If you’ve seen some of the old, “dramatic” Bollywood movies, then you might have heard this dialogue quite often: “I CURSE YOU”, and as the storylines thicken, the curse actually does affect the person and his/her fate.
In Hindu epics, there have been some interesting Shraaps (Curse) that have been addressed to gods and mortals that apparently changed the course of divine history.
1. The Curse of Bhrigu
After getting tired of getting whipped by Devas on every occasion, Shukracharya (the leader of Asuras) went to Shiva for powers that could make his clan invincible. Devas got scared because they knew that if Shiva grants him the wish then the tables would turn. So, they attacked Asuras who were staying at Bhrigu’s (Shukracharya’s father) ashram. Bhrigu was not present, however, and Shukracharya fled to take shelter. Bhrigu’s wife protected the Asuras from Indra and other demigods instead and she left Indra immobile.
The Devas went to Vishnu to seek help and to free Indra. Eventually accepting their request after a major verbal conversation and conflicts, Vishnu went to the Ashram and cut her head with his Sudarshana Chakra.
Bhrigu got pissed when he returned back to see his wife’s head cut-off. So, he cursed Vishnu to be born several times so that he can suffer the pain of worldly life. Then, he resurrected his wife using his power.
As we know, Bhagwan Vishnu has many avatars that rose on earth; Sri Krishna being one of them.
2. The Shraap of Vriddhakshatra
Abhimanyu, Arjuna’s son, died after destroying “Chakravyu” single-handedly. Not many know that it was, in fact, Jayadratha who was responsible for his death. Getting angry, Arjuna kept repeating the words:
“Before sunset tomorrow, I shall slay Jayadratha who killed my son. Anyone who comes between me and him shall also be destroyed.”
There had been one prediction back in the days that Jayadratha would die a gruesome death in a war where someone will behead him. His father, Vriddhakshatra, thus cursed: “Anyone who causes my son’s head to roll on the ground shall have his head gusted into fragments right in the very moment.”
As the war went, Krishna deceived Jayadratha by making him seem that the sun had set. Krishna instructed Arjuna to shoot the arrow in such a way that his head would then land straight in the lap of Vriddhakshatra. When that happened, Vriddhakshatra couldn’t face the horror of seeing his son’s head on his lap. He let go of the head, and right then, his own head got ruptured into hundred fragments.
3. Rishi Kindama’s shraap on Pandu
An ace archer, Pandu made an unusual mistake while hunting a deer in the forest. He hit one rishi and his wife instead of the deer. They screamed out loud and Pandu went closer to the place where he hit.
Rishi Kindama in his dying breath cursed Pandu: “If you even think of sex while approaching a woman, you will die then and there.” In fact, Kindama and his wife were being intimate in the forest when Pandu shot them.
Later on, when Pandu was thinking of getting intimate with his second wife Madri, he died of the curse.
4. Four Kumaras’ curse on Jaya and Vijaya
At Vaikuntha (Vishnu’s palace), Jaya and Vijaya were the gate keepers and true devotee of Vishnu. One day, the four Kumaras – Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanatkumara – approached them, and as a dutiful doorkeeper, they asked them to leave as the two thought that these four Kumaras were only children trying to create the nuisance for Vishnu.
The four Kumaras got enraged and cursed Jaya and Vijaya to be born as mortals and suffer the life of the mortals.
As Vishnu returned back, Jaya and Vijaya pleaded Vishnu to reverse the curse. But Vishnu had his hands tied in this matter; he couldn’t reverse this curse. Instead, he said that he could tweak it a little. He told them that they could either live on Earth as true devotees of Vishnu for seven lives or, live as his enemy for just three lives. After that, they could regain their position back at the palace.
Jaya and Vijaya thought that seven lives would be too long of a journey to live away from Vishnu himself. So instead, they chose to live only three lives on earth, but as his enemy. In the Kritya Yuga, these two were born as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Then in Treta Yuga, they were born again as Ravana and Kumbhakarna. In the third life in Dwapara Yuga, they were born as Dantavakra and Shisupala.
5. The Shraap of Urvashi
Urvashi was an interesting woman in those days. She wanted to entice Arjuna with a passion so that he could break his exile. Not that she wanted him for herself as what others would do, she instead wanted him to bring shame to the Pandavas, and that would be the way to do it.
But Arjuna saw her more like a mother since she was related to Puruva, the ancestor of Pandavas.
As it was considered to be “adharma” to reject a “passionate” woman, she had the power to curse Arjuna and she cursed him that he would live the rest of his life as a woman without his manly parts. But Indra appeared and requested her to reduce the curse to just one year. She did so. Arjuna spent the final year of his exile without his man-parts.
6. The Ultimate Curse of Yudhishthira to all women
Only after the death of Karna, Kunti revealed that he was her son and that he was also the brother of the Pandavas. Pandavas got really angry, but it hit Yudhishthira the most. He thought that Karna should have had the same right as them and that Kunti should not have kept such a big secret from them.
As part of his reaction, he cursed that the entire woman race would not be able to keep any kind of secret henceforth.
Perhaps, if we believe in this story, this is why the number of events that follow in the mythological and historical contexts has shown that women just spill the beans.
7. The Curse of Indra
Indra has been known for his mischiefs and also his “passion” for women. One time, he assaulted a sage’s wife. Getting angry, the sage decided to give Indra what he desired the most – vaginas.
He cursed Indra with thousand vaginas all over his body thinking that anyone seeing him in such condition would not take Indra seriously. Devas begged the sage to lift the curse. He instead changed the vaginas into thousand eyes.
Other versions of the story claim that he also had a thousand testicles as part of the shraap.