Sage Durvasa is famously known for his anger and is respected highly amongst human beings and gods. He is an intelligent sage and is the son of sage Atri and Anasuya. When speaking about his anger, we need to also mention some curses that have made his behaviour infamous in the three realms. A few of his curses that stand out and have shown the world his power are towards Indra, Shukracharya, Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Lakshmi and Shakuntala. Along with the curse, he also blessed certain people with boons. Those people were either his devotees or bestowed great respect on him.
Kunti, the mother of Pandavas and Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu received boons from the sage. Let’s learn about Durvasa’s contribution to Mahabharata before learning about his life. Kunti served sage Durvasa with all her heart and devotion and won him over. Sage Durvasa, extremely pleased and impressed by the sincerity of Kunti, decided to give her a magical and powerful Atharvaveda mantra. This mantra was a chant that could allow her to receive a boon from any god she prays to. This boon would be in the form of a baby. The baby would certainly come with a reflection of the god and his powers. Kunti was very happy with this blessing and decided to try it out. She prayed to Lord Surya with this mantra and was blessed with a great warrior son, Karna.
Speaking about Rishi Durvasa’s connection with Lord Krishna. Shakuni along with Duryodhan worked towards pleasing sage Durvasa for a boon. They wanted to destroy the Pandavas using this boon. They were successful in securing the boon and wished for the destruction of the Pandavas. They requested sage Durvasa to pay a visit to the Pandavas particularly at a time when they were done with their meals and did not have anything to offer to the sage. When Durvasa came to the Pandavas, he decided to give Draupadi some time to prepare a meal. She was out of food and prayed to Lord Krishna to help her with the food. Draupadi explained to him the situation. She asked him to get the Akshaya Patra. The vessels were filled by the magical powers of Lord Krishna and the day was saved.
Sage Durvasa was an ardent follower of Shiva. The reason for that can be explained through the birth story of the sage. Once Shiva got into a fight with Lord Brahma. His spouse, Parvati declared that it was impossible for her to live with Shiva now. He then realised the degree of his anger and the chaos that came with it. He transferred all his anger into Anasuya who was the wife of Atri. A child was born from this portion and named him Durvasa. Durvasa literally means someone who is very tough to live with. His nature of anger and short temperament comes from the elements of Shiva that have been transferred into him.
He was very actively involved in the Samudra Manthan episode as mentioned by various Puranas. Some Puranas consider him to be the catalyst/origin point of the episode as well. Sage Durvasa has a temple dedicated to him in the Aali Brahman, District of Palwal, Haryana.