Maharishi Bhrigu was one of the seven great sages, the Saptarshis, one of the many Prajapatis (the facilitators of Creation) created by Brahma Born in ballia. (The God of Creation), the first compiler of predictive astrology, and also the author of Bhrigu Samhita, the astrological (Jyotish) classic. Bhrigu is considered as a Manasa Putra (mind-born-son) of Brahma. The adjectival form of the name, Bhargava, is used to refer to the descendants and the school of Bhrigu. According to Manusmriti, Bhrigu was a compatriot of and lived during the time of Manu, the Hindu progenitor of humanity. Bhrigu had his Ashram (Hermitage) on the Vadhusar River, a tributary of the Drishadwati River near Dhosi Hill in the Vedic state of Brahmavarta, presently on the border of Haryana and Rajasthan in India Along with Manu, Bhrigu had made important contributions to ‘Manusmriti’, which was constituted out of a sermon to a congregation of saints in the state of Brahmavarta, after the great floods in this area, nearly 10,000 years ago. As per Skanda Purana Bhrigu migrated to Bhrigukutch, modern Bharuch on the banks of Narmada river in Gujarat, leaving his son Chyavana at Dhosi Hill.
He was married to Khyati, the daughter of Daksha. They had two sons and one daughter, named Dhata and Vidhata. Their daughter Sri, married Vishnu (Narayana).The sage Chyavana is also said to be his son.
He had one more son with Kavyamata (Usana), who is better known than Bhrigu himself – Shukra, learned sage and guru of the asuras. The sage Chyavana is also said to be his son with Puloma. One of his descendants was sage Jamadagni, who in turn was the father of sage Parshurama, considered an avatar of Vishnu
Bhrigu finds mention in Shiva Purana and Vayu Purana, where he is shown present during the great Yagna of Daksha Prajapati (his father-in-law). He supports the continuation of the Yagna of Daksha even after being warned that without an offering for Shiva, it was asking for a catastrophe for everyone present there.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that among sages, Bhrigu is representative of the opulence of God.
Bhrigu and Places associated with him
Bhrigu’s Ashram ‘Deepotsaka’ was located near Dhosi Hill in Narnaul district in Haryana, from where he migrated to Bharuch. His son Chyawana, known for Chyawanprash also had his Ashram at Dhosi Hill. “Bharuch”, Swami Malai, Tirumala, Ballia, Nanguneri, Thiruneermala, Mannargudi and in most of the South Indian Vishnu temples (as duo with Markendeya Rishi) An Ashram for Bhrigu is in Maruderi, Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu. This place is known as Shri Bhrigu Arul Nilayam The Rohini star of Dhanurmasa is celebrated here. Devotees visiting Maruderi are given Herbal medicine and food during this period.
Khedbrahma in Gujarat is associated with Brahma and Bhrigu ‘s legend of testing Trinity.
Many great sages gathered at the bank of river Sarasvati to participate in Maha yagya organized at that time.Bhrigu maharishi became arrogant and was filled with ahamkara due to his extreme austerities and was consumed with the thought of being superior to all beings.Bhrigu was also present there. All the great saints and sages could not decide that out of the Trinity Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Shiv who is pre-eminent and to whom should they offer Pradhanta (Master) of that yagya. With the consent of all the great saints present there, it was decided that Maharishi Bhrigu will test and decide who was pre-eminent.
Upon being entrusted with the task Maharishi Bhrigu decided to test Lord Brahma first. He went on to see Lord Brahma in Brahmaloka. On reaching Brahmaloka, lord Brahma sensed his arrogance and ignored him. Incensed, Maharishi Bhrigu cursed Lord Brahma that no one will worship Brahma in Kaliyuga. To this day, there are very few temples devoted to Lord Brahma (the notable exception being the Brahma Temple at Pushkar).
Bhrigu then decided to visit Lord Shiva at Kailasa Parvata.Lord Nataraja nad Parvati were performing Tandava and the egoistic Bhrigu cursed Lord Shiva to be only worshipped in Linga form. However, there is a statue form of lord Shiva in Kashi (Maha Mrityunjaya Temple) said to be over 400 years old.
Then, the Maharishi reached Vaikuntha Dhama. He entered the Dhama without Lord Vishnu’s permission and saw that the Lord was engaged in Yoga nidra at that time.Mahavishnu obviously was aware of Bhrigu’s presence but he wanted to teach Bhrigu a lesson in humility and devotion and continued to feign Yoga nidra. Maharishi asked him to wake up, but the divine lord was in deep sleep. On seeing no reaction from Lord, Maharishi stamped Lord Vishnu on his vaksha-sthala (chest). Lord Vishnu awoke after that and asked him, “Maharishi, are you hurt in your foot? My chest is strong but your foot is not so strong.Let me press thy tender feet” Bhrigu had an extra eye on the sole of his leg due to his penance and severe tapasya.While Vishnu was pressing his feet he purposely pressed the eye and at once Bhrigu realised his egotistical outbursts and ahamkara for even daring to test Trimurti. In extreme pain, he realised his grave folly and begged forgiveness with utmost devotion from the compassionate lord. Vishnu was pleased with his sincerity and blessed him. Thus Bhrigu declared Vishnu( symbolic of satva guna) superior amongst Trimurti.
This incident later led to Venkateshwara mahatmya during kali yuga.
After the incident of testing of trinity, Maharishi Bhrigu decided to write his famous book of astrology, the Bhrigu Samhita, to help Brahmins earn their living. Maharishi Bhrigu collected birth charts, wrote full-life predictions and compiled them together as Bhrigu Samhita. Bhrigu Samhita is believed to be the first book of its kind in the field of astrology. A few parts of Bhrigu Samhita have survived the wear of time and are still available in Hoshiarpur, Punjab.