King Ambaris and Durvasa
The Sakhi about King Ambaris and Durvasa is recorded by Bhai Gurdas Ji in his Waars: This Shabad is by Bhai Gurdaas Ji in Vaars Bhai Gurdaas on Pannaa 10
a(n)bareek muhi varath hai raath pee dhurabaasaa aaeiaa||
One evening while King Ambaris was fasting he was visited by sage Durvasa.
bheerraa ous oupaaranaa ouahu out(h) nhaavan nadhee sidhhaaeiaa||
The King was to break his fast while serving Durvasa but the rishi went to the riverbank to take a bath.
charanodhak lai pokhiaa ouhu saraap dhaen no dhhaaeiaa||
Fearing the change of date (which would deem his fast fruitless), the King broke his fast by drinking the water which he had poured on the feet of the rishi. When the rishi realised that the King had not served him first, he ran to curse the King.
chakr sudharasan kaal roop hoe bheehaaval garab gavaaeiaa||
On this, Vishnu ordered his death like disc to move towards Durvasa and thus the ego of Durvasa was removed.
braamhan bha(n)naa jeeo lai rakh n ha(n)ghan dhaev sabaaeiaa||
Now Brahmin Durvasa ran for his life. Even the Gods and deities could not afford him shelter.
ei(n)dhr lok siv lok thaj breham lok baiku(n)t(h) thajaaeiaa||
He was avoided in the abodes of Indra, Siva, Brahma and the heavens.
dhaevathiaaa(n) bhagavaan san sikh dhaee sabhanaa(n) samajhaaeiaa||
Gods and God made him understand (that none except Ambaris could save him).
aae paeiaa saranaagathee maareedhaa a(n)bareek shhaddaaeiaa||
Then he surrendered before Ambaris and Ambaris saved the dying sage.
bhagath vashhal jag biradh sadhaaeiaa ||4||
The Lord God came to be known in the world as benevolent to devotees.(4)
King Ambarish was an atmanivedi – a humble servant of the Lord. Both he and his queen were performing great austerities. For twelve months they had fasted on every ekadashi, not even drinking water. Their fast would end on Kartik sud 12. On the morning of the twelfth, Sage Durvasa and one hundred of his disciples arrived at King Ambarish’s palace. Ambarish was overjoyed. He fell at their feet and welcomed them. He said, ”Today my ekadashi fast ends, and on this day you have also graced my palace. Indeed, I am very fortunate! Please dine here today.” Durvasa replied, ”We’ll first go to the river for a bath and then return.”
Durvasa and his disciples went to the river. Durvasa and his disciples bathed for a long time. But the sacred time for ending the fast was near. The king’s Brahmins advised him, ”The muhurt is passing. It is best you eat and so end the fast.” Ambarish said, ”I shall eat when Durvasa returns.” The Brahmins replied, ”But it is getting late. Only a few moments are left now. If you eat afterwards you will not receive the fruits of your fast.” Ambarish was troubled. But Brahmins are very clever.
They found an easy answer. They said, ”Eat a sanctified tulsi leaf. In this way it can be said you have ended your fast, and yet it can also be said that you haven’t eaten a meal!” On the Brahmins’ advice Ambarish placed a tulsi leaf in his mouth. Just then Durvasa and his disciples arrived. They discovered that Ambarish had completed his fast in their absence. Durvasa never needs to search for anger.
It’s always with him as his constant companion. He shouted. ”Ambarish, you are known as a great devotee, yet you have no idea of how to treat your guests! Why did you eat alone without us!” Ambarish touched Durvasa’s feet in apology. He said, ”Only to safeguard the muhurt have I placed a leaf of tulsi in my mouth. The banquet is ready. Come, let us dine together.”
But would Durvasa listen? No! He was the very incarnation of anger. Cursing Ambarish he cried, ”You shall have to suffer the fruits of insulting me.” Saying this he plucked a hair from his head and transformed it into a demonness. He commanded her to beat Ambarish.
Now, Ambarish was truly a great devotee of the Lord. He stood with hands joined in humility. The Lord placed his special weapon the Sudarshan Chakra – in Ambarish’s protection. The Sudarshan Chakra began to spin. Its bright light burnt the demonness to ashes. It then moved towards Durvasa to burn him as well. Durvasa saw this. He became frightened and clenched his fists and began to run for his dear life. The Chakra chased him everywhere.
Screaming Durvasa went to Lord Shiva and asked that he be saved from the Sudarshan Chakra. Shiva replied, ”I cannot turn the Chakra back. It belongs to Lord Vishnu. Go to him.” For a whole year Durvasa ran. He finally went to Lord Vishnu crying. “Save me! Save me!” He begged, ”Lord, I cannot suffer the light from your Sudarshan Chakra anymore. I’m burning. Please call the Chakra off.” God said, ”Durvasa, once my Chakra has been thrown at a person it never returns without killing him. I have no solution.” Durvasa began to weep.
God said to him, ”No good will be done by weeping. But yes, there is one way of saving yourself.”
”Lord! Quick tell me.”
”But will you be able to do it?”
”Lord, if my life can be saved anything and everything will be done!” said Durvasa, in a humble voice.
God explained to Durvasa, ”You have insulted my devotee, Ambarish. Humbly go to him and fall at his feet. If he forgives you then the Chakra will return to Me.”
To live, Durvasa had no other option. And so after a year of battering, Durvasa went to Ambarish. From the moment Durvasa had run away, with the Chakra chasing him King Ambarish had remained standing at the place he had been insulted. He had not eaten or drunk anything.
He fell at King Ambarish’s feet. Ambarish pulled his feet away and raised Durvasa. He said, ”King of Sages, your falling at my feet is not right.”
Durvasa replied, ”Ambarish, you are a true devotee of the Lord. I have insulted you. Please forgive me. Save me from the Sudarshan Chakra.”
King Ambarish prayed to the Sudarshan Chakra and said, ”If the love and respect I have for Durvasa at this moment are the same as they were when he first came to my palace, then, Oh Sudarshan Chakra! Please return to the Lord.” The Sudarshan Chakra returned to Lord Vishnu at once.
Durvasa was tremendously relieved. Then both he and Ambarish together went to the banquet hall.
The Lord cannot tolerate an insult thrown upon a great devotee of His. So never take fault with any devotee. Being humble before such a devotee pleases the Lord.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh