The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Durvasa cursing Rukmini which is chapter 2 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the second chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 2 - Durvāsā cursing Rukmiṇī

Prahlāda said:

1. In all beings—be they demons or giants or be they the gods or the average ones, He—the adorable is present.

2. As per your approval, I shall inform you about the abode of God Kṛṣṇa by His grace.

3. In earlier times there was a city named Kuśasthalī founded by Kuśa near the sea on the western coast of India [i.e., Paścima?].

4. The river Gomatī had met the sea here in its natural course of flowing. By the name Dvārāvat (i.e. Dvārakā) it used to invoke adoration of people and its fame had spread out.

5. Adorned with sixteen qualities and in twelve imagery form of idols, Hari—the universal soul and the giver of all wishes resides there.

6. That is the best of places and that is his ultimate place. That is the fortunate (and auspicious) Dvārakā where Madhusūdana is present.

7. Lord Kṛṣṇa is heard to be present here like a door-frame with conch, disc and mace in his hands. Men can attain liberation by going there in Kaliyuga.

8. After hearing these words of the great soul Prahlāda, the devout sages became very surprised and they in turn asked him.

9-11. The sages said, “When the Yadu dynasty met with its downfall, then the best of the Yadu, i.e. Kṛṣṇa had rescued the earth from its resultant burden and had then left for his own place, i.e. Prabhāsa. When flooded by sea, Dvārāvat got washed away. So how could God’s name be used to be taken with all glory there in the Kaliyuga? How could Viṣṇu stay back in this region on earth’s surface evoking adoration of people? Tell us in details.”

Prahlāda said:

12. When king Ugrasena was ruling on the earth, then Kṛṣṇa was adding to the glory of the city of Yadus, i.e. Yadupurī from all sides.

13. Once, along with his beautiful wife, Kṛṣṇa was seated in a meeting which itself was offering a pleasant sight.

14. Different discussions bearing varied accounts of people were going on there. Uddhava happened to apprise Kṛṣṇa about the happenings all around.

Uddhava said:

15. Undergoing pilgrimage to get rid of his evil deeds Durvāsā happened to be there in the auspicious place called Cakratīrtha on the banks of the river Gomatī.

16. Hearing that, the all powerful, i.e. Kṛṣṇa with pleasure of mind got up immediately from his seat and headed for the house of Rukmiṇī.

17. Then coming near Vaidarbhī (i.e. an epithet of Rukmiṇī) he told her that by virtue of his great penance, Durvāsā—the son of Atri had virtually washed out most of his sinful deeds.

18. By fulfilling all duties towards treatment of him as a guest as well as by serving him as a Brāhmaṇa we can earn our upliftment for visiting the home of a person having no wife is futile for a deserving party/person.

19. The gods do not accept his worship. So do his forefathers do not accept his libations. Hence, let us go and invite him for a dinner.

20. After saying like this the God then got onto the chariot and then getting himself seated on it along with Rukmiṇī headed towards the place where Durvāsā was for the time being.

21. Then they saw him engaged in burning penance near the sea-shore covering himself fully with a garland of skulls.

22. Then before putting his questions, the God offered him, his regards. The daughter of soil of Vidarbha, i.e. Rukmiṇī also paid him her obeisance.

23. Durvāsā also seeing them to have come to meet him, enquired everything about their wellbeing as a matter of greeting.

24. Durvāsā said, “Where do you Kṛṣṇa put up at the moment5 Tell me the details regarding everything of yours—your financial state as well as the overall condition of your subjects.”

25-26. Śrī Kṛṣṇa said, “The sea has gifted me land measuring about eight miles. While residing there, the city has become a golden city to me, the Brāhmaṇa. The palace there is adorned with nine lakh gold. Out of your grace, I am staying there hale and hearty and without any fear.”

27. After hearing these words of him (i.e. Śrī Kṛṣṇa) Durvāsā was completely taken aback. With a little smile on him, Durvāsā began to ask Madhusūdana slightly sarcastically.

28. (Durvāsā asked) “Then there must be your able-bodied sons and other kith and kins who must be staying there with you! Please tell me about their number.”

29-3la. Śrī Kṛṣṇa said, “O Brāhmaṇa! I have got more than sixteen thousand and eight queens out of whom the daughter of king of Vidarbha (i.e. Rukmiṇī) is very dear to me. Each one of them, the sage, has got ten sons and ten daughters. There are fifty-six crore kith and kins of mine. The factual position with regard to the number of the remainder is not known.”

31b-32. Hearing this, the sage began to wonder as to how could it be. (He told himself) “Oh, this is based on the magic of limitless seed. All these deeds are manifesting the disposition of eternity.”

33. Durvāsā said, “I welcome you, the strong and powerful. Please tell what is intended to be executed by me. As my mind is full of pleasure by getting a sight of yours.”

34. Śrī Kṛṣṇa said, “Lord, if you are pleased, come along with me to my house. There I shall sanctify myself by making my forehead touch the water offered at your feet.”

35. Durvāsā said, “What shall you, Mādhava do taking me along, the person having such a high degree of intolerance. You can take me along only if you intend to follow my words together with your wife.”

Prahlāda said:

36. Having said that it would be like that, the God then left on his own chariot. Seeing Viṣṇu leaving, he (i.e. Durvāsā) began to laugh and said humorously.

37. Durvāsā said, “You do not know Durvāsā. Leave aside your efficient horse and along with your wife, be yoked onto my chariot.”

38. Śrī Kṛṣṇa said, “I shall do as you said, the Lord. By your grace, the Brāhmaṇa, I can cross over (the worldly life) along with my relations.”

Prahlāda said,:

39. Then both of them including the Goddess got themselves yoked onto the cross-bar of the chariot with the sage directing the lotus-eyed (i.e. Lord Kṛṣṇa) to move ahead while himself controlling the reins in his hands.

40-41. Seeing Hari pulling the chariot, all the gods began to tell one another amongst themselves: “Well done and well done.” They said, “The love of God for the Brāhmaṇa is remarkable indeed that along with his wife, he has taken the weight of the cross-bar of the chariot on his shoulders and both of them are pulling the same.”

42. Then while the gods continued showering flowers on Janārdana, he along with wife took the chariot towards Dvārakā.

43. Subsequently, in the process of pulling the chariot, Rukmiṇī felt thirsty out of exhaustion. Then Vaidarbhī (i.e. Rukmiṇī) with all eagerness writ-large in her eyes told Kṛṣṇa.

44. (Rukmiṇī said) “I have become exhausted pulling this chariot heavy with the weight of this irritable Brāhmaṇa. Darling, give me some water and then take me back to our abode.”

45. Hearing these words of hers, the God then striking his feet on the ground brought out the auspicious Gaṅgā having fluency in three directions.

46. Then seeing clean, cool, aromatic and pure water before her, the thirsty Goddess Rukmiṇī quenched her thirst by having the water of Jāhnavī (i.e. an epithet of Gaṅgā).

47. Seeing her drinking water the astute sage began to burn with anger, his eyes got red in anger and he thus, cursed the supreme Goddess.

48-49. Durvāsā said, “Rukmiṇī, as you have taken water without seeking my permission, you will always remain occupied with the habit of drinking and there will be no doubt about this. You have drunk the water without taking the yoke of the chariot off your shoulders and without asking me. Hence you will bear separation from Kṛṣṇa.”

Prahlāda said:

50. After saying so, the Brāhmaṇa with his eyes red-shot in anger got off the chariot and sat down on the ground.

51. Cursed in this way, the Goddess then got perturbed and began to cry. Bringing her pitiable state to the knowledge of Kṛṣṇa, she told him as to how could she stay without him.

52-53. Śrī Kṛṣṇa said, “Everyday, I shall come twice to your residence, the Goddess. Those who will have a sight of mine then, will get a look of yours here at the same time. If men having a sight of mine do not take a look of yours here with faith, the fruits of their visit here will get halved.”

54. By giving assurance to his dear wife in this manner, the God thus evinced his kindness towards the vehement Brāhmaṇa, Durvāsā.

55. Then outside his (i.e. Durvāsā’s) house, the God (i.e. Hari) worshipped him, washed his feet with water and then taking in hands the water offered at the Brāhmaṇa’s feet got his head touched with the same.

56. Then he offered him water through both his palms joined together in form of a cup. He gifted him with cows as well as offered him the mixture made of five ingredients (viz. milk, ghee, curd, honey, sugar, etc.) with faith. He also offered him palatable food consisting of six tastes and flavours as per accepted procedure.

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