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In the Shanti Parva of Mahabharat SECTION CCCXXXVII the following verse is mentioned:

King Uparichara, otherwise called Vasu, became a disciple of Vrihaspati and soon became the foremost of his disciples. Admitted as such, he began to study at the feet of his preceptor that science which was composed by the seven Rishis who were (otherwise) known by the name of Chitrasikhandins.

My question is who were these rishis?

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Chitrashikhandins are seven great sages (Sapta Maharshi) viz. Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulah, Kratu, and Vashishtha. It is described in Mahabharata, Shanti Parva (12.322.27).

मरीचिरत्र्यङ्गिरसौ पुलस्त्यः पुलहः क्रतुः |
वसिष्ठश्च महातेजा एते चित्रशिखण्डिनः ||२७||

marīcir atryaṅgirasau pulastyaḥ pulahaḥ kratuḥ / (27.1)
vasiṣṭhaśca mahātejā ete citraśikhaṇḍinaḥ // (27.2)

The seven celebrated Rishis, viz., Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, and Vasishta of great energy, who came to be known by the name of Chitra-sikhandins Source.

  • So they are Brahma's Manas Putras? I was assuming they would have something to do with the Saptarishis! – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Jul 26 '17 at 12:42
  • @Dr.VineetAggarwal Yes, they are Manasa Putras of Lord Brahma. – Triyugi Narayan Mani Jul 26 '17 at 12:45
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    @Pandya Thanks for edit. I was searching for Devanagari text but didn't get. – Triyugi Narayan Mani Jul 26 '17 at 13:05
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    @TriyugiNarayanMani Actually I was writing an answer but meanwhile I found you've answered. So, I just added Sanskrit text in your answer. Btw, You can find the Sanskrit text at sacred-texts.com or at sanskritdocuments.org – Pandya Jul 26 '17 at 13:06
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    @Dr.VineetAggarwal chitrashikhandi is essentially a person who has a 'special' knot of hair on top of his head. The 'special' is quoted because it (chitra) can mean unusual, bright, special, extraordinary, standing out etc. So it could be that these seven sages had interesting ways of tying their knot (the hermit knots). – user1952500 Jul 26 '17 at 17:27

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