While we take curses as something scary and would all want to stay away from it. And yes, they are in fact scary many times and did give the individuals who got one a lot of trouble. However, there are many curses that did do good, eventually. Hence, in this case, this curse has totally changed the course of the history of Hindu scriptures. Unarguably, one of the most important curses in the Hindu Puranas was that given by Bhrigu to Lord Vishnu. Here is the story of Bhrigu cursing Lord Vishnu and how it changed the course of ancient Hindu history.
Matsya Purana states, the story of the war between Devatas (Demi-Gods) and Asuras (Demons). The story mainly consists of Maharishi Bhrigu and Kavyamata who were the parents of Shukracharya. Shukracharya was the great sage who was the Guru of Asuras and gained the mantra of invincibility, ‘Mrita Sanjivani’. Lord Indra was the leader of Devas and elected Brihaspati as the head priest of Devas. Although, Sukracharya being more capable, it was Indra’s favoritism towards Bhriaspati due to which he chooses Brihaspati as the chief priest. Therefore, Sukracharya started favoring the Asuras more as it was a way to take revenge for his partiality.
During that time it was very difficult for the demons to defeat the demigods in battles. Having lost several times, the Guru of the demons, Shukracharya decided to approach Lord Shiva for help to defeat Devatas. He also requested Lord Shiva for Mrita Sanjivani, using which Shiva could bring back the dead. Therefore, Sukracharya started to meditate and pray to Lord Shiva, to grant him Mrita-Sanjeevani Stotram, a mantra that would make the Asuras invincible.
Furthermore, Shukracharya’s triumph, that is if he was granted the mantra of invincibility, would have made it difficult for Devas to defeat the Asuras. Meanwhile, Sukracharya asked the Asuras to take refuge at the ashram of his father, who was Maharishi Bhrigu. The Devtas and Indra used this opportunity to attack unarmed Asuras. In the absence of the sage, the Asuras fled to Bhrigu’s wife who was Kavyamata, for shelter.
Kavyamata used her Yogic powers to immobilize Indra and protect the asuras. Unnerved by the immobilization of Indra, the Devas decided to take refuge at the feet of Lord Vishnu. Therefore, Vishnu decided to enter the body of Indra and to save the Devas. Thus, Kavyamata was enraged by this and warned to burn them down to ashes if they did not retreat. However, Indra instigated to annihilate Bhrigu’s wife and as a consequence, Vishnu used the Sudarshana Chakra. Hence, to save Indra and the Devtas, Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshana Chakra which served her head.
Sage Bhrigu was devastated hearing what had happened. Bhrigu seeing his wife’s condition, got furious because Lord Vishnu broke his Dharma by killing a woman. Therefore, Maharishi Bhrigu cursed Lord Vishnu to be born on Earth many times and suffer the pain of birth and death all those several times. Due to this legendary curse, Vishnu had to take countless avatars on Earth and endure all the worldly pain as a price. Although Bhrigu later revived his wife by sprinkling holy water from his Kamandalu, he was so deeply infuriated and full of vengeance, he decided not to spare Lord Vishnu.
The curse of Bhrigu that Lord Vishnu endured has a huge significance today. Bhrigu’s curse demanded Lord Vishnu be born on Earth in several avatars. The avatars included some of the greatest Gods to ever walk on Earth as humans such as Lord Rama and Lord Krishna.
Without Rama, there would have been no Ramayana and without Lord Krishna, there would have been no Mahabharata and hence, no Bhagavad Gita. Along with them, even the other Avatars of Vishnu such as Narshima, Parasurama, and arguably Balaram or Buddha and all the other avatars who have had undeniable contributions to shape the entire history of our civilization and scriptures. The curse also made Lord Vishnu feel human emotions such as love, hatred, betrayal, and pain of separation.(Last Updated On: July 1, 2020)