Tag Archives: curses

The guru of curse – Sage Durvasa(2)

Following are the incidents where Durvasa has been involved with various people which resulted in curse. This is in continuation from this article.

 Curse on Durvasa by sage Orga

 Once Durvasa saw a Gandharva playfully bathing in a river with his wife . The sage was influenced by the scene and he desired to marry to enjoy conjugal life . Soon , he married Kandali , the daughter of sage Orva . However Kandali was arrogant , obstinate , rude and impolite . Durvasa could not bear her nasty behaviour for long and he reduced her to ashes by his curse . Just then the sage Orva arrived there and was very sad for the death of his daughter . At once , he became angry and cursed Durvasa  —  ” One day you will be insulted by the entire world for your anger and pride ”

Curse on Ambarish

This was the turning point in the life of Sage Durvasa . Durvasa plucked a hair and directed to kill Ambarish. Lord Vishnu ‘ s came to help his devotee. He used  Sudarshana Chakra , which, after killing the demon , started to chase Durvasa . The sage sought protection from Brahma who expressed his helplessness . When approached , Shiva also cited helplessness and directed the sage to seek Vishnu for protection . However Vishnu said , ” let us all approach Ambarisha for relief ” .

Durvasa curse to Ambarish

Seeing the dangerous state of the sage , Ambarisha said , ” Oh ! Sudarshana Chakra ! If I am righteous and if I am obedient to the pious people , may the sage Durvasa be saved ” . Then Sudarshana Chakra was pacified and it vanished . Tha anger and pride of Durvasa was humbled . The sage felt glad that he was cleansed of his evil trait .

Sudarshan Chakra chasing Durvasa

Curse on Shri Krishna

Durvasa did not spare Krishna also from his wrath. One day, Durvasa was eating kheer (a sweet dish made of rice and milk). Krishna was present. Durvasa ordered Krishna to apply the left over kheer on his body. Krishna applied it on the full body but did not apply on his feet. Durvasa got angry at this and cursed Krishna that since he did not obey his orders and did not apply the kheer on legs, his legs will not remain impenetrable and
unbroken. Combined with this curse and Gandhari’s, as she had cursed Krishna to die an ordinary death. She thought that Krishna was the root cause of death of her sons.

The guru of curse – Sage Durvasa (1)

Sage Durvasa – famous for curses

Durvasa is famous for his anger and his curses are mentioned frequently in ancient texts. Following are the few incidents  related with this trigger happy sage. The meaning of Durvasa is someone who is difficult to live with.

Curse on Indra

His most famous curse is on Indra, which led to churning of ocean. Once, Durvasa presented Indra a garland. Indra put that on Airawat’s (Indra’s elephant) head. The elephant has thrown the garland on the floor. Enraged by this incident,  Durvasa cursed indra. As a result, the devas become weak and went to vishnu for help. Vishnu helped Devas which resulted in gods getting hold of amrita.  The complete story is available in Kurma avatar – Vishnu dashavatar. 

Churning of ocean due to curse of Durvasa

Curse on Shakuntala

May be hindi movies are inspired by this incident. Manmohan desai made lot of hindi movies on lost and found formula. We have similar incident in mythology as well. Durvasa cursed shakuntala that her lover would forget about her. She could not notice the sage as she was thinking of Dushyant. She begged for forgiveness.  Durvasa, softened his stance that he would remember her after seeing the ring he has given to her.

Durvasa curse on Shakuntala

Durvasa curse on Shakuntala

The incident which consumed Laxman ( an incident from the Ramayana)

Durvasa one day visited Rama. He wanted to meet Rama and asked Laxman to let him meet. Laxman denied him because Rama was in a confidential meeting with death. It was understood that who so ever appears during that meeting, will die. Durvasa was adamant and he was threatening to curse whole of Ayodhya. Fearing this, Laxman thought that it is better to sacrifice his life instead letting Ayodhya suffer.

