Indra and VasiSTha

P.Magnone at P.Magnone at
Thu Apr 13 22:55:37 UTC 1995

Commenting on RgVeda I,51,1 Saayana hints at a story about Indra
approaching sage Medhaatithi in the shape of a ram (meSa) to drink his
soma, hence being called "ram" by that sage.

Gautama is also called Medhaatithi in Mahaabhaarata XII,267,45 in
connection with the episode of the violation of Ahalyaa by Indra. In the
same connection in RaamaayaNa I,48-49 Indra is cursed by Gautama to lose
his testicles, which are subsequently replaced by the gods with those of
a ram.

I dont know of any such stories connecting Indra with VasiSTha. However,
the latter is the most important member of the group of the seven RSis,
of which Gautama is also one, which might account for a possible

I too would appreciate any more pertinent references on the subject.

 Paolo Magnone
 Catholic University of Milan
 p.magnone at

On 13th April Nobumi Iyanaga wrote:

> I have a question.  I find in a collection of Jaataka (Taisho 153,
> translated in Chinese by Zheqian, in 3rd century) a version of the
> Jaataka of the king Candraprabha.  The story is:
> The King Candraprabha decides to give all his possessions to his
> people.  A wicked brahman who practices in the Himaalaya, comes and
> insists on the head of the King; he says "If the King is decided to
> give all, he should give me his head", etc.  The ministers are
> outraged and protest, but the King offers his head...
> In this story, there is a passage in which the brahman makes a parade
> of the power of the brahmans, and there, he enumerates some of the
> famous exploits of the .r.sis (or ascetics?):
> "...Thus the Jahnu took down the water of the river Gangaa, and
> its flow stopped during 12 years; thus the god Ii'svara has 3 eyes;
> thus the Gautama marked Indra with a thousand yoni on his body;
> thus the Vasi.s.tha changed Indra in a goat (or ram??)...", etc.
> I could find some references on the first 3 "exploits", but I could
> not find any about the last one ("Vasi.s.tha changed Indra in a
> goat").  Is this an element in the classical mythology?  Would someone
> give me some references on this story?
> (...)
> I would appreciate any reference, suggestion and idea.  Thank you very
>  much in advance!
> Best wishes.
> Nobumi Iyanaga


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