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Ambarisha Story – Explains Greatness Of Ekadashi Fasting

Story of King Ambarisha is part of many Puranas and it explains the greatness of Ekadashi fasting. The story teaches us the importance and rewards of devotion and the folly of jealousy and unchecked anger.

King Ambarisha was an ardent devotee of Hindu God Vishnu and performed the Ekadasi fasting without a break. Pleased with his devotion and piety, Vishnu honored him with the ability to control Sudarshana Chakra. The Story of Ambarisha is that of jealous Indra using Durvasa Maharishi to put an end to the Ekadasi fasting of King Ambarisha.

Indra felt threatened by the piety by King Ambarisha. He instigated Durvasa Maharishi against King Ambarisha.

Durvasa arrived at the palace of King Ambarisha when he was about to break his Ekadasi fasting. He was received warmly by the king. Rishi was invited for taking food. The Rishi then went to take bath in the Kalindi River and for his prayers.

Durvasa deliberately took longer time to spoil the Ekadasi fasting of King Ambarisha. Dwadasi Tithi had started and the king had to break the fast before the tithi got over.

Durvasa was nowhere to be seen.

King Ambarisha then fed poor people and animals. He kept his food and that of Durvasa and waited for the Rishi to return.

As Dwadasi Tithi was about to end, the palace priests asked him to take a sip of water and end his fasting. King Ambarisha took a sip of water and ended his fast.

Durvasa suddenly appeared and he was furious that Ambarisha had eaten before serving him. Durvasa accused that Ambarisha did not respect the Atithi Devo Bhava concept.

In anger Durvasa released a demon named Krtya. It moved forward to kill Ambarisha. Suddenly, Sudarshana Chakra appeared and killed the demon.

Sudarshana Chakra then advanced towards Sage Durvasa. Durvasa ran for his life. He went to Indra for help. Indra was helpless. Then the Sage went to Brahma and Shiva who both pleaded helplessness.

Durvasa then finally went to Vishnu who asked the sage to take the help of Ambarisha as only he can rescue him.

Ambarisha saved the sage from death by controlling the Sudarshana Chakra.

Ambarisha then narrated the greatness of Ekadasi fasting to Sage Durvasa.