There are other incidents where incidents related to Durvasa sage are worth mentioning. These will be detailed in next article:

1. Curse on Ambarish

2. Curse on Durvasa by sage Orga.

3. Curse on Shri Krishna

4. Pandavas were on the verge of receiving a curse from Durvasa, but they were rescued.


Parshurama sleeping in Karna's lap

Seven little known facts about Karna from the Mahabharata

Karna – the most virtuous but tragic warrior from Mahabharata

Karna was the eldest son of Kunti. He was born before Kunti was wedded, so Kunti had to let him go and He, being the eldest and most deserving, had to live his life in obscurity. The only fault was his timing of birth, where he had no control over. Read some of the fate’s cruelty imparted to him.

1. Curses on Karna

One afternoon,  Parashurama requested Karna to bring a pillow to sleep on under a tree shade. Karna instead offered his lap to his guru. While Parashurama was fast asleep a giant bee stung Karna’s thigh, despite of the severe pain Karna didn’t move so as not to disturb his guru’s sleep. As the bee bored deeper the wound began to bleed.  Parashurama was woken by the blood from Karna’s thigh.

Karna - Drona - Danveer - Kavach Kundal

Karna – The most virtuous warrior from Indian mythology – Mahabharat

Then Parashurama deduced at once that Karna is a kshatriya and not a Brahmin because a brahmin  can not endure such pain. So, he cursed Karna that all his martial skill including use of Brahmastra would desert him when he needed them most.

This meant that Karna would forget all that he had learned from Parashurama during his hours of crisis. Karna who was unaware of his royal lineage pleaded that any student in his place would do the same and he was son of Vasusena,  a mere charioteer and not a kshatriya.

Parshurama's curse to Karna

Parshurama’s curse to Karna

Though Parashurama regretted cursing him in a moment of anger as his curse was irrevocable. He gifted him a celestial weapon Bhargavastra along with his personal bow called Vijaya and blessed him with everlasting glory and immortal fame.

Karna kills a cow accidentally

Departing from Parashuram’s ashram Karna wandered for some time. On his way he killed a cow that was rushing towards him by shooting an arrow. Incensed by this incident, the brahmin who owned the cow cursed. He said as he had killed a helpless animal, he too would be killed in the same way i.e. when he was most helpless with his concentration being diverted away from his enemy at that crucial moment.

Curse by Bhoomi Devi

Once Karna was riding his chariot in his kingdom of Anga. He encountered a child who was crying over her pot of spilt ghee. On asking her reason, she stated that she feared her step mother would be angry over her carelessness.  Being generous enough Karna told her that he would give her new ghee. But the child insisted that she wanted only the ghee which was mixed with the soil and refused to take new ghee. Taking pity on the girl, took the soil mixed with ghee in his fist and squeezed it with all his might to extract the ghee and pour it back into the pot.During this process, Karna heard the agonised voice of a  women. When he opened his fist he realised it was voice of Bhoomidevi, furious Bhoomidevi chastised Karna for inflicting enormous pain for sake of mere child so, she cursed him that in a very crucial battle of life she would trap his chariot wheel in the same way that he held the fistful of soil.

Thus Karna was cursed on three separate and independent occasions. Unfortunately, each of these curses became operational at the same crucial moment in the kurukshetra war thus making him weapon less, left without chariot and helpless. These three curses are the main reason of his fall.

2. Generous Karna

On the eve of Mahabharat battle, Lord Indra disguised as an old Brahamin went to Karna asked for his Kavach and Kundal in daan (alms) Indra asked for this gift so as to reduce his strength, as he was  apprehensive that Karna by virtue of his phenomenal skill as a warrior would defeat Arjuna. Karna was being cautioned by by Sun God about such move of Lord Indra. But Karna was so great hearted that he could not refuse anyone and inspite of knowing that Indra is playing a trick he parted his kawach and kundal, which were part of his body since birth and made him invincible. Indra was pleased with Karna’s generosity and granted him a vardan (boon) Karna asked for his weapon shakti which can destroy any enemy Indra granted him that on a condition that he can use it only once.

