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By Swami Harshananda

Brahmarṣi literally means ‘knower of Brahman’.

A ṛṣi is the one who has known the truth (ṛṣ = to know) or attained the final goal (ṛṣ = to attain) of life. Out of the seven types of ṛṣis mentioned in the religious works, the brahmarṣi stands as the first or the highest in eminence. He has known or experienced Brahman, the Absolute & the Self of all. Such ṛṣis reach the other end of samsāra or transmigratory existence.

If the word ‘Brahman’ is interpreted as the Vedas, then the brahmarṣi is the one who has obtained a thorough knowledge of the Vedas. The sages classed among brahmarṣis are:

  1. Suka
  2. Sanaka
  3. Sanan-dana
  4. Vasiṣṭha


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore