Dowson's Classical Dictionary
of Hindu Mythology] The
reputed Rishi of many hymns in the second Mandala of the Rigveda. According
to the Vishnu Purana he was a Kshatriya and son of Sunahotra, being
descended from Pururavas of the Lunar race. From him sprang Saunaka,
the eminent sage versed in the Rigveda "who originated
the system of four castes." The Vayu Purana makes Sunaka to be the son of Gritsamada,
and Saunaka the son of Sunaka: this seems probable. "It is related of him by
Sayana that he was first a member of the family of Angiras, being the son of
Sunahotra. He was carried off by the Asuras whilst performing a sacrifice,
but was rescued by Indra, under whose authority he was henceforth designated
as Gritsamada, the son of Sunaka or Saunaka of the race of Bhrigu. Thus the
Anukramanika says of him: He who was an Angirasa, the son of Sunahotra, became
Saunaka of the race of Bhrigu." According to the Mahabharata, he was son of
Vitahavya, a king of the Haihayas, a Kshatriya, who became of Brahman. (See
Vitahavya.) The Mahabharata alludes to a legend of his having assumed the
semblance of Indra, and so enabled that deity to escape from the Asuras, who
were lying in wait to destroy him. There are several versions of the story,
but they all agree that after Indra had escaped Gritsamada saved himself by
reciting a hymn in which he showed that Indra was a different person.
Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D.
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October 16, 2007 12:22 PM