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Indian Mythology

Ambarish and Durvasa – when the hunter became hunted

Lord Durvasa is known for his curses. But there were times, when he was helpless before the power of a humble of follower of Lord Vishnu. One such instance was of Ambarisha. The full story goes as:

Ambarisha was a king and he was deeply into following Lord Vishnu. He and his queen used to observe various fasts over the year. On second day of Ekadashi, Ambarish had to end his fast. On that very day, Sage Durvasa paid a visit to Ambarisha.

That day was Ekadashi. Ambarish was very excited and felt privileged to service Durvasa and he invited him for the lunch. Sage Durvasa, along with his hundred disciples set off to wash themselves.

They took a long time to return and meanwhile the auspicious time of ending the fast was about to be breached. So, though he did not want to, but forced by his priests, Ambarish had to end his fast with a leaf of tulsi in absence of Sage Durvasa.

This opened a whole can of worms. This was discovered by Sage Durvasa and his disciples. Durvasa, who was the second name of anger, said to Ambarish that he will have to suffer for his misdeed and he directed a demoness to kill Ambarish.

Ambarish resigned to his fate with folded hands. But nothing happens to a person, who is helped by the Lord himself. Lord Vishnu sends his sudarshan chakra to safeguard Ambarish.

Durvasa curse to Ambarish

Soon, Sudarshan chakra burns the demoness. Now it was turn of Sage Durvasa as the chakra started to move towards Durvasa while spinning furiously. Durvasa realized that something unexpected was happening and his life was in peril. The hunter has become the hunted.

He ran for his dear life, but Sudarshan chakra was equal to the task. Durvasa approached Lord Shiva for a reprieve, but it was beyond his powers to stop the Sudarshan chakra. Durvasa kept running for a year and reached Lord Vishnu. He requested Lord Vishnu to stop the chakra. God replied that Sudarshan chakra returns after doing the assigned job. Durvasa started weeping.

Sudarshan Chakra chasing Durvasa

Lord Vishnu said that he can be saved only if he is forgiven by Ambarish. Sage Durvasa immediately went to him fell to his feet asking for forgiveness. Here Ambarish was waiting for him without taking food for a year.

He said, ”King of Sages, your falling at my feet is not right.” Durvasa replied, ”Ambarish, you are a true devotee of the Lord. I have insulted you. Please forgive me. Save me from the Sudarshan Chakra.” King Ambarish prayed to the Sudarshan Chakra and said, ”If the love and respect I have for Durvasa at this moment are the same as they were when he first came to my palace, then, Oh Sudarshan Chakra! Please return to the Lord.

After this, Sudarshan chakra returned to Vishnu and Durvasa’s life was saved.

 

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Draupadi Lord Krishna Mahabharat

Shri Krishna did not save Draupadi from cheer haran

Who saved Draupadi from cheer haran

The statement that Krishna did not save her, may appear as untrue. When we read the following facts, we may find there are other stories regarding how Draupadi was saved on that shameful day, when Yushishthira lost everything. All gurus and sages remained silent while Dushashana was trying to disrobe Draupadi. Duryodhana, Dushashana and even Karna did not hesitate in this wrong doing.

This presents a bigger problem and this is prevalent in today as well. Everyone on that day had a reason not to interfere on that shameful day. It was good that someone was able to retrieve or save Draupadi’s modesty. But if we look at today’s scenario, we will find Bhsihma’s and Drona’s who are blind to all the evils, but we could not find “the saviour” who can do something about present day’s situation.

So, as we know that Shri Krishna, whom Draupadi summoned to save her from disrespect. But,  in Vyasa’s mahabharat, the saviour from cheer haran is someone else. This is attributed to Dharma and it is symbolic.  This means it can be the god Dharma, Krishna as the Lord of Dharma, or even Vidura or Yudhishthira. So it is not clearly stated that who was indeed the saviour of Draupadi.

Draupadi’s cheer haran at royal court of hastinapur

Story of Krishna saving Draupadi

in the famous TV serial named Mahabharat, Draupadi summons Keshav (Krishna) in her hour of peril(cheer haran) and Shri Krishna saves her. There is a story related to this. Once Shri Krishna cut his finger with sudarshan chakra. Draupadi tore her veil to put it around Krishna’s bleeding finger. Lord Krishna was very touched by the gratitude done by Draupadi. He promised her to repay the debt and to protect her from all evils.  He protected Draupadi when Draupadi prayed when her sari was being pulled after Duryodhan won her in the dice game.

Story of Durvasa saving Draupadi

There is also an interesting story of Durvasa saving Draupadi from cheer haran which is narrated below.

Shiva Purana attributes her miraculous rescue to a boon granted by Durvasa. The story goes that the sage’s loincloth was once carried away by the Ganges’s currents. Draupadi quickly tore a piece of her garment to cover him. The sage was pleased with her. He granted Draupadi a boon which caused an unending stream of cloth to cover her when Dushasana was trying to strip her in Hastinapura’s royal dice-hall.

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Indian Mythology Lord Krishna

Seven occasions when Lord Krishna saved Pandavas

Shri Krishna – Friend, philosopher and guide of Pandavas

Shri Krishna saved Pandavas on numerous occasions. Pandavas could not have survived the various designs of Shakuni and Duryodhana, if Shri Krishna would not have been around. Here are some of the facts.

Lord Krishna

Saving Pandavas from Sage Durvasa

Sage Durvasa has been famous for his ill tempered and curses. Once Duryodhana served him well and pleased, he asked him for a boon. Duryodhana cleverly asked him to pay a visit to Pandavas at afternoon as he knew that Pandavas would not be able to serve him at that time of the day and this will bring wrath of the sage on Pandavas. Thus, Duryodhana tried to made life tougher for Pandavas.

Durvasa complied and duly paid a visit to Pandavas alongwith his disciples. This incident put pandavas in a fix as Draupadi had eaten from the akshaypatra and no more food could be taken from it.

In this precarious situation, Lord Krishna came to the rescue. He appeared at Pandava’s abode and asked Draupadi for food. Draupadi meekly replied – Lord, there is no food and we are helpless as we cannot service sage Durvasa.

Lord Krishna , Pandavas and Draupadi with Akshaypatra saving from Durvasa

The lord smiled and said – Dear Draupadi, please give me that one grain of rice which is still lying in the akshaypatra. Draupadi offered that to lord and immediately Lord’s hunger was satiated.

Surprisingly, Sage Durvasa and his troops also felt the same and they have to discreetly go away from that place as they were invited by Pandavas.

 Saving Arjuna from Shakti

After Karna gave his kavach and kundal to Lord Indra, he was granted the Shakti weapon which was infallible, but could be used just once. Karna saved it use on Arjuna and Krishna knew that he had to do something about it.

He summoned Ghatotkacha and soon, the mighty son of Bhima caused havoc on Kauravas army. Out of desperation Duryodhana requested to use the weapon on Ghatotkacha or all of them would die. Karna used it on Ghatotkacha and knew that he had just blew the chance of killing Arjuna.

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Ghatotkacha’s death

Saving Bhima from Dhritrashtra

After the war of Mahabharata was completed, all Pandavas went to meet Dhritrashtra. When Bhima started to go to Dhritrashtra to pay his respects, Shri Krishna put him aside and instead presented the iron statue of Bhima which was used by Duryodhana to practice.

Dhritrashtra, understanding that he was meeting Bhima, crushed his statue. Thus using his presence of mind, Lord saved Bhima from certain death.

Karna, Arjuna and Nagastra

Apart from Shakti, there was Nagastra with Karna which could potentially kill Arjuna. When Karna shot Nagastra on Arjuna, Krishna applied pressure to the chariot by his foot and thus sunk it, as a result of which the astra missed Arjuna’s head and hit his crown instead.

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Duryodhana vulnerability

Just prior to Mahabharta war, Gandhari asked Duryodhana to appear before her without clothes. This would have made Duryodhana’s body as hard as a rock, so no person could kill him. When Lord came to know about this, he approached Duryodhana and said that how he would look naked before her mother as he is no longer a kid.

Convinced of this, Duryodhana, decided to use a loincloth. When Gandhari removed her blindfold, she shook her head in disbelief. But the die had been cast. Duryodhana’s body became a rock wherever Gandhari’s gaze fell. The part hidden by loincloth remained weak and Bhima used this weakness to kill Duryodhana.

