Ṛtavāk (Ritavak) is a ṛṣi (rishi; sage). Towards the end of the tenure of the influence of Revatī (Revati) nakṣatra (nakshatra; star), a son was born to him. Ṛtavāk sought to bring up his son and teach him properly. But the son of the sage became evil-natured, and a shame to the family. In despair, Sage Ṛtavāk and his wife became very ill and upset. The evil deeds of their son caused their mental suffering. Finally, one day, frustrated with his son’s misdeeds Sage Ṛtavāk asked Sage Garga, “I am a good-natured and dedicated Brāhmaṇa (Brahmana). Both myself and my wife have followed a virtuous path of life. So why has my son become like this? Garga said, “It is not for any fault of yours, or any stain in your family – but since your son was born towards the close of the period under the power of Revatī nakṣatra, he has become so astray.” In agony and wrath, Sage Ṛtavāk cursed the star Revatī — “Since due to its influence, my son has been born and he has become so evil-natured, let the star Revatī fall from the sky.” Cursed by the sage, the star fell from the sky, upon Kumuda parvata (the mountain called Kumuda) on earth.

According to Brahmāṇḍapurāṇa (Brahmandapurana), Maharṣi (Maharshi; Great Sage) Ṛtavāk belongs to the pravara(clan) of Maharṣi Aṅgirā (Angira), that is, through lineage or through disciple-wise connections, he was associated with the vaṁśa (vamsa; genealogical of disciple-wise line) of Aṅgirā. Brahmāṇḍapurāṇa has mentioned his name with much respect, as one of the mantradraṣṭā (mantradrashta; seer of the sacred hymns) sages of the Veda.