Shivanshu: Pranam Swamiji Swamiji, who is Rishi and who are called Maharishi, brahmrishi and saptarishi? How to know who is a real Swami or a learned Vedic scholar and not an imposter?
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you. Rishi Maharishi and Brahmarishi are the same. The main quality of a Rishi is that he has after studying vedas, doing daily yajyen, name jaap of God and hard practice of Ashtang Yog has controlled his senses, mind and intellect and thus has attained Samadhi and has realized ved mantras within him. As regards Saptarishi, the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth are called Saptarishi. The qualities written above are about true Swami, Vedic scholar, learned, Rishi-Muni and he who does not do the same is not a Rishi.
In Shatpath Brahmin Granth 3/7/3/10, written by Yagyavalkya Muni it is said, “VIDWANS EV DEVAHA” i.e., he who is learned of Vedas, he is called Dev. Yajurved mantra 40/3 says, “ASURYA NAAM TE LOKAHA ANDHEN TAMSA VRITAHA___”means on taking birth a child is called “Manushya” i.e., mankind. If he learns Vedas, does pious deeds and discharges his moral duties well, according to Vedas then he becomes Dev. Otherwise Asur i.e., devil (demon), one who kills the pure voice of soul and does sins. In Van Parv of Mahabharat Yaksh asked question to Yudhishthir, “KAH NASTIKAH” i.e., who is called atheist? Yudhishthir answers, he who is against Vedas and insults Vedas he is atheist (Manusmriti 2/11 also refers). So there are two kinds of men/women according to Yajurved mantra quoted above. One, “DEV” and second “DEVIL”. So our birth is to become Dev.
Rig-Veda mantra 10/181/1 says that in the beginning of the creation, God always originates the knowledge of four Vedas in the heart of four Rishis, then the said four Rishis spread it further and until now the eternal knowledge of Vedas is being received traditionally. The names of those four Rishis are — Agni, Vayu, Aditya, Angira, as also mentioned in Rig Veda mantra 10/109/1 and Manusmriti shlok 1/23. This truth is also mentioned in Bhagwad Geeta wherein shlok 3/15 says that Vedas emanate from Almighty God and in shlok 13/4 Shri Krishna says that the knowledge of soul and body is very well mentioned in four Vedas and the Rishis have described the same by many methods. In Atharvaved mantra 2/35/1& 4 it is preached that Rishis spread the knowledge of holy Yajyen to the people to mitigate their sorrows and Rishis are those, “MANTRADRISHTA ITI RISHIHI” i.e., those who have studied Vedas and Ashtang Yog practice and then realized Almighty God and seen Ved mantras in their heart, they are called Rishis. So the knowledge of the Vedas, as per Rig-Veda mantras quoted above, is given by God Himself to the Rishis and it is eternal truth and cannot be changed that is why in Yog shastra sutra, Rishi Patanjali says, “SA ESHAH PURVESAHM API GURUHU”. So, next to God is Rishi.
God did not give the knowledge to the present saints. In Vedas, the name of the learned are mentioned as Rishis, Muni, Vipra, Dwij, Agni etc., and not saints. To be next to God it is necessary to have full knowledge of Vedas and Ashtang yoga, as per the rules quoted above.
To know that what is true and what is false, proof is required. Yog shastra in sutra 1/7 says about four proofs out of which proof of Vedas to determine the truth is compulsory. However, if a present saint has learnt four Vedas, done ashtang yoga practice mentioned in Vedas and realized Vedas and God, then he is also next to God. If one declares his name Rishi or Brahmachari and does not know Vedas and yoga philosophy, then he is liar and cheating the public because in Shanti Parv of Mahabharat also Bhisham Pitamaha says to Yudhishthir that there are two kinds of Brahma (though God is one). First, “Shabda Brahma” i.e., knowledge of four Vedas, second “Par Brahma” the realization of formless God Who creates, nurses and destroys the universe. So he who does not know Brahma even Shabda Brahma – Vedas, then how can he write himself as brahmarishi? Naturally he is cheating the public because most of the public does not know about Vedas and the arrogant (the saints who are against Vedas) have spread false knowledge about Vedas, Yajyen and yoga philosophy.
That is why, Manusmriti 2/168 says that the saint/Guru/Dwij who does not know Vedas but studies false books, he, in his present life goes downwards i.e., experiences sorrows, sufferings etc, etc., with his followers, i.e., their followers also go down and experience the said difficulties etc., but nowadays it is also spread that God takes examination of a worshipper but such type of examinations have not been mentioned in Vedas. And Ramayana also says about such false saints – VARAN DHARAM NAHIN ASHRAMCHARI, SHRUTI VIRODH RAT SAB NAR NARI. Tulsidasji says that at present men and women here have become against the eternal knowledge of Vedas. Again Tulsidasji says in Uttarkand DWIJ SHRUTI BECHAK BHOOP PRAJSAN, KAU NAHIN MANAT NIGAM ANUSASAN, i.e., at present mostly the people do not accept the knowledge of Vedas, present saints ,Gurus have sold the Vedas i.e., they do not know the ABCD about the Vedas.
