Bharadvāja (also Bhāradvāja) is the name of a sage that occurs often in the Hindu scriptures. The several Bharadvājas we come across there are obviously different persons. There is one Bharadvāja-Bārhaspatya who is the seer of several hymns of the Ṛgveda (Maṇḍala 6). He is probably the same as Bharadvāja, son of Bṛhaspati and the father of the well-known Droṇācārya of the Mahābhārata.
The Rāmāyaṇa mentions one Bhara-dvāja, a disciple of Vālmīki, who lived in Prayāga (Allahabad). It was at his instance that Rāma chose to stay at Citrakūṭa. While returning from Laṅkā, Rāma stayed back at his hermitage and sent the information of his coming, through Hanumān, to Bharata.
Bharadvāja is sometimes counted among the seven sages known as ‘gotra-pravartakas’ or the originators of the gotra (lineage). His descendants thus became Bhāradvājas.
Two works attributed to a Bharadvāja are available now: Bharadvāja Śrauta-sūtras and Bharadvāja Gṛhyasūtras. The extant manuscript of the former consists of nine praśnas (sections) and part of the tenth. Passages from the latter have been quoted by other dharmaśāstra writers.
The Arthaśāstra of Kauṭilya cites the views of a Bharadvāja seven times and of Kaṇiṅka Bharadvāja once. Not much is known of them or their works now.