Indian Folk Tales: King Ambarish
King Ambarish was a great ruler and an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu and used to keep Ekadashi fast every year. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Vishnu gave him the ability to control the Sudarshan Chakra as a reward. Lord Indra, king of the ......
King Ambarish was a great ruler and an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu and used to keep Ekadashi fast every year. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Vishnu gave him the ability to control the Sudarshan Chakra as a reward. Lord Indra, king of the Devas, grew jealous of king Ambarish and felt his position was being threatened. So, he came up with a plan to end King Ambarish’s Ekadashi fast and destroy him. Lord Indra approached Maharishi Durvasa and instigated him against king Ambarish.
According to Lord Indra’s plan, Maharishi Durvasa arrived at king Ambarish’s palace when he was about to break the Ekadashi fast. King Ambarish welcomed the sage with love and warmth. Maharishi Durvasa asked king Ambarish to have food with him after the sage had taken his bath and offered his prayers.
The auspicious time to break the fast was passing and Maharishi Durvasa was deliberately taking longer to bathe in order to spoil king Ambarish’s Ekadashi fast. King Ambarish had promised the sage that he will have food with him and was unable to break the fast in the sage’s absence.
King Ambarish’s priest reminded him to break the fast during the auspicious Dwadasi Tithi or his fast will not bear any fruit and will be ineffective. Seeing king Ambarish in a dilemma, his priest asked him to break the fast by drinking a sip of water and then he could later eat food with the sage. Considering the suggestion, King Ambarish took a sip of water to break his fast. Maharishi Durvasa saw him and became red with anger as King Ambarish was successful in breaking his fast. Maharishi Durvasa blamed King Ambarish of dishonouring him and in his fit of rage plucked a hair from his head and threw it on the ground hence releasing a demon called Krtya on king Ambarish.
The demon was about to kill king Ambarish when the Sudarshan chakra, which was Lord Vishnu’s boon to him, emerged and killed the demon. The Sudarshan chakra then moved towards Maharishi Durvasa who panicked and ran for his life. He reached Indra and requested him to help but Indra was helpless. He then ran to Lord Bramha who too pleaded helplessness. He then went to Mount Kailash and begged Lord Shiva to save him to which Lord Shiva replied that as the Sudarshan chakra was Lord Vishnu’s boon, only he could save the sage. Maharishi Durvasa immediately ran to Vaikunth and pleaded Lord Vishnu to save him from his Sudarshan chakra.
Lord Vishnu told the sage to apologise to King Ambarish as only he could forgive him and save him. Maharishi Durvasa, still being followed by the Sudarshan chakra, reached King Ambarish’s palace and begged for forgiveness, King Ambarish showed his greatness; he forgave the sage and saved his life. Maharishi Durvasa realized the greatness of a devotee and God’s love for his devotee.
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