Sage Pippalada: Life and Legends

Sage Pippalada: Life and Legends

Sage Pippalada is a revered figure in Hindu tradition, known for his wisdom, teachings, and the Prashna Upanishad. His life is intertwined with various myths and stories that shed light on his birth, vendetta, and marriage. In this article, we will explore the multifaceted life of Sage Pippalada, breaking it down into several key aspects.



Sage Pippalada’s origin is shrouded in mystery, with two distinct accounts of his birth. In one version, he is born to the sage Dadhichi and Suvarcas, a mother who defied death to bring him into the world. In another intriguing account, Pippalada’s birth is the result of an accidental insemination involving the renowned hermit Yajnavalkya and his sister, Kamsari. These stories highlight the divine circumstances of his birth and his unique upbringing.

Early Life and Nourishment

After his unusual birth, Pippalada’s early life is equally remarkable. He is sustained by the amritam offered by a banyan tree, which is provided by Chandra (the moon). This divine nourishment plays a crucial role in shaping his destiny as a sage and philosopher. This section delves into the mystical aspects of his upbringing.

Encounter with Celestial Beings

Narada, a prominent figure in Hindu mythology, plays a significant role in Pippalada’s life. He discovers the young sage and reveals Pippalada’s divine purpose as an incarnation of Brihaspati, tasked with preaching the Atharvaveda. This encounter sets the stage for Pippalada’s spiritual journey and his interactions with other celestial beings.


One of the most intriguing aspects of Sage Pippalada’s life is his vendetta against the devas (deities). In the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, we learn about Pippalada’s fierce penance to Lord Shiva, seeking the destruction of the devas in retaliation for his parents’ sacrifices. However, when Pippalada gains the power to see Shiva’s third eye, an unexpected turn of events occurs, leading to a confrontation with a mare-like asura. This section explores the complex emotions and decisions that define this phase of Pippalada’s life.

Resolution and Reconciliation

Under the guidance of Lord Brahma and the wisdom gained through his experiences, Sage Pippalada eventually reaches a point of reconciliation. He realizes that seeking revenge against the devas will not bring back his parents and that there are higher spiritual truths to be discovered. Pippalada’s journey towards resolution and understanding is a testament to the transformative power of wisdom and introspection.

Marriage and Devotion

In the Shiva Purana, another captivating aspect of Sage Pippalada’s life unfolds as he encounters Princess Padma. Consumed by lust, Pippalada demands her hand in marriage from her father, King Anaranya. This section explores the dynamics of their union, highlighting Padma’s unwavering devotion and virtue, even in the face of challenges.

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