Kashyapa,one of the Eternal Seven Seers, a Saptha Rishi,may in a sense be considered as the Grandsire of Humanity.
The term Kashyapa means ‘tortoise’
Undisturbed am I, undisturbed is my soul,
undisturbed mine eye, undisturbed mine ear,
undisturbed is mine in-breathing, undisturbed mine out-breathing,
undisturbed my diffusive breath, undisturbed the whole of me.
Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire the primal seed and germ of Spirit,
O Kama dwelling with the lofty Kama, give growth of riches to the sacrificer, (…)
Prolific, thousand eyed, and undecaying, a horse with seven reins Time bears us onward,
Sages inspired with holy knowledge mount him, his chariot wheels are all the worlds of creatures.
Kala [Time] created yonder heaven, and Kala made these realms of earth,
By Kala, stirred to motion, both what is and what shall be, expand, (…)
Kala created living things and first of all Prajapati,
From Kala self-made Kasyapa, from Kala Holy Fire was born.
One may recall the Koorma Avatar of Vishnu and the legend of Turtle/Tortoise is present in the formation of Earth in ancient legends.
Seems there is a message here.
Am looking into references in world religious texts and legends.
Kasyapa is the most ancient Rishi listed in the most ancient Upanishad,Brihadaayanka Upanishad.
Kasyapa is listed as a Saptha Rishi in the Rig Veda.
Saptha Rishis are eternal and they remain,Along with Narayana in is Yogic Slumber,while the world is being withdrawn.(Pralaya).
In Hinduism,there is no destruction of the Universe.
The term Dissolution is used to convey the meaning of the Sanskrit word,Pralaya.
Withdrawal may be nearer to the meaning of Pralaya.
These Saptha Rishis preserve the Vedas and lay down the rules for Mankind in Ech Manvantara.
Kashyapa is one among these.
His progenies included Devas,the Heavenly Beings and the Asuras,the Beings of the Netherworld,Patala.
Of his children, 12 Adityas,Lord Vishnu is One.
‘Adityaanam Aham Vishnu’ -Bhagavad Gita.Vibhuthi Yoga.
Rudra is also recorded as a son of Kashyapa and his wife Aditi.
The Eleven Rudras.
And Kasyapa had the Eight Vasus among his 33 children.
‘Kashyapa was wedded to the famed mothers of Lokas viz. Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kaashtha, Arishta, Anayuvu, Khasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Taamra, Muni, Krodhavasa, and Kadru. His sons were the Dwadashadityaas viz. Dhata, Aryama, Mitra, Varuna , Amsha, Bhaga, Indra, Vivaswanta, Pusha, Parjanya, Twashta, and Vishnu.
From Surabhi, Kashyapa was blessed with Ekadasha Rudraas viz.Angaraka, Sarpa, Niruti, Sadasaspati, Ajaikapaada, Ahirbhudnya, Jwara, Buvana , Ishwara, Mrityu and Kapali. From Surabhi, there were two daughters, viz. Rohini and Gandharvi; Rohini begot four daughters named Surupa, Hamsakali, Bhadra and Kamadu: Kamadu gave birth to Cows, Hamsakali begot Mahishaas; and Gandharvi begot Ashvas or horses; Surabhi also begot a Vrishabha/ Bull which was secured as ‘ Shiva Vahana’.
From Aditi, Kashyapa Muni begot Indra and Devatas. Diti gave birth to Hiranya kashipu as Kashyapa concluded the ‘Ati Raatra’ of the just finished Ashvamewdha Yagna; the new born was the younger brother of Hiranyaaksha. Their younger sister was Simhika the wife of Viprachit and their son was Rahu.
His wives were the daughters of Daksha.
His marriage and his offsprings may be interpreted by Cosmology and as an allegory of Astronomy as well.
Available evidence points out to Kashmir as Kashyapa’s birth place and Kashmir is named after him.
‘Rishi. According to the ancient legends, he reclaimed that land from a vast lake, his school was based there, and the land was named after him.The name Kashmir, states Christopher Snedden, may be a shortened form of “Kashyapa Mir” or the “lake of the sage Kashyapa”, or alternatively derived from “Kashyapa Meru” or the sacred mountains of Kashyapa’
Kasyapa in Russia.
The word Caspian is derived from the name of the Caspi (Persian کاسی), an ancient people that lived to the west of the sea in Transcaucasia. Strabo wrote that “to the country of the Albanians belongs also the territory called Caspiane, which was named after the Caspian tribe(Kaswan, Kashyap Jat clans), as was also the sea; but the tribe has now disappeared”. Moreover, the Caspian Gate, which is the name of a region in Tehran province of Iran, is another possible piece of evidence that they migrated to the south of the sea.
The root of the word Caspian can also be traced to Sanskrit.’
Works of Kasyapa.
- Kashyapa Samhita, also called Vriddajivakiya Tantra or Jivakiya Tantra, is a classical reference book on Ayurvedic pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics. It was revised by Vatsya.
- Kashyapa Jnanakandah, or Kashyapa’s book of wisdom, is a 9th century text of the Vaishnavism tradition. ( I do not agree with this date. Kasyapa can be dated much earlier).
- Kasyapa dharmasutra, likely an ancient text, but now believed to be lost. The text’s existence is inferred from quotes and citations by medieval Indian scholars.
- Kasyapa sangita, likely another ancient text, but now believed to be lost.
- Kasyapasilpa, also called Amsumad agama, Kasypiya or Silpasastra of Kasyapa, is a Sanskrit treatise on architecture, iconography and the decorative arts, probably completed in the 11th century
References and Citations.