Rishi Kashyapa as the divine father of all living entities on earth.

According to Vedic philosophy, the universe and all its entities, including stars, galaxies, plants, animals, and humans, are viewed as combinations of energy and matter. The Vedic perspective recognizes different energies manifesting in humans as higher-level energies (purusha) that influence qualities such as wisdom, nobility, and talent, and material energies (prakriti) that influence motivations.

The Vedic philosophy also acknowledges both perceptible and imperceptible energies, often referred to as subtle or existing in other dimensions (lokas). The Gayatri Mantra from the Rigveda emphasizes the worship of the unknowable infinite brahman, which is considered the source of all energy in the universe. It provides a technique to experience this source through the management and control of various energies within the body, such as emotions (indra), thoughts (vayu), and rage (rudra), using consciousness (agni) as an intermediary.

Natural phenomena like weather, wind, and storms are used as analogies to help understand these energies. The Vedic tradition translates this entire process into physical rituals called yajnas, which explain the mechanics of achieving communion with the infinite unknowable source and experiencing its truth, knowledge, and bliss.

Kashyapa Rishi, also known as Tarksya, was a prominent sage during the Vedic period. He was the son of Rishi Marichi and Kala, and he played a significant role in the creation of various beings, including demons, demigods, birds, animals, reptiles, and celestial beings.

Kashyapa had a total of 21 wives, including Vinata (Suparna), Kadru, Patangi, and Yamini. In Vedic culture, the concept of a wife is associated with "ardhangini," which means the other half of the body, completing the individual. Among his wives, Kashyapa married the thirteen daughters of Prajapati Daksha, who was also a manas-putra (mind-born son) of Brahma. These daughters were named Aditi, Diti, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Khasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavasha, Ida, Kadru, and Muni.

Aditi gave birth to twelve Adityas, including deities like Vishnu and Shakra. Diti's sons, Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakshipu, became powerful demons, and their descendants included other daityas such as Vali and Vanasura. Diti also had a daughter named Simhika, who married a demon named Viprachitti, and they gave birth to terrible demons like Vatapi, Namuchi, Livala, Maricha, and the Nivatakavachas.

The hundred sons of Danu became known as danavas or vritras. The danavas were cousins to the daityas and adityas. The danava lineage included demons like the poulamas and kalakeyas. Khasa's children were the Yakshas, who were demigods and companions of Kubera, the God of wealth, as well as the rakshasas, who were demons.

Surabhi's descendants were cows, buffaloes, cattle, and the eleven Rudras. Vinata had two sons named Aruna and Garuda, with Garuda becoming the king of birds. Tamra had six daughters, from whom owls, eagles, vultures, crows, waterfowl, hawks, moths, parrots, and other birds were born. Kadru's sons were known as nagas or snakes, and notable among them were Ananta, Vasuki, Takshaka, and Nahusha. Muni gave birth to the apsaras, the celestial dancers of heaven. Krodhavasha had fourteen thousand children who were also nagas or snakes.

Ila gave birth to various forms of flora, including trees, creepers, shrubs, and bushes. Surasa gave birth to snakes (sarpa) and demons like Namuchi and Vatapi, as well as water creatures called Timi. The children of Diti (daityas) and Aditi (adityas) were constantly engaged in conflict with each other.

Kashyapa was also the progenitor of two sons named Vatsara and Asia. It is said that he married Askikni, the daughter of Virana, through whom he begot Sage Narada. Kashyapa was also the father of Vivasvat or Savitr through his wife Aditi. In fact, the etymology of the name Kashmir is traced back to Rishi Kashyapa, who is said to have drained the valley through a large lake called the Satisaras. Kashyapa Rishi prescribed a ritual called putreshti, a son-desiring rite, for Malini, the wife of King Priyavrata.

The concept of Sapta Rishis, or Seven Sages, is mentioned in relation to Gotra, which organizes family lineages. In the constellation Ursa Major (the Dipper, or the Saptarishi Mandala), one of the stars is identified as Kashyapa. According to legend, after defeating the Kshatriyas, Bhagwan Parashurama gifted all the lands he had captured to Kashyapa Rishi.

In summary, Kashyapa Rishi played a significant role in the Vedic period as a visionary, progenitor of various beings, and a presiding sage of the Vaivasvata Manvantara. The Vedic philosophy he represents views the universe as a combination of energy and matter, with humans having the potential to connect with the infinite source through the management of energies within themselves.

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