Updated: Dec 5, 2018
His full name in Vedic texts is Bharadvaja Barhaspatya, the last name referring to his father and Vedic sage Brihaspati. His mother was Utathya. He is one of the seven rishis mentioned four times in the Rigveda as well as in the Shatapatha Brahmana, thereafter revered in the Mahabharata and the Puranas. In later Puranic legends, he is stated to be the son of Vedic sage Arti. "An episode found in the Kaataka portion of the Taittiriya sakha of Yajur Veda would be of interest: Bharadwaja was so much concentrating in studying the vedas that even as the life was coming to an end he was still continuing with his studies. Indra, the Lord appeared before him and reminded him that it was almost the end of his life. He told Bharadwaj, “Bharadwaja!! If I give you another human life what would you like to do?” Back came the reply, “I will study the Vedas further”. Upon that, the Lord asked him to look at the three huge mountains the Lord created and took out from each one of them a handful of earth and placed them before Bharadwaja and said, “These mountains represent the three vedas and the three handfuls of dirt in front of you represent the vedas you have studied so far. You see the vedas are innumerable and infinite (ananta vai vedaH) and any number of births would not be sufficient to exhaust all the vedas. You try to understand the essence of the vedas, the source of all the Universe, the Brahman.” And Bharadwaja became a greatspiritual teacher of the vedas. Again many families carry the Bharadwaja name" (from Srivatsa Ramaswami's Dec 2012 newsletter). He was a dedicated learner, no wonder that Indra choose him to pass on the knowledge in the ancient Hindu medical treatise Charaka Samhita, after pleading that "poor health was disrupting the ability of human beings from pursuing their spiritual journey". Indra provides both the method and specifics of medical knowledge. The word Bharadvaja is a compound Sanskrit from "bhara(d) and vaja(m)", which together mean "bringing about nourishment" and if we consider that he is the “founder” of Ayurveda his name is speaking a lot. Bharadvajrasana is a twisting posture with all its numerous benefits to nourish the body and on a subtle level:
by effecting Samana Vata: helps generating inner flexibility and the spirit of discernment, mastering the art of finding balance.
by effecting Pachaka Pitta: facilitates proper mental assimilation, mastering the fine art of discrimination.
by effecting Kledaka Kapha: helps creating the ability of assimilating emotions before effusing them, mastering the art of fluidity.
Bharadvajra teaches us to nourish the body and educate the mind, but doing so without getting too much lost in the details, which would lead to discouragement.