(Last Updated on : 14/09/2011)
Durvasa was an Indian Sage in Hindu Mythology and was known for his dangerous anger. He often used to give curses to the offenders. He was the son of Atri
. He is considered as the incarnation of Lord Shiva
. His terrible rage ruined many lives. For his short temper he was received with great reverence (out of fear) from humans and Devas alike. Durvasa is also known for wearing torn clothes and purposely belittled himself to bring out the greatness of the devotees of the Lord. Durvasa had ten thousand disciples who followed him everywhere whom he taught and kept under strict discipline.
Mythology behind Durvasa's Birth
As per the chapter 44 of the Brahmananda Purana Lord Brahma
and Shiva once got into a major quarrel. Shiva's anger was so violent that every Deva was complaining of him and was scared. Shiva realised his anger to be intolerable and decided to deposit this anger into Anasuya, the wife of sage Atri. When a child was born of this couple out of the portion that Shiva deposited to Anasuya, he was named Durvasa and was the carrier of irascible nature of Lord Shiva.
The Bhagavata Purana
gives a somewhat different account of Durvasa's birth. According to this Atri performed severe penance to propitiate the Holy Trinity in order to obtain a son by Anasuya who would be just like him. The trio were pleased with him and blessed the sage that portions of themselves would be born as his sons. Later on, Anasuya bore Soma (Brahma's incarnation), Dattatreya
(Vishnu's), and Durvasa (Shiva's).
Legends of Durvasa
There are many tales related to various curses given by Durvasa. Lord Indra
was once cursed by Durvasa as it is stated in the Vishnu, Vayu, and Padma Puranas
that was the indirect reason for the churning of the ocean. The Bhagavata and Agni Puranas
also mention Durvasa's involvement in the episode.
Durvasa's curse for Ambarisha, the great devotee of Vishnu is also famous. In the Abhij¤anashakuntala, written by Kalidasa
Durvasa cursed Shakuntala for ignoring him. The sage's curse came true of course.
In the UttaraKanda
it is said that how to please the angry Durvasa Lord Rama
had to violet his word and how Lakshmana
had to die.
Durvasa was well known for giving boons too especially to them who satisfied his needs. He used to be pleased particularly when he had been served well as an honoured guest.
Durvasa was gratified by the service of Kunti
who took care with his unreasonable request. As a result before departing, he rewarded Kunti by teaching her Atharva Veda
Mantras which enabled her to invoke any god of her choice to beget children by them.
In Mahabharata Draupadi's modesty was saved by this sage who provided the unending stream of cloth when Dushasana
was trying to strip her.
He is commonly considered as desiring to enjoy others' hospitality and service, and becoming exceedingly angry when hosts fail to please him as a guest. Conversely, hosts who serve him well are often blessed by him.