The love story of Urvashi and Pururva ( or Puroorva)

The love story of Pururva and Urvashi

This article is about the love story of a mortal and a dancer from the heaven. Pururva was the king of lunar dynasty (or chandravansh)..Urvashi was a celestial nymphor apsara in Indra court. She was cursed by Maitre and Varuna that she had to spend some time on earth.

Once Pururva saw Urvashi on Mount Gandhamadan. She came from heavens to enjoy earthly pleasures such as feel the wet dew under her feet and the soft breeze against her body. When Pururva saw her, he fell in love with her. He asked her to become his consort. This love story was a conditional love story where Urvashi put forth three conditions before him:

1. Two sheep would always remain close to her bed. If by any chance , the sheep is not there, she would return to heaven.

2.  She would never see the king naked, and

3. She would be served ghee as her food.

She spent sixty thousand years with Pururva. Like all the good things, this love story had to end. Gandharva’s started feeling the absence of Urvashi. They knew the above conditions put forth by Urvashi to Pururva. One night they stole the two sheep. Urvashi cried for help when she did not find her sheep. Pururva was sleeping and he ran after the Gandharvas with no clothes on him. Gandharvas also knew to create fire and at the same time when the king was running naked, they lit the fire and thus second condition was also breached. During this whole commotion, she was also not given the ghee diet. Thus all conditions broken, she returned to heaven.

(This story is as per Vishnu Purana, there are variations to this story in various texts)

Urvashi and Pururava

The lineage of Pandavas and Kauravas

Urvashi delivered six sons to Pururva. Ayu, Amavasu, Vishwavasu, Shritrayu, Shataryu and Ayutaryu.

Manu – ( Buddha & Ila)PururvaAyuNahushaYayati 

Puru and Yadu were Yayati’s sons. Shantanu was a descendant of Puru. The lineage contnued with the help of Vyasa, because Vuchitravirya, son of Shantanu died childless. Satyavati’s son, Vyasa continued the lineage of Puru. If we see the  lineage of Vyasa, he  follows the Ikshvaku lineage. Ila, Purrurva parent, was the sibling of Ikshvaku.

Note: Ila kept alternating between a man and woman for a month, due to a curse from Lord Shiva. In her female form, she bore the son of Buddha, named as Pururva. Pururva is the father of lunar dynasty while Ikshvaku is the father of solar dynasty.

There is also a story of Urvashi’s curse of Arjuna, descendant of Pururva. This can be found here.

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