King Nahusha – An example of how pride leads to downfall

Life gives many opportunities and many make the most of them. Talent and strength is nurtured, success is earned and fame is glorified and life seems to be complete. But what makes all these achievements permanent is the virtue of humility which is the foundation stone for all successes, and when this quality goes missing, then life becomes a story like King Nahusha, who lost what all he earned because of his pride.
Once upon a time, Devraj suffered from heavy guilt for having killed a demon Vritasur through deceit. Filled with remorse, Devraj Indr went into hiding and none could find him. The entire world 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 was a righteous and a valorous king and whose fame spread all over the world for his virtues.
The Devas invite King Nahusha to rule heaven and save the world from disasters. King Nahusha obliges the Devas and comes to heaven. He sets all things 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. He becomes arrogant and haughty and begins to think that he is 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 Nahusha saw Devi Sachi, the wife of Devraj Indr. Enchanted by her beauty and arrogant with power, he proposed that she becomes his wife. A chaste woman, 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 felt that this was the last straw drawn by Nahusha who insulted their queen and 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.

Among the Saptarishis was Rishi Agastya who was walking slowly because of his short height. This irritated Nahusha who was in a hurry to reach Sachi. Blinded with arrogance, he kicks Rishi with his foot saying sarpa sarpa (which means move faster faster). Rishi Agastya gets terribly angry at this behaviour and curses 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. The prode of Nahusha made him lose all his virtues and fall to his downfall.
Nahusha teaches a lesson that no matter one reaches the highest pinnacle of success, what keeps it shining is being grounded to earth and being humble. It is humility which defines the success, but never pride.