Arundhatī, the famous wife of the famous sage Vasiṣṭha, is considered as the paragon of wifely virtues. She was the daughter of Prajāpati Kardama and Devahūti. Atri’s wife Anasūyā was her sister and the sage Kapila, her brother. The ṛṣi Śakti was her son. She was as erudite as her husband and was an ācāryā (preceptor) in her own right.
She is said to exist in the form of a nakṣatra or a star. The ‘Arundhatī-nakṣatra’ is identified as the star Alcor, belonging to the Great Bear group.
It is obligatory for newly married couples to see the Arundhatī nakṣatra. Since it is very dim and scarcely visible, the priest shows the brighter stars nearby and then gradually directs their eyes to the real Arundhatī. This is known as ‘Arundhatī Darśana Nyāya’ or simply as ‘Arundhatī Nyāya.’ It signifies the method of leading from the gross to the subtle, from the known to the unknown, in logic and philosophy.
Arundhatī is also the name of a medicinal plant used to heal serious wounds.