Aptitude of a Rishi

Hindu Gurus and Rishi but who has authority

In Hinduism, we have a great tradition of Rishis, Muni, Guru, Acharya ect. But how are their Authority and their “Apta”, attribute to be known by a student or by lay persons, how and according to what criteria are our sages and munis judged to be reliable?

What makes a Apta rishi an Apta, Apta meaning something akin to aptitude, or confirmation/proof of a persons knowledge about certain things, what in our tradition is given as a guide/standard/minimum requirements to discriminate the learned from the un-learned?

What does your specific Samprada/Darshan have as a standard almost of a Rishi/Guru/Acharya ect?

I personally think that there are many instances where some sort of criteria or character standard is provided to at least give us a basic idea of whom one can consider reliable, or whos Shbda can be considered as a valid means of attaining knowledge. 

This question is a typical Arjun question, this is what Arjun asked Yog Raj Shri Krishna in the Gita, which is what im asking as well.

54. What, O Krishna, is the description of him who has steady wisdom and is merged in the

Superconscious State? How does one of steady wisdom speak? How does he sit? How does he


The answer given was;

55. When a man completely casts off, O Arjuna, all the desires of the mind and is satisfied in

the Self by the Self, then is he said to be one of steady wisdom!

56. He whose mind is not shaken by adversity, who does not hanker after pleasures, and who

is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.

57. He who is everywhere without attachment, on meeting with anything good or bad, who

neither rejoices nor hates, his wisdom is fixed.

Now obviously there is more slokas to this, but what do other texts say, or at least is there a consistent view among the ancient/modern writers. here are some more examples, and i would appreciate more from others.


Nirukta.says in 1-91.

The original seers were men of realisation who saw or perfectly

understood’ the Dharma. They taught it to those who themselves had not

realized it or were not inspired persons.

In Nirukta 2-11 Yaskacharya says –

The Rishis are seers of the Mantras. The word Rishi means Drashta.

Opaomanyava Acharya is of opinion that those who by austerities, realised

the Yedic-hymns were called Rishis.”

Bhartihari Niti Sataka.

Of the Character of the Good

62. A desire for the society of the good :

love for the virtues of others : reverence for

priests and teachers : diligence in acquiring

wisdom : love for their wives : fear of the

world’s reproaches : reverence for Siva :

self-control and no acquaintance with evil

men—wherever we find men with virtues

like these, they are invariably held in high


62,. Firmness in adversity; self-control

in prosperity : eloquence in debate : valour

in war : desire for glory : knowledge of the

sacred writings : such are the characteristics

of the virtuous.

64. Private generosity; ungrudged hospitality

to strangers : abstinence from speaking

in public about one’s good deeds :

openly proclaiming the benefits received

from others : humility in prosperity, and

respect for one’s fellows—this is a sacred

doctrine taught by the good, though

adherence to it may be as difficult as the

attempt to stand on the edge of a sword.

65. (There are sufficient inward adornments

adequate for the man of noble mind

without the necessity for a more evident

display—liberality for his hand; reverence

towards the priesthood for his head; true

speech for his mouth : power for his arms

happiness for his heart ; and the holy Vedas,

properly understood, for his ears.

Yaksha Prashna Mahabharatta.

The Yaksha asked, ‘By what doth one

become learned? By what doth he attain 

what is very great? How can one have a

second? And, O king, how can one acquire


Yudhishthira answered, ‘It is by the (study

of the) Srutis that a person becometh

learned; it is by ascetic austerities that one

acquireth what is very great: it is by

intelligence that a person acquireth a second

and it is by serving the old that one

becometh wise.

Vidura Niti Mahabharatta

These again are the marks of a wise man,

viz., adherence to acts, worthy of praise and

rejection of what is blamable, faith, and


He whom neither anger nor joy, nor pride,

nor false modesty, nor stupefaction, nor

vanity, can draw away from the high ends of

life, is considered as wise.

The Tirukkural On knowledge

True knowledge is an inner fortification that enemies cannot destroy, and is the ultimate impregnable defence.

True knowledge controls thought and conduct and keeps both away from evil, and helps one to keep in the right path.

True knowledge enables one to understand the true import of things from whomsoever one learns them and not to be misled by the circumstances in which they appear.

It finds easy and convincing expression for one’s own thoughts, and enables one to grasp the essence of what is said by others, be it however complicated.

Knowledge befriends the world. It fosters a spirit of equanimity saving one from both excitement and depression.

The man of True Knowledge understands how the world moves, and moves accordingly.

Even in the Karma Sutra, Vatsyana advises all to study and gain different kinds of Knowledge, the Sad Darshan all have their own Parmanas, even Budhism and Jainism have means of attaining knowledge.

What more examples are available, and how important is Knowledge/Wisdom to Hinduism in general


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