As Vaisampayana concluded the story, King Janmejaya was stumped. His ancestor, who was meant to be the incarnate of Lord Dharma was humbled by a mongoose....He looked curiously at Vaisampayana. ‘Who was the mongoose sir? How was it that a simple mongoose was able to humiliate the great Pandavas?’
Vaisampayana smiled at Janmejaya as he said, 'The mongoose has a very special story, King. It was no ordinary mongoose....Listen to its story:
Sage Jamadagni [the father of Lord Parashurama] was performing a difficult yagna for his dead ancestors. After deep meditation, he opened his eyes and decided to offer something to his dead ancestors. He milked his cow and collected the milk in a vessel. However at that time, Lord Dharma came to the spot. He wanted to test the sage. Assuming the form of Krodha [Anger], he entered the vessel of milk and broke it.
Sage Jamadagni realizing that it was the work of Lord Dharma, remained unmoved.
Krodha realizing that the Sage was entirely in control of his emotions, appeared before the sage and bowed before the sage. ‘Great Sage! You have definitely conquered everything. I am sorry for putting you to any inconvenience.’
Sage Jamadagni looked at Krodha and said sadly. ‘My Lord! What you have done does not bother me! But you have to realize that the milk was for my ancestors. If you wish to ask for forgiveness, then you have to ask forgiveness from them and not from me!’
With a chill, Krodha realized his mistake. He appeared before the dead ancestors and begged for their forgiveness. However they were unrelenting. ‘For your unthinking act, we curse you! We curse you to be born as a mongoose!’ Krodha fell at the feel of the ancestors. ‘Please! This is a very harsh curse. Kindly take back your curse!’
Angrily the ancestors shook their heads. ‘We cannot take back our words, but if you ever stand before Dharma and humiliate him as you humiliated us….you will regain your own body!’ The ancestors vanished from there and Krodha took the form of a mongoose roaming the four corners of the world looking for Lord Dharma on earth….
Yudhishtara was the incarnation of Lord Dharma on the earth. So when the mongoose humbled Yudhishtara, the curse was broken and the mongoose assumed its original form...