The sages are divided into several categories based on their purpose. Devarishis (celestial sages) have obtained complete knowledge and union with the universe. They are able to leave their bodies to join the spiritual world. Brahmarishis (priest sages) also have total understanding, but stay on Earth to serve humanity. Rajarishis (king sages) are the sages who serve as great leaders or royal saints. Maharishis (great sages) are the great sages including those who wrote the scriptures and hymns.
Some of the ancient sages include:
- Patanjali, who is considered by many to be the founding father of yoga. He believed the control of prana was a way to control the body, mind and soul. He is also the author of the Yoga Sutras.
- Vatsyayana was a Hindu philosopher who is thought to be the author of the "Kama Sutra."
- Valmiki who was the author of the Hindu epic poem, the "Ramayana."
- Vyasa who compiled the Vedas and is credited with being the author of the Hindu epic, the "Mahabharata."