The nine principal sages are Marici, Atri, Angira, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrgu, Vasistha and Atharva

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Expressions researched:
"The nine principal rsis" |"sages" |"Marici" |"Atri" |"Angira" |"Pulastya" |"Pulaha" |"Kratu" |"Bhrgu" |"Vasistha" |"Atharva"

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 3

All these ṛṣis are most important, and Brahmā desired that the nine daughters already born of Kardama Muni be handed over to them.
SB 3.24.15, Translation and Purport: Therefore, today please give away your daughters to the foremost of the sages, with due regard for the girls' temperaments and likings, and thereby spread your fame all over the universe.

The nine principal ṛṣis, or sages, are Marīci, Atri, Aṅgirā, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhṛgu, Vasiṣṭha and Atharvā. All these ṛṣis are most important, and Brahmā desired that the nine daughters already born of Kardama Muni be handed over to them. Here two words are used very significantly-yathā-śīlam and yathā-ruci. The daughters should be handed over to the respective ṛṣis, not blindly, but according to the combination of character and taste. That is the art of combining a man and woman. Man and woman should not be united simply on the consideration of sex life. There are many other considerations, especially character and taste. If the taste and character differ between the man and woman, their combination will be unhappy. Even about forty years ago, in Indian marriages, the taste and character of the boy and girl were first of all matched, and then they were allowed to marry. This was done under the direction of the respective parents. The parents used to astrologically determine the character and tastes of the boy and girl, and when they corresponded, the match was selected: "This girl and this boy are just suitable, and they should be married." Other considerations were less important. The same system was also advised in the beginning of the creation by Brahmā: "Your daughters should be handed over to the ṛṣis according to taste and character."

According to astrological calculation, a person is classified according to whether he belongs to the godly or demoniac quality. In that way the spouse was selected. A girl of godly quality should be handed over to a boy of godly quality. A girl of demoniac quality should be handed over to a boy of demoniac quality. Then they will be happy. But if the girl is demoniac and the boy is godly, then the combination is incompatible; they cannot be happy in such a marriage. At the present moment, because boys and girls are not married according to quality and character, most marriages are unhappy, and there is divorce.

It is foretold in the Twelfth Canto of the Bhāgavatam that in this age of Kali married life will be accepted on the consideration of sex only; when the boy and girl are pleased in sex, they get married, and when there is deficiency in sex, they separate. That is not actual marriage, but a combination of men and women like cats and dogs. Therefore, the children produced in the modern age are not exactly human beings. Human beings must be twice-born. A child is first born of a good father and mother, and then he is born again of the spiritual master and the Vedas. The first mother and father bring about his birth into the world; then the spiritual master and the Vedas become his second father and mother. According to the Vedic system of marriage for producing children, every man and woman was enlightened in spiritual knowledge, and at the time of their combination to produce a child, everything was scrutinizingly and scientifically done.
SB 3.24.22-23, Translation: Kardama Muni handed over his daughter Kalā to Marīci, and another daughter, Anasūyā, to Atri. He delivered Śraddhā to Aṅgirā, and Havirbhū to Pulastya. He delivered Gati to Pulaha, the chaste Kriyā to Kratu, Khyāti to Bhṛgu, and Arundhatī to Vasiṣṭha.
Thus Kardama Muni got the foremost brāhmaṇas married, and he maintained them along with their wives.
SB 3.24.24, Translation: He delivered Śānti to Atharvā. Because of Śānti, sacrificial ceremonies are well performed. Thus he got the foremost brāhmaṇas married, and he maintained them along with their wives.
SB 3.24.25, Translation: Thus married, the sages took leave of Kardama and departed full of joy, each for his own hermitage, O Vidura.

SB Canto 4

Kardama Muni begot nine daughters in Devahūti and all the daughters were later handed over to great sages like Marīci, Atri and Vasiṣṭha.
SB 4.1.12, Translation and Purport: You have already been informed about the nine daughters of Kardama Muni, who were handed over to nine different sages. I shall now describe the descendants of those nine daughters. Please hear from me. The Third Canto has already described how Kardama Muni begot nine daughters in Devahūti and how all the daughters were later handed over to great sages like Marīci, Atri and Vasiṣṭha.
SB 4.1.13, Translation: Kardama Muni's daughter Kalā, who was married to Marīci, gave birth to two children, whose names were Kaśyapa and Pūrṇimā. Their descendants are spread all over the world.
Anasūyā, the wife of Atri Muni, gave birth to three very famous sons—Soma, Dattātreya and Durvāsā—who were partial representations of Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā.
SB 4.1.15, Translation and Purport: Anasūyā, the wife of Atri Muni, gave birth to three very famous sons—Soma, Dattātreya and Durvāsā—who were partial representations of Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā. Soma was a partial representation of Lord Brahmā, Dattātreya was a partial representation of Lord Viṣṇu, and Durvāsā was a partial representation of Lord Śiva.

