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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Nābhānedistha literally means ‘nearest in birth or descent’.

The Ṛgveda is the oldest scripture in the world. One of the important ṛṣis or sages of this Veda to whom are attributed 38 ṛks[1][2] is Nābhānediṣṭha. He was the last son of the sage Manu.

There is an interesting story about him[3][4] When he was in the gurukula for education, his elder brothers divided all the paternal property among themselves leaving nothing for him! After he returned home, he requested his father Manu for his share of the property. Manu asked him to go to the sage Aṅgiras who was performing a Sattrayāga but did not know the mantras to be chanted on the sixth day. Nābhānediṣṭha, who knew these mantras, could offer his services, win his confidence and also plenty of money or property.

Everything happened as Manu had predicted. However when Nābhānediṣṭha was about to take the thousand cows given to him by the sage Aṅgiras, Rudra[5] appeared on the scene and claimed them as his, as per the rules of Vedic sacrifices. When Manu, who was apprised of this, concurred with Rudra and Nābhānediṣṭha told him the truth. Rudra was pleased with his devotion to truth and gave away all the cows. According to another version, the sage pleased Rudra by performing a ritual called ‘Manthisanśrāva.’


  1. Rgvedic mantras 10.61.1-27
  2. Rgveda 10.62.1-11
  3. Aitareya Brāhmana 22.14
  4. Taittiriya Samhitā to 7
  5. Rudra means Śiva.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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