A son was born to Twashtru, a
carpenter of gods. The child was named Vishwaroopa. As he grew up he studied all the Vedas
thoroughly and became well versed in all the religious rites. The gods made him their
preceptor. Very soon he became their favorite guru and was so influential as one capable
of giving proper suggestions or advice to Indra at certain times.
Vishwaroopa's mother belonged to the Rakshasa clan.
Vishwaroopa used to conduct the rites of many religious sacrifices through which the
offerings were sent to gods. Still he had a soft corner for his mothers kinsfolk. He
felt a desire to send those offerings through sacrifices to demons also. Openly he would
invoke the gods by their names one by one and let the offerings made to them. But secretly
he would utter the names of demons also invoking them to receive the offerings and get
satisfied. But this did not remain a secret for too long. The gods got a suspicion and on
investigation truth came out. They reported about the priest's disloyalty to their lord
Indra. Devendra got terribly annoyed and without a second thought he chopped off the head
The death of his son at the hands of Indra put the carpenter Twashtru into deep grief.
He began to entertain thoughts of taking revenge on Indra. He prayed to ' God to grant him
a son who would turn out to be a declared enemy of Indra. His prayer was granted. A son
was born to him. The father named the baby as Vritra, He grew to become very strong,
terrible-looking and most cruel. Both his father and mother told him again and again in
his childhood about his elder brother's tragic death at the hands of Indra. Thus his heart
was filled with hatred. He would burn with anger at the very mention of gods.
By the time he became a youth leaving behind his boyhood he had been thoroughly trained
in the use of all types of weapons. No god who happened to encounter him was able to
escape unhurt. He was a source of great joy end inspiration to the entire community of
demons. Their hope of defeating the gods grew stronger. They thought that under the
leadership of Vritra, when he became strong and old enough to fight, they could rout out
the army of gods once and for all. So they were waiting for an opportune time.
At last the war between gods and demons broke out. Vritra was the chief commander of
demons. This made them fight boldly. The gods could not bear their blows. Indra and others
were in despair.
They approached Brahma and appealed to him for help. Brahma took them to Mahavishnu.
All of them stood speechless before that Great God with their heads bowed down, and tears
of sorrow rolling down their cheeks. Mahavishnu, the allmerciful and compassionate,
comforted them and asked them the reason for their coming.
Then Indra put forth his appeal:
"0, God of Gods! Don't you who are the primal cause of creation, protection and
destruction of this entire universe know our plight? Is there anything that we should tell
you? From time to time as you know the relations between demons and ourselves get severed,
the bitterness grows worse and we come to grips with each other. Under all such
circumstances in the past you incarnated and redressed our grievances by trouncing those
demons. All that we suffered then has now been forgotten. This Vritra, the son of
Twashtru, is so cruel as to put all the demons of the past to shame. Now under his
leadership many demons uniting together are attacking us. In one or two tough battle being
beaten up and in despair we have come running to you to seek refuge. Only you have to find
out some way of warding off our calamity."
Mahavishnu, bearing the responsibility of protecting the world, consoled Indra saying,
"0, ye gods, don't be afraid. Go back to the battlefield and fight again. It is not
so easy to kill Vritrasura. Yet there is a way. You know, in the mortal world, there is a
sage by name Dadheechi who has his hermitage built on the banks of river Saraswati and who
leads a pious life of penance and spirituality. Go to him. With due honor and respect,
offer your courtesies to him and appraise him of your distress and implore him for help.
His backbone contains weapons potent enough to destroy Vritra. The mantras he has mastered
by chanting have also enhanced the power of those weapons. If Dadheechi offers his bone to
you, give it to Vishwakarma and get the necessary weapons made out of it. Only with those
arms can you kill Vritra and win the battle. But Dadheechi will have to sacrifice his body
itself in your interest and donate his backbone. How to win his consent is left to you.
Now you may go. You have my blessings."
The gods felt greatly consoled by these words of Mahavishnu. They came to the bank of
river Saraswati and reached the hermitage of Dadheechi. Indra with his followers entered
the cottage of Dadheechi with all humility and reverence and make obeisance to the sage.