Vritrasura vs. Indra and Sage Dadhichi’s illustrious sacrifice

Pursuant to the killing of Viswarupa by Indra, his father Viswakarma being keen on revenge performed relentless ‘Tapasya’ to Brahma who granted the boon of begetting a mighty son who could defeat Indra and Devas. A boy of huge body dimensions and invincibility named Vritrasura was born and he grew not only in strength but extraordinary mental and spiritual capability.As Indra was in  panic and distress, he approached Brahma who advised to request Sage Dadhichi to sacrifice his backbone and head which could destroy Vritrasura and no other force. Keeping in view the Divine Task involved, the Sage made the biggest sacrifice of his life and allowed the ‘Asthidaan’ or the charity of his bones.Indra commissioned Surabhi to create a ‘Vajra’ from the Sage’s backbone and an ‘Astra’- mantrik arrow-from Dadhichi’s head, known as ‘Brahma Sira’. Surabhi materialised various other ‘Astra-Sastras’ for the use of other Devas from the powerful and mantra-purvak bones of the Maha Muni. The wife of Dadhichi called Suvarcha Devi who was away when the sacrifice of bones was executed was horror-struck to learn of it and gave a curse to all Devas to become childless, cried at the unbearable loss of her husband sitting under a pipal tree and gave birth to a radiant son named Pippalad. She blessed the child to become a learned Sage to be near the Pipal tree for long and entered into a ‘Samadhi’ to join her husband. Meanwhile, the battle of Devas and Danavas broke out under the unique leadership of Vritrasura. Demon Nahuchi became such a ruthless and fierce opponent that even the Vajra could hardly hurt a body hair of his! A Celestial Voice was heard by Devas that Nahuchi be lured to fight on the Sea-shore and the foam of the waves was the key to end up the demon. As the great combatant Nahuchi was destroyed, Vritrasuara entered the battle field and  Devas, Dikpalakas, Navagrahas, Gandharvas and the rest took to defensive positions and the battle was on for a while till ‘Pradosha Samay’ or dusk time and the fight was to resume the next day. This helped Devas to perform the Pradosha Vrata to secure victory against the demons.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by
V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager,
India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India
The author can be contacted at raovdn@yahoo.co.in