Sage Durvasa Accepts Ambarisha’s Request
On the third day of King Ambarisha’s fast, an uninvited guest approached his doors.
It was Sage Durvasa.
King Ambarisha graciously invited him to accept his royal services and honor him.
So, he with scented water, bowed at the lotus feet of the revered Sage Durvasa.
As he bent his head, he said: “Oh sage, please accept my humble prayers.
I would be blessed to conclude my fast after serving you with delicacies.”
Sage Durvasa accepted his heartfelt prayers.
However, he asked the king to wait for him until he completed his mid-day ablutions at the banks of river Kalindi.
The king, without any room for doubt, waited for the sage.
However, time passed and there was no sight of the Sage.
Only half a Muhurta was pending.
Within this timeframe, the king must conclude the fast so as to complete his vow.
King Ambarisha consults the Sages
Now, the king faced a moral crisis.
The Devotion of King Ambarisha was famous. However, his righteousness and morals were also recognized worldwide.
So, he approached the sages and said: “Oh knowledgeable sages, I am stuck in a dilemma.
On one hand, I am not permitted to partake food without feeding my revered guest (Sage Durvasa) and on the other hand, I must conclude my fast in order to fulfil my vow.
If I don’t satisfy both the conditions, I shall surely incur sin.
Disrespecting a sage as well as not concluding the fast, both are sinful activities.
Hence, I am under your shelter.
Please advise me on my next course of action.”
The sages spoke with each other for a while and then returned back to the king.
They said: “You have invited the Sage for food. So, you must consume food after his return.
However, you must also break your fast.
So, oh sinless king, consume water as the Shastras consider partaking water as an equivalent to consuming food.
In this way you shall incur no sin. You will not disrespect the sage as well as conclude your fast.”
Anger of Sage Durvasa
Following the advice of the Learned Brahmanas, King Ambarisha drank water and concluded his fast.
Meanwhile, Sage Durvasa returned from the banks of river Yamuna.
The King greeted him.
However, Sage Durvasa’s eyes turned red with rage.
Through his intuitive powers he realized that the king drank water to conclude his fast.
His body moved to and fro, lips pursed downwards and his face frowned with much displeasure.
In the fit of anger, he spoke the following words: “Oh unrighteous, Adharmic King, you invited me to dine with you and I accepted your proposal.
Yet, you consume water without making the first offering to ME.
This is a grave insult, a crime which cannot go unpunished.
Your hospitality, unlike spoken of by others, is sinful.
You shall surely bear the consequences.”
Creation of Kritya
Saying thus, the sage pulled out a strand of his matter hair locks.
As soon as the hair strand came in contact with the ground, it assumed the form of a Kritya (Female-Evil-Spirit).
She is an aspect of universal dissolution.
The sage invited her to get rid of Ambarisha.
As she speedily raced towards Ambarisha, a huge explosive sound reverberated in the skies, turning the Kritya into a pile of Ash.
The earth was trembling under the feet of Kritya as she hastily ran towards Ambarisha.
But, now the Mighty Sudarshana emerged to protect Sri Vishnu’s devotee, who stood fixed to the ground, without moving an inch here and there.
Sudarshan Chakra chases Sage Durvasa
Surprisingly, the Anger of the Sudarshana surpassed all boundaries as it sped towards Durvasa.
The frightened sage hastily ran in all the 10 directions to save his life.
But as an angry serpent never fails to miss its prey, the Sudarshana chased Sage Durvasa.
The sage went underwater, to the different lokas, spheres, in the skies, etc, but all in vain.
The Sudarshana Chakra followed him like a stubborn shadow.
When all rays of hope faded away, he took refuge under the wise Brahma.
Sage Durvasa exclaimed: “Oh universal creator, father of all living entities, Sri Brahma, save me from this Sudarshana Chakra.”
Durvasa Seeks Refuge
To this, Sri Brahma replied: “ I too am under the grip of dissolution.
As soon as the pastime of creation of the Lord ends, I along with my sons, creation, Daksha, and other Prajapatis dissolve in the Time-Spirit.
The mere wrath of Lord Shiva pulls us in the mouth of Death.
So, Oh Durvasa, I am incapable of helping you.”
Now, the scorching heat of the Sudarshana Chakra started becoming intense.
Hastily, Sage durvasa entered Mount Kailash and submitted himself to Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva says: “Great sages like Marichi, Kapila, Sanat Kumara and myself are under the grip of his delusive potency.
So, how can I possibly help you from the Divine weapon of Sri Narayana?
So, you should take refuge under the Lord who owns this weapon.
Take refuge under Sri Narayana.”
Without wasting a single moment, the sage ran towards Shir Sagara where the Lord eternally resides with his eternal consort Lakshmi Devi.
Sage Durvasa says: “ I am your offender.
I unconsciously committed the crime of insulting and causing pain to your beloved devotee Ambarisha.
Please, oh dear lord, wipe off my sin and relieve me from your Sudarshana. Your mere name relieves sinners from the torments of hell. So, cast your merciful glance on me.”
To this Sri Vishnu replies: “ I am sorry, but I cannot help you.
I have no control over my own existence.
The devotee who has renounced his wife, pleasures of material life, children, wealth,etc, now owns me.
I am under his control only.
He is my very heart, my very reason for Being.”
Durvasa Saved from the Calamity
Sage Durvasa realized that none other than King Ambarisha could rescue him.
He immediately surrendered to King Ambarisha.
The grief stricken sage, clasped the lotus feet of Ambarisha and wept inconsolably.
King Ambarisha felt ashamed to see the sage fall at his feet.
He considers himself lower than the lowest creatures.
Perhaps this is the sole reason that the Lord gave him such a glorious position that the sage had to beg for forgiveness from him.
However, King Ambarisha, who can never be tainted by pride of any of the 6 vices, bent down to receive the sage.
With eyes full of tears of compassion, the King addressed the Divine discus.
He praised and sang hymns in the glory of the Sudarshana.
After a lot of pacification, the Sudarshana Chakra, retrieved.
Sage Durvasa exclaims: “You are the jewel among devotees. I pay my respect unto you.”
Saying thus, the king gratified the hungry sage with prasadam.
After completing his meal, Sage Durvasa exclaims: “Oh dear Ambarisha, now kindly partake of the delicious prasadam.
May the entire world remember you for your fie rulership, piety and above all your unparalleled devotion.”
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