A sage of the Vedic period – a great seer who attained extraordinary scholarship and power of meditation. An enlightened man who used his might for punishing the wicked and protecting the poor and the weak.
Bharadwaja (also spelled Bhardwaj) was one of the greatest Hindu sages (Maharshis) descendant of rishi Angirasa, whose accomplishments are detailed in the Puranas. He was one of the Saptarshis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) in the present Manvantara; with others being Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Kashyapa.
Bharadwaja Barhaspatya is the progenitor of the Bharadwaja family and the family is attributed as the composers of Mandala 6 of the Rig Veda. Mandala 6 is known as the Bharadwaja Family Book as all its 75 hymns are composed by a member of this family over several centuries. He is believed to be a contemporary of King Bharata. Bharadwaja and his descendants were respected and powerful priests/rishis of several clans/dynasties of the Puru tribe, such as the Bharatas and the Panchalas.
Bhardwaj Maharishi, a sage of the Vedic period, and son of Brihaspati is renowned for his thirst for knowledge. He attained extraordinary scholarship and the power of meditation. He is also the author of Ayurveda. His Ashram still exists at the holy Prayag (Allahabad).
Another Bhardwaj Rishi, a remote descendant of the progenitor, was father of Guru Dronacharya and grandfather of Ashwatthama from the epic Mahabharata.
Bharadwaj is a surname and gotra for people who are the descendants of Maharishi Bharadwaj. Maharishi Bharadwaj was the son of Devarishi Brihaspati. Devarishi Brihaspati was the son of Maharishi Angiras. These 3 Rishis are called the Traya (Three) Rishis of the Bharadwaja Gotra. Guru Dronacharya, the royal guru to Kauravas and Pandavas in the epic Mahabharat was the son of sage Bharadwaj. He was a master of advanced military arts, including the Devastras. The Ashram of Maharishi Bharadwaj is situated at holy Prayag.
Among all the seven gotras Bharadwaj is the largest chain.
In Ramayana, Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana went on exile for the words of his father. Rama along with them went through many forest regions starting from crossing Saryu river with help of Guhan, head clanman and a friend of Rama’s father Dasaratha. As he traveled he visited many Rishi’s Ashrams and met many rishis and sages including Agastya, Gautama and Bhardwaja. Rama and others rested in Bhardwaja’s Ashram when they were crossing Prayag and accepted his offerings as great sages knew that Rama is incarantion of Vishnu, Sita devi is goddess Lakshmi and Lakshmana is none other than Shesha.