A Rishi is much exalted in the pantheon of the Hindu culture, definitely considered worthy of being a Guru, and is further distinguished by being a Storyteller of grand epics. As such they don’t just sit in silence and impart their deep wisdom in loaded sound bites, but are known instead for their talent in wielding lyrical prose and consequently their tales have endured through the millennia. Their feminine equivalent, the Rishika, also finds mention in the Vedic literature, accepted as the world’s oldest, although we use the word Rishi in a gender-neutral way, in as much as “mankind” too is an inclusive term.
A Vedic Rishi
Becoming a Vedic Rishi is a tremendous achievement requiring, of course, deep immersion in the Vedic knowledge systems, embodying that wisdom, and furthermore expressing it with a grand flourish. It is to these exemplars that we owe the grandest of epics such as the Rāmāyana and the Mahābharatha.
A Rishi in all of us
As is usual when we look at the past through rose-colored glasses, we put these exemplars on an unreachable pedestal which makes the Rishi state something out of reach for most mortals. This is tragic because if there is one thing that Yogic Mind Sciences teaches us is that we psychological evolution is available to all of us, no matter in what culture or family we are born.
In fact, we don’t really need to be a master of the specific Vedic knowledge systems in order to become a Rishi. One does need to master the ways of the Mind of course, and certainly the Yogic Mind Sciences are a thorough system by which to do this.
Storytellers of Life
All, or many of us at least, seek control over our lives, and we all have stories to tell, and it is in this vein that we are taking a fresh look at the word ‘Rishi’ - not as some unachievable God-person never again to happen on Earth but quite possible for each of us to realize - provided we do the work and the situation is favorable.
A Rishi at the simplest, most achievable level, just needs to be able to bring out profound, timeless Truths to guide society, and to do this with the precision of Yogic mind sciences, and yet without preaching or moralizing, and setting their story to some exciting theme.
Stars that guide Us
Typically stars in the night sky are named after Rishis, and it may be for all the obvious reasons, such as stars provide navigation/guidance to travelers, or they are inspiring and hence they are a “star” in their own right. Yoga, of course, takes all mental constructs literally, because all physical constructs are felt psychologically in the Mind, so we literally equate Rishis with stars in the night sky, and as such we are psychologically immune to the planetary movements in the Zodiac. With all of this background it throws some light on the well known saying that "our Life is written in the Stars".
How to become a Rishi
Well, that is the whole point of this entire offering, so the basic ideas, and the details, bear repetition until it is firmly drilled into our psyche.
A Rishi’s process of Storytelling, is fundamentally a Yagnya driven by their calling to Self-Actualize their Idealized Self, a task which requires overcoming the identity limiting baggage of Psychic Viruses, and, having successfully done so, telling these tales of superhuman first-hand experiences to rapt audiences.
Obviously, quite a compelling character - and a life purpose that embodies all purposes.
A Rishi’s story is so compelling that typically even Devas come to play their roles in these timeless tales of Dharma. This sounds dramatic, and so other-worldly, but we just have to reflect on our characterization of Devas that these are but psychic intelligence modules that we embody within our own system.
And then as the drama of Life unfolds, the Rishi narrates these ever enduring stories from their first-hand दर्शन Darshan, their Fresh Creative Moment, of having witnessed this cosmic drama of Consciousness.
And moves on to another tale, or another twist in the eternal Tale!
Twists in the Tale
Although it’s not formulaic, after all we are capricious, playful Humans, usually everything goes to plan if the Rishi continues their Yoga practices.
But if they get shaken up, like getting seduced, or intoxicated, or angered, in the midst of such an amazing experience - basically not paying full attention - then the story takes an unpredictable turn.
Then the Rishi consciously injects themselves back into the story, and maybe even impregnate a barren princess or two - in the sense of making a conscious twist to the tale - for Life must go on!
Master of Time
It is thus that Rishis manifest Avatārs, their Idealized Self, and yet don’t stay stuck in one, or even any, manifestation alone.
For Self-Actualization is a continuous journey, an endless Yagnya.
Life’s a Journey
Stories of Avatārs, such as the Rāmāyana, vividly illustrate the journey of an individual through life, and evoke deeper meanings of how the individual’s Ātma, or spiritual essence, progresses on its own journey.
These Tales give us an amazing look into our Life’s Journeys.