India is a mysterious country, the land of sages and sages. The Vedas considered the first scripture of the world. Rigveda was written by Maharshi Vedvyas sitting on the banks of the river Saraswati. The four sages Agni, Vayu, Angira, and Aditya together molded the knowledge of the Rigveda into the Vachic tradition that still continues. The religion based on Vedas is called Sanatan Vedic or Hindu religion.

Let’s understand the difference between “Rishi and Muni”:-

“Muni-(मुनि)”: The word muni is from the Sanksrit word ( मुनि ) which is derived from manan( मनन् ).
Manan literally means deep thinking.
So Muni is someone who does introspection ( अन्तर्दर्शन या आत्ममंथन ) or who is thoughtful. According to Srimad Bhagwad: We can call Muni someone who is an expert in mental speculation or in deep thinking ( मनन् ) on any particular subject to get the details of the same.

According to Srimad Bhagwad Geeta (2.56): Muni is one who can agitate his mind in various ways for mental speculation without coming to a factual description. And the mental speculation come from- Introspection( अन्तर्दर्शन या आत्ममंथन )

“Maunam Acharati Iti Muni”- मौनं आचरति इति मुनिः
One who maintains the vow of silence to prevent distraction during his penance –Tapah.

Rishi( ऋषि )- According to Vedas Rishi (Sanskrit: ऋषि) is a Vedic term for an accomplished and enlightened person. Post-Vedic tradition of Sanatan Dharm regards the rishis as “Great Yogis” or “Sages” who after intense meditation (tapas) realized the supreme truth and eternal knowledge, which they composed into hymns.

Rishi is a title that is given to the one who knows everything about Shastras and the science & technology behind every natural phenomenon.
This is the reason why words/sentences are spoken by Rishis are considered to be utmost true. In current scenario, we can also call “Rishis” as ancient scientists who developed shastras like kundalini yoga.

Rishir darshanat( ऋषि दर्शनात् )- Rishi is also one who caan seen the spiritual truth by the great yoga.

There are some other important terms we need to understand:-

i) Maharshi : Maharshi (Mahan Rishi) is a rishi who is very great in his spirituality.

ii) Devarshi: A Rishi of Devata or a deva who is also a rishi. eg:- Narada

iii) Rajarshi: Rajarshi is a king who is so spiritual that he is also like a rishi.

iv) Brahmarishi: Brahmarishi is a rishi who has seen the supreme Spiritual Truth by his divyajyoti. eg: Vasistha, Vishwamitra.

Rahul Kumar- B.Tech (ME), MBA (IIM)

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