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See also: Rishi and rìshí


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From Sanskrit ऋषि (ṛ́ṣi), of Common Indo-Iranian source (cognate with Avestan 𐬆𐬭𐬆𐬴𐬌𐬴 (ǝrǝšiš, seer)), probably formed from verbal root to flow, pour (√ṛṣ).


rishi (plural rishis)

  1. A Vedic poet and seer who composed Rigvedic hymns, who alone or with others invokes the deities with poetry of a sacred character.
    • 2006, Karen Armstrong, The Great Transformation, Atlantic Books 2007, p. 25:
      The rishi asked one unfathomable question after another, until both he and his audience were reduced to the silence of unknowing.
  2. (post-Vedic) A Hindu sage or saint occupying the same position in India history as the patriarchs of other countries, constituting a peculiar class of beings in the early mythical system, as distinct from Asuras, Devas and mortal men.
    • 2005, Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown, Vintage 2006, p. 25:
      In the beginning Max had no idea she was even a film actress, this girl with the skin the colour of scorched earth, the well-concealed body and the demure manner of a disciple walking in the footsteps of a great rishi.





  1. Rōmaji transcription of りし
  2. Rōmaji transcription of リシ