Why are there no Rishi in the present time?

Is it because most people have some level of knowledge (from previous Rishi or other scientific discovery) that they think is sufficient for the life to continue?

Or is it because people are self-centered and not interested to become Rishi/Sage?

  • What is your definition of a Rishi?
    – Aby
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 18:18
  • 7
    There are plenty of Rishis in the modern age. They are called saints. They are every full of bliss and provide their wisdom to all and take upon themselves the sins of the world. All the best
    – Sai
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 18:32
  • @Aby For me, Rishis are those who: 1. tries to understand the world completely (in minute level) 2. free their mind from any aspect of the world like suffering, lust, duty, pride, desire etc. 3. fill their mind with pure knowledge with no preference to some aspect of knowledge 4. gain wisedom to make the world more glorious and prosperous by sharing and applying the knowledge he has attained
    – Barun
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 7:00
  • @Sai can you mention some name of those Rishi?
    – Barun
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 7:02
  • Who said that there aren't Rishis in the modern world. According to me a Rishi is a person who has attained self-realization. Well, you can find a lot of people who are referred to as saints or sadhu's. Their souls are pure and thus it has reached another level of consciousness. Thus, you will still continue to find Rishis in the modern world. Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 17:01

2 Answers 2


The reason Rishis aren't born in the Kali Yuga is due to transgression of Brahmacharya, as described in this chapter of the Apastamba Dharma Sutras:

  1. The word 'austerity' (must be understood to apply) to (the observance of) the rules (of studentship).

  2. If they are transgressed, study drives out the knowledge of the Veda acquired already, from the (offender) and from his children.

  3. Besides he will go to hell, and his life will be shortened.

  4. On account of that (transgression of the rules of studentship) no Rishis are born amongst the men of later ages.

  5. But some in their new birth, on account of a residue of the merit acquired by their actions (in former lives), become (similar to) Rishis by their knowledge (of the Veda),

  6. Like Svetaketu.

Here is what Haradatta says in his commentary on these Sutras:

Amongst the avaras means "amongst the men of modern times, those who live in the Kaliyuga." No Rishis are born means "there are none who see (receive the revelation of) Mantras, Vedic texts." ...

How is it then that men in our days, though they transgress the rules prescribed for students, learn the four Vedas with little trouble? (The answer is), By virtue of a residue of the reward (due) for the proper observance of those rules (of studentship) in a former Yuga. Therefore Âpastamba says, Sûtra 6 "But some," &c. New existence means "new birth (life)." ...

Like Svetaketu. For Svetaketu learned the four Vedas in a short time; as we read in the Khândogya Upanishad (Prapâthaka VI, 1).

I discuss the Apastamba Dharma Sutras' statement about Shwetaketu in my question here.

  • In fact, there is no Kaliyuga, it is a puranic abstract to describe certain concepts of Puranas, and it doesn't exist in Vedanta. When talking about the present time - it isn't a very good idea to reference Puranas. I'd rather argue that there are many, depending upon the definitions.
    – user29449
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 13:15

There are a lot of saints in present time.

You might have heard of Mahavatar Babaji, the guru of Lahiri Mahasaya who was the guru of Sri Yukteswar Giri who in turn was the guru of Paramahamsa Yogananda.

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He is believed to be born 2500 years ago and is alive till date. Of course, there are many more saints who are at this moment present on earth, most of them are in Himalayas.

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