Durvasa, Ambarisha: Story of Ekadashi Vrat Paaran on Dwadashi

The story of Sage Durvasa and the King Ambarisha tells the importance of Ekadashi Vrat Paaran (Ekadashi fast breaking) on Dwadashi day. The story also tells the Mahatmya of Durvasa Muni…

Being of the Amsha of Maha Deva, Maharshi Durvasa was stated to be of extremely short temper. An interesting happening was narrated by Sage Suta to the congregation of Rishis about Maharshi Durvasa: King Ambarisha was highly virtuous and pious who was in the habit of observing fasts and worship to Bhagavan on every Ekadasi (eleventh) day of a month and on the next day of Dwadasi (twelfth) day, he would break the fast only after a Brahmana or more would commence their food.

It was on a Dwadasi day that along with several of his disciples, Durvasa made a sudden appearance, agreed to join for mid day meals and took away all his Sishyas for taking bath in a river nearby. Just at the nick of time when Dwadasi was nearing its end, Durvasa and disciples did not return; the King had to cut-short the fast and took one sip of water and precisely at that split second Durvasa and others arrived.

Durvasa became furious that the King did not wait for him but had a sip of water already; he pulled out a lock of hair which became a flame and would have turned the King into ash but for the instantaneous appearance of ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ (since the King was a very high devotee of Lord Vishnu) which not only put off the fire but chased the Sage. A celestial voice was heard not to hurt the Sage as he was of part embodiment of Bhagavan Siva and that he was only testing Ambarisha.

The King beseeched Durvasa’s sincere pardon and so did Sudarshan Chakra too. There were many other instances when Sage Durvasa used to test the real characteristics of illustrious personalities- apparently to enlighten the posterity – like Sri Rama who was once ordered not to be disturbed by anyone but Lakshmana had to do so since Durvasa arrived and as an atonement discarded even Lakshmana for his wrong action; when Durvasa was taking bath in Ganga naked by intention or mistake, Draupadi tore a part of her sari to cover the Sage, and he blessed her that at the time of ‘Vastrapaharanam’ (Draupadi’s disrobing) in an open Court, the piece of cloth would come to her rescue as Dussasana tried to disrobe her; and finally saved another great embarrassment to Pandavas and Draupadi by the sudden arrival of Durvasa with many disciples while she was unable to cook so much of food for all of them, but Lord Krishna arrived and suppressed the hunger of all of them as a morsel of rice remained in the utensil and that turned to be plentiful to Durvasa and disciples!

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