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Chyavana was a rishi in Hindu mythology. He was son of Bhrigu and is known for his rejuvenation through a special herbal paste known as Chyawanprash, which was first prepared for him some 10,000 years ago.

rishi chyavana
Sharyati was a pious and learned king. His daughter, Sukanya, was known for her beauty with eyes like lotus flowers. Once, the king went out on a hunting expedition to the forests. He took his daughter Sukanya and her attendants along. They stumbled upon the ashram of the powerful Rishi Chyavana. The ashrams of the Rishis always had a calm and serene ambience around them. So the king, his daughter and their attendants camped there, and were enjoying the calm and quiet surroundings of the ashram. The ashram was surrounded by huge trees, which provided good shade and fruits. There was a stream with clear water running close to the ashram which was very refreshing for the king's attendants. Sukanya was plucking flowers from the bushes in the forest along with her attendants. She played games and danced with her friends. While all this fun was going on, Sukanya noticed two streaks of light, glowing from an ant hill. The light reminded her of glow worms. Her curiosity grew and her childishness got the better of her. She took a twig and poked the ant hill. She was shocked to see that blood was oozing out of that. King Sharyati's men felt that their secretions had stopped and could not perform their natural functions any more. The king realized that the Rishi had been disturbed.

At the same time Sukanya, guilty about what she had done to the Rishi, came up to her father. The king was very upset about what Sukanya had done. He went looking for the Rishi and found him sitting inside the ant hill. The ant hill was actually built around the Rishi as he sat in penance. The king went up to the Rishi, who was very angry that his penance was disturbed, and fell at his feet and apologized to him. As compensation, the king offered his daughter's hand in marriage to the Rishi. Sukanya was sorry about what she had done and decided to marry the Rishi and serve him dutifully as a wife. The sage forgave the king and Sukanya and accepted her as his wife. Sukanya served the Rishi very faithfully and took care in satisfying all his needs. Her husband was very pleased with her. One day the Ashwini twins visited Chyavana's hermitage. They were celestial physicians who knew the secret of eternal youth. Chyavana, the Rishi, was now old and haggard, with white hair, wrinkled and bent with age. He pleaded with the Ashwini twins to return his youth. He offered to get them a cup of soma juice from the sacrificial offerings.

rishi chyavana
The Ashwini twins had always been refused soma juice from the sacrificial offerings. So they agreed to restore the youthfulness of Chyavana. They took the old Rishi to a lake which had been prepared by Sidhas. The lake was filled with medicinal powers. The three of them took a plunge into the lake and were transformed into three handsome youths with lotus garlands around their necks, and they wore gold jewels and silk robes. However Sukanya was faced with a problem. All the three of them looked alike. She could not identify her husband. Since she was a true wife, she couldn't call out her husband's name. She wondered how to identify her husband. Then she realized that if she identifies the Ashwini twins, the only person left would be her husband. So she called out to the twins and asked them to identify themselves. And when they did, she knew that the other youth was her Chyavana. They were pleased with her chasitity and purity. So they blessed her and left in their celestial chariots towards the heavens. Chyavana was very happy that he had been restored with youthfulness and vitality to match his beautiful young wife.

Days went by happily for the couple. One day, King Sharyati went to visit his daughter at the ashrama. He was shocked and angered to see his daughter sitting beside a young man. He scolded her in anger. He said that she should not have left her saintly husband because he was an old man. He told her that she had shamed her family. The innocent Sukanya was shocked for a moment and then realized that her father had not known about Chyavana regaining his youth. Then she narrated the story to her father and he was overjoyed that his daughter had been married to a handsome young man. He blessed the couple. Sukanya requested her father to conduct a soma sacrifice. He obliged and then gave the soma juice to the Ashwini twins.

Indra was so angered by this, that he picked up his vajra to hurl it down at the Rishi. But Chyavana had gained a lot of ascetic power and merit through his rigorous penance, and he paralyzed the hands of Indra. The devas pleaded with him, to restore the hands of their king. They promised that henceforth, the Aswini Kumaras would get their share of soma juice in all sacrifices, for all times to come. And so it came about that both the Aswini Kumaras and the rishi Chyavana were able to fulfill their parts in the agreement.