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Vadula (Vadhula / Vadoola / Vadhoola / Vatula / Vathula) is a Sanskrit word that has several meanings including "enlightened, lashed by the wind to the point of losing one's sanity, god's madcap, detached from the world, and seeker of truth."
Vadula was a Rishi who gave his name to a Gotra, or a line of descent, commonly amongst Brahmins. Vadula Maharishi was reportedly prone to great distraction, which some ascribe to deep, consciousness-expanding meditation.
In Sanskrit, a Rishi (ṛṣi ऋषि) is a sage and/or seer who "heard" (cf. śruti) the hymns of the Vedas from the Supreme Being Brahman while he was in deep meditation. A rishi can be regarded as a combination of a patriarch, a priest, a preceptor, an author of Vedic hymns, a sage, a saint, an ascetic, a prophet and a hermit into a single person.
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