Biographies | Rishi
The Hungry Angry Durvaasaa
There are many incidents in the Puraan and Mahaabhaarat involving the anger of Durvaasaa - one is with Ambareesh, another is with Kuntee and yet another is with Indra, to name a few. Even though Durvaasaa had this fiery nature, still he had his part to play. He is also in the 'Guru Paramparaa' that the Madhwa line lists, He lived his life very austerely, traveling the three worlds as a Sanyaasee. Everywhere that he traveled his 10,000 disciples traveled with him, so there were always 10,001. The following preaching of Durvaasaa Muni's is the essence of Madhwaachaarya's Dwait philosophy which is transcendentally echoed in the Aitareya Upanishad - Madhwaachaarya's favorite Upanishad. Surely Durvasa Muni is a transcendentally unusual person.
Why Durvaasaa Muni Ate Only Doorvaa Grass
Durvaasaa Muni replied - "As Sound is contained in the element of Ether, and although Sound and Ether are different, this Ether does not know I am spirit; How can I be a materialistic sense enjoyer? Touch is contained within the element of Air, although Touch and Air are different. Touch is contained within the Air. This air does not know I am spirit. How can I be a materialistic sense enjoyer? Form is contained within the element of Fire. Although form and Fire are different, form is contained in Fire. This fire does not know I am spirit. How can I be a materialistic sense enjoyer? Taste is contained within the element of Water, although taste and Water are different. Taste is contained within Water. This water does not know I am spirit. How can I be a materialistic sense enjoyer? Aroma is contained within the element of Earth, although aroma and Earth are different. Aroma is contained within Earth. This Earth does not know I am spirit. How can I be a materialistic sense enjoyer? It is the mind that remains among the senses and accepts them. When spirit is everything, how does one think? Where does one go? I am spirit. How can I be a materialistic sense enjoyer?
Your beloved Krishn is the original Creator of the two kinds of bodies. On the tree of this body are two birds. One is an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is a witness and the other is an enjoyer. Thus one is enjoyer and other is a non-enjoyer. The first enjoys and the second is Krishn (Paramaatmaa), the witness in the heart. In Him we do not find material so-called knowledge and ignorance. This ignorance and real knowledge are different. How can Krishn who is full of real knowledge, become a material enjoyer. He who lusts after pleasure is lusty, he who does not lust after pleasures is not lusty. Krishn, who is free from birth and death, who is unchanging, who cannot be cut, who stays by the Yamunaa, who stays among the Surabhi cows, who stays among the cowherd boys, who stays in all the Ved, who is glorified by all the Ved, who has entered all living entities and who controls all living entities, is Your consort."
Gandharvee (Raadhaa Raanee) said - "Why has the Supreme Personality of Godhead taken birth among us as a cowherd boy? O sage, how do you know so much about Krishn? What is His Mantra? What is His abode? Why has He taken birth from Devakee's womb. Who is His elder brother Balaraam? How is He worshipped? Why has the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is far above this world of matter descended to this earth?" etc, etc.
Durvaasaa Muni said - "In the beginning, only Lord Naaraayan existed. In Him the material worlds were woven as a thread is woven on a loom. From His lotus navel the demigod Brahmaa was born. When Brahmaa performed severe austerities, Naaraayan wanted to grant him a boon. Brahmaa chose a question. Naaraayan granted his request. Brahmaa asked about His incarnations and that why Krishn, Govind was the best among them. Naaraayan then described His creation and His holy Dhaam (abodes), etc to Brahmaa."
There is more but to include here would make this chapter even more lengthy. One should read Gopaal Tapanee Upanishad for the complete reply of Durvaasaa but here we can at least see that he was of Guru Paramparaa's conclusion. Raadhaa Raanee received a boon from Durvaasaa Muni that whatever she cooked, would be better than nectar. (Sri Chaitanya Charitaamrit Antya Leelaa 2:6:116).
