Asita (the dark one) also called Devala, was a sage well-versed in yoga. He was the elder brother of sage Dhaumya and an expert in sarpavidyā (science of snakes). Hence those afflicted with the fear of snakes are advised to remember him. Through his grace, they can overcome that fear. He is said to have become a disciple of Jaigīṣavya, who once visited his hermitage and exhibited his extra-ordinary powers. He is one of the sages through whom the Mahābhārata was spread among the people.

Ekaparṇā, the daughter of Himavān (the Himālayas) was his spouse.