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I came across a text similar to the Smṛtis or Law Books which is called the Harita Samhita.

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He seems to be somebody of significance because his laws are repeated by Ṛṣi Markandeya in the book. The Ṛṣis also refer to him as the son of Bhṛgu:

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This could either imply that he was a direct son of Bhṛgu Ṛṣi or someone who belonged to his lineage. But the only information I could get on him was a vague mention in the Charak Samhita:

Now Punarvasu, out of friendliness, and prompted with compassion for all creatures, bestowed the virtuous Ayurveda upon his six disciples- Agnivesa, Bhela, Jatukarna, Parasara, Harita and Ksarapani. Su1#30-31

So my question is - who exactly is this Ṛṣi Harita?

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    The only Harita that I know of is the ancient solar dynasty king who was magically changed into a Brahmana by Vishnu. His story is described in the bottom of this web page: srimatham.com/lineage.html He was the founder of a Brahmana Gotra called Harita Gotra, which is the Gotra that Ramanujacharya belonged to. (That's why Ramanujacharya was born in Sri Perubudur, because his ancestors had been serving Adi Keshava Perumal.) But people from Harita Gotra are considered adopted descendants of Angiras (a fact mentioned in numerous Puranas), not adopted descendants of Bhrigu. – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 12 '17 at 13:18
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    Harita (हारीत) was one of the 6 disciplines of Aatreya Punarvasu (आत्रेय पुनर्वसु) who was the son of Rishi Atri(अत्रि) who is the seer (द्रष्टा) of 5th Mandala of Rigveda. According to Charak Samhita (1.18-23), Bhardwaja learnt Ayurveda from Indra and from Bhardwaja, Atreya Punarvasu learnt Ayurveda. Punarvasu taught Ayurveda to six disciplines (1.30-31), Harita was one among them. – Pandya Sep 12 '17 at 13:23
  • @KeshavSrinivasan that is interesting but if he belongs to the Angiras clan then this one must be a different guy. I hope someone would be able to dig up something. – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal Sep 12 '17 at 14:42
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    I just confirmed that the two Haritas are different. Because the Harita I'm talking about was actually the son of Ambarisha; see this chapter of the Vishnu Purana: sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp095.htm And in the chapter you quoted, Markandeya is telling Ambarisha about an earlier figure named Harita. Perhaps Ambarisha, after hearing the Harita Samhita, decided to name his son after its author. – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 12 '17 at 16:10
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    Btw, I also came to know about Harita DharmaSutra & Harita Smriti of which author Harita may be different from the author of Harita Samhita. – Pandya Sep 12 '17 at 17:25
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As per Skanda Purana 1:2:51:178, father of Kamatha is the author of Harita Samhita.

178.Your father-will become an author of a Smṛti text (viz. Hārita-Smṛti). He will be adored by Brāhmaṇas. This spot will never perish.

Skanda Purana 1:2:51:25. On hearing this from the guest, Hārīta spoke to his eight year old son Kamaṭha, “Do you understand, dear son, what is spoken of by this Brāhmaṇa?

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  • Thank you for the attempt but it doesnt help with the antecedents of Harita and also raises another question - how was his son a King? – Dr. Vineet Aggarwal May 13 at 12:31
  • @Dr.VineetAggarwal there was a king of Kamboja whose name was Kamatha. It is written that he was from brahmin lineage so I thought that he was the son of Harita. Well I am researching on it. – Sanatan Darshan May 14 at 3:58

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