In this verse we find the words ātma-īśa-brahma-sambhavān. Ātma means the Supersoul, or Viṣṇu, īśa means Lord Śiva, and brahma means the four-headed Lord Brahmā. The three sons born of Anasūyā—Dattātreya, Durvāsā and Soma—were born as partial representations of these three demigods. Ātma is not in the category of the demigods or living entities because He is Viṣṇu; therefore He is described as vibhinnāṁśa-bhūtānām. The Supersoul, Viṣṇu, is the seed-giving father of all living entities, including Brahmā and Lord Śiva. Another meaning of the word ātma may be accepted in this way: the principle who is the Supersoul in every ātma, or, one may say, the soul of everyone, became manifested as Dattātreya, because the word aṁśa, part and parcel, is used here.

In Bhagavad-gītā the individual souls are also described as parts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or Supersoul, so why not accept that Dattātreya was one of those parts? Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā are also described here as parts, so why not accept all of them as ordinary individual souls? The answer is that the manifestations of Viṣṇu and those of the ordinary living entities are certainly all parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, and no one is equal to Him, but among the parts and parcels there are different categories. In the Varāha Purāṇa it is nicely explained that some of the parts are svāṁśa and some are vibhinnāṁśa. Vibhinnāṁśa parts are called jīvas, and svāṁśa parts are in the Viṣṇu category. In the jīva category, the vibhinnāṁśa parts and parcels, there are also gradations. That is explained in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, where it is clearly stated that the individual parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord are subject to being covered by the external energy, called illusion, or māyā. Such individual parts and parcels, who can travel to any part of the Lord's creation, are called sarva-gata and are suffering the pangs of material existence. They are proportionately freed from the coverings of ignorance under material existence according to different levels of work and under different influences of the modes of material nature. For example, the sufferings of jīvas situated in the mode of goodness are less than those of jīvas situated in the mode of ignorance. Pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however, is the birthright of all living entities because every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. The consciousness of the Lord is also in the part and parcel, and according to the proportion to which that consciousness is cleared of material dirt, the living entities are differently situated. In the Vedānta-sūtra, the living entities of different gradations are compared to candles or lamps with different candle power. For example, some electric bulbs have the power of one thousand candles, some have the power of five hundred candles, some the power of one hundred candles, some fifty candles, etc., but all electric bulbs have light. Light is present in every bulb, but the gradations of light are different. Similarly, there are gradations of Brahman. The Viṣṇu svāṁśa expansions of the Supreme Lord in different Viṣṇu forms are like lamps, Lord Śiva is also like a lamp, and the supreme candle power, or the one-hundred-percent light, is Kṛṣṇa. The viṣṇu-tattva has ninety-four percent, the śiva-tattva has eighty-four percent, Lord Brahmā has seventy-eight percent, and the living entities are also like Brahmā, but in the conditioned state their power is still more dim. There are gradations of Brahman, and no one can deny this fact. Therefore the words ātmeśa-brahma-sambhavān indicate that Dattātreya was directly part and parcel of Viṣṇu, whereas Durvāsā and Soma were parts and parcels of Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā.
SB 4.1.34, Translation: Aṅgirā's wife, Śraddhā, gave birth to four daughters, named Sinīvālī, Kuhū, Rākā and Anumati.
SB 4.1.35, Translation: Besides these four daughters, she also had another two sons. One of them was known as Utathya, and the other was the learned scholar Bṛhaspati.
SB 4.1.36, Translation: Pulastya begot in his wife, Havirbhū, one son of the name Agastya, who in his next birth became Dahrāgni. Besides him, Pulastya begot another very great and saintly son, whose name was Viśravā.
Gati, the wife of Pulaha, was the fifth daughter of Kardama Muni. She was very faithful to her husband, and all her sons were as good as he.
SB 4.1.38, Translation and Purport: Gati, the wife of the sage Pulaha, gave birth to three sons, named Karmaśreṣṭha, Varīyān and Sahiṣṇu, and all of them were great sages. Gati, the wife of Pulaha, was the fifth daughter of Kardama Muni. She was very faithful to her husband, and all her sons were as good as he.
Kratu's wife, Kriyā, gave birth to sixty thousand great sages, named the Vālakhilyas.
SB 4.1.39, Translation and Purport: Kratu's wife, Kriyā, gave birth to sixty thousand great sages, named the Vālakhilyas. All these sages were greatly advanced in spiritual knowledge, and their bodies were illuminated by such knowledge. Kriyā was the sixth daughter of Kardama Muni, and she produced sixty thousand sages, who were known as the Vālakhilyas because they all retired from family life as vānaprasthas.
SB 4.1.40, Translation: The great sage Vasiṣṭha begot in his wife, Ūrjā, sometimes called Arundhatī, seven spotlessly great sages, headed by the sage named Citraketu.
Citti, wife of the sage Atharvā, gave birth to a son named Aśvaśirā by accepting a great vow called Dadhyañca.
SB 4.1.42, Translation and Purport: Citti, wife of the sage Atharvā, gave birth to a son named Aśvaśirā by accepting a great vow called Dadhyañca. Now you may hear from me about the descendants of the sage Bhṛgu. The wife of Atharvā known as Citti is also known as Sānti. She was the eighth daughter of Kardama Muni.
SB 4.1.43, Translation: The sage Bhṛgu was highly fortunate. In his wife, known as Khyāti, he begot two sons, named Dhātā and Vidhātā, and one daughter, named Śrī, who was very much devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.