The Nature of helping others is a great virtue. There are many who gave away their wealth, flesh & energy to up hold this great virtue. But perhaps no one has done as much as
Dadhichi Maharshi, who gave away his life for this great cause. The following is the story of
During the time of war between Devatas and Rakshasas, the latter started robbing the weapons of the Devatas with their occult powers. This kind of occult tricks were strange and new to Devatas and so they could not face the situation. But they were certain that if they lost their weapons, nothing could save the Universe. After a lot of thinking they went to the sage Dadhichi and requested him to protect their weapons under his care and ran away to save themselves.
In good faith and love towards Devatas, Dadhichi kept the weapons with him, protecting them day in and day out, even neglecting his own austerities. Rakshasas could not venture to go near him but were waiting for an opportunity to rob the weapons.
Dadhichi waited for a long time for Devatas to return and collect their ammunitions. Finally, one day, with his divine powers, he put all the weapons in his sacred water pot and mixed them in the water and drank it. He was now free and could continue his regular penance undisturbed.
A short while after this, the Devatas returned and asked Dadhichi for their weapons. The Maharshi said "I waited for so long. I reckoned that you would never turn up. So I drank them away. They are all in my body as bones and flesh. To get them out now is very difficult."
Dadhichi's wife Swarcha was watching all this from a distance. Dadhichi sent her away in to their house on some pretext. He then created a huge fire by his will power and entered into it and reduced himself to ashes, leaving behind only his bones.
Much before Devatas realised what was happening, Lord Brahma suddenly appeared and converted each of the bones into various powerful weapons and gave them to the Devatas. Dadhihi's back bone was given as Vajrayudha to Indra with which he brought an end to the most powerful Rakshasas like Vruthasura. Devatas went on pleading "Maharshi, we are now in a position to fight with Rakshasas. If we do not have our weapons, we will not be in a position to fight with them and to save Dharma and the universe". Dadhichi thought about it calmly and was convinced that Devatas deserved help. Their weapons were now more powerful than before. He said to Devatas "Alright, take your weapons back by killing me . They are presently in the form of my bones". Devatas refused to do so and said "We certainly do not want to commit the sin of killing a great Rishi like you. We can not afford to do this cruel thing" Dadhichi could not reply them as well. Determination to make a great sacrifice is one of the qualities of great saints like Dadhichi. Dadhichi not only protected the weapons of the Devatas, but also, enhanced their power by converting them into lethal weapons with the power of his penance. He also saw to it that Devatas did not commit the sin of killing the saint by reducing himself to ashes.
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