Lord Indra, the Chief Sovereign of Heaven and the Presiding Deity of Rain, once made a statement before the august gathering of Sages that in his Kingdom reigned an Angel of unparalleled beauty and talent. Given the opportunity, she would humble the Sage of any merit, with her music talents, dancing skills and physical charms! Many Sages received the statement of Lord Indra with utter contempt and they ordered him to arrange a confrontation with the Angel, to test their level of spiritual power vs. the maya, which they believed to have conquered once for all. Her name was Urvashi!
…..The story of the contest goes thus—The top four Sages sat and Urvashi commenced dancing. She moved her body rhythmically as if in a state of ecstasy. With the first few steps of her dance, the audience, including Lord Indra, was spellbound!
She was not an ordinary beauty and everyone believed that spiritual disaster awaited the Sages. Urvashi breathed to make others breathless! The movements of her body were provocative and she invitingly smiled at the Sages. Some of the Sages were already in trouble and the some evil streaked within them and it had begun to sniff the ancient pre-Realization scents. Urvashi’s actions and exhibitions turned bolder and bolder. Her serpent-like movements were awesome. As she danced and breezed past the Sages, the pleats of her lehanga touched them again and again.
Their Awakening turned to weakening! Their lulled minds had woken up. Lord Indra and some of the sages sat like baked potatoes! Urvashi was dancing as if she had a dozen legs and an equal number of hands, with unusual briskness and grace.
The heart of Lord Indra and some of the Sages turned like the dry grass on fire! Soon Lord Indra was the first one to accept defeat and he reverted to meditation trying to regain his original poise.
Urvashi continued with her dance. She glided effortlessly from one corner of the stage to another, breezing past the Sages, like the flowery-arrow of Manmatha! The sages like sat like dark desolate caves, their shining ochre robes notwithstanding! Urvashi thumped her feet artistically, and they produced ‘shocking’ sound of the jingle bells in their hearts. Urgent bye-pass surgery needed! She had garlanded their hearts without a garland! Those passion-filled movements were too much for them to bear. The energetic dialogue of her physical body continued with the souls she wanted to destroy. Suddenly all the Sages, except one, realized that the gates of their inner gaze were closed. Power failure! The deep and abiding spiritual state they had attained after unknown decades of meditation was in shambles!
All Sages admitted defeat, except one! He sat, as if nothing had happened! Unconcerned! Utter neglect about the dance of Urvashi…Incredible!
Poor doe-eyed Urvashi! The Enchantress readied for the ultimate challenge! Her dance unfolded, as the rhythmic movements of her body and feet stormed the stage and the ‘heart’ of the lone Sage! But nothing happened with him. He was observing the rotary movements of her waist, just as an engineer would observe the movements of some mechanical devise. The physical approach of Urvashi was no match for the metaphysical approach of the Sage. He observed her body movements like a witness. As Mother Nature would observe the seasons change! The vast assembly, Lord Indra and the defeated Sages watched her dancing body in stupor!
The time for the final assault had arrived….she began to throw her apparel one by one and began to dance completely naked! The all-out war of dance was on and on and on…and finally an utterly exhausted Urvashi, with a piercing cry, collapsed on the stage at the sacred feet of the Sage!
The hither-to silent Sage roared like the thunder.” O, celestial soul, why have you stopped dancing? Don’t you have more scope for nakedness? Tear away the garment of scaly skin enveloping your body, and exhibit the abhorrent flesh and fat! Show that disgusting ugliness! How dare you think of conquering the Sage with the perishable beauty of your filth-filled body? Time will come when you will have to live with an old, infirm structure, called body. At that transition of your life, none will care to speak a word with you, comfort you, cajole you or woo you! None to fatten your vanity and feed your conceits! Therefore, save some merits for your old age right from now.
The Sage then threw his ochre shawl on her body, as a cover– His protection to her. His “Kripa’!