Lord Shiva

Stories You Need To Know #8

Durvasa avatar

This avatar of Lord Shiva was born to Sage Atri and his wife, Anasuya. He was known for being short-tempered and commanded respect both from the humans as well as the Devas. In Hindu scriptures, Durvasa also known as Durvasas (Sanskrit: दुर्वासस्), was a legendaryRishi

According to local tradition in modern Azamgarh, Durvasa’s Ashram, or hermitage (where disciples would study under him), was situated in the area, at the confluence of the Tons River and Majhuee rivers; 6 km (3.7 mi) north of the Phulpur Tehsil headquarters. His most famous temple, called Rishi Durvasa Temple, is located in the Aali Brahman Village, tehsil Hathin, district of Palwal, Haryana.

Rishi Durvasa, being short-tempered, was said to have both cursed and gifted boons to several notable deities and people in the Hindu Pantheon and Mythos.

According to Chapter 44 of the Brahmanda Purana, Brahma and Shiva got into a heated quarrel. Shiva became violently enraged when the devas fled from his presence in fear. His consort, Parvati, complained that Shiva was now impossible to live with. Realizing the chaos his anger had caused, Shiva deposited this anger into Anasuya, the wife of sage Atri. From this portion of Shiva deposited into Anasuya, a child was born, named ‘Durvasa’ (lit. one who is difficult to live with). Because he was born of Shiva’s anger, he had an irascible nature.

In Vishnu Purana, Vayu Purana, and Padma Purana, a curse that Durvasa laid upon Indra is described as the indirect reason for the churning of the ocean. The Srimad Bhagavata and Agni Purana also mention Durvasa’s involvement in the episode, without going into detail. Other sources for this story, such as Ramayana, Mahabharata, Harivamsa, and Matsya Purana, do not mention Durvasa’s involvement at all and ascribe the incident to other causes, such as the devas’ and asuras‘ desire for immortality.

According to a story in the Vishnu Purana, Durvasa, while wandering the earth in a state of ecstasy due to a vow he was observing, came by a Vidyadhari (nymph of the air) and demanded her heavenly wreath of flowers. The nymph respectfully gave the garland to the sage, whereupon he wore it on his brow. Resuming his wanderings, the Durvasa came across Indra riding his elephant, Airavata, attended by the gods. Still, in his state of frenzy, Durvasa threw the garland at Indra, who caught it and placed it on Airavata’s head. The elephant was irritated by the fragrance of the nectar in the flowers, so it threw the garland to the ground with its trunk.

Durvasa was enraged to see his gift treated so callously and cursed Indra that he would be cast down from his position of dominion over the three worlds, just as the garland was cast down. Indra immediately begged Durvasa’s forgiveness, but the sage refused to retract or soften his curse. Because of the curse, Indra and the devas were diminished in strength and stripped of their luster. Seizing this opportunity, the asuras led by Bali waged war against the gods.

The gods were routed and turned to Brahma for help. Brahma directed them to seek refuge with Vishnu. Vishnu, in turn, advised them to call a truce with the asuras and help them churn the ocean of milk to obtain the Amrita (nectar of immortality), on the pretext of sharing it with them. Vishnu promised to ensure only the devas drank the Nectar to regain their former power, so they could once again defeat the asuras. The devas took Vishnu’s advice and called their truce with the asuras, and thus the gods and demons began planning their great enterprise.

According to Shiva Purana, once while bathing in a river, Durvasa’s clothes were carried away by the river’s currents. Seeing this, Draupadi, who was nearby, gave her own clothes to the sage. Durvasa blessed her by saying that she wouldn’t lack clothes at the time of requirement & it was due to his blessing that the Kauravas were unable to strip off her clothes in the gambling hall, thus protecting her modesty.

In Azamgarh, a site of pilgrimage is named Durvasa where the temple of Durvasa is located. As per the priest of the temple, Durvasa took samadhi to this place in a shiva linga.

                         Om Namah Shivae🙏🙏

Published by Anita Vij

A caring mother of 2. A loving wife. An aspiring individual who wishes to share her life-long learnings with the rest of the world.

6 thoughts on “Lord Shiva

  1. This reminds me of a Hindi TV show called Shivmahapuram. I’ve only seen the first two episodes and I enjoyed it. I am guessing that show is about all things Shiva and Shavaism, although Narada also makes an appearance as well.

    I have to finish that series one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading this post. There are so many serials and movies on Lord Shiva which are very interesting and invoke feelings of bhakti in viewers. Please watch when you can.
      Narad is a very interesting character in our epic stories. Narada is described as both wise and mischievous in some humorous tales. Vaishnav enthusiasts depict him as a pure, elevated soul who glorifies Vishnu through his devotional songs, singing the names Hari and Narayana, and therein demonstrating bhakti-yoga. The Narada Bhakti Sutra is attributed to him.

      Liked by 1 person

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