Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Indra and Vritra Part 1 of 2

Lord Indra was the son of Sage Kashyap and Aditi. All the sons of Aditi became the Devas. Indra being the eldest of all the Devas, he became their King. Sage Kashyap had another wife by name Diti. All the sons of Diti became the Asuras.

However Lord Indra grew very proud of the fact that he was the King of the Devas. He became arrogant and disrespectful towards others. Once when he was sitting in his court, his Guru Brihaspati came to court. Normally it was the practice to respect elders. However Indra feeling very proud of himself and did not even get up.

What arrogance...Guru Brihaspati got angry and silently walked away.

Now the Devas were always at war with the Asuras. However in order to be victorious, the Devas needed a Guru – a man who would analyse the moves of the opponents and suggest possible weaknesses and a strategy for attack. The Devas also needed a Guru to perform a yagna for the victory.

However Indra was too caught up in his own pride to even notice that his Guru had walked away. Indra realised too late that he and the other Devas no longer had a Guru. He tried to find Sage Brihaspati to apologise to him however Sage Brihaspati was nowhere to be found.

It was at this time that the Asuras attacked the Devas. Without a Guru to teach them, the Devas were routed. Indra was ashamed when he realised that all this had happened because he had been arrogant. Determined to make amends he went to Lord Brahma for help.

'Lord Brahma', he said haltingly, 'Sage Brihaspati is no longer....' Indra hesitated, 'with us...' He looked down unwilling to meet the eyes of Lord Brahma.

Lord Brahma lifted his eyebrows and looked at Indra contemptuously. He knew all about Indra's attitude. 'Well what do you want me to do?'

'My Lord, please do not say like that. I...I.... behaved badly...I am sorry. I even wanted to tell sorry to Sage Brihaspati...But I...I can't find him anywhere..' Indra finished rather lamely.

'I guess Sage Brihaspati does not want to see your face anymore.' Lord Brahma said still looking angry.

Indra looked at Lord Brahma and did not say anything. He just looked at his feet wishing that he would be anywhere other than here.

Lord Brahma realised that Indra had learnt his lesson and let it go at that. He asked Indra and asked with one degree less acidity. 'What do you want Indra?'

Indra finally spoke slowly, 'We need a Guru, Lord, who can guide us properly during the war. Do you know anybody who can guide us properly...'

Lord Brahma thought that over and soon had the right person for the job. 'Ask the three-headed Vishwarupa to be your Guru. I am sure he would accept this offer.'

Indra was however hesitant, 'Lord Brahma, do you mean Vishwarupa – the son of Twashta?'

Lord Brahma looked puzzled, 'Yes. Why? Don't you think it is a good choice?'

Indra said slowly least Lord Brahma get offended, 'Vishwarupa's mother she is an Asura is she not?'

Lord Brahma sighed, 'Indra, the Asuras are your own brothers. Both of you have the same father. You do not have to hate all of them so much. Some of the Asuras are actually more religious and powerful than the Devas....If there is any Asura who is willing to help you, I suggest that this time, it is best you accept it...' Lord Brahma finished sternly.

Indra knew he had no choice other than to accept what Lord Brahma had said. Besides he himself had heard quiet a lot about Vishwarupa. Vishwarupa was one among the few people who could wield a Narayana Kavacha which was an impregnable armour.

If only we knew how to use that than...the war against the Asuras would be over even before it starts. Indra thought gleefully. But he still was not able to shake off the feeling that Vishwarupa was the son of an enemy. Guru or not...I will have to be guarded against him...

Indra then approached Vishwarupa. Vishwarupa gave a hearty welcome to Indra and asked him to be seated. Indra was impressed inspite of himself. He then spoke, 'Son of Twashta, I have a request...'

Vishwarupa looked at Indra with puzzled eyes. What could the Lord of the Devas want from him...

'Our Guru – Brihaspati – no longer...available...' Indra said fumbling. 'I wish that you be our guru and advice us.' Indra said

Vishwarupa first looked surprised and then happy. He thought that Indra had overcome his hatred for Asuras. This was a good sign. Probably the Devas and the Asuras can even be friends...'Yes Indra, for you, I would accept this post gladly!' Vishwarupa said immediately.

With Vishwarupa to guide the Devas, the Asuras had no chance. They lost the next battle very badly and ran away and hid in the netherworld.

Indra was once again crowned King. Despite his victory, Indra still did not trust Vishwarupa completely. He could not get rid of the feeling that Vishwarupa was after all related to the enemy. He spoke of this to the other Devas. 'Agni, when you fought with the Asuras do you realise something?'

Agni looked at Indra puzzled but did not say anything. 'I think these Asuras have some secret strength...Something that we should have but we don't...'

'What are you saying, Indra?' Vayu asked Indra bluntly.

Indra said slowly, 'I know we won the war and all, but I still cannot trust Vishwarupa completely. I think Vishwarupa is somehow helping the Asuras also...'

The other Devas tried to talk Indra out of this idea, but Indra remained firm. He could not believe that Vishwarupa was his friend.

Though none of Indra's doubts were true, but Vishwarupa still did one thing regularly, as he was after all part Asura. He still prayed for the welfare of his Asura brothers, daily. Once when he was offering such prayers, Indra overheard him.

Already filed with doubts, when Indra heard the prayers could not control his anger. He is helping the Asuras....Why that double crossing....without thinking about anything in a fit of rage Indra killed Vishwarupa.

The other Devas looked horrified at Indra. 'Indra how could you...' Agni asked looking at Indra with utter contempt. 'How could you even kill someone, who is one of us...'

