Vritra – Demon-son of Tvashta – Indian Mythology


Vritra is the son of Tvashta. When Vishwarupa, the son of Tvashta, was slain by Indra, Tvashta performed a sacrifice with the intention of obtaining a son who could slay the King of Gods. Due to a mispronounciation, he instead obtained a son who would be slain by Indra instead. This son was Vritra.
According to the Srimad Bhagavata Purana, Vritra was a King named Chitraketu in his previous birth. While coursing the skies in his chariot, he saw the half-woman (Ardha-Nari) form of Lord Shiva and made a disparaging comment on it. For this sin, he was cursed to be born as a demon in his next birth.
The battle between Vritra and Indra was hard fought. Indra cut off one hand of the demon, but the demon swallowed Indra and his mount Iyravata whole. Thanks to the grace of Vishnu, Indra did not die. He tore open the abdomen of the demon with his weapon, the Vajra, and emerged victorious. A full account of this episode can be found here.
Vritra is also mentioned in the Rig Veda, where he is the demon of drought, who imprisons all the strom clouds and causes drought. Indra slays him with his thunder-bolt (Vajra) and frees the strom-clouds, bring bountiful rain to end the famine.

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