|Aliases||Shringi Rishi, Ekashringa|
Rishyashringa (Sanskrit: ऋष्यशृंग; IAST: Ṛṣyaśṛṅga; Pali: Isisiṅga) is a Rishi mentioned in Indian (Hindu and Buddhist) scriptures from the late first millennium BCE. According to the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, he was a boy born with the horns of a deer who became a seer and was lured by royal courtesans, which led to the yajna (fire sacrifice) of King Dasharatha. He also occurs in the Buddhist Jatakas, where he is mentioned as the son of Bodhisatta and was tried to seduce by royal or divine courtesans.
According to the Mahabharata, Vibhandaka, a renowned sage and a son of Kashyapa, travels in Mahahrada, when he sees Urvashi, the most beautiful apsara (nymph). Aroused, he emits his seed, which fells into river. A doe, who is a cursed apsara, swallows it and becomes pregnant due to the sage's miraculous powers. After she gives birth to a boy, she is liberated from the curse and returns to heaven. The boy is born with horns and because of which, he is named Rishyashringa. Vibhandaka decides to raise him isolated from society. Rishyashringa grows up in his father's ashram in the forest, unaware of existence of any female. He practices brahmacharya and acquires magical and miraculous powers due to his chastity.
Meanwhile, Romapada—the kingdom of Anga—offends a Brahmina, due to which no other Brahmana agrees to perform yajna (fire-sacrifice). This upsets Indra, the king of the gods, and he stops raining on Anga. As a result, the kingdom suffers from drought and famine. Romapada is told that the only way to bring rainfall is by bringing a man with perfect chastity into the kingdom. Romapada comes to know about Rishyashringa and despite his fear of the power and anger of Vibhandaka, he sends some courtesans to Rishyasringa to bring him into his kingdom.
During Vibhandaka's absence, the women come to his ashram and meet Rishyashringa. They tell him that they were hermits. Rishyashringa becomes astonished by seeing their appearance and invites them to perform tapas (penance) with him. Before Vibhandaka arrives, the women leave the place. Rishyashringa becomes love-sick and ignores his daily duties. The next day, the courtesans return and take Rishyashringa to Anga. As a result, the kingdom receives bountiful rains and Rishyasringa marries Shanta. Much of the story is taken up by accounts of the feelings of the young man as he becomes aware of women for the first time.
The story can be found in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. According to the Ramayana, Rishyashringa was the chief priest when the king Dasharatha performed a yajna to beget progeny, and Rama, Bharata, and the twins Lakshmana and Shatrughna were born.
The Naḷinikā Jātaka (Jā 526) introduces a past life of the Buddha, a sage, living alone in the Himālayas. There is semen in the urine he passes, a doe who eats the grass in that place gets pregnant from it. A human boy named Isisiṅga (Pali) is later born to the deer and he grows up in complete seclusion from mankind, and most importantly, from womankind. He even don't know the difference in the body and appearance of the two. 
The boy's ascetic power becomes so great that it disturbs the god Sakka, the lord of heaven, who causes a drought to occur in the country and blames it on the boy. He then convinces the King to send his daughter to seduce him and to break the austerity of the young seer and to reduce his ascetic power. The King and his daughter accept Sakka's reasoning and in good faith – and for the benefit of the country – agree to be part of the plot.
The girl dresses up as an ascetic and while the father is away gathering roots and fruits in the forest, she manages to seduce the boy, who has never seen a woman before. Through their revelling, the boy does indeed lose his powers, after which the girl departs. When his father returns, the infatuated boy informs him of the girl, only to be instructed and rebuked by his father. He then repents for his actions.
Jātaka 523, the Alambusā Jātaka, also recounts a similar story of Isisinga, in one other previous life of Bodhisatta. Here, Sakka chooses a heavenly nymph to seduce the ascetic. The outcome is the same: the sage is seduced, repents and Sakka is thwarted. In response, he grants a boon to the seductress.
The story also appears in the Mahāvastu (Jones' translation pp. 139–147), but Ekaśr̥ṅga, as he is known here, is the Bodhisattva, and Nalinī is a past life of Yaśodharā. A major variation in this version of the story is Ekaśr̥ṅga's ignorance of his marriage to the girl. He succumbs to worldly responsibilities, eventually becoming king and fathering 32 children before retiring again to the forest and regaining his former powers.
Rishyashringa was from a place near Sringeri in Karnataka. There is an ancient big temple nearby which is believed to be the place where he lived before moving to Ayodhya. Sringeri is also known as ShringaGiri (Sanskrit: the hills where RishyaShringa resided). The Shiva linga with which the sage merged, can be seen today at the temple in Kigga.
There is a temple of rishyashringa named 'Chehni fort' situated in Banjar tehsil of Kullu District Himachal Pradesh. In Banjar valley, Rishyashringa is called "Shringa Rishi" by the locals. An idol of Shringa Rishi with goddess Shanta resides in the temple. This place is about 50 km from Kullu. Lord Shringa is the presiding deity of this secluded valley named Banjar.
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