India is the land of great Rishis and Yogis. The Sanskrit word Rishi means-one who has attained divine knowledge through a higher state of Consciousness. The Vedic Rishis were composers and singers of Vedic hymns that were revealed to them by the Supreme Being. They perceived the truths and dived deep into the subtler aspects of creation and the spiritual aspects. They were scientists, mathematicians, astronomers, astrologers, surgeons as well as philosophers – imparting profound knowledge for the benefit of past, present and future generations of mankind on Earth. They are the Mantra-drashta, the seer of thought.
Ancient epics such as Ramayana, Mahabharata, Vedas and Puranas mention many Rishis.
“In ancient times there were, no doubt, many Rishis and Maharishis who came face to face with Truth. But if this recalling of our ancient greatness is to be of real benefit, we too must become Rishis like them. And, not only that, but it is my firm conviction that we shall be even greater Rishis than any that our history presents to us.” – Swami Vivekananda
Sapta-Rishis are two Sanskrit words meaning “Seven Sages”. It is said that the stars of the Big Dipper were the seven sages called Rishis, because the seven stars of the Great Bear are the origination sources of the seven rays of our solar system. The Vedas were revealed to them and the respective hymns stand in their names. In every yuga different Rishis are chosen as Sapta-Rishis.
According to Vedas Great Seven Sages are :
According to Puranas Great Seven Sages are:
Another table of Sapta-Rishi is given as :
(At some places Kashyap and Marichi are considered one whereas at another place Kashyap and Kanva are considered same.)