The Taittirya Upanishad makes up the seventh, eighth, and ninth Vallis (sections) of the Taittirya Aranyaka of the Yajur Veda. The last of these three Vallis is called the Bhrigu Valli, and this how its first chapter begins:

Bhrigu Vâruni went to his father Varuna, saying: "Sir, teach me Brahman." He told him this, viz. Food, breath, the eye, the ear, mind, speech. Then he said again to him: "That from whence these beings are born, that by which, when born, they live, that into which they enter at their death, try to know that. That is Brahman."

Now Bhrigu is a very famous sage; as I discuss in this question, he is the father of Sukracharya guru of the Asuras, and as I discuss in this answer and this answer, he was the one who cursed Brahma that he could never be worshipped, and cursed Shiva that he could only be worshipped in Linga form.

But my question is, why is he given the surname "Varuni" in this passage, and why is Varuna the ocean god called "his father"? Bhrigu is usually described a son of Brahma, not Varuna. Could this be similar to how the sages Vashishta and Agastya have the surname Maitravaruni, even though they were originally sons of Brahma, because they were reborn as sons of Mitra (god of friendship) and Varuna?

  • 1
    The sastras are shabda pramana (proof based on saying) type of proof,the others being pratyaksha (perceived by the senses) and anumana (guessing) For example the Shatras do not tell us to eat,sleep,drink etc.,we do that naturally. So they only talk about things that cannot be directly or indirectly guessed Hence this could be some other Bhrigu...we may not know The point I am trying to make is that the question of 'Why' doesn't arrive at all in the case of sastras while you can ask so for the puranas and other texts.
    – S Raghav
    Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 19:25
  • @RaghavSubramanian But some other scripture might shed light on Brighu being called a son of Varuna, or whether it's a different Brighu, etc. Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 19:51
  • 1. Identifying last names for purANic entities is weird and unheard of. Last names came about from the putra and sishya paramparAs of rishis and later by region/profession etc.
    – user1195
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 3:28

2 Answers 2


The seven sages who stayed in Janaloka till Vaivasvara Manvantara returned to earth (they could only return once) as sons of Brahma. It was during this Brahma Yagna, Brigu was born and he was raised by Varuna the ocean God and thus called Varuna Putra. Varuna was performing the sacrifice. This is explained in detail in Brahmanda Purana Volume 2 Chapter 1.

  • When the semen (of Brahma) was once poured into the fire by way of Homa, Kavi came out of the flame. On seeing him coming out after splitting the flame, Hiranyagarbha (Brahma) said- "You are Bhrgu". Since it was said, so he became Bhru.
  • Mahadeva then appeared and spoke to Brahma," O Lord, I had been desirous desirous of son and had been invited by you, O Lord. Let this boy who is born at the outset be my son, O Lord.
  • Saying "so be it". Mahadeva was consented to be my self-born Lord. Then Mahadeva adopted Brigu as his son.
  • Hence Brgus are Varunas (those pertaining to race of Varuna). That Lord is his child.

The Varuna mentioned here is not the Varuna deva but a sage called Varuna who was one of the disciples of Sage Veda Vyasa. Bhrigu was son of this sage Varuna. This Bhrigu became a disciple of Vaisampayana and learnt the Tattiriya upanishad from his acharya Vaisampayana along with sage trishanku and others.

So, the sage Bhrigu mentioned in Taittiriya upanishad who is son of Sage Varuna is different from famous Bhrigu maharishi (the sage who cursed Brahma and Siva) and who obtained Goddess Sri as his daughter.

  • Do you have a source for Bhrigu and Varuna being different than the usual figures we know? Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 19:16
  • In one of the Upanishad saaram Upanyasams by Sri U Ve Uruppattur Rajagopalachariar, swami provides this clarification. This is available on Youtube.
    – user808
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 15:54
  • Do you have a link for it? Is it in Tamil or English? Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 16:01
  • It is in tamil. Here is the link details youtube.com/…
    – user808
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 17:24
  • OK thanks, I found it at the 9 minute mark. I'll try to see if I can find any scripture to confirm it. Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 22:00

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