A man no matter how great achievements he might have succeeded, the moment pride enters him, he falls down into the deepest dooms. The same is learnt by the life of King Nahusha, who was a great, valorous, and a righteous king, but who became arrogant of his victories and fell to his downfall.
Once there was a very powerful demon by name Vritasura. Devraj Indr, pretended to be his friend and learning his weakness, later killed him. But Devraj Indr suffered from anxiety as he killed Vritasur with deceit. Filled with remorse, Devraj Indr went into hiding and none could find him. The entire heaven was in anarchy due to the absence of Devraj Indr. To bring things into order, The Devas decide that the post of Indr should be filled by someone who is righteous till Devraj Indr returns back. When everyone wonders as to who it is, Vayudev suggests that such a person was King Nahusha, who weas capable of the same.
All the Devas agree to this, and they invite King Nahusha to come over and take the rule of heaven to save the world from disasters. Initially King Nahusha is surprised at this invite, but he obliges the Devas and comes to heaven. He sets all heavens in order and once again the worlds are in peace with Dharma and justice prevailing all over with his wise and intellectual rule.
However, Nahusha with unlimited power gets weakened in his virtues. With the great powers bestowed to him, Nahusha became arrogant and haughty and became to think that he was the most powerful of all the Devas. The Devas were stunned by the change in Nahusha’s individuality and hoped for Devraj Indr to return back, but as Nahusha was their king, they bore his arrogance with silence.
Once as Nahusha saw Devi Sachi, who was the wife of Devraj Indr. Enchanted by her beauty he decide to marry her forcefully even though she was the chaste wife of Devraj Indr. Sachi felt insulted with Nahusha’a behaviour. She went to the Devas and mentioned about Nahusha proposal to her and asked them to save her. The Devas decided that it was time to end the arrogance of Nahusha.
They went to Nahusha and say that Sachi has agreed to his proposal , but with a condition that Nahusha comes to her in a palanquin borne by the Saptarishis after which would she accept his sovereignty as the King of heavens. Nahusha in blinded arrogance calls for the Rishis and orders them to bear him in the palanquin. Although the rishis get angry at his demeaning behaviour, they bear him and start walking towards Sachi’s palace.
However, Rishi Agastya who was short in height, was walking in a slow manner. This irritated Nahusha who was a hurry to reach Sachi and he kicked the Rishi with his foot saying sarpa sarpa (which means faster faster). Rishi Agastya was terribly angry at this behaviour and cursed Nahusha to become a sarpa ( snake ) and return to earth with which Nahusha not only lost his human form, but also his status as the King of Heavens.
Although Nahusha was a great king and offerd the post of Indr, he could not keep up his goodwill because of his pride and arrogance. This only warns us that no matter one reaches the heights of success, arrogance should never enter one’s mind which leads to perishing of all good virtues.