Monday, 10 June 2013

King Ambarish and Sage Dhuruvasa

In the era of Sathya Yuga, there lived a king by the name Ambarish who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu, was greatly pleased with the King's sincere devotion and granted him  the Sudharshana Chakra, along with other powers.

Lord Indra, the lord of rain was always jealous of King Ambarish. Once King Ambarish undertook a fast which was to begin on the 11th of every month in the morning and end the next day. He decided to undertake the fast for one year. As this fast was towards Lord Vishnu, seeking His blessings, completion of the fast would make Ambarish a very powerful King. 

Lord Indra’s insecurity knew no bounds.

As the year was nearing completion Indra decided to break Ambarish’s fast somehow or the other. He visited the ashram of Sage Dhuruvasa, who was one among the Saptarishis. On seeing Indra, sage Dhuruvasa was wonder struck. Normally nobody visited him as word about the sage’s anger was known far and wide!

Indra went to the sage with folded hands and bowing in front of the sage and pleasing the sage in every manner possible. The sage was pleased with Indra and asked him the purpose of his visit. Lord Indra told the sage about Ambarish’s fast and how dedicated the King was. The sage was pleased and praised Ambarish. Indra also told the sage that the next day was the last day of his fasting and that it would be a joyous occasion to be in his midst during the occasion. The sage agreed and visited the fasting King the next day.

King Ambarish was pleasantly surprised and invited the sage to break the fast along with him. The sage told Ambarish that he would join him after a bath. The chosen hour to break the fast was fast approaching, but the sage had not returned. The King’s men urged him to break his fast by drinking water as keeping time was most important. The King was thrown into a situation which all of us face in our day-today- life. Such situations are known as ‘Dharmasangadam’. When the values that you uphold are at logger heads with each other, you do not know which one to uphold and which one to let go. 

He did not know whether to please Lord Vishnu by keeping up his time or to uphold the word given to his ‘athithi’ or guest. He decided that he would take the mid path by drinking water which should be enough to please Lord Vishnu, yet not offend his guest as he had only promised to eat with him.
The sage appeared just as the king was drinking water...

Though the King thought that he had cleverly circumvented the problem on hand, the sage who appeared as the King was drinking water was overcome by anger and in no time his anger turned into rage and the sage plucked a hair from his head which took the form of a demon. 

King Ambarish knew that since he had done no wrong, his devotion would save him from any danger. Faith in God and trust in oneself are the two weapons required to face any situation.  King Ambarish’s trust in himself and his steadfast faith in Lord Vishnu brought forth the Sudharshana Chakra which promptly beheaded the demon. It then turned towards the sage who started running for his dear life. The sage went to Lord Brahma, the creator, who could not help him. Then the sage ran to Lord Shiva, who also expressed his inability to help the sage. Finally the sage went to Lord Vishnu. Vishnu, unfortunately could do little in the situation, as the Chakra was at the service of King Ambarish. The sage went to King Ambarish who prayed to Lord Vishnu and the Chakra immediately fell to the ground as did the anger of the sage!

The King and the sage broke the fast as agreed and the sage was extremely happy to be with the King at an auspicious occasion. While the sage blessed the King he also realised that the place for him was his ashram. He was duty bound to bless the people who came to his ashram seeking his advice and blessings.