power of vows
Baktha Ambarisha story
Ambarisha was a great king in bharat. He was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He did the most severest of penances and attained the love and grace of the lord. The lord in order to protect the devotee gave him his sudharshana chakra iteslf. Ambarisha placed the maha sudharshana in his pooja mandiram and started doing pooja to the sudharshana. He along with his wife used to observe the EKADASHI VRATA. That is on Ekadasi day, you offer your prayers to Lord Vishnu and observe fasting. Not eating rice or anything cooked of rice is a must on that day. He sincerely observed ekadasi vrata. He used to perform a lot of yagnas and pooja on the ekadasi day and in order to complete the vrata, he will have to take the tulasi theertham at the end of the pooja. He was doing this sincerely for a very long time.
One day Durvasa Maha Muni, who is famous for his short temperament visited Ambarisha’s palace. That day was ekadasi day and the king was observing his fast as usual. On that day he usually gives a dakshina to a pious brahmin. It is well known that Durvasa, who was born out of Shiva’s anger is a very holy person and there can be no other human being who can be pious when compared to him. So Ambarisha requested the muni to accept his dakshina, to which the muni agreed happily. But he said, he had travelled a long distance, so he wanted to have his bath in the river and do his sandhya vandhanam, before he can accept the dakshina. Having said this, he went to a near by river to have his bath.
It took a very long time for the muni to return. Meanwhile the Ekadasi thithi was coming close to and end and within a few minutes Dwadasi will set in. If Ambarisha doesnot take the Tulasi theertham by then his Vrata will not have any result. If he doesnot take the Tulasi theertham efore dwadasi sets in, it is considered that he has broken the vrata and it will incur him a lot of sin. Still Ambarisha thought, he should first honour the guest before he can consume anything.
But the priests and other ministers who were present convinced Ambarisha that it was just Tulasi theertham and so the Muni will also understand and not object to this, and asked the king to go ahead and consume the tulasi theertham.
Ambarisha agreed to this and the king and queen took the Tulasi theertham after chanting the apporpriate mantram. Just as they finished this, Durvasa muni returned and saw what was happening.
He felt insulted. He said, as the king was observing the vrata, consuming tulasi theertham is considered as good as having food. The king having invited the muni for lunch, had eaten his lunch even without waiting for the guest(that is the muni). Saying so the muni, began to take the water from his kamandala to curse the king.
Just then a bright light appeared from the pooja mandiram of the king, and the sudharshana chakra which was there started to rise and it came close to durvasa’s neck. It appeared as if Lord Vishnu had thrown the sudharshana at the muni. Durvasa trembled in fear. He was egoistic and did not understand the power of bhakthi of ambarisha. So he started running towards kailasha, and prayed lord shiva to save him. Shiva said, it was Vishnu’s weapon and he will not do anything against it and also said, perhaps Brahma or Vishnu can save him.
Next Durvasa went to Brahma deva. Here too brahma deva said he was helpless and asked Durvasa to seek refuge in Lord Vishnu. Finally Durvasa came to Vaikuntha and prayed lord sriman narayana to save him. The lord said, his devotees are always important to him. Durvasa had insulted his devotee Ambarisha and even went to the extent of cursing him. Lord said, if any one does any harm to his devotees or even thinks of doing some harm to his devotees, his sudharshana will not spare them. The Sudharshana will not even wait for instructions from the lord. If it knows there is some harm being done to Vishnu’s devotees, the sudharshana will immediately go to the rescue of the devotees and punish the wrong doers. This is what had happened in Durvasa’s case too.
Durvasa immediately understood his mistake. He was thinking he was a muni and was greater than any other human. He did not understand that the Lord wants only pure bhakthi and will do anything to save his devotees. He immediately went to Ambarisha and requested him to save him. Ambarisha then prayed sincerely to the Maha Sudharshana and requested Sudharshana not to attack Durvasa Muni.
Only then the sudharshana’s anger subsided and it went to its place in the pooja mandiram. Durvasa Maharishi having understood this, took a vow saying he will never get short tempered again and went to varaha-kshetram to do penance and pray to Lord Vishnu.
Vishnu gave moksha to Ambarisha, and said who ever will observe Ekadasi vrata will reach vaikuntam after they shed their mortal remains