Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

A - B - C - D - E - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - P - R - S - T - U - V - Y


DURVASAS. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] `Ill-clothed.' A sage, the son of Atri and Anasuya, but, according to some authorities, he was a son or emanation of Siva.

He was noted for his irascible temper, and many fell under his curse. It was he who cursed Sakuntala for keeping him waiting at the door, and so caused the separation between her and King Dushyanta.

But it was he who blessed Kunti, so that she became a mother by the sun.

In the Vishnu Purana he is represented as cursing Indra for treating with disrespect a garland, which the sage presented to him. The curse was that "his sovereignty over the three worlds should be subverted," and under it Indra and the gods grew weak and were overpowered by the Asuras. In their extremity they resorted to Vishnu, who directed them to churn the ocean of milk for the production of the Amrita (water of life) and other precious things.

In the Mahabharata it is stated that on one occasion Krishna entertained him hospitably, but omitted to wipe the fragments of food from the foot of the sage. At this the latter grew angry and foretold how Krishna should be killed. The Vishnu Purana states that Krishna fell according to "the imprecation of Durvasas," and in the same work Durvasas is made to describe himself as one "whose nature is stranger to remorse."

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM