King Pururava’s infatuation with Apsara Urvasi

King Pururava proved himself as a model King ruling by Dharma, Varnashrama and other Vedic principles. Meanwhile, Urvasi the Celestial Dansuese received a curse from a Sage to leave to Earth for a fixed time-frame. On learning about the best possible choice as a suitor in King Pururava, it was not difficult for him to be lured and she agreed to marry him on three conditions that she would consume only ‘ghee’ (classified butter), that he should take good care of two sheep that she brought from Gandharva Loka and that she should not view his bare body except in bed. Fully mesmerised by her presence in his company, Pururava’s interest in his duties of governance got diluted gradually. Meanwhile, the time frame of her curse was over and Indra sent his persons to steal the sheep. When he knew about the pilferage, he chased the thieves not even realising that he was unclad but the celestial thieves outsmarted him. Urvasi got terribly infuriated as Pururava broke the contract on both the counts of chasing away the thieves unclad and not being able to safeguard the sheep. She left him for heavens and Pururava’s frustration and pangs of separation got him distressed to such an extent that he wandered various places aimlessly. By chance he saw Urvasi at Kurukshetra, profusely regretted his follies and entreated her to return to him, when she advised that their meeting was purely temporary and that he should overcome his infatuation with her. Thus there indeed were instances of interaction of ‘Gunas’ of which Veda Vyasa was no exception.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at