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As I discuss in this answer, the Universe lasts for one Kalpa or day of Brahma. Each Kalpa is divided into fourteen Manvantaras, periods where a given Manu governs the race of humans. Now we are presently governed by Surya's son Vaivasvata Manu, but during the first Manvantara of the present Kalpa, humanity was governed by Brahma's son Swayambhuva Manu. The Srimad Bhagavatam describes Swayambhuva Manu's children:

[I]n due course of time he [Manu] begot in Śatarūpā five children — two sons, Priyavrata and Uttānapāda, and three daughters, Ākūti, Devahūti and Prasūti. The father, Manu, handed over his first daughter, Ākūti, to the sage Ruci, the middle daughter, Devahūti, to the sage Kardama, and the youngest, Prasūti, to Dakṣa. From them, all the world filled with population.

Devahuti's husband Kardama was a sage born from Brahma's shadow. And Prasuti's husband Daksha was born from Brahma's thumb. But my question is, who is this sage Ruchi who married Akuti? He's presumably a son of Brahma, but the only named sages who had been created by Brahma are the four Sanat Kunaras, Kardama, and the Prajapatis. Yet only ten Prajapatis who are listed earlier on in the chapter:

Marīci, Atri, Aṅgirā, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhṛgu, Vasiṣṭha, Dakṣa, and the tenth son, Nārada, were thus born.

In any case, Ruchi's status as a Prajapati is confirmed later on in the Srimad Bhagavatam, in a description of Ruchi's son, the incarnation of Vishnu known as Yagna:

Ākūti had two brothers, but in spite of her brothers, King Svāyambhuva Manu handed her over to Prajāpati Ruci on the condition that the son born of her be returned to Manu as his son. This he did in consultation with his wife, Śatarūpā. Ruci, who was very powerful in his brahminical qualifications and was appointed one of the progenitors of the living entities, begot one son and one daughter by his wife, Ākūti. Of the two children born of Ākūti, the male child was directly an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His name was Yajña, which is another name of Lord Viṣṇu.

Vishnu incarnated as Ruchi's son Yagna in order to fill the position of Indra during the Manvanthara of Swayambhuva Manu. So are there any scriptures which describe the birth of the father of this important incarnation?

  • Good question. Where did you come across that Ruci is a son of Brahma? As you may already know the creation topics pop up several times in bhagavatam. Though it doesn't talk about Ruci, 3.20 has some general info of Brahma creating various other living entities besides the one you listed: vedabase.com/en/sb/3/20 – srinivasacarya dasa Nov 11 '14 at 19:38
  • @user3885927 Thanks! Yeah, Brahma created other beings as well, but the only named sages that had been created by Brahma (up until that point at least) were Kardama, the Sanat Kumaras, and the Prajapatis. And the quote from Srimad Bhagavatam 4.1 says that Ruchi was a Prajapati. So it seems pretty clear that Ruchi was a son of Brahma. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 11 '14 at 20:20
  • If you are considering that only a son of Brahma can be a prajapati that assumption is not necessarily correct. For instance Pracinabarhi is also considered a prajapati. In SB 4.27.7 sage Narada addresses Pracinabarhi as prajapate (o prajapati). However he is a descendant of Prthu and not a son of Brahma. Having said that Ruci may well be a son of Brahma but not just being a prajapati implies that. – srinivasacarya dasa Nov 11 '14 at 20:38
  • @user3885927 Yeah, but it's also the fact that up until that point, no other sages were mentioned other than Kardama, Sanat Kumaras, and the ten named Prajapatis. So if Ruchi wasn't a son of Brahma, whose son could he be? He couldn't be a son of a human, because that would make him a descendant of Swayambhuva Manu, and all the grandsons of Swayambhuva Manu would have been born after the birth of Ruchi. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 11 '14 at 20:48
  • Lord Rudra was produced before them and he produced many entities but it is unlikely that Ruci was produced from him since Brahma wasn't satisfied with what Rudra produced. Let's see who finds an answer to your question. – srinivasacarya dasa Nov 11 '14 at 21:10
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According to Vayu Purana, Chapter 9, Verse 100, Sage Ruchi was the mind-born son of Lord Brahma.

Of Brahma, a son named Ruci, the mindborn one, deserves to be recognised as such. And from the breath, he created Daksa and from the two eyes Maricin (i. e. the Sun).

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Sage Ruchi's story is described in both Garuda Purana Vol 1 (Chapters 88-90) and Markandeya Purana (Chapters 92-95). It is a long story, speaking of shortly it goes like this:

Sage Ruchi had spent his time travelling around the earth. He was a bachelor and was not interested in marrying. He never had a house and only meditated and wandered. His ancestors visited him. They asked Ruchi the reason for not marrying. They explained to him that it is his duty to get married and have sons as unless he has a son, they will be in hell. They also suggested that only meditation would give him a place in heaven. Nor will you be able to attain heaven through meditation alone.

