to be wars between gods and demons from time to time for wealth and power. Harassed and
tortured by the cruel demons, the gods used to suffer untold miseries and finally would
supplicate Mahavishnu who would take pity on them and redress their suffering.
At one time, soon after a war, the haggard-looking gods came to the sage Dadheechi and
said, "0, great sage, we would like to keep all our arms and weapons in your custody.
Please take them. Leaving them with you we can be free from all botheration. If once again
war should break out, we will come to you ourselves to take them back. Till such time let
them be with you." I Dadheechi agreed to this arrangement. Thus the gods kept all
their weapons with him and departed.
Many years passed by. But the gods never turned up to take back their weapons.
Those weapons, having not been used for a long time, began to rust. The sage was
worried. At long last, in order to preserve them safely, Dadheechi using his spiritual
power dissolved them in water and drank it! They were completely absorbed in his body.
Many more years rolled by. One day the gods came to Dadheechi and requested, "0,
great sage, we are obliged to fight again. Please give us back our weapons."
Dadheechi said, "How very wise of you! After how many years are you asking for
your weapons back? How long could I keep them safe?"
Devendra: "0 Maharshi, we had no fear of war so far, therefore we did not need
them. Now it is likely. We shall need them. Please pardon us for this delay in coming to
you and give back our weapons."
Dadheechi: "How can I give back your weapons now? I could not see them rusting.
Lest they should be completely damaged, I, with the power of a Mantra, dissolved them in
water and drank it all. Please tell me, what shall I do now?"
Devendra: "it is not for us to suggest what you should do now. All that we can say
is that we are badly in need of those arms now; otherwise it is certain that none of us
can survive. You must give back those arms somehow. Did, we not tell you at the time of
keeping them in your custody that we would surely take them back some day?"
What the gods said was after all right and reasonable. They were entitled to get back
those weapons, which they had entrusted, to his care.
The sage had not put any time limit for their taking back the weapons. He had not laid
down any condition that if they failed to come back within certain time he was free to
dispose of them in any manner he liked. But dissolving them in water, he had drunk them
up. What should he do now? In what way can he give those weapons back?
The sage found himself in a very grave predicament. He was truthful. The gods had kept
their arms with him in great trust. Now they are in a plight. How can he just say that
their weapons are lost and send them away?
At last Dadheechi said, "0, gods all your arms have now been absorbed in my
backbone. I am unable to separate them from my bone and give them to you. But I will not
let you down. With my yogic power I shall give up this body. You may take my backbone and
out of it make whatever weapons you need. I assure you that they will be as good as your
original weapons and will be powerful enough to destroy your enemies."
So saying, the sage was preparing to enter into deep samadhi to give up his body.
"What a just man he is, how strong his will power is!" exclaimed the gods in
amazement. Instantly they stopped him and said, "Good sir, please wait. The war is
not so imminent. When it breaks out and if we have no other alternative but to approach
you for weapons we will do as you say. Till then we will not allow you to destroy your
body, which in fact is now constantly engaged in helping the whole world. Please carry on
without any impediment your routine duties of teaching, giving discourses and performing
holy sacrifices and penance."
They all made obeisance prostrating at his feet and departed. Dadheechi's life
continued as usual peacefully and cheerfully.