Ambarisha | Who is King Ambarisha as per Vedic literature?

Ambarisha, king of Ayodhya (birthplace of Rama), was one of the sixteen great kings who ruled Bharata. Ambarisha lived in the Treta Yuga and was an Ikshvaku king and the son of Mandhata.

These sixteen rulers are Marutta, Suhotra, Paurava, Sibi, Rama, Bhagiratha, Dilipa, Mandhata, Yayati, Ambarisha, Sasabindu, Gaya, Rantideva, Bharata, Prithu, and Parasu-Rama.

What made King Ambrisha great?

Maharaja Ambarisha engaged all his senses in devotional service. His mind was engaged in meditating on the lotus feet of Krishna. His words in describing the glories of the Lord. His hands were used in cleaning the Lord’s temple and his ears in hearing Krishna katha.

He engaged his eyes in seeing the deity of the Lord. He engaged his sense of smell in smelling the fragrance of Tulasi offered to the Lord and his tongue in tasting the Lord’s Prasada.

He used his legs only for visiting the temples and other holy places. His head was for bowing down before the Lord and all his desires in serving the Lord twenty-four hours a day.

As Lord Vishnu was happy with his devotion, he granted him the Sudarshana chakra. Ambarisha then started to fast in order to obtain more boons from Lord Vishnu.

What is the story of King Ambrisha & Sage Durvasa?

Maharaja Ambarisha had once observed a vow of Ekadashi for one year

One day, sage Narada went to Lord Indra and told him about the penance of Ambarisha and how his power was growing at such a rate that soon, he would be more powerful than Lord Indra.

This made Lord Indra get worried, though he already knew about this. Sage Narada then left. After this, sage Durvasa came to meet Lord Indra. He then fell at Durvasa’s feet and sought his blessings.

Durvasa muni was happy and blessed Lord Indra in return. He also asked Lord Indra as to what he wanted from him and to this he said that he would like it if Durvasa went to meet Ambarisha, as he was just completing his year-long fast as part of his penance to Lord Vishnu.

Durvasa agreed and went to meet Ambarisha. Now, this was all an evil plan made by Lord Indra as he knew very well that Durvasa was prone to get angry easily and as a result, he would end up cursing Ambarisha for some reason or the other.

Durvasa met with Ambarisha and he welcomed Durvasa to join him in the lunch which would break his fast. Durvasa agreed to come after having a bath and so Ambarisha waited.

Durvasa then went to a nearby river and started to take a bath. But he was taking a long time to return and during this time, Lord Indra sent a man in the guise of a fortune teller to Amabrisha.

The fortune teller told Amabrisha that the auspicious time for breaking the fast was soon coming to an end and it would be advisable if he had something to eat before it ended.

Ambarisha refused saying that he promised Durvasa that he would wait. The fortune teller then insisted that if Durvasa was late, then his entire year of penance would be wasted.

Ambarisha began to think and the fortune teller said that even a sip of water would be enough to break the fast and that it was not necessary to eat. Ambarisha thought again and felt it was the right thing to do and so he drank some water.

The fortune teller then left and promptly, Durvasa came back. Durvasa saw the water jug and asked if he had broken his fast and upon coming to know that Ambarisha had drunk some water, he grew very angry.

Though Ambarisha tried explaining that he had not eaten anything yet, Durvasa was too blinded by his anger to listen to logic. Durvasa plucked a tuft of his hair and after chanting some mantras, he threw it onto the ground.

The tuft of hair transformed into a demon and Durvasa ordered the demon to kill Ambarisha. Immediately, his soldiers came forward to protect him, but Ambarisha told them to lay down their weapons as Lord Vishnu would protect him.

Saying so, the Sudarshana chakra appeared over his head and it spun swiftly towards the demon and chopped his head off. The chakra then turned towards Durvasa and started to move swiftly towards him. He ran for his life.

Durvasa Muni ran through rivers, deserts and forests and finally ran to Lord Brahma for help. Lord Brahma said that he was helpless and told him to go to Lord Shiva.

Durvasa then ran towards Lord Shiva with the Sudarshana chakra still following him. Once he reached Lord Shiva, he told him about the chakra following him.

Lord Shiva then shrugged his shoulders and said that he should have gone instead to Lord Vishnu who was the owner of the Sudarshana chakra.

So, Durvasa went to Lord Vishnu and asked for his help. Lord Vishnu calmly replied to him saying that he tried to harm one of his devotees and hence this was a punishment he deserved.

Durvasa asked for forgiveness, but Lord Vishnu told him that he was asking forgiveness from the wrong person and that he should instead seek forgiveness from Ambarisha.

So, Durvasa rushed to where he first ran from and sought forgiveness from Ambarisha. He had a big heart and he forgave Durvasa for his mistakes.

Durvasa thanked him profusely and left the place and meanwhile, Lord Indra sat frustrated in his home as his plan had failed miserably.

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