By Swami Harshananda
Pururavas was a heroic king mentioned even in the Ṛgveda wherein a curious dialogue between him and Urvaśī, an apsaras or nymph, has been recorded. This oldest love-story of the two has been repeated in other sections of the Vedas like the Śaṭapatha Brāhmana also. He was the son of Budha and Ilā.
The Viṣṇupurāṇa contains a detailed version of the same story. The drama Vikramorvaśya of Kālidāsa is based on it with several variations. Urvaśī, the divine damsel, was once banished to this earth wherein she fell in love with the king Pururavas and married him, laying certain conditions. After few years, it so happened that the king was once forced to violate the conditions, by a stratagem of the gods in heaven, whereby Urvaśī left him. All his efforts to get her back were in vain.
- Ṛgveda 10.95
- Śaṭapatha Brāhmana 220.127.116.11
- Viṣṇupurāṇa 4.6
- Kālidāsa 200 B.C.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore