Parasara is a Rigvedic Maharishi and author of many ancient Indian texts. Parasara (or Parashar) was the grandson of Vashista, the son of Śakti Maharṣi, and the father of Vyasa. There are several texts which give reference to Parāśara as an author/speaker. Modern scholars believe that there were many individuals who used this name throughout time whereas others assert that the same Parāśara taught these various texts and the time of writing them varied. The actual sage himself never wrote the texts, he was known as a traveling teacher, and the various texts attributed to him are given in reference to Parāśara being the speaker to his student. He is the third member of the Rishi Parampara of the Advaita Guru Paramparā.
One of the greatest Cleric of the Puranic times.Parāśara Muni was raised by his grandfather, Vashista, because he lost his father at an early age. His father, Shakti-muni, was on a journey and came across an angry Rakshasa (demon) who had once been a king but was turned into a demon feeding on human flesh as a curse from Vishwamitra. The demon devoured Parāśara’s father. In the Visnu Purana, Parāśara speaks about his anger from this:
“I had heard that my father had been devoured by a Rakshasa employed by Vishwamitra: violent anger seized me, and I commenced a sacrifice for the destruction of the Rakshasas: hundreds of them were reduced to ashes by the rite, when, as they were about to be entirely exterminated, my grandfather Vashista said to me: Enough, my child; let thy wrath be appeased: the Rakshasas are not culpable: thy father’s death was the work of destiny. Anger is the passion of fools; it becometh not a wise man. By whom, it may be asked, is any one killed? Every man reaps the consequences of his own acts. Anger, my son, is the destruction of all that man obtains by arduous exertions, of fame, and of devout austerities; and prevents the attainment of heaven or of emancipation. The chief sages always shun wrath: be not subject to its influence, my child. Let no more of these unoffending spirits of darkness be consumed. Mercy is the might of the righteous.”
Sage Parashara, on one of his travels across the country, halted for the night in a little hamlet on the banks of the river Ganges. He was put up in the house of the village chief. When dawn broke, the chief asked his daughter, Satyavati, to ferry the sage to his next destination. When in the ferry, Parashara was offended by the stench of raw fish. According to legend, the Ganges has no fish within her waters. He asked Satyavati as to from where the foul stench was emanating. Satyavati was a fisherman’s daughter, and pursued the same occupation. It was from her the stench emanated. Realising this, Parashara gave her the epithet “Matsyagandha”, meaning “one with the smell of fish”. Satyavati was thoroughly ashamed. Parashara felt sorry for his cruelty, and instantly granted her the boon, that the finest fragrance may emit from her person.
Parashara grew attached to Satyavati, and desired to perform coitus with her. But Satyavati was terrified of him and gave an excuse that there were many people present on either sides of the Ganges. So Parasara Muni, with his mystic power, created a dense sheet of mist around the boat. He then took her to an island on the Ganges and in due course, they had a son, by name Vyasa. But Parashara’s wandering ascetic life did not suit Satyavati, and the couple separated. While parting, Parashara granted Satyavati another boon; that she may have her lost virginity back. Satyavati returned to her father after this, and in due course, married Shantanu.
Parāśara was known as the “limping sage”. He had his leg wounded during the attack of his ashram. When a rishi dies he merges back into an element or an archetype, Sage Jaimini was trampled by wild elephants, Sage Gautama was eaten by Cannibals, etc. When Sage Parāśara was walking through a dense forest he and his students were attacked by wolves. He was unable to get away in his old age with a lame leg he left this world merging into the wolves.
The birth place of Parashar Muni is believed to be at Panhala fort in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. A cave supposed to be of Parashar Muni is present at the fort.