The Story of Durvasa Rishi & King Ambrasia – Shiva Purana
In the chapter 19, Section 3 of Satarudra–Samhita of Shiva Purana, the incarnation of Shiva as Durvasa and his story is mentioned.
Atri, son of Brahma, was a great sage. He was the husband of Anasuya. At the direction of Brahma, he went to the mountain Ṛkṣakula accompanied by his wife in order to perform penance there, with the desire to get son. On the banks of the river Nirvindhya, the sage performed a great penance for a hundred years. A holy flame of fire came out of him. The worlds were almost burnt by that flame. Indra and other gods and the celestial sages too were afflicted by it. Then, gods, brahma and Vishnu went to Rudra’s abode. After eulogising him Vishnu mentioned to Shiva his grief caused by the flame due to the penance of Atri. Then the three deities Brahma and others went to the hermitage of Atri immediately to grant him the boon.
On seeing them, the sage Atri said: — “O Brahma, O Vishnu, O Shiva, you are worthy of being worshipped by the three worlds. You are lords and masters and the cause of creation, maintenance and annihilation. Accompanied by my wife, I meditated only on a single lord for obtaining a son, that lord whoever he may be, who is famous as Isvara. How is it that you three deities, the foremost among the bestowers of boons have come here? Please dispel my doubt and then grant me the desired boon”.
The three deities replied “O great sage, what has occurred is in accordance with what you have conceived. We three are great lords and equally leading among the granters of boons. Hence three sons originating from our parts will be born to you. They will be known in the world as enhancers of their parent’s reputation.”
After saying this, the three deities returned to their abodes joyously. After securing the boon, the sage joyously returned to his hermitage accompanied by Anasuya. The part of Brahma was born as the moon in Anasuya from the great sage. Hurled by the gods into the ocean he alone could come out of it. The part of Vishnu was born of that lady, wife of Atri, as Datta by whom the great path of renunciation was expanded. The part of Shiva was born of that wife of Atri as the excellent and leading sage Durvasas, the enhancer of Brahminical splendour, propagated excellent virtue.
Story of Durvasas & King Ambarisa:
The king Ambariṣa, a scion of the solar dynasty, was king of seven continents. He observed the rite of Ekadashi regularly with steady restraint. The king had the firm resolve that he would perform the rite of breaking fast on the Dvadasi day.
Coming to know of his regular observance the excellent sage Durvasas, approached him with many disciples. The king was about to take his breakfast realising that very little of Dvadasi was left on that day when the sage came there. The king invited him for food. Then the sage Durvasas went away for his ceremonial ablution, accompanied by his disciples. In order to test the king, the sage purposely delayed there. Realising that there would be violation of sacred injunction otherwise, the king took in a small quantity of water and waited for the arrival of the sage.
In the meantime, the sage returned. Knowing that the king had already had his breakfast, the sage, who had assumed that form for the testing of piety, became very furious with the king. He spoke very harsh words for testing his piety. After saying this he stood up, his eyes turned red due to fury and attempted to burn him. Immediately, Sudarshana the discus of the lord blazed forth to protect the king and burn the sage unmindful of the fact that he was the part of Shiva. It had been deluded by the Maya of Shiva. In the meantime, an unembodied celestial voice spoke to Ambariṣa, the noble soul, the devotee of Brahma and Vishnu. The celestial voice said: — “O king, this discus had been given to Vishnu by Shiva. It is now blazing against Durvasas. Quieten it. It was to test your piety that this great sage came. Seek refuge in him. Otherwise, there will be a great destruction.”
Ambariṣa said: — “If I possess the merit of charity and sacrifice, if my spiritual duty has been well performed by me, and if our family considers brahmins godly, let the weapon of Vishnu turn calm. If our lord, favourably disposed to his devotees, is delighted with my devotion let this missile Sudarshan become quite calm.”
The discus Sudarshan that originally belonged to Shiva became calm in all respects. Knowing him to be Shiva’s part, the king Ambariṣa, who had regained the composure of mind bowed to the sage whom he realised as Shiva’s incarnation come there to test his vow. The sage, born of Shiva’s part, was much delighted. He took his meals and granted him the desired boon. Then he returned to his abode.
Through the condition stipulated by Kala in the form of a sage he conducted the test of Rama, son of Dasharatha. At the very same time Lakṣmaṇa was obstinately sent in by Durvasas. Rama immediately forsook his brother in accordance with the earlier agreement.
He had tested the resoluteness of lord Krishna too. At the request of Brahma, Vishnu was born as the son of Vasudeva in order to ease the burden of the Earth as well as to protect the good. Lord Krishna slew the wicked, the great sinners, those who harassed the brahmins and the knaves. He protected all good men and brahmins.
Krishna, son of Vasudeva, showed great devotion to Brahmins. Every day he fed many brahmins with many juicy articles. The fame that Krishna was especially devoted to the brahmins spread everywhere. Desirous of seeing him, the sage approached Krishna. He tied Krishna and his consort Rukmiṇi to the chariot and sat himself in the chariot. Krishna bore the chariot delightfully. The sage descended the chariot. He was delighted at the steadfastness of Krishna and blessed him with the boon that his body would become adamantine.
Once the excellent sage Durvasas was taking bath in the celestial river Ganga when he became naked. He became a curious object of sight and was ashamed. Draupadi who was taking bath there provided him with the cut-piece of her garment and thus saved him from dishonor. As the piece of cloth reached him being carried by the current, the sage covered his private parts with it. He was therefore pleased with her. He granted her the boon of ever-increasing folds of cloth. Later, Draupadi made the Paṇḍavas happy due to that boon.
That holy sage gave directive to Vishnu and destroyed two wicked kings who had insulted him in the form of two young ones of swans. By his excellent Brahminical splendor he established the path of renunciation.