Seven Sages of the Seventh Manvantara
The constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear (Rksa), is forever present in the northern sky; seven stellar pupils seen as seven astral eyes, radiant through self-reflexion.
Their path about the Pole defines the innermost third of the sky, and marks the celestial division of Heaven and Earth.
And this bear's claw is the ancient sage's defining cleaver.
Those Sapta-Rsi are named:
Dubhe (Dubb, Ak): Bear, Alpha Ursæ Majoris.
Merak (Mirak): Loins, Beta Ursæ Majoris.
Phad (Phecda; Phekda; Phegda; Phekha; Phacd): Thigh, Gamma Ursæ Majoris.
Megrez (Kaffa): Insertion-point (of the bear's tail), Delta Ursæ Majoris.
Alioth (Aliath): Goat, Epsilon Ursæ Majoris.
Mizar (Mizat; Mirza): Wrapping (Loincloth), Zeta Ursæ Majoris.
Alkaid (Benetnash, Benetnasch, Elkeid): Chief Daughter of the Bier, Eta Ursæ Majoris.
At the root of this flagellum is the blue Kasyapa, while the tip is armed by golden Visvamitra.
* * *
A Trikuta (Triple-peak) is revealed in this Sat-Sangha (Communion of Truth):
the Angles of 1-2-3 (Candra), 3-4-5 (Durvasas), and 5-6-7 (Datta), whose summits are
Jamadagni, Gautama, and Vasistha.
The Mahabharata tells of Three-headed (Trisiras) Visvarupa, whose three sets of triple-eyes were severally intent on
the Vedas (Sattva-guna), Wine (Rajas-guna), and the World (Tamas-guna).
Indra divided those heads, who are the three sons of Atri, releasing three birds:
three little Hamsas, named Kapiñjala (Heathcock), Kalavinka (Cuckoo), and Tittiri (Partridge).
And the Padmapurana recalls that Durvasas had the Sakti of Gautama,
through the Tapas of 1,000 Rudras ~ the Satarudriya Mantras.
* * * * *
The fifth Rsi (Atri) is the father of five Saiva tribes;
and, as the only member not forming a Trikona (Triangle), Atri is Beyond Trinity.
Bharadvaja divides Candra from the body of five Rsis.
And that Pañca stand as Sthanu (the Remainder), the five-faced Rudraksa,
the Pasupatastra ranged as Hamsa about the focus of Atri (i.e. Anusuya).
* * * * * *
Across the Galactic Equator, a cluster of six stars called Pleiades is the first constellation of the Indian astral calendar;
and they are remembered as the remaining wives of the Sapta-Rsi. Only ever-faithful Anasuya dwells with her consort.
In Old Tamil, Min indicates a glittering object, and names both a Star and a Fish;
the Pleiades are thus Six-Fish (Aru-min), and Ursa major is the Seven-Fish (Elu-Min).
In Sumerian Cuneiform, every divine name is prefixed with the Star-pictogram,
which indicates God (Dingir) or Sky (Anu ~ the supreme deity of ancient Sumer).
The Maha-Bharata Tirtha-Yatra described by Rsi Pulastya to Bhisma, and related by Muni Narada to Yudhisthira, begins at Puskara and ends at Prayaga. Although, the exact route north from Gokarna to Prayaga is difficult to ascertain from the Mahabharata's text.
Upon reaching the Payosni (Wainganga?) River and its confluence with the Godavari, however, the pilgrim is directed into the Dandakaranya and (via Sarabhangasrama and Sukratirtha) to Suraparaka.
Suraparaka is probably the Soupara of Ptolemy (and perhaps the biblical Sophir or Ophir). It is apparently Sopara on the coast just north of Mumbai, which is said to have been reclaimed from the sea by Jamadagni's son Parasurama. And Sukratirtha is apparently on the north bank of Godavari.
A journey along the ancient trading route between Sopara (near Agasi) and the Saptagodavara (Pancavati and Nasik), followed the Vaitarna River to Igatpuri, which lies in a pass between the peaks of Tringalvadi and Kalsubai (the highest mountain of Maharastra).
The Saptagodavara is usually understood as the Godavari Delta, which opens beyond Rajamundry into the Bay of Bengal, where the Godavari has seven Gaumukhas, and the seven mouths of Godavari are known as: Kasyapa, Atri, Gautama, Bharadvaja, Visvamitra, Jamadagni, and Vasistha. The same seven streams, however, first appear in the headwaters of the Godavari, and five of them span the region known as Pancavati. The first (in the south) springs from Kalsubai and Kulang; and the seventh (in the north) rises at the foot of Saptasringi (north of Vani) and nearby Goraknath.
These Sapta Go-Dvara (or Seven Doors of Light) are the Sapta Rksa, the Sapta Rsi, and the Sapta Sringi; seven spiritual summits watched by the original Go-Raksas, whose Amrta flow sustains and illuminates the whole of Bharatavarsa; seven divine emanations in earthly reflexion of the constellation Ursa major, spanning seven Yojanas across the heart of the Dandakaranya.
near Pandu Leni
below Ojhar and Sukene
near Nandur Madmeshwar
In the Mahabharata [3 (33) 83], Pulastya describes Tirthayatra in the Dandakaranya and adjacent Tungakaranya:
Repairing to the Dandakaranya and touching the water, there is the reward of a thousand cows from just bathing. [83.38]
If one goes to the Ashrams of Sarabhanga and the great-spirited Sukra, he suffers no reverses and purifies his family. [83.39]
After bathing at the [upper] Saptagodavara, restrained and of meagre diet, he wins great merit and goes to Brahmaloka. [83.41]
Then he should go to Suraparaka, which was visited by Jamadagnya, and bathe at Ramatirtha: he will find much gold. [83.40]
Reaching the Tungakaranya (Tunga Forest), chaste and master of his senses ~ there Sarasvata Rsi of old taught the Vedas,
and the lost Vedas were taught again by the son of the hermit Angiras, seated on the upper garments of the Rsis:
when someone correctly enunciated the syllable OM according to the rules, the lore that he had previously rehearsed came back to him. [83.43-45]
Now when one enters that Tungakaranya, man or woman, all one's evil disappears. [83.50]
sapta riksha ~ vishvamitra, jamadagni, bharadvaja, gautama, atri, vasishtha, and kashyapa.
atri ~ chandra, durvasas, and dattatreya.