Episode # 33 – Indra becomes a popper overnight – Courtesy, Sage Dhurvaasa’s curse!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how the four Varnashrama Dharmas are equal in nature, and how all of them are important to keep the society integrated and running smoothly. If such is the case, there is no question of one being superior and the other being inferior. Moreover, all these thousands of sub-castes, sub-creeds, etc. are not in any way mentioned in the Vedas and Upanishads. It is only some “middlemen” who had vested interests for their own political brownie points, who were responsible for all the mess that we are into today. Hence, through this discussion, it should be clearly understood that none of these sub-castes hold any water and are only aimed at detrimental effects of our society, just for the political power and fame for few anti-social elements. Since, all four categories of the Varnashrama Dharma are born out of one person called Bhagawan Brahma, we should realize that all of us have our individual tasks cut out, and should focus on the tasks, rather than arguing and debating whether we’re superior or inferior. 

Moving on further from this, we now continue with witnessing the job of creation that is being performed by Bhagawan Brahma and Svaayambhva Manu. We see here that the Raakshasas are created, Devas are taking birth, etc. Similarly, the “Naagas”, “Yakshas”, “Gandharvas”, etc. are also taking birth one after the other. We should understand that all these different categories of people are part of the cluster of “Celestial Beings”. Subsequently, to make people understand how to lead a life in this world, Bhagawan creates some “rules and regulations” for the same. These rules and regulations are nothing but the “Vedas” and the “Vedantas”. These texts clearly explain how we lead a peaceful life in this world, without any hassles or creating problems for oneself as well as others. 

Thus, as the creation process is going on thus, there is a critical point here. Till this point, as the Devas were created, Indra was nominated to be the leader of the “Deva Lokha” and his empire was mammoth in nature. Many people around Indra were becoming jealous that he was enjoying a lot of pleasures and position, while he was ruling three “Lokhas” together. We can see here that this jealousy and power-struggles existed even then! Today we’re talking about all these points in organizational theories and management sciences, isn’t it? We can see here that such theories, management practices, etc. existed right from the time the world was created. We’ve not created anything new today. We’re only “discovering” existing practices, with regards to management and leadership principles. Thus, coming back to the context, Indra was the ruler of the three “Lokhas” – “Bhoo Lokha”, “Bhuvar Lokha” and “Suvar Lokha”. One fine day, as Indra was enjoying his infinite free-run and power, he came with a lot of his authority and arrogance, seated on top of his white elephant called “Airavata”. As Indra was travelling thus, he intercepted a great and an important Sage, by name Sage Dhurvaasa. Sage Dhurvaasa was walking past Indra with a “Prasad” (Divine offering, as a resultant of a spiritual practice). The spiritual practice wasn’t exactly done by Sage Dhurvaasa, but by some random woman. In fact, she had given this “Prasad” to Sage Dhurvasa, as she felt that he was perhaps the right person to possess it. 

However, as Sage Dhurvaasa saw Indra racing along, he stopped Indra on the way and says thus, “Oh Indra! Where are you going with full speed? Wait for a moment! I’ve got something to give you!” As Indra looked on, he was surprised as to why Sage Dhurvaasa is trying to stop him. He pays his respects to the great Sage and asks him the reason for stopping him. At this point, Sage Dhurvaasa explains thus, “Oh Indra! I had recently met someone who had given me this beautiful garland (Goddess Mahalakshmi’s garland) as a “Prasad” for a spiritual offering. As I’m a sage and I’m wandering here and there, I don’t think such expensive items should be under my possession. Perhaps, a person like your stature would be the apt one to have such important and expensive possessions! So I’m hereby giving this garland as a token of gift to you! Please, will you accept this?” 

Hearing thus from Sage Dhurvaasa, Indra accepts the garland and lets him go. He wears this garland for a few days, and eventually he gets bored with it. Indra thinks within himself, “Oh! What garland is this? I’ve got many other possessions like this, or even better ones than this. Why should I have this garland on my neck?” Thinking thus, Indra removed the garland from his neck and puts it around the elephant Airavata’s neck! The elephant, being an elephant, did not understand what was going on! It did not know the significance of this garland and thus, while it was playing one day in the river bed, it took the garland from its neck, stamped it and totally destroyed it under its heavy feet. 

As Sage Dhurvaasa comes to know that this precious garland has been ill-treated and disrespected by Indra, through his elephant, he becomes extremely angry. Even today, we might associate the quality of “Anger” often with Sage Dhurvaasa, isn’t it? 🙂 Thus, Sage Dhurvaasa was fuming with anger and walks into Indra’s palace straightaway without even having a second thought! He storms into Indra’s pa;ace thus, and curses him straightaway – “Oh Indra! You’ve disrespected and insulted the “Prasad” of Mother Mahalakshmi! How dare you do this? Do you think you’re the owner of the entire three Lokhas? You’re doing all this only with the arrogance in you, isn’t it? Now let me curse you straightaway – From today, all your kingdom and the possessions that you had till today, would go off your control! You would become a popper from this very next moment!” 

As Sage Dhurvaasa cursed thus, Indra immediately loses all possessions and kingdoms, and becomes a popper overnight! So for today, let us understand this event till this stage, and we shall take this forward to the next episode! What happens to Indra after this? What is his reaction going to be? Let’s wait eagerly till tomorrow to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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