Kashyapa was an ancient sage (rishi) who is counted as one of the Saptarishis in the present manvantara (the others are Atri, Vashistha, Vishvamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja and Gautama Maharishi).
Kashyapa is also mentioned as one of the Prajapatis in the Mahabharata.
Kashyapa is the claimed author of the treatise Kashyap Samhita, or Jivakiya Tantra, which is considered a classical reference book on Ayurveda especially in the fields of Ayurvedic pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics.
Wives of Kashyapa
The Prajapati Daksha gave his thirteen daughters (Aditi, Diti, Kadru, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavasha, Ida, Vishva and Muni) in marriage to Kashyapa.
Kashyapa is a manasputra (wish-born-son) of Lord Brahma. However, according to [Rama:1.70.20], he is the grandson of Lord Brahma, being the son of Marichi, a wish born son of Lord Brahma. Kashyapa had many wives, most of them the daughters of Daksha prajapathi. His wives (who are daughters of Daksha) are : Aditi mother of the Devas, Diti the mother of the Daityas, Arishta, the mother of the Gandharvas, Kadru, the mother of the Nagas (snakes), Vinata the mother of Aruna (Charioter of Lord Surya’s chariot-time right before sunrise) and Garuda, Danu the mother of the Danavas (who are generally considered part of the Asuras), Kalaka the mother of the monster Kalkanja, Khasa, the mother of the Yakshas, Krodhavasa the mother of the Pishachas (flesh eating monsters), Muni the mother of Maumeya, Puloma the mother of the monster Pauloma, Somathi the mother of Sumathi (who married Sagara).
In addition, to the daughters of Daksha, he also married Syeni who had a son (a great bird) named Jatayu, and Unmathi who had a son (also a great bird) called Sampati. Vali and Sugreeva are also said to be the sons of Kashyapa. He also had a wife named Surabhi, who gave birth to the Rudras and a wife named Rohini, who gave birth to the cattle.
Children of Kashyapa
Kashyapa was the father of the devas, asuras, nagas and all of the humanity. He married Aditi, with whom he fathered Agni, the Adityas, and most importantly Lord Vishnu took his fifth Avatar as Vamana, the son of Aditi, in the seventh Manvantara. With his second wife, Diti, he begot the Daityas. Diti and Aditi were daughters of King Daksha Prajapati and sisters to Sati, Shiva’s consort. Kashyapa received the earth, obtained by Parashurama’s conquest of King Kartavirya Arjuna and Kshatriyas henceforth, earth came to be known as “Kashyapai”.
His sons from Diti were Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha and a daughter Sinhika, who later became the wife of Viprachitti. Hiranyakashipu had four sons, Anuhlada, Hlada, Prahlada, and Sanhlada, who further extended the Daityas.
1- Garuda and Aruna are the sons of Kashyapa from his wife Vinata.
2- The Nagas (serpents) are his sons from Kadru and Surasa.
3- The Danavas are his sons from Danu.
4- The Bhagavata Purana states that the Apsaras were born from Kashyapa and Muni.
5- Uttar Ramayana says Diti had a son named Maya who was the lord of Daityas.
In the family line of Kashyapa, along with him, there are two more discoverers of Mantras: his sons Avatsara and Asita. Two sons of Avatsara, Nidhruva and Rebha, are also Mantra-seers. In the Manvantara period named ‘Svarochisha’, Kashyapa was one of the seven sages (saptarishi) for that manvantara.
The Indian valley of Kashmir in the Himalayas is named after him.