Ruchi told them that he has no desire to get into a marital relation. He believed that attachment would bring unhappiness and the soul gets ruined. However his ancestors persuaded him to get married to which sage Ruchi finally agreed. As he was poor he wondered who would marry a poor old man like him. In order to get a solution he did penance for Lord Brahma and Lord Brahma appeared. On hearing Sage Ruchi's wish, Brahma asked him to pray to his ancestors and said that he would be a Prajapati. Ruchi prayed to the manes and they were pleased with his prayers and produced an apsara named Pramlocha. Pramlocha had a daughter called Malini from Varuna's son Puskara. She offered the hand of Malini for Ruchi. Their son is called Rouchya who will be the 13th Manu.

Also, Padma Purana Srishti Khanda Chapter 7 & Sloka 111 states रुचेः प्रजापतेः पुत्रोरौच्योनामभविष्यति

Also Chapter 5 of Garuda Purana Vol 1 and all other puranas (chapters dealing with Srishti and Manvantaras) like Markandeya Purana, Padma Purana, Vayu Purana and Linga Purana etc., state that Prajapati Ruchi is married to Akuti and they had two children Yagna and Dakshina. Yagna and Dakshina married together and they had 12 children and the story goes on.

My opinion is that later at some point Ruchi should have married Akuti too and gave birth to Yagna and Dakshina as it is not abnormal for Prajapatis to have more than one wife.

Story of Ruchi can also be found here at Page 104 briefly.

Hope this helps you.

  • But who is Ruchi's father? Do any Puranas say he's the son of Brahma? – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 3 '16 at 20:58
  • Chapter 5 of Garuda Purana states like this - The mind created sons are Dharma, Rudra, Manu, Sanaka, Sanatana,Bhrigu, Sanatkumara, Ruci, Sradha, Mrichi, Atri.............. – Student Jul 3 '16 at 22:04
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    @Keshav and @ Student I think Akuti's husband Ruchi is different from Malini's husband, because at the beginning of the Kalpa I doubt anyone would have had ancestors. But since Chapter 5 explicitly says he is the son of Brahma I think you have your answer. – Surya Aug 3 '16 at 11:45
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According to the Vāyu Purāṇa 9.92 Ruci is a mānasaputra of Brahmā, or, going by Dr G.V. Tagare's translation of the line, "Ruci was the mental son of Brahmā."

Immediately following this detail is further information regarding Brahmā's giving rise to other ṛṣis: Dakṣā was produced from his breath, Marīci from his eyes, Bhṛgu from his chest, Aṅgiras from his head, Atri from his ears, and so on.

After completing a list of twelve such sons, 9.98 mentions two other entities who were born even earlier, namely Ṛbhu and Sanatkumāra. After them Ruci appears to be the eldest son of Brahmā (if indeed they too are intended as Brahmā's offspring).

The Penguin Book of Hindu Names, by Maneka Gandhi, lists Ruci—the father of Yajña and Dakṣiṅā—as a son of Brahmā. It seems to distinguish, however, between this character and two other personages named Ruci, the first of whom is simply mentioned as "a prajāpati" and the other as "a son of Viśvāmitra". No sources are mentioned for any of this except the Viśvāmitra reference, for which the Mahābhārata is cited (with no further details availed).

In Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty's Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook, the name Ruci appears among the eleven Rudras, who are said to be the sons of the original Rudra. No source is mentioned, and I am uncertain as to whether this Ruci has any connection to the father of Yajña.

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He was a Prajapati, or a descendant of Brahma. In general, all the progenitors of mankind (the Prajapatis), the Manus (i.e. the patriarchs; in Jainism they say "Kulakara"), the rishis (Kashyapa et al.), and Brahma himself are all held to be in some sense a portion of Vishnu.

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Ruchi prajajapati is mentioned in garuda puraana and there is mention of pitru devatas. He is asked to marry so that he will be authorised to please the pitru devatas and there by finish his pitr runam which would further his moksh aspirations. All our ancestors are our pitrus no doubt.but pitru devathas are above them like office bearers of pitr devatha department there are 31 such pitru ganam .When you do pitru karma it is carried to these celestial arrangements and from there to ur direct pitrus.in return pitrus and pitru devathas belonging to pithru ganam bless you.so when ruchi prajapati was asked to perform pitru pooja it was to please the pitru devathas and not his ancestors

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