Ranks of Rishis

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There are three ranks of a rishi (sage): Brahmarshi, Maharshi, and Rajarshi. Brahmarshis are rishis that have overcome their senses and passions. There are also devarshis.


  1. Brahmarshis (Brahma rishis): The highest class of rishis are the Brahmarshis. Brahmarshis have gained mastery over their senses and passions. The Saptarishis are flawless perfect Brahmarshis. Brahmarshis also have the highest divine knowledge of the Brahman (Brahmajnana). Some Brahmarshis include Vishwamitra, Vashishta, Kashyapa, Bhrigu, Atri, Angiras, Yagnavalkya, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadwaja.
  2. Maharshis (Maha rishis): Maharshis are the middle class of rishis. They haven’t gained mastery over their senses. Maharshi means great rishi. Some Maharshis include Valmiki, Parasara, the Balakhilyas, Kardama, Achala, and Mrikandu.
  3. Rajarshis (Raja rishis): Rajarshis are the lowest class of rishis. They are rishis who are also kings. They have attained self-realization. Janaka is a perfect example of a rajarshi.


Devarshis are rishis that aren’t Brahmarshis, Maharshis, and Rajarshis. They are celestial sages. They spread the word of Brahmarshis. One Devarshi is Narada.

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