Article Credit: Rama Chintakunta Sage Dadhichi also known as Dhyancha was the son of Sage Atharvan who is one of the authors of Atharvana Veda along with Sage Angirasa. Sage Atharvan is also known as Sage Brigu (attained the name “Atharvan” as his authored it). Sage Atharvan is one of the wish-born sons’ of Lord Brahma. Mother of Sage Dadhichi is Chitti, Kardama Prajapati’s daughter. We have already discussed in Sage Angirasa’s article that Kardama Prajapati got his 9 daughters married to nine Brahmins known as Nava Brahmas who among one is Sage Brigu or Sage Atharvan, father of Sage Dadhichi. Sage Dadhichi was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. He adored Lord Shiva to such extent that he cannot tolerate the insult of his Lord at any cost. As evidence, one legend goes like this. When Daksha Prajapati was performing a Yagna and he did not invite one of his Sons-in-law Lord Shiva because of his non-affluence but he invited the other two of Trimurthis, all Demi-gods, and Sages. Being a daughter of Daksha Prajapati Sati, Lord Shiva’s consort, wanted to join the ceremony conducted by her father. Lord Shiva tried to stop her that it is an insult for them to visit the ceremony without invitation but Sati/Parvati insisted to go as she wanted to see her sisters and parents. Lord