The Kashi Sapta Rishi Yatra is considered to be as sacrosanct as the Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra. According to the Kashi Khanda in the Skanda Purana, the exemplary Sapta Rishis descended on the ancient city of Kashi after the Supreme Being manifested Itself as the dazzling Jyotirlinga of Kashi Vishwanath.
The eternal Sapta Rishis are Atri, Marichi, Pulaha, Pulastya, Angiras, Vashistha and Kratu, who in ancient Indian and modern astronomy are the asterism of the Big Dipper called Saptarishi mandalam. A pious man should visit the seven shrines of the Sapta Rishi Yatra namely Atrishvara, Marichishvara, Pulaheshvara, Pulastyeshvara, Angiraseshvara, Vashishtheshvara and Kritavishvara.
Each and every one of these divine shrines have a Shiva Linga consecrated by that respective Rishi and derives its name from the Rishi. Angiras Rishi spent a great deal of time in meditation in the holy city of Benares to have darshan of Lord Shiva. He was overcome with joy when he was blessed with the radiant form of Lord Maheshwar.
He then consecrated a Shiva Linga in the sanctum sanctorum in honour of Lord Bholenath which came to be called Angiraseshvara. The Sapta Rishi Yatra will help a man to overcome sorrow, attain knowledge and rid him and his lineage of sins.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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