Karna giving Kavach to Indra

Karna giving Kavach to Indra

When Karna was on his death bed, Lord Indra and Surya had a dispute regarding his generosity. To settle this they disguise as a beggar and asked for alms. Karna responded that he had nothing left with him for them. The beggar replied that he had some gold on his tooth which would be valuable for them. On realizing this fact, Karna took a stone and broke his tooth and gave it to beggar, epitomizing the ‘way of life’ he led.

Karna born with Kavach and Kundal

Karna born with Kavach and Kundal

3. Karna’s promise to Kunti

As the war approached Kunti met Karna to reveal his true identity. Kunti asked him to join Pandavas and become king. Karna stated that he can’t betray his friend Duryodhan. However he promised that he would not attempt to kill any of the Pandavas except Arjuna. Karna knew very well that Arjun is under the divine aegis of lord Krishna and hence invincible. This way he would be able to pay off Duryodhan’s debt while performing the duties of elder brother. So he told Kunti that she could only keep her 5 sons being him or Arjuna.


An excellent book by none other than Anant Pai from Amar Chitra Katha. Third one is dedicated to the battle of Kurukshetra.

4. Karna in battle field

Bhisma the commander in chief of Kaurava’s refused Karna to participate in war under his leadership saying that Karna has insulted his guru Parshuram by insulting Draupadi and nobody insulting his guru can fight under my leadership. Bhisma also knew about Karna’s true ancestry and did not want him to fight against his own brothers . Consequently Karna entered the battle field only on 11th day after the fall of Bhisma on 10th day.

5. Birth of Karna

Karna was born before his mother Kunti was married to  prince Pandu. Kunti was granted a boon from sage Durvasa who was very pleased with her service and hospitality. The boon was that she can call upon any God to beget a child. Out of curiosity Kunti still being unmarried wanted to test the power of mantra. She invoked the mantra and called Sun God (Surya), bound by the power of mantra Surya appeared and handed her a son, who was radiant and robust as Surya himself. the baby had a Kavach (armour) and kundal (ear ring) attached to his body. Though Kunti didn’t physically give birth to the baby, she was unwilling to face the world as an unwed mother so she placed Karna in a basket and set him float on the holy river Ganga.

Karna was founded by charioteer, he and his wife Radha raised Karna and named him Vasusena. He was also known as Radheya after her foster mother.

Birth of Karna and Kunti letting him go away

Birth of Karna and Kunti letting him go away

6. Karna as king of Ang Desh

Once Drone held a competition in Hastinapur to find out who is the best warrior among all the princes. Arjuna was the winner At that time Karna came forward and did all that Arjuna could do but he was not accepted as competitor because he was a son of a charioteer. This was a great disrespect which Karna has suffered in front of the public. Kunti was also sitting in the audience was a mute spectator she did not dare to say that Karna was her son. At this time Duryodhan came forward and made him king of Ang Desh. This made Karna a friend and follower of Duryodhan for life.

7. Karna, a loyal friend

On the onset of war when Kunti met Karna and revealed his identity and asked him to take the side of Pandavas he replied that he can’t betray his friend Duryodhana. Krishna also revealed his identity and asked him to join Pandava side. Krishna assured him that being the eldest Pandav he will be given the crown of Hastinapur but, Karna refused this enormous offer for his friend Duryodhan. Though Krishna was sad with his decision but appreciated his loyalty.

Further reading:

Seven little known facts from the Mahabharata(2)

Pandavas exile – seven little known facts from the Mahabharata (3)

Seven unknown facts about Karna

When incarnation of Lord Vishnu could not defeat his bhakta

Karna – the unfortunate who deserved

The reason for Karna’s suffering is no longer a myth. This story tells all.

Karna stories


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