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This is an example of a myth about a priestly curse that explains the bad fortune of a king and a kingdom. Such a myth served as an advertisement of the powers (siddhis) of brahmins and their ability to bless or curse. This late story in the Vamana Purana referred back to the setting of the great war told in the Mahab- harata and why King Dhritarashthra’s kingdom was destroyed. The listeners would appreciate an addition to the many other reasons that they already knew from the episodes of the Mahabharata.
A group of brahmins, including the sage Dalbhya, asked King Dhritarashthra for alms in the holy Naimisha forest. But he refused them and they vowed revenge. Dalbhya officiated at a sacrifice intended to cause the kingdom of Dhri- tarashthra to decline. Realizing his mistake, Dhritarashthra went to Dalbhya and gave him money and presents. So Dalbhya stopped the curse and blessed Dhri- tarasthra. But karma is cumulative—and the listener knew what the final result would be, despite Dhritarashthra attempt to buy his way out of bad karma.