In our scriptures, there are plenty of sages like Durvasa who were very aggressive. They cursed many people on very small mistakes. He cursed King Abarisha just because he had some water before Durvasa came back because it was important to break the fast at the right time. He cursed all the gods because Airavat crushed the Garland of Durvasa.(Read about these curses here.). Not only Durvasa but there were many other sages like Vishwamitra who plotted to kill sons of Vashistha without there fault. Remember what Lord Krishna said in Gita.

दु:खेष्वनुद्विग्नमना: सुखेषु विगतस्पृह: | वीतरागभयक्रोध: स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते ||

Bhagwad Gita 2.56: One whose mind remains undisturbed amidst misery, who does not crave for pleasure, and who is free from attachment, fear, and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.

Are these sages true sages?

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    Durvasa is an amsha of Lord Shiva. You know what Lord Shiva is famous for? Destruction, just like Brahma creates and Vishnu preserves. Do you know another name of Shiva? Rudra (ANGER). So it is his duty/nature to be angry and curse. That doesn't mean they are not true sages. Even the anger of some sages ends up being good, because it becomes a test of the recipient's character. Durvasa also had a boon that whenever he curses, his tapasya credit will INCREASE instead of DECREASE.
    – ram
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 7:24
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    I heard it somewhere (don't know if its true or not), it depends upon the location where these sages perform their initial Tapasya, Some sages did their tap on some specific mountains that increases their anger, and other did Tapasya someplace else, that decreased their anger.
    – V.Aggarwal
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 7:36
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    This looks like an opinion-based question. Also, you're self-answering, the BG quote actually belongs to the answer. Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 16:47
  • @sv. My question is that why most of the sages mentioned in our scriptures were so aggressive? Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 4:29
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    Check the title once again, that's not your question. You are asking, "Are aggressive sages like Durvasa not true sages?" Then you quote a verse from BG to prove he's not a true sage. So you are answering it yourself. If your actual question is, "Why were most of the sages mentioned in our scriptures so aggressive?" then that should be the title but even that is opinion-based IMO. Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 4:44

3 Answers 3


There are 3 methods of adoring the Almighty, as far as I understood.

  1. Performing religious rituals, as laid down in Sastras, offering prayers at prescribed times, following Dharmic way of life - ritualistic life.- Example: Dasaratha, Yudhisthira, etc.

  2. Performing tantric rituals, as laid down in tantra texts, undergoing severe austerities, if necessary by performing various Homas, which are prohibited by Vedic way of life (dakshinachAra), for achieving powers in a shortest possible period - Example: Ravana, Indrajit, etc.

  3. Performing severe austerities, with a view to obtaining SELF REALISATION. Example: Sage Vasistha, Sage Viswamitra, Sri Ramana Maharshi, etc.

Sage Durvasa, Sage Viswamitra, etc, fall into the 3rd Category.

However, we have to understand that there will be different stages/phases in one's life, even in the lives of sages.

Sage Viswamitra did not become a brahmarshi overnight.

  • After performing one thousand years of ascesis in Southern side, he was declared as a Kingly-rishi . The episode of wasting of his ascetic power on Trishanku happened at this juncture

  • After performing austerities for one thousand years in Western side, he had become a rAjarshi. The incident of rescuing Shunashepa and enjoying conjugal bliss with Menaka (10 years) happened then.

  • After performing austerities for one thousand years in Northern side, he was conferred with Supremacy among Sages.

  • Another thousand years were spent in austerities. Cursing of Rambha happened then , wasting his austerity power.

  • After performing austerities for one thousand years in Eastern side, he had to forgo his meal to Indra, which he did without murmur.

  • Again spending another 1000 years, he became brahmarshi.

So occurrence of pitfalls while performing austerities are common in the lives of most of the sages. It never indicates they are fake sages, but indicates various phases of pitfalls and rising up again.

They are sages, without doubt.

  • did Ramana Maharshi really perform severe austerities?
    – iruvar
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 14:24
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    @iruvar: You can go through his biography here and know for yourself. Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 15:36

Sages like Durvasa and Viswamitra used their anger as a tool to intensify their energies. It is not that they were angry at anything; they were simply angry. Since anger is a very intense emotion, it is possible to use one's anger as another tool in one's sadhana. And, as @srimannarayanakv points out in their answer, these instances of wrathful cursing are few and far between, but they are what stick in our memory whenever we think of Durvasa or Viswamitra. The rest of the time, they were surely beings of great equanimity and wisdom.

It is possible that you are looking upon the actions of these sages from a moralistic viewpoint, which is simply not relevant for them since they are coming from a pure energy state, in this case, pure anger. Applying a moralistic lens over their actions would be to do them a disservice.

There are some sages who also use their anger as a kind of defense mechanism — to keep away all but the most intense of seekers. Sadhguru Sri Brahma was one such yogi of the last century — apparently, he would always be in an intense state of anger; again, not at any issue or any person, just simply angry. And common people would flee from him in terror, because such was the intensity around him.

It is also worth noting what @ram says in a comment under your question — recall that even Shiva himself is pure anger in his form as Rudra.

So, yes, Durvasa and Viswamitra and others like them were no doubt true sages, and great ones at that.

Source: Anger is Intensity — Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev - video extract from the Isha Yoga 7 day program held in Atlanta, Georgia USA in 2003


Seeker: In our Indian tradition, these great seers like Viswamitra, they were all angry people and they could never get control of their anger. So, what is the nature of this anger that afflicts us?

