:"This article is about the sage named Atri. See also the gotra named Atri. For the Italian city, see Atri, Italy"

In Hinduism, Atri ( _sa. अत्रि) is a legendary bard and scholar, and a son of Brahma, and one of the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) in the seventh, i.e the present Manvantara [ 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 Vashishtha. In other manvantara there are other "sapta-rshi". In the present manvantara the seven are Kashyapa, "Atri, Vashishtha, 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 Samantu, and Itihasa and Purana to Suta. The three chief classes of Rishi are the Brah-marshi, 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. Thc Shrutarshi are makers of Shastras, as Sushruta. The Kandarshi are of the Karmakanda, such as Jaimini.] ..

Maharishi Atri

Atri and AUM

He is among the three main seers who propounded the sacred thread (after Brihaspati) which has three strands symbolising Creation (Brahma and the letter A), sustenance (Vishnu and the letter U) and Dissolution (Shiva{m} and the letter M). Together these three strands show the vow that a Brahmin takes to recite and adhere to Aum.

The first three threads is the Brahma vrata (promise of the Brahmin) and is related to Bhu loka (earth plane). The second set of three threads is given after marriage and is related to the Bhuva loka (solar system) while the third set of three threads Deeksha (initiation)and is related to svarga loka (heavens).

A Sapta Rishi

He is among the Sapta Rishi (seven luminous or eternal sages in the sky) symbolized by the great bear and the seven stars around it. Named Megrez in Latin. The star is also considered as δ (Delta) or the 4th star in the Great Bear constellation.

eer of Rig Veda

He is the seer of the fifth Mandala (Book 5) of the Rig Veda. He had many sons and disciples who have also contributed in the compilation of the Rig Veda and other Vedic texts.

His Life

Atri maharishi is one of the ten sons of Creator Brahmaand first of the Saptha Rishis, created by just the will of the Almighty and therefore designated as a Maanasa-putras (mentally generated issues). There were ten of these. Atri's wife is Anasuya or Anusiya devi, a daughter of Kardama Prajapati and an embodiment of chastity.

Trinity test of Anasuyaa

Once trinity decided to test the chastity of Anasuyaa. They came to Anasuyaa's house as Brahmins and request for food with the condition that she has to serve it nude. Anasuyaa without any hesitation agreed to that. In turn she used her pativrita shakti to convert the brahmins into child and offered them food without any dress. Trinity could revert back to their original form only after she did herself on the request of gods. Trinity blessed them with three sons being sons: Dattatreya, Chandraatri and Krishnaatri.

Rama, the son of Dasaratha, visited Atri Maharishi's Ashram during his fourteen years of stay in the forest. It was Atri who showed the way to Dandakaranya forest to Rama, after showering his hospitality on him.

Atri Maharishi is considered to be one of the great discoverers of sacred Mantras of Hinduism. In his family line there were a few other seers of mantras namely: Shaavaashva, Avishtir, and Purvaatithi. There were also other great Rishis in that line: Mudgala, Uddaalaki, Shaakalaayani, Chaandogya, etc.

Atri-samhita and Atri-smriti are two works attributed to Atri.

Till the present day, a number of Brahmin families have this sage's name at the head of their lineage, which indicates that he or his descendents tutored that whole lineage. This lineage is addressed as Gotra.


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  • atri- — ⇒ATRI , ATRO , élément préf. 1er élément de compos. savant signifiant « noir » entrant dans la formation de terme de zool. A. Atri + 2e terme d orig. lat. : atricaude, adj. « Qui a la queue noire » (Ac. Compl. 1842, LITTRÉ) atricolle, adj. « Qui… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • atri — atri·al; atri·o·pore; atri·o·ventricular; atri·um; …   English syllables

  • Atri — Atri,   Gemeinde in der Provinz Teramo, Region Abruzzen, Italien, 11 300 Einwohner. Atri, in der Antike Hadria oder Hatria (Picena) genannt, wurde 289 v. Chr. auf älterer …   Universal-Lexikon

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