This picture shows two different views of the constellation, The Big Dipper. The upper image is what we see from Earth and the lower from a different location in space.
The seven Rishis
According to the epic Mahabharata, composed after the Rig Veda in about 500
B.C., the stars of the Big Dipper
were the seven sages called
Rishis. These seven sages are said to be those who made the Sun
rise and shine. They were happily married to seven sisters named Krttika
originally all lived together in the northern sky.
But one day, the god of fire, Agni, emerged from the flames of a sacrificial offering performed by the seven Rishis and immediately fell in love with the seven Krttika. Trying to forget his hopeless love for the Krttika, Agni wandered in the forest where he met Svaha, the star Zeta Tauri. Svaha was at once infatuated with Agni.
To conquer Agni's love, Svaha disguised herself as six of the seven Krttika. For six times, Svaha made love to Agni who believed that he had conquered
the attractive wives of the seven Rishis. Svaha could mimic only six of
the Krttika because the seventh sister, Arundhati, was too devoted to her
husband to be imitated. After a while, Svaha gave birth to a child that she
named Skanda. With his birth, rumors began to spread that six of the
Rishis' wives were his mother.
Six of the Rishis divorced their wives. Arundhati was the only one that remained with her husband as the star Alcor. The other six Krttika went away to become the Pleiades.
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