Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Rishi Durvasa

Rishi Durvasa is known for his terrible temper through which he would give curses upon the offender. Rishis are great sages. Durvasa had ten thousand disciples who followed him everywhere.Whom he taught and kept under strict discipline. He is considered an incarnation of Shiva. To truly understand Rishi Durvasa, it is important to know of the power of the penance done by his parents. The father of Rishi Durvasa is Rishi Atri who is one of three Brahma Rishi’s along with Rishi Gotama, and Rishi Bharadwaj. These three Rishi’s are known as the givers of AUM for which they are called Brahma Rishi. All creative process began with A-U-M and is threefold having A which is Brahma (Rishi Gotama); U which is Vishnu (Rishi Atri) and M which is Shiva (Rishi Bharadwaj).

Devi Anusuya the wife of Rishi Atri wanted to have a child. After many years of childlessness she asked her husband for permission to do a penance to the ‘Tridev’, (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) after a dream where she was told she would need to do a penance to have a child.

 She wanted a child with the attributes and lustre of Brahma Vishnu and Shiva. After many years of penance she was granted the boon of children.

During the penance of Devi Anusuya she was called a Maha Sati by many. (A sati was a wife which was the embodiment of virtue, chastity, sacrifice, service and penance.) The wives of the Tridev, the ‘Tridevi’s Saraswati, Laxmi and Parvati objected to this title being bestowed upon mortal woman as they were the only Maha Sati’s! They demanded that this woman conducting a severe penance directed to the Tridev be tested by the Tridev before any boon was given to Devi Anusuya. So in keeping with tradition and thereby obeying the Tridevi’s and following the laws of boon giving, the Tridev agreed to give Devi Anusuya a boon only after testing the strength of her Sati tatva (The embodiment of a Sati).

The Tridev arranged to visit her ashram in the guise of a Rishi’s asking for alms whilst her husband Rishi Atri was called away to another ashram to conduct a ceremony. (When any Rishi approached a threshold of a house and asked for ‘Biksha’ (alms) it was considered that God himself had arrived at your door and was therefore very inauspicious to send the Rishi away with nothing. You also stood a chance of getting cursed by the rishi if you did not give him the alms (usually Food )

The Tridev approached Devi Anusuya’s threshold disguised as Rishis and asked her for alms in the nirlage form (feeding in the nude form). As she was a married woman she took objection to this as it was a sin to appear before any man other than your husband in this form. However she was also unable to turn these Rishi’s away from her husband’s ashram. So Devi Anusuya then used her Divya Drishti (Divine Sight) to see these Rishi in the Tridev’s true forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. She then saw a solution to her problem and decided to turn each of these Rishis into babies with the power of her penance and fed them in the nude form as per their request. The Tri-devi’s were then forced to acknowledge Devi Anusuya as a Maha Sati even greater than them as she had behaved as a mother of the Tridev.

The boon Devi Anusuya was given was that each of the Tridev would incarnate as her sons. Brahma incarnated as Soma, Vishnu incarnated as Dattatreya the three headed form of Brahma Vishnu and Shiva. (It is believed that any prayer offered to Dattatreya is a prayer offered to the Tridev and Tridevis.) Shiva incarnated as Durvasa - a Rudra form of Shiva. Rudra is fiery and angry toward those that fall off the path of Dharma. Durvasa adopted a similar attitude and was quick to curse those he believed did not follow the path of Dharma. AS an incarnation of Shiva he could control and discipline his ten thousand discipline and teach them the real truth.

In the story of Rishi Durvasa and Ambarisha Maharaja, Rishi Durvasa was chased by the Sudarshana chakra of Lord Vishnu throughout the universe after offending the Lord's pure devotee Ambarisha. He tried, out of fear for his life, to approach various gods and finally Lord Vishnu himself, but as he had offended the Lord Vishnu’s devotee, even he could not help him- only Ambarisha Maharaja could forgive him. Finally Rishi Durvasa approached Ambarisha Maharaja and begged forgiveness, and only then did the Sudarshana disc stop following him. This story illustrates that there is nothing greater than humility regardless of the powers you may have.

In another tale Rishi Durvasa arrived at the home Sri Krsna and his wife Rukmini Devi to test them. Lord Krsna was known as the perfect householder and invited the great Rishi inside his home gave him his own seat and washed his feet. The Rishi tested Sri Krsna and Rukmini Devi’s patience and hospitality by being very demanding. He commanded their personal attendance and their full attention to fulfilling his requests. The Rishi finally demanded a chariot and Sri Krsna obliged but also accompanied Rishi Durvasa to ensure that the Rishi didn’t need anything else! Rishi Durvasa was so pleased by Sri Krsna and Rukmini’s service to him that he blessed them both as the embodiment perfect householders.

To conclude Rishi Durvasa is infamous for his fiery temper and ability to bestow curses on those that offend him by straying from the dharmic path and less well known for the blessings he would bestow. Rishi Durvasa stands for the righteous path and fulfilling your duty even if it is not what you want to do.

Drekkana and Rishi Durvasa

The three deities of Drekkana are Narada, Agastya and Durvasa. All three were Rishis, holders of divine knowledge. Narada was the son of Brahma. He received the knowledge of Bhakti, devotion to the supreme. In the myths he is shown as sometimes creating problems and disturbing the peace to get people to think on higher aspects. He represents the karma and the soul. He also deals with creation as we are only created if we have karma to reconcile.

Agastya Muni was a great thinker and is linked to the mind. He is connected to sattva, preservation and Vishnu.

Durvasa is a more difficult Rishi. He made effort to control his senses and therefore he represents the desires and their abilities to lead us astray. Durvasa is linked to Shiva, tamas and destruction.

Narada works on the karmic level, Agastya on the mental plane and Durvasa on the physical desires. As drekkana represents the free will or courage, these deities are show the influence of these Rishi’s on our actions and motivations.

When Lagna, or the planets are placed in Durvasa Rishi’s degrees then the propensity to anger and negative behaviour can be possible. But it is important to remember that when Durvasa Rishi was angry or gave a curse- it was only if the people fell from the dharmic path.

But his own discipline and following of the righteous path was unwavering. So humans may express his qualities without being privy to Durvasa rishi’s divine knowledge. If we develop and work on our spiritual path, then we have earned the right to be angry at others at not doing the right thing or following the higher path.

The order of the deities is as follows

Cardinal/ movable sign  Narada, Agastya and Durvasa 
In Fixed signs Agastya, Durvasa and Narada
Mutable signs  Durvasa, Narada and Agastya

Signs                                            00 to 10º        10º to 20º              20º to 30º
Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn    Narada                Agastya                   Durvasa
Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius    Agastya               Durvasa                   Narada
Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces  Durvasa               Narada                      Agastya

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