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Vasishta was a great ascetic. He was the preceptor of great men like Sri Rama and Harischandra. He had conquered anger and desire. He was a great saint who humbled insolent men. As a preceptor he imparted knowledge and became a guide to thousands of aspirants., he was householder. He was married Arundhati. Arundhati is famous for virtues and devotion to her husband .
Vasishta had his hermitage on the banks of the river Saraswati. Arundhati spent all her time in the service of husband. He had with him thousand of disciples and taught them he Vedas.
Vasishta was affectionately addressed by his disciples as Kulapati or chiefpreceptor. In those days a teacher who fed and taught at least ten thousand students was called Kulapati. Vasishta's daily routine was to teach his disciples, to preach dharma to the visitors and to practise tapas or austerities.
There was an atmosphere of peace in the hermitage. The plants and trees were full of flowers and fruits. A variety of birds sang and flew about in the hermitage. Herds of deer and cows lived there. There was regular performance of several holy sacrifices for the good of the world. Several Hundreds of visitors used to come to the hermitage to meet Vasishta. The merit earneds by the performance of tapas was Vasishta's great strength.
He was a man of peace. He had conquered desire and anger. His Ashram needed great quantities of milk, curds and ghee for the feeding of thousands of his disciples, guests and performance of sacrifices regularly. Devendra had gifted to Vasishta a divine cow, having admired his generosity and performance of sacrifices. The cow was called Nandini. She was the daughter of Kamadhenu. Since it was a divine cow it had extra ordinary powers. The Ashram got plenty of milk and ghee from this cow. Since it had moonlike patches all over the body, it was also called 'Shabala.' The word mean many-coloured. Vasishta and Arundha were very fond of Nandini.