||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (September 2009)|
|This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (February 2012)|
The Saptarishi (from saptarṣi, a Sanskrit dvigu meaning "seven sages") are the seven rishis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and Hindu literature. The Vedic Samhitas never actually enumerate these rishis by name, though later Vedic texts such as the Brahmanas and Upanisads do so. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion. The Big Dipper asterism is also called Saptarshi.
The earliest list of the Seven Rishis is given by Jaiminiya Brahmana 2.218-221: Vashista, Bharadvaja, Jamadagni, Gautama, Atri, Visvamitra, and Agastya, followed by Brihadaranyaka Upanisad 2.2.6 with a slightly different list: Gautama and Bharadvāja, Viśvāmitra and Jamadagni, Vashiṣṭa and Kaśyapa, and Atri. The late Gopatha Brāhmana 1.2.8 has Vashiṣṭa, Viśvāmitra, Jamadagni, Gautama, Bharadvāja, Gungu, Agastya, and Kaśyapa.
In post-Vedic texts, different lists appear; some of these rishis were recognized as the 'mind born sons' (Sanskrit: manasa putra) of Brahma, the representation of the Supreme Being as Creator. Other representations are Mahesha or Shiva as the Destroyer and Vishnu as the Preserver. Since these seven rishis were also among the primary eight rishis, who were considered to be the ancestors of the Gotras of Brahmins, the birth of these rishis was mythicized.
In some parts of India people believe these are seven stars named "Vashista", "Marichi", "Pulastya", "Pulaha", "Atri", "Angiras" and "Kratu". There is another star slightly visible within it, known as "Arundhati".Arundhati is the wife of vasistha.
Sapta Rishis 
Sapta Rishis are the Hierarchy working under the guidance of the Highest Creative Intelligence, God. The present batch of the Sapta Rishis: Bhrigu, Atri, Angirasa, Vashista, Pulastya, Pulalaha and Kratu. They bring down to the earth the required Knowledge and Energies to strengthen the processes of Transition (Pralaya). They are naturally the most evolved Light Beings in the Creation and the guardians of the Divine Laws.
Names of the Sapta Rishis 
In post-Vedic religion, Manvantara is the period of astronomical time within an aeon or Kalpa, a "day (day only) of Brahma"; like the present Śveta Vārāha Kalpa, where again 14 Manvantaras add up to create one Kalpa.
Each Manvantara is ruled by a specific Manu, apart from that all the deities, including Vishnu and Indra; Rishis and their sons are born anew in each new Manvantara, the Vishnu Purana mentions up to seventh Manvantara.
Second Manvantara - the interval of Swarochisha Manu 
Urja, Stambha, Prańa, Dattoli, Rishabha, Nischara, and Arvarívat.
Third Manvantara - the interval of Auttami Manu 
Fourth Manvantara - the interval of Támasa Manu 
Jyotirdhama, Prithu, Kavya, Chaitra, Agni, Vanaka, and Pivara.
Fifth Manvantara - the interval of Raivata Manu 
Hirannyaroma, Vedasrí, Urddhabahu, Vedabahu, Sudhaman, Parjanya, and Mahámuni.
Sixth Manvantara - the interval of Chakshusha Manu 
Sumedhas, Virajas, Havishmat, Uttama, Madhu, Abhináman, and Sahishnnu.
The present, seventh Manvantara - the interval of Vaivasvata Manu 
The names of the current Saptarshis are: Atri, Bhrigu, Kutsa, Vashista, Gautama, Kashyapa and Angiras. The Saptarishis keep changing for every Yuga. As per Hindu Shastras, there are four yugas - 1.Krita Yuga 2. Treta Yuga 3. Dvapara Yuga 4. Kali Yuga We are presently in tke Kali yuga, life span being 432,000 years [we are in 5103 year now in 2012]; Dvapara Yuga is twice Kali Yuga, Treta Yuga is thrice Kali yuga and Krita Yuga is four times Kali yuga. Over all, 4,320,000 years termed as 1 Chaturyuga .. 1000 Chaturyugas make the day of 12 hours for Brahma (Creator) and during another 12 hours, brahma takes rest and there is no creation during this period of time. Thus 1 day for Brahma constitutes 1000 Chaturyugas (=4,320,000,000 years). Thus 1 year constitutes 360 x 4,320,000,000 = 3,110,400,000,000 years; Life span of Brahma is 100 years = 100 x 3,110,400,000,000= 311,040,000,000,000 years
Vashista is accompanied by his wife the faint companion star Arundhati (Alcor/80 Ursa Majoris). The valid avatar's clan will be named after Ashvamedh.
Saptarshis given in major Hindu texts 
1. The Shatapatha Brahmana and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.2.4) acknowledge the names of seven rishis (or Saptarshis) as:
2. Krishna Yajurveda in the Sandhya-Vandana Mantras has it as:
3. Mahabharata gives the Seven Rishis’ names:
4. Brihat Samhita gives the Seven Rishis’ names as:
The reason for the differences in the mentioned list is that there are seven Rishis who govern the functioning of the Cosmos in Batches and all the above mentioned Rishis have had the post of a 'Saptarishi' at some point in time.
The part played by Saptarshi in Kumarasambhava 
The Kumarasambhava is one among the five Mahakavyas written by the famous poet Kalidasa. The kavya is about the birth of the War-God Subramanya(Muruga). The saptarshi play a very important role in the sixth canto of Kumarasambhava.Their greatness is explained well in the Paramesvaraprabhava.
Sapatrishi in Sikhism 
See also 
- Sapta Rishis Path, the information to be found under menu selection RISHIS>Sapta Rishis
- Account of the several Manus and Manwantaras Vishnu Purana, translated by Horace Hayman Wilson, 1840, Book III: Chapter I. p. 259, The first Manu was Swáyambhuva, then came Swárochisha, then Auttami, then Támasa, then Raivata, then Chákshusha: these six Manus have passed away. The Manu who presides over the seventh Manwantara, which is the present period, is Vaivaswata, the son of the sun...
- Inhabitants of the Worlds Mahanirvana Tantra, translated by Arthur Avalon, (Sir John Woodroffe), 1913, Introduction and Preface. The Rishi are seers who know, and by their knowledge are the makers of shastra and "see" all mantras. The word comes from the root rish Rishati-prapnoti sarvvang mantrang jnanena pashyati sangsaraparangva, etc. The seven great Rishi or saptarshi of the first manvantara are Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya, and Vashista. In other manvantara there are other sapta-rshi. In the present manvantara the seven are Kashyapa, Atri, Vashista, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Bharadvaja. To the Rishi the Vedas were revealed. Vyasa taught the Rigveda so revealed to Paila, the Yajurveda to Vaishampayana, the Samaveda to Jaimini, Atharvaveda to Sumantu, and Itihasa and Purana to Suta. The three chief classes of Rishi are the Brahmarshi, born of the mind of Brahma, the Devarshi of lower rank, and Rajarshi or Kings who became Rishis through their knowledge and austerities, such as Janaka, Ritaparna, etc. The Shrutarshi are makers of Shastras, as Sushruta. The Kandarshi are of the Karmakanda, such as Jaimini.
- Composition 9 - Brahma Avtar