Rishi rsi (Sanskrit) An adept, seer, inspired person; in Vedic literature, used for the seers through whom the various mantras or hymns of the Veda were revealed. In later times the rishis were regarded as a particular class of beings, distinct from gods and men, the patriarchs or creators: thus there were the ten maharshis -- the mind-born sons of Prajapati. In the Mahabharata, the seven rishis of the first manvantara are enumerated as Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya, and Vasishtha. In Satapatha-Brahmana the Vedic rishis are named as: Gotama, Bharadvaja, Visvamitra, Jamadagni, Vasishtha, Kasyapa, and Atri. The seven rishis (saptarshis) are especially associated with the constellation of the Great Bear.