Question: SB 3.12.23 points out that Vasistha was born out of the breathing of Lord Brahma.
In the Ayodhya yatra, we heard that Vasistha was born from the combination of Varuna and Urvasi (as a result of his attraction).
Is this attributed to kalpa-bheda that you have reiterated throughout the yatra? Or, are there multiple personalities of the name Vasistha?
Answer by Romapada Swami: The Vasistha born out of the breathing of Lord Brahma was born in the manvantara of Svayumbhuva Manu. In the current manvantara of Vaivasvata Manu (Sraddhadeva), there arose an argument between Nimi, son of Ikshvaku and his spiritual master Vasishtha which resulted in the cursing and counter-cursing between Nimi and Vasistha. As a result, Vaishtha left his body and was born again as the son of Varuna.
You are correct, the 2nd birth of Vasistha was narrated in the Ayodhya Yatra much like you find below, from SB 9.13:
– Text 1:
– Srila Sukadeva Gosvami said: After beginning sacrifices, Maharaja Nimi, the son of Iksvaku, requested the great sage Vasistha to take the post of chief priest. At that time, Vasistha replied, “My dear Maharaja Nimi, I have already accepted the same post in a sacrifice begun by Lord Indra.”
– Text 2:
– “I shall return here, after finishing the yajna for Indra. Kindly wait for me until then.” Maharaja Nimi remained silent, and Vasistha began to perform the sacrifice for Lord Indra.
– Text 3:
– Maharaja Nimi, being a self-realized soul, considered that this life is flickering. Therefore, instead of waiting long for Vasistha, he began performing the sacrifice with other priests.
– Text 4:
– After completing the sacrificial performance for King Indra, the spiritual master Vasistha returned and found that his disciple Maharaja Nimi had disobeyed his instructions. Thus Vasistha cursed him, saying, “May the material body of Nimi, who considers himself learned, immediately fall.”
– Text 5:
– For unnecessarily cursing him when he had committed no offense,Maharaja Nimi countercursed his spiritual master. “For the sake of getting contributions from the King of heaven,” he said, “you have lost your religious intelligence. Therefore I pronounce this curse: your body also will fall.”
– Text 6:
– After saying this, Maharaja Nimi, who was expert in the science of spiritual knowledge, gave up his body. Vasistha, the great-grandfather, gave up his body also, but through the semen discharged by Mitra and Varuna when they saw Urvasi, he was born again.