Vasishta, mercy incarnate taught Bhishma Vedas, Vedangas and all the shstras. Bhishma became a great scholarand a righteous man. Later at the end of the Mahabharatha war, he preached dharma to Dharmarya, the eldest ofthe Pandavas. Vasishta's curse resulted in the welfare of the world.
Sage Vasishta was the royal priest not only to the kings of solar clan, but also to the kings of lunar clan almostat the same time. King Samvarana, a descendant of Bharatha once lost everything in a battle. He was righteousand quite handsome. He was a man of great conviction. He had great consistency in pursuing a purpose. He acceptedVasishta as his royal priest. He acted according to the advice given by the sage and regained his lost kingdom. Once king Samvarana went hunting. He chanced to meet a beautiful maiden and fell in love with her. She was Taptithe daughter of the dun-god. Tapti loved the handsome king.
His love for her was so great that we wanted to marry Tapti immediately and he suggested to her that they should get married then and there in the gandharva way. Tapti said,"I am a maiden. I am not free to take decision onmy own in this regard. I have to ask my father, the sun-god. If the consents I have no objection. We can marryright now only if my father agrees."
Samvarna loved Tapti so much that he went on a fast and prayed to Surva Deva for twelve days. when Vasishta cameto know about the object of his tapas, he went upwards to get Tapti. He reached the palace of Surva Deva.
As Vasishta was equal to him in radiance Surya Deva welcomed him and made obeisance to him and then Vasishta toldhim about Samvarana's love for Tapathi. Surya Deva gladly agreed to the proposal and the marriage was celebratedunder Vasishta's guidance. Later Samvarana and Tapathi were blessed with a son who later became famous as Kuru.He was the founder of the Kuruline and words such as Kurukshetra and kaurava became common.
Once when Vasishta was in deep meditation, the entire group of devas came and stood before him and said,"Brahman,we cannot withstand the troubles given to us by the rakshasas. We have been suffering badly and our beloved heavenhas become terrible hell for us"Then Devendra stepped forward and said,"O great tapasvi, demon Vrithrasura has beencausing havoc in heaven. As we have taken Yajnadeeksha we are weak and we cannot defeat them and you have toprotect us."
Vasishta's heart melted when he heard about Devendra's plight. If the devas were not protected, the entire naturewould be in danger of being destroyed and demons would become the rulers of the world.
Vasishta joined the devas in their yajna and it continued. The terrible demons called Khalis came with their strongfores to fight the devas. There ensured a bloody battle between the two parties. Seeing that the devas were losing,Lord Vishnu took the form Shipivishta and entered the battlefield wielding deadly weapons.
Near the battlefeild there was a lake blessed by lord Brahma. When the dead soldiers were dipped in its water theycame to life and resumed fighting. This made the rakshasas stronger. vrithra began to torture Devendra with hispower of magic and maya. Devendra could not face the demon.
At that point sage Vasishta chanted a poerful mantra called Rathantura from Samveda and increased Devendra'sstrength a hundered-fold. With the blessings and encouragement from Vasishta, Devendra was able to kill Vrithra.The demons called Khalis came out of the lake and began to fight with renewed vigour. The devas appeared to be losing and the demons were about to celebrate a great victory.
Seeing the devas in a miserable plight Vasishta stood up and shouted, "Devas do not get disheartened". Promisingthus he put all the power of his tapas into his eyes and started at the demon force. All the Khalis were reducedto ashes. Then in order to purify the water of the lake, he made the Ganga flow over it and this resulted in lake break into two parts and one began to flow and that part came to be called Sarayu. The place where the Khalis werekilled came to called the land of Khalina.
The power of vasishta's tapas not only saved the devas but also destroyed the demon force and thus made heaven andearth safer places to live. Just to show their gratitude to the sage the devas offered Nandini, the divine cowof heaven which could grant whatever its possessor wished for, as a gift to sage Vasishta. This way Vasishta'sgreat strength of his tapas to be the saviour of the world.
Then peace prevailed in the world and vasihta resumed the dual duties of a rishi namely doing tapas and protectingdharma in the world. He also began to teach. He was the chancellor and more than ten thousand students were taught,fed and given shelter. Vedas, Vedangas, Shastras and righteous conduct were the subjects dealt with in his gurukula.It was on one of those days that the king of Videha, Kuralajanaka came to the ashram and made obeisance to thesage and offered him arghya, padya and others. Then he asked,"O great sage, may I beg you to let me know thegreatest principal truth that one should learn? Please teach me that truth which is enunciated in the Vedas".
In reply sage said," O great king I really appretiate your eagerness to know the truth. Real truth will be revealedonly by the teachings of a teacher when one frees himself from all the passions and worldly desires. One willnot get it from books." So saying he explained in detail the brahmatava which a seeker should know. As a result of getting this brahmajnana, king Janaka attained salvation while living and was able to have the darshan ofGod, the Almighty.