One of the many Apsaraa in Indra's court and is considered most beautiful
Apsaraa among all the Apsaraa.
Birth of Urvashee
There are many legends about the birth of Urvashee but the following one
is most prevalent.
Once the revered sages Nar and Naaraayan were meditating in the holy
shrine of Badreenaath situated in the Himaalaya. Indra, the king of the
Gods, did not want the sage to acquire Divine powers through meditation,
so he sent two Apsaraa to distract them. The sage struck his thigh and
created a woman so beautiful that Indra's Apsaraa were left matchless.
This Apsaraa was named Ur, because of being born from thigh because
the Sanskrit word for thigh is Ur; and Vashee means who can control
somebody. So she was born from thigh who could control people by her
beauty. After his meditation was complete the sage gifted Urvashee to
Indra, and she occupied the pride of place in Indra's court.
Another Meaning of Urvashee
Ur also means heart and Vash means to control, hence Urvashee is also the
name of a woman who conquers the heart. According to the etymology of the
well-known Hindi poet Raamdhaaree Singh "Dinkar", Urvashee also
means a lady who invokes utter desire in men.
Urvashee in Puraaan
Once Urvashee was cursed by Mitraavarun to live on Prithvi, so she came on
Prithvi and lived on Prithvi as the wife of Pururavaa for many years. She
bore six sons for him. Thus she became the means of Chandra Vansh. Read about
her and Pururavaa in
Vishnu Puraan, 4/6,
Urvashee in Mahaabhaarat
Once she was attracted to Arjun also when he was in Swarg to take Divine
weapons from his father Indra. Arjun did not accept her as his wife, so
she cursed him that he should become a eunuch for ever. When Arjun told
this incident to Indra, he changed it to only for one year and that one
year also was at his own discretion. He then suggested him to use it at
the time of their A-Gyaatvaas period (incognito).
Urvashee in Literature
Raashtra Kavi Raamdhaaree Singh "Dinkar" composed an epic poem
titled "Urvashee". Raamdhaaree Singh Dinkar's language and imagery
reflected elements of the romantic sensibility but he made them a vehicle of
his dramatic, narrative style, as seen in Urvashee (1961) for which he received
the Gyaanpeeth Award in 1972.
are - Menakaa, Rambhaa, Tilottamaa, Punjikaashalee etc etc