Sadhguru: See, you must understand, anger is intensity. Please look at your life and see, probably anger is the most intense moment many of you have known. Yes? Is it so? <crowd murmurs in affirmation>

Anger is intensity. Intensity is good. But, because you are attaching an emotion to it, which is becoming misery, which is destructive... Both, to yourself and to what's around you, which is the problem... If you can remain as intense as a Vishwamitra, very calm, that would be fantastic, isn't it?

But, right now, he has worked through his anger, he has worked with his anger, used anger as a tool always to rev himself up to high intensities. So, once in a way, because it is... because his intensity is attached to a certain emotion, it spills over. Whatever the negative stories that you hear about them are little spillovers. Rest of the time, they were wonderful sages, you know?

But, in your life, every day you are doing wonderful things to everybody. Just one day, you stabbed somebody, okay? All your life people will remember you as just that man who stabbed somebody, isn't it? Every day you did so many wonderful things to people. But that's not the point, you stabbed one man one day, that is what will stick with you, always. Because, people's minds are so focussed on the negative. They enjoy the negative, because it's like them. Laughs. Stabbing is something that they always wanted to do but they never did. Because it's a wrong thing to do, that's the only thing that stopped them, their morality, not their humanity. Yes?

So, you don't want to stab anybody out of your humanity, that will be wonderful. But you don't want to stab anybody because it's a wrong thing to do, that's a horrible way to live. Yes or no? Most people don't stab anybody because it's a wrong thing to do, not because their humanity doesn't allow them to do such things. So, these Vishwamitras and Durvasas and others, they flew into a rage because they don't come from morality. They just come from pure energy states. Seething anger. Shiva himself, you know? Shiva is fury, all the time.

You should have... laughs. Yesterday they showed you a picture of one person Sadhguru Sri Brahma? A black and white picture that was in the telefilm, did you notice that? No? He was like this, all the time fury. Not about anything, not angry with anybody, simply angry. Laughs. Just so angry. All the time angry. Not with anybody, not about any issue, just simply pure anger. Because he doesn't want to get entangled with love and compassion and all this stuff, he keeps himself angry. So only people who can look beyond that can be with him. Other, you know, namby-pamby people, they cannot be with him. Only intense seekers can go to him. This is a defense system, okay? This is a defense mechanism.

Now... laughs I shouldn't be saying too many things about myself. Now I am here in a program like this, I am very pleasant. At least, okay, reasonably pleasant. <crowd laughs> You must see me in other programs, I won't be so. You will see a completely different man if you see me in advanced programs. First two basic programs I am one way. People come into advanced programs, suddenly they find, "Oh, we came here thinking he is such a wonderful man, and here he is!" I am not going into anger, I am not the angry kind. But, my intensity will be such that you will be afraid to come anywhere near me. If I am talking you can come, if I sit quietly... even now if I sit quietly, people won't come anywhere 100 feet around me, because it's... it terrifies them. I don't say anything, I don't ever shout at anybody, nor even, you know, raise my voice. If I just sit quietly, they'll just all stay away. This is not because I've become like a bomb, or damaging, or hurting, or anything. It's just the intensity, people can't take it. Sun is life nourishing, isn't it? But can you go close to it? So, it's just the sheer intensity of it.

So, without intensity there is no transcendence. The reason why people do not transcend is, they don't do anything intensely in their lives. All these moralistic teachings and these pacifying religions have made people all... neither this nor that. Just trying to be good, trying to be good, trying to be good... No intensity. Without intensity, there will never be any transcendence.

So, easiest way to become intense is to become angry. Laughs. But it's very negative. If you know how to be angry, not about anything or anybody, simply angry... Just try and see, just experiment one day and see, if you just know how to be simply angry. No object should be there, no purpose should be there to your anger. Simple anger. You will see, you will become very meditative. Effortlessly. Because once intensity comes, transcendence naturally comes.

So, they have been very badly misunderstood. They have been judged by moralistic societies, not understanding who they were.



Ans) Sages/Rishis like Durvasa and Vishvamitra certainly got angered where they went and probably cursed everyone they met. Durvasa lost his temper easily as compared to Vishvamitra. But Durvasa had nothing to do with his mood because according to Chapter-44 of the Brahmanda Purana, Brahma and Shiva once got into a heated quarrel. So violent was Shiva's rage as a result of this quarrel, that the devas fled from his presence in fear. His consort, Parvati, complained that Shiva was now impossible to live with. Realizing the disharmony his anger had caused, he decided to deposit this anger into Anasuya, the wife of sage Atri. From this portion of Shiva deposited into Anasuya, a child was born, who was named 'Durvasa' (lit. one who is difficult to live with). Because he was born of Shiva's anger, he had an irascible nature.

And probably even Durvasa didn't curse everyone because before departing, he rewarded Kunti by teaching her the Atharvaveda mantras, which enables a woman to invoke any god of her choice to beget children by them.

And another example of Durvasa's benevolent side is the incident when he granted Duryodhana a boon.Durvasa also blessed Draupadi by saying that she wouldn't lack clothes at the time of requirement.

So, the gods knew about his background and thus considered him a sage. Also he required extra power to curse or give boons which he earned through meditation and tapas for thousand years. Even the Gods conferred the title of Maharishi to Vishvamitra.

Conclusion). So, they were and should be considered TRUE SAGES

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    Okay, thanks for your valuable advice. Will consider it !😀😄
    – user21213
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 14:13

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