The full story of Durvaasaa Muni's blessing to Raadhaa Raanee is told in a wonderful book by HH Narayana Maharaja entitled "Sri Vraja Mandala Parikrama." The incident happened at Jawat. Some Gaudiyaa Vaishnav do not accept that the incident with Raadhaa Raanee was with the same Durvaasaa, they see all the arguments and anger he displayed in other situations, consequently and unfortunately that kind of attitude does not fit in here - always and only stressing his angry attributes. In "Shree Vrindaa Van Dhaam Kee Jaya" the author also substantiates that the Durvaasaa Muni who is the plenary incarnation of Shiv is the same who met with Raadhaa Raanee (Gandharvee). He also states that Durvaasaa Muni used to perform austerities on the bank of the Yamunaa, opposite the Vishraam Ghaat. (Dhruva Maharaja Dasa. 1988, page 2).
Durvaasaa and Krishn
Practically there are unlimited stories of the pastimes of Durvaasaa Muni and his being made an example, and little tests of tolerance and humility that he had to undergo. Even once he came to test Shree Krishn and Rukminee in Dwaarakaa. This kind of drama can only be performed by one who is very close to the Lord.
Lord Krishn, showing Himself to be the perfect householder, invited the great Muni in, sat him down, and washed his feet. However, the unpredictable guest had a plan, and "accidentally on purpose" broke precious and beautiful objects around his palace to see how far Krishn would go with his elevated Braahman guest. "Oh, such a nice vase, Oops." Smash! "Oh, such an opulent couch. Rip! Oops, sorry." Like that, then he made many demands for food, I want this, I want that, and Rukminee Jee personally served their respected guest. Finally Durvaasaa called for some Paayasam, sweet pudding, but when it arrived he said he was now full. Still Krishn and Rukminee tolerated everything and continued their mood of treating Durvaasaa as a welcomed guest. Durvaasaa then said to Krishn, "Here You take this, and instead of me eating it, You take this Paayasam and smear it all over your body, everywhere. Now do the same to Rukminee too, starting with the face." Krishn did like this in all humility.
Muni Durvaasaa noticed that Krishn had smeared the Paayasam on His whole body except His feet. He got angry to see this, he said - "Krishn, I came here to put this protection Kavach on your body. This Paayasam was not an ordinary Paayasam, it was the Kavach (armor) for you so that your body is safe in any kind of battle. Since you smeared it in your whole body, so your whole body has become of Vajra (hard) and it is protected, but as you have left your feet without smearing the Paayasam, they are now without Kavach. Now you will die because of your feet only." Krishn bowed His head to Muni and said politely - "Hey Muni, Whatever it is, I could not have touched your Prasaad with my feet at any cost." Durvaasaa Muni got very pleased hearing this reply but was sad as Krishn's feet remained without Kavach. Krishn died of the arrow hit in His foot.
Now Durvaasaa said, "Give me one chariot." Krishn called a chariot also. "Now you give me your beautiful wife Rukminee." He did so. Lord Krishn ascended another chariot and came up close behind Durvaasaa. Durvaasaa stopped his chariot and enquired as to what Krishn was doing there, following him. Krishn, still not wanting to offend his guest said, "I was just accompanying you to see if you needed any assistance." Durvaasaa Muni then reluctantly said - "You, Krishn and Rukminee, are the perfect householders. I give you all benedictions. Rukmini, you will always be known as the principal Queen of Krishn. I offer my respectful obeisance unto you both."
Durvaasaa and Raadhaa
When Yashodaa (Krishn's mother) came to know about this boon to Raadhaa from Durvaasaa Muni, she invited Raadhaa to come and cook for Krishn daily." (Padmalochan Prabhu, 1985. "Yamuna the Personification of Prema Bhakti", Page 20.).
Due to the incident mentioned earlier, with Raajaa Ambareesh, Durvaasaa had practically become infamous throughout the Vaidik literatures as the fiery mendicant, who cursed many. But above all these incidents, he was a great Vaishnav follower of the Lord. Tracing back some of the fiery incidents of his life, it is interesting to see that Durvaasaa Muni took Sanyaas from Sanak Kumaar and received many transcendental instructions from him. The same four Kumaar are considered the originators of Sanyaas in the Madhwa line, though they themselves are the heads of another Sampradaaya named the Kumaar or Sanakaaadi Sampradaaya which later became known as the Nimbaark Sampradaaya. Nimbaark was a Vaishnavaachaarya in the line of Sanak Kumaar. Actually all the Vaishnav Sampradaaya are direct descendents of the Lord. One can only approach Krishn through the Guru. Guru means "Guru Paramparaa".
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 02/16/13