“First and foremost, I am writing the rivalry between Vishwamitra and Vasishtha with an intention to explain the greatest stories of India in the most simple way without being judgemental towards anyone. The rivalry is for a lifetime so you can imagine it will take a number of posts to explain the complete story. I request the readers to not have any prejudice and read with an open mind. No judging please, both the sages are the greatest ever in Vedic India!”

Continuing from where we left…

Aggressive and furious Vishwamitra leaves Vasishtha’s feeling ashamed of himself after a bad defeat in the hands of Nandini. This incident removes one layer of Maya from Vishwamitra. He plans to acquire Knowledge & Wisdom like that of Vasishtha. He even wants to own each and every powerful weapon and wants to equate himself to vasishtha. Determined Vsihwamitra travels to Himalaya and does 12 years of Tapasya. Then Lord Brahma appears and blesses Vishwamitra with Knowledge, Wisdom, Weapons including Brahmastra – the deadliest of all.

A fulfilled and regenerated Vishwamitra hurries to Vasishtha’s Ashram. The only goal he has is to defeat Vasishta and grab Nandini. His anger was so much that without any warning, Vishwamitra shoots arrows at Ashram. Disciples and other people in the ashram are frightened and scamper around. Knowing this Vasishtha comes out of his room and asks Vishwamitra to stop the unannounced attack on Ashram.

An Unarmed Sage Vasishta fights fully armed King turned Sage, Vishwamitra

Vishwamitra says ‘I want Nandini, I will defeat you and take her. ‘Sorry, I can’t fight, I am a Rishi and I am not supposed to fight’ says Vasishtha.

Irritated Vishwamitra continues to hit at Ashram. He shouts, ‘I don’t know all that, I want Nandini and I will take her only by defeating you’. The situation was turning unbearable for Vasishtha. He contemplates and remembers that Vedas allow ‘Rishi to fight a war but on a condition’.

Vasishtha says ‘Okay, I’m ready. But I will not harm an inch of your body. I will only nullify everything that you throw at me and I won’t attack you, Let’s start’. Vishwamitra starts shooting arrows at Vasishtha. Vasishtha holds his ‘Brahmadanda’ – an armour that’s used by Rishis and which is the storehouse of their wisdom, to protect himself. It is said all the powers of Rishis are stored in it.

Vishwamitra and His Many Austerities- The New Indian Express

The war begins. Vasishta is standing with a calm smile. Every time an arrow is released by Vishwamitra, Vasishtha defends it with ease by his Brahmadanda. Shocked by this, Vishwamitra starts using Bigger Weapons. He first unleashes Agniastra. He thinks that this weapon would turn Brahmadanda into ashes. But he gets proven wrong and Agniastra also gets defeated. Next up he uses Pashupati Astra. This is considered to be 2nd most dangerous Astra. Yet again, to the surprise of Vishwamitra, the Pashupati Astra falls at the base of Brahmadanda. Enough is enough, I will now use the deadliest weapon Brahmastra. Everybody gets worried. If the Brahmastra is used, that would be a devastation to Humanity. There is no power in the universe which can take Brahmastra.

Vishwamitra releases Brahmastra but to his utter disappointment and shock, the Astra (weapon) refuses to go. Even after multiple attempts, the weapon doesn’t attack Vasishtha.

“What Vasishtha has that I don’t have?”

‘I am defeated once again, Vasishtha you have won – I bow to you’ says a distressed Vishwamitra. Vasishtha accepts the victory with a humble smile and leaves. Vishwamitra moves back by bowing to Vasishtha.

‘What is that I don’t have that Vasishtha has?’ Shouts Vishwamitra. Akashvani – the voice from the heaven appears. ‘ Dear Vishwamitra, you are a Rajarishi. Whereas Vasishta is Brahmarishi. His Wisdom and Knowledge levels are way beyond your reach. You first need to become a Maharshi and then a Brahmarishi’.  Akashvani was treated as communication from Gods and only the learned person can listen to it. Vishwamitra achieved it through his Tapah power.

This makes him realise that he has a long way to go, and he sits for Tapasya and after that with a goal to become a Rishi. Vishamitra takes up teaching and desires to reach the next level.

He is planning to acquire as much knowledge and wisdom possible to become a Maharshi and then a Brahmarishi. Vishwamitra knows that his anger was the biggest weakness, but still, he is angry and wants to come back hard at Vasishtha the next time.

A truthful Harsichandra gets challenged by Vishwamitra.

After this, Vasishtha moves to Swarga Loka to be a chief priest of Indra and Vishwamitra starts teaching students. He slowly becomes powerful and popular. After a few years somewhere around 11,000 BC, a meeting is set up in the Swarga Loka. Sages from entire Sapt Sindhu were invited, including the Rishi Vishwamitra.

It’s the time of Satya Harsishchandra – the most popular ruler of Satya Yuga and the greatest king from Suryavansh and there are Chandravansh kings and other rulers also ruling different parts of Sapt Sindhu. A question is raised, ‘Who is the best ever King from Bhu Loka?’

Maximum participants say Harishchandra. This hits the ego of Vishwamitra. Because Harishchandra’s guru is Vasishtha. Vishwamitra then keeps arguing and disagreeing with everyone and argues that his disciple the great king Trishanku is the greatest ever. Incidentally, Trishanku is the father of Raja Harischandra.

As the debate heats up, Narad muni, known for creating troubles interferes and asks Vishwamitra to prove that Harishchandra is not the righteous king ever. Vishwamitra agrees… yet the feeling of revenge doesn’t subside!