Again in Shatpath Brahmin Granth 1/7/5/3 it is said that he who studies complete knowledge of Vedas and holy books, puts the preachings thereof into action/conduct and there after preaches others, he is called a Rishi. It is a well-known fact that ancient Rishis used to live in a lonely place/jungle in Gurukuls/Ashram where the students used to get knowledge traditionally, the same process too was adopted by Shri Krishna, Sudama, Shri Ram and their subjects. It was the effect of Ved mantras on them and the effect of practising Ashtang yoga philosophy, that they used to lead simple way of life without any luxury etc. Whereas nowadays the current saints (against the Vedas) mostly live in bigger cities where way of earning is obtained. The Rishis used to bless the people according to Ved mantra to be the richest and having all comforts in the family etc., whereas now most of the present saints say that money will do nothing, family will do nothing, house will do nothing, cars and clothes will do nothing and they themselves take lot of money and enjoy luxuries.
The Rishis were free from illness/tension etc., Shwetashwataropnishad 2/12 and 13 says about this fact. So is it not clear that keeping the fact and proof of ved mantra and the said upnishad in mind, those are not rishi-muni etc., who are suffering from multifarious diseases, tension etc., and too lack the knowledge of four Vedas and Ashtang yoga philosophy mentioned in Vedas.
Study of Mahabharat, holy granth and Valmiki Ramayan reveals that usually the ancient Rishis, who lived in gurukul or in jungle used to go to the kingdom on invitation only. (Valmiki Ramayan Bal Kand sarg 7 also refers). So it is not fair to send disciples door to door to collect money and to arrange maximum gathering/crowd. The Rishis like Vyas Muni etc., used to go mostly on foot and alone to anywhere (Mahabharat says) but now the present saints/Gurus go in a fleet of cars/groups with body guards etc., etc.
The Rishis themselves had simple living without luxury etc., but with their blessings they made people the richest whereas most of the present saints have become the richest with all luxury, gathering money/donation etc., from even poor people. On the other hand mostly public has become poor, sick and worried.
In Brihadarannayakopnishad there is a debate (shastrarth) between Bal Brahmacharini Gargi and Rishi Yagyavalkya. This debate was organized by King Janak. The winner of debate was to be given 500 cows, gold-plated on horns. When Rishi Yagyavalkya ordered his disciples to take the cows then King Janak interrupted and requested the Rishi that these cows are meant for him who would win the debate with my supreme Acharya Gargi. King asked the Rishi whether he (Rishi) is Brahmarishi. Yagyavalkya Rishi answered, O! King there was shortage of milk in my Gurukul to my students and that is why I wanted to take the cows. But if you want to ask something I am ready. There was a debate and Rishi won and got cows. This story tells that all Rishis used to ask for donation when they needed on the contrary the present saints even having become multimillionaires through donation, ask for more money.
In Upnishad king Janshruti met Rishi Rakya in lonely place sitting on sand under the shadow of Bullock cart. Whereas present saints meet people sitting on highly decorated and valuable throne. Rishi Jadbharat was sitting alone in a jungle on the earth. When he was asked to carry the palanquin (palki) putting one side on his shoulder, he immediately became ready without any pride and walked on foot. This cannot be repeated.
There are numerous examples of the ancient Rishis who were Tapsvi, lovers of truth, who are adorable.
There is only one God who creates universe, nurses and destroys and again creates. Yajurved mantra 31/7 and several other Ved mantras say that God has preached His worship in Vedas. But now a day’s most of the worships are against Vedas, as also said by Tulsidasji in his Ramayana couplet 99 (b). In the ancient times up to Mahabharat period too there were only Vedas to be adopted and worship in the form of prayer, Yajna and Ashtang yoga etc., was being practised. The ancient Rishis Munis used to give Vedas knowledge only. They lived in Gurukul in a very simple life holding unlimited knowledge of Vedas and yoga philosophy and by their Tapsya they used to give equal blessings to the world.
These Rishis Munis used to sit on one platform with whole hearted happiness. For example in Valmiki Ramayana when Rishi Vishwamitr went to King Dashrath to take Shri Ram to kill the demons to protect his holy Yajna. Then Dashrath immediately refused but Dashrath’s Guru Vasishth Muni interrupted, explained and gave order to king Dashrath to give Shri Ram to Rishi Vishwamitr. I am not giving the detailed story here. So what was the reason behind? The reason behind was only this, that Rishi Vishwamitr as well as Guru Vasishth both were philosophers of Vedas, Yajna and Yoga philosophy. So there was no friction within their hearts. A mother and father both, without any friction, love their newly born baby. So when all Rishis loved only one Almighty God, from whom Vedas are originated and again the Rishis loved Vedas, so no question of friction. The Rishis used to bless all people and even kings with the result everybody was happy at that time and everybody was rich with the blessings. Now it is reverse.
The so-called Gurus are rich and majority of the public are poor. In Hinduism too there are so many Devtas and thus the different types of worship. Now whatever one Guru says another one criticizes because ways are different and in reality the religion has been made profession by most of the so-called Gurus at present. When target is not true and good then how the above story of donating Shri Ram can be repeated and how all Gurus can sit on one platform. When the target is profession and not services of people through Vedas then it is impossible that so called Gurus can sit on one platform. The so-called Gurus can say at their own that their target is one but on ground it seems not to be a true. All the so-called Gurus have made their own several ashrams to command etc.
God has made universe and blessed us human body to do pious deeds only. He has not made any heaven or hell. All have to face the result of their deeds good or bad here only, even by taking rebirth. God has not only made universe but has also given knowledge of four Vedas.