agastya has the wealth of ascetic living, her own youth will fade with seasons, and it is his virtue that makes him the right person.


Agastya is described in the Mahabharata as a boy who learns the Vedas listening to his parents while he is in the womb, and is born into the world reciting the hymns.


Agastya had a hermitage, but the ancient and medieval era Indian texts provide inconsistent stories and location for this ashram.


Agastya is mentioned in all the four Vedas of Hinduism, and is a character in the Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads, epics, and many Puranas.


Agastya is the author of hymns 1.165 to 1.191 of the Rigveda.


Agastya ran a Vedic school, as evidenced by hymn 1.179 of the Rigveda which credits its author to be his wife Lopamudra and his students.


Agastya was a respected sage in the Vedic era, as many other hymns of the Rigveda composed by other sages refer to Agastya.


The hymns composed by Agastya are known for verbal play and similes, puzzles and puns, and striking imagery embedded within his spiritual message.


However, some scholars interpret the same hymns to be an allegory for any two conflicting ideologies or lifestyles, because Agastya never uses the words Arya or Dasa, and only uses the phrase ubhau varnav.


The theme and idea of "mutual understanding" as a means for lasting reconciliation, along with Agastya's name, reappears in section 1.2.2 of the Aitareya Aranyaka of Hinduism.


Agastya argues that there are many ways to happiness and liberation, while Lopamudra presents her arguments about the nature of life, time and the possibility of both.


Agastya successfully seduces Agastya, in the simile filled Rigvedic hymn 1.179.


Agastya is described by Rama as the sage who asked Vindhya mountains to lower themselves so that Sun, Moon and living beings could easily pass over it.


Agastya is described as the sage who used his Dharma powers to kill demons Vatapi and Ilwala after they had jointly misled and destroyed 9,000 men.


Agastya gives them a divine bow and arrow, describes the evil nature of Ravana and, according to William Buck, B A van Nooten and Shirley Triest, bids them goodbye with the advice, "Rama, demons do not love men, therefore men must love each other".


The story of Agastya is mirrored in the second major Hindu epic Mahabharata.


Agastya is described in the epic as a sage with enormous powers of ingestion and digestion.


The Vana Parva describes the story of Lopamudra and Agastya getting engaged and married.


Agastya is variously listed along with Angiras, Atri, Bhrigu, Bhargava, Bharadvaja, Visvamitra, Vasistha, Kashyapa, Gautama, Jamadagni and others.


Agastya is reverentially mentioned in the Puranas of all major Hindu traditions: Shaivism, Shaktism and Vaishnavism.


In Tamil traditions, Agastya is considered as the father of the Tamil language and the compiler of the first Tamil grammar, called Agattiyam or Akattiyam.


Agastya has been a culture hero in Tamil traditions and appears in numerous Tamil texts.


Agastya learnt the Tamil language from god Murugan when he arrived in the southern Tamil country from north India.


However, in medieval era stories of the Tamil tradition, Agastya pioneered the first sangam period that lasted 4,440 years, and took part in the second sangam period that lasted another 3,700 years.


Agastya is described as the one who perfected and loved both Sanskrit and Tamil languages, amassing knowledge in both, thus becoming a symbol of integration, harmony and learning, instead of being opposed to either.


Shiva then requested Agastya to go to the southern region to restore the equilibrium.


Agastya is unique for the reverence he has received in historic texts all over the Indian subcontinent.


Agastya's named is spelled as Agathiyar or Agasthiyar in some Tamil texts, and some consider the writer of the medical texts to be a different person.


Just like early Buddhist texts such as Kalapa, Katantra and Candra-vyakarana adapting Panini, and Asvaghosa adopting the more ancient Sanskrit poetic methodology as he praises the Buddha, Agastya appears in 1st millennium CE Buddhist texts.


Agastya elsewhere appears in other historic Buddhist mythologies, such as the Jataka tales.


Agastya is one of the most important figures in a number of medieval era Southeast Asian inscriptions, temple reliefs and arts.


Agastya introduced the Vedic science and the Pallavan Grantha script, his popularity declined when Islam started to spread throughout the islands of Indonesia.


The Agastya-parva includes Sanskrit verse embedded within the Javanese language.


Similarly other Agastya-related Indonesian texts, dated to be from the 10th to 12th centuries, discuss ideas from multiple sub-schools of Shaivism such as theistic Shaivasiddhanta and monistic Agamic Pashupata, and these texts declare these theologies to be of equal merit and value.


Agastya is common in medieval era Shiva temples of southeast Asia, such as the stone temples in Java.


Agastya Samhita is the title of several works in Sanskrit, attributed to Agastya.


Scholars such as Moriz Winternitz state that the authenticity of the surviving version of this document is doubtful because Shaiva celebrities such as Skanda and Agastya teach Vaishnavism ideas and the bhakti of Rama, mixed in with a tourist guide about Shiva temples in Varanasi and other parts of India.


Agastya is attributed to be the author of Agastimata, a pre-10th century treatise about gems and diamonds, with chapters on the origins, qualities, testing and making jewellery from them.


Agastya is a part of many Chalukya era Shaivism temples in the Indian subcontinent peninsula.


For example, Agastya is featured inside or outside of the temple walls and sometimes as guardian at the entrance, with or without a potbelly, with or without a receding hairline, with or without a dagger and sword.


Maharishi Agastya is regarded as the founder of Silambam, an Indian martial art from Tamil Nadu, and varmam, an ancient science of healing using varmam points for varied diseases which is utilized by practitioners of the southern form of Kalaripayattu, an Indian martial art from Kerala.