Arundhati was the wife of the Rishi Vasishtha and one of the nine daughters of Prajapati by his wife Devahuti. Along with her husband, she is one of the mythical seven rishis, for whom the seven stars of the Great Bear or Pleiades are named. Vasishtha is the middle of the three stars that form the tail. Arundhati is the small faint star (Alcor) beside it. Arundhati is considered the paragon of wifely faithfulness. In the Hindu marriage rites, after the main ceremony and after the marriage meal, the priest takes the couple outside and points out the star Arundhati to the bride.
   Further reading: Abbé J. A. Dubois, Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies. Translated from the French by Henry K. Beauchamp (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959); Alfred Hillebrandt, Vedic Mythology, 2 vols. (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1990); E. Washburn Hopkins, Epic Mythology (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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