By Swami Harshananda
Pedigree of Pulastya
One of the problems we come across in the mythological literature is the names of the ṛṣis or the sages. Whereas there can be several sages of the same name, living at different periods of time, the same sage can also have several names. One such enigma is that of the sage Pulastya. The information gathered about him from various sources like the epics and the purāṇas may be summarized as follows:
- He was one of the mānasaputras, mind-born sons, of the creator Brahmā.
- He was also the one of the great sages in the group of Saptarṣis.
- He had several wives:
It is likely that some of these names may refer to the same woman.
Other Significant Historical Moves by Pulastya
Viśravas, the father of Rāvaṇa and his brothers and also Kubera, was Pulastya’s son. Once Rāvaṇa was imprisoned by Kārtavīryārjuna, a mighty king. Pulastya had to intercede on his behalf and get him released. Pulastya inspired the sage Parāśara to compose the famous Viṣṇupurāṇa. Once Parāśara started a sacrifice to destroy all the rākṣasas since one of them<ref>Kalmāṣapāda means had killed his father Śakti, the son of Vasiṣṭha. But Pulastya successfully persuaded him to give it up. Bhīṣma, the grandsire of the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas, learnt about the greatness of many places of pilgrimage, from the sage Pulastya.
- Saptarṣis means the Seven Sages.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore