This chapter describes the history of Maharaja Nabhaga, of his son Nabhaga, and of Maharaja Ambarisha.
The son of Manu was Nabhaga, and his son Nabhaga lived for many years in the gurukula. In Nabhaga's absence, his brothers did not consider his share of the kingdom, but instead divided the property among themselves. When Nabhaga returned home, his brothers bestowed upon him their father as his share, but when Nabhaga went to his father and told him about the dealings of the brothers, his father informed him that this was cheating and advised him that for his livelihood he should go to the sacrificial arena and describe two mantras to be chanted there. Nabhaga executed the order of his father, and thus Angira and other great saintly persons gave him all the money collected in that sacrifice. To test Nabhaga, Lord Siva challenged his claim to the wealth, but when Lord Siva was satisfied by Nabhaga's behavior, Lord Siva offered him all the riches.
From Nabhaga was born Ambarisha, the most powerful and celebrated devotee. Maharaja Ambarisha was the emperor of the entire world, but he considered his opulence temporary. Indeed, knowing that such material opulence is the cause of downfall into conditional life, he was unattached to this opulence. He engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. This process is called yukta-vairagya, or feasible renunciation, which is quite suitable for worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because Maharaja Ambarisha, as the emperor, was immensely opulent, he performed devotional service with great opulence, and therefore, despite his wealth, he had no attachment to his wife, children or kingdom. He constantly engaged his senses and mind in the service of the Lord. Therefore, to say nothing of enjoying material opulence, he never desired even liberation.
Once Maharaja Ambarisha was worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Vrindavana, observing the vow of Dvadasi. On Dvadasi, the day after Ekadasi, when he was about to break his Ekadasi fast, the great mystic yogi Durvasa appeared in his house and became his guest. King Ambarisha respectfully received Durvasa Muni, and Durvasa Muni, after accepting his invitation to eat there, went to bathe in the Yamuna River at noontime. Because he was absorbed in samadhi, he did not come back very soon. Maharaja Ambarisha, however, upon seeing that the time to break the fast was passing, drank a little water, in accordance with the advice of learned brahmanas, just to observe the formality of breaking the fast. By mystic power, Durvasa Muni could understand that this had happened, and he was very angry. When he returned he began to chastise Maharaja Ambarisha, but he was not satisfied, and finally he created from his hair a demon appearing like the fire of death. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, is always the protector of His devotee, and to protect Maharaja Ambarisha, He sent His disc, the Sudarsana cakra, which immediately vanquished the fiery demon and then pursued Durvasa, who was so envious of Maharaja Ambarisha. Durvasa fled to Brahmaloka, Sivaloka and all the other higher planets, but he could not protect himself from the wrath of the Sudarsana cakra. Finally he went to the spiritual world and surrendered to Lord Narayana, but Lord Narayana could not excuse a person who had offended a Vaishnava. To be excused from such an offense, one must submit to the Vaishnava whom he has offended. There is no other way to be excused. Thus Lord Narayana advised Durvasa to return to Maharaja Ambarisha and beg his pardon.