Urvashi and Pururavas

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Urvashi and Pururavas painted by Raja Ravi Varma. Urvashi found the atmosphere in heaven stifling. Everything was cold and synthetic including the colours and the fragrances of the flowers. Urvashi often stole to the Earth at night with her friends to feel the wet dew under her feet and the soft breeze against her body. On the other hand, Pururava envied the Gods. He was a regular invitee to Indra's court and was haunted at night by the grandeur he saw there. He would then take his chariot above the clouds and hurtle through the skies at break-neck speed. It was on such an occasion that the two met.

It is the story of the apasara Urvashi. Urvashi was returning to heaven after completing her task of breaking penance of Vibhandaka rishi by enticing him,leaving her son Rishyasringa with him, just before dawn with the other apsaras, when she was abducted by a demon. Pururava saw this and chased the demon on his chariot and freed Urvashi from his clutches. The brief period their bodies touched changed their lives forever.


  • A Dictionary of Hindu Mythology & Religion by John Dowson