Duryodhana-Gandhari

Jarasandha’s Death

Jarasandha was a powerful king of Magadh and his death was important for Pandavas. Shri Krishna challenged him for a fight and Jarasandha chose Bhima for the duel. He played an instrumental role in Jarasandha’s death. He gives the vital secret to Bhima by pulling apart a straw and throwing it opposite directions thus indicating the way of killing Jarasandha. Bhima obliged and a great threat to Pandavas was neutralized.

Jarasandh Vadha – Bheema in Mahabharat

Saving Draupadi

After Yudhishthira lost his kingdom, his brothers and wife to Duryodhana. Duryodhana asked Dushashana to bring Draupadi to royal court and disrobe her. Draupadi frantically pleaded, but no avail. Lord came to her rescue and when Dushshana started to pull her sari, that sari never ended. An exhausted Dushashana slumped to the floor and Draupadi’s pride could be saved by Lord.

Draupadi’s saviour – Shri Krishna

Following is depiction of this unhonourable incident by Madhubani painting.

 

 

Draupadi cheerharan – Madhubani Painting

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Indian Mythology

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.

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Indian Mythology

Durvasa’s boons

Boons granted by Durvasa

Though Durvasa is notorious for his flying temper and curses, there are few boons which had a great impact in indian mythology. For example, the pandavas, who are at the centre of the epic Mahabharat were born due to a boon from Durvasa to Kunti.

Boon to Kunti

Durvasa was a sage who blessed liberally when happy. This is evident when Kunti got the boon from him. This boon gave the power to summon any god she wished. This boon became helpful when she was unable to give birth to babies and summoned Surya, Pawan and Indra for herself and Ashwini kumars for Madri. Thus they conceived sons who were later known as Pandavas.

Promise to Duryodhana

Once Duryodhana did great service to sage Durvasa. He became very happy and asked Duryodhana for a boon. Duryodhana thought of a plan to do something so that pandavas get to face the wrath of sage. He asked him to visit pandavas when everyone has eaten. Thus he thought that Pandavas will not be able to serve him with food and out of anger, sage durvasa will curse his enemies. Durvasa visited Pandavas but with the help of Shri Krishna, pandavas were saved.

Duryodhana and Durvasa – Indian mythology

Pandavas saved from curse – Duryodhana’s plan

Pandavas were once in a situation where Durvasa may have cursed them. As per the advice of Duryodhana, Durvasa with his ten thousand disciples reached panadavas. they reached at a time, when everyone had taken their meal. Draupadi has an akshaypatra which was able to feed anyone till the time she has not eaten from it.  That day, unfortunately, she ate from the patra. Durvasa demanded food for himself and devotees. Draupadi sought help from Krishna. Krishna found a grain in the patra and ate that. After that Durvasa and his disciples were not hungry.

Saving Draupadi from cheer haran

Contrary to the general Mahābhārata version, the Shiva Purana attributes her miraculous rescue to a boon granted by Durvasa. The story goes that the sage’s loincloth was once carried away by the Ganges’s currents. Draupadi quickly tore a piece of her garment to cover him. The sage was pleased with her. He granted Draupadi a boon which caused an unending stream of cloth to cover her when Dushasana was trying to strip her in Hastinapura’s royal dice-hall.

Birth of Swaminarayan – by curse of Durvasa

Narayana took birth as the saint Swaminarayan due to a curse by Durvasa. A great debate had been held in Badrikashram, the divine abode of the deity Nar-Narayan. They were discussing the great pain, the good and honest souls were suffering at the hands of the evil demons on earth. Durvasa Rishi stood at the back of the assembly. Several hours passed, but none noticed him. Durvasa Rishi got very angry and cursed the assembly, “May you all take birth on the earth. Let those evil demons harass you and make you suffer.”  On behalf of the entire assembly, Dharmadev and Bhaktidevi asked for forgiveness and pleaded with Durvasa Rishi to take back his curse. Durvasa Rishi replied, “The curse cannot be withdrawn. However, the supreme Lord will come with you onto the Earth. The Lord will destroy the evil demons and save you from your troubles.” This mythological episode has been stated in the scriptures to describe the reason why the supreme Lord Swaminarayan manifested upon this Earth.  The Akshardham temple houses Swaminarayan.

Durvasa curse and birth of Swaminarayan