DADHÎCI – Sage Whose Tapas Threatened Indra

Dadhîci had been made from the essence of the world by his father, the great ascetic Bhrigu. He too became an ascetic and engaged in severe tapas (austerities). Indra became afraid that his position of Indrahood (as king of the gods) was threatened by a yogi with such power (siddhi).

So Indra sent Alambushâ, one of his apsaras (celestial damsels), to deter Dadhîci from his austerities. Watching the dance of Alambushâ at his hermitage, Dadhîci had a seminal discharge, which fell into the river Sarasvatî.

Sarasvatî gave birth to a son named Sârasvata. The sage blessed him with the divine power to cause the rain that would end a twelve-year drought. Sarasvatî took their child to her abode and raised him. Dadhîci was also known for his readiness to sacrifice even his own life for a noble cause.


Unable to defeat a demon named Vritra, Indra went to Brahmâ for his advice. (Vritra had been a serpent monster that prevented the rains in Vedic mythology.) In this myth from the epic period, Brahmâ advised Indra that he would be able to kill Vritrâsura with a weapon made of the bone of Dadhîci.

With much hesitation Indra went to the sage and told him about Brahmâ’s advice. Without a moment’s reflection Dadhîci abandoned his body for this noble cause. Indra killed the demon and his army with the weapon made of Dadhîci’s bone. It became Indra’s powerful vajra (diamond) weapon.

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