rishi (Sanskrit: "seer; one who sees") — is a word that simply means a sage or a divine seer in general. the great sages of ancient India who, in deep states of meditation (communion with the cosmos), and through spiritual experimentation, discovered the underlying, fundamental truths of the Universe, and whose teachings formed the basis for the spiritual culture of the ancient Vedic civilization.
The Vedas introduce rishis as krantdarshis, those capable of seeing beyond narrow, selfish, good and bad of present times. Because of this capability rishis are known as drashtas. Modern science uses microscope and telescope for expansion of vision. Yet, our vision doesn’t reach to depths and heights. Rishis could see beyond everything. Nothing in the present, past or future was beyond their vision.
Classification of Rishis
Rishis can be classified as brahmarshi, rajarshi and devarshi. Though all the three are engaged in the service of Vishwa vasudha (world) the areas of work are different. Brahmarshi is always engaged in [[chintan]]. He can reach to the depths of consciousness and subtlety of universe and find the principles of life. This type of research work is generally possible only in seclusion and hence brahmarshis lead a life of seclusion. Vashista, Vishvamitra and Yagnavalkya are examples of Brahmarshis.
Uttarkhand in Himalayas is such divine place where several bhramarshis are engaged in the research into tatvagnan and atma vignan and come out with the lofty principles, which can manifest divinity in man.
The principles formulated by Brahmarshis are implemented by Rajarshis, who are engaged in the direct service of society. King Janaka is an ideal example of rajarshi.
Devarshis are those who communicate the messages of Brahmarshis to others in inspiring words. Narada is an example of Devarshi who could inspire Dhruva, Parvati, Valmiki and Prahlada.
Rishi paramparas of 14 rishis