Vrihaspati (or BRIHASPATI, from brih, "'hymn" or "prayer," and pati, "protector" or "lord"), in Vedic mythology, is the guardian of the hymns or prayers of the pious addressed to the gods. He is "the first-born in highest heaven of supreme light," because the prayers reach him first; he is "seven-faced," because his faces are the seven Vedic meters; and "represents all gods," when the sacrifice is performed. He is therefore sometimes identified with Agni. He is represented as a priest of the gods, who himself celebrates worship and imparts instruction. In the epic and Puranic mythology he is represented as preceptor of the gods and Risllis. He also appears as regent of the planet Jupiter; and in the ceremonies performed in honor of the planets described in the Puranas, a special worship is paid him in this capacity. See Chambers's Encyclopedia, s.v.

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