Vayu also looked horrified at Indra. 'What have you done Indra? You are so foolish...We are all going to pay for your stupidity...Do you know what you have done? You have killed an innocent man... And that  is not the worst part, Indra. Twashta will be furious when he knows this. You have killed his son for no reason. Did it ever occur to you what he will do when he learns this...' Vayu said softly.

Indra suddenly felt very afraid. He knew that he had again been carried away with his emotions and done a very wrong thing. He knew that he was going to pay for it dearly.

Indra's feelings were right for once. Twashta was mad with anger when he learnt of his son's death. Twashta performed a yagna for creating a new son. Twashta was so mad with anger that he did not think twice before creating a monster called Vritra. Twashta had created one of the most powerful Asuras ever created. Vritra's body was like a dragon and was so huge that his head touched the sky. Vritra was so powerful that in one sweep on his tail, he could crumble huge mountains. In his grief Twashta had thus created an invincible monster.

When Vritra emerged from the yagna, he bowed to his creator. 'Father what do you command me to do?'

Twashta spoke with his blood shot eyes, 'REVENGE. I created you for revenge...Indra killed my innocent son. He shall pay for this.' Twashta said angrily pointing at Vritra, 'You will make him pay for this..' Twashta spat out still unable to control his grief.

Vritra set about and approached Amaravati, Indra's capital. Vritra was so huge that the very earth and the heavens trembled when he walked. He approached the gates of heaven. 'Indra..INDRA...' He bellowed angrily.

Indra and his council came out hesitatingly and were horrified to find a huge monster standing at the gates.

Agni, Vayu and Varuna stood mutely as Indra spoke in a low voice, 'Who are you, demon?'

Vritra looked at the four tiny Devas and realised that he could crush them even more easily than he thought. He laughed, 'I am Vritra, son of Twashta. I have come here to fulfil my father's wishes. My father wants revenge. I have come to destroy you Indra.'

The other Devas looked at Indra. Indra forced himself not to look at them. I have to protect them...I cannot let anything happen to them because of my mistake. 'Fine Vritra'. Indra said, 'You want to fight me. I will come and fight you. No armies. Just you and me...' Indra said looking at Vritra eye to eye.

Vritra laughed so much that the heavens shook. 'Oh... your arrogance! You think you can stand up to me...' Vritra carelessly swung his tail as a mountain broke off with the stones falling everywhere.

Indra walked out and the two of them fought hard. But Indra was no match for Vritra. Vritra snapped and lashed his tail effectively. Indra could not fight with the demon for long. Indra collapsed and Vritra pulled him up and put him in his mouth and was about to swallow him...

Agni who was watching all this sprang into action. He yelled, 'Oh God... NO!...We have to do something!...Varuna get your weapons ready! Fire the astra which makes you yawn!' Agni shouted as he directed the other Devas around.

Varuna fired the arrow straight at Vritra. When the arrow was fired, Vritra was unable to keep his mouth closed. He let out a huge yawn and Indra fell straight down...Vayu the wind God, with the winds picked up Indra before he fell to the ground. The other Devas whisked away Indra before Vritra attacked Indra again.

Vritra was yelling loudly, 'Foul! You were not part of the fight. You interfered...'

Vritra however knew that the Devas together were no match for him. He got ready to attack all of them.

However the Devas ran away and took Indra far away from there. Vritra was however angry. I was so close to fulfilling my father's revenge And now Indra is gone...However Vritra had a very bad idea shaping up in his head. The Devas have to protect the humans. If I attack the humans, then the Devas would come and face me...He thought smiling cruelly.

Vritra went to the earth and in one gulp swallowed the waters of one river. The humans were no match for Vritra. They could not even defend themselves, let alone their water. Soon Vritra swallowed all the waters on earth. Without water earth became a wasteland. Humans, birds and animals were parched from thirst. With no means of fighting Vritra, they prayed to Lord Vishnu.


  1. respected mam,
    may i know these story are related with which kalpa's indra.
    can you tell me something about sage agastya's parallel heaven (trishaku heaven)

    1. Mr. Joshi, what diffrence will it make if the kalpa or manvantara in which this happened was mentioned?

    2. This is probably the present Indra Purandara.

    3. Trishanku heaven was created by vishwamitra not agastya , trishanku was the ancestor of Lord Rama , originally his name was satyavrat but he was called trishanku because of the three crimes he committed. He wished to go to heaven in his mortal form so he consulted Vashist who said it isn't possible. Depressed he consulted vishwamitra , enemy of Vashist who agreed but Indra refused , angered vishwamitra created a heaven of his own and sent trishanku there

  2. Vishwarupa was not committing double crossing. He had promised to act as a priest for Devas only to regain their strength and fame and not to destroy the Asuras. There fore by slaying his innocent teacher Indra commits a serious crime

  3. Very good.thanks for your help.

  4. Still I like to know more about hindu Mythology. Thanks

  5. Since Dadhichi is son of Atharvan who created Atharva Veda along with Angirasa .Hence this incident would have happed at 1st manvantara Svayambhuva Manu and Yajna was a Indra.This incident could have also happened in this manvantara and purandara is indra.Sage Angira appears in this manvantara also.But 2nd one may not be possible in this manvantara they call him Angira who is actually Koushika who become Vishwamitra.My thinking is It happened at 1st manvantara @vikrant sidh very nice question

  6. One doubt... Vishwarupa created narayana kavacha a powerful armour. But he could not protect himself by Indra....Why narayana kavacha didn't help him????

  7. The stories are good.
    You should write your source, in the Rg Veda, Purana etc so people can go to the original source if they wished, as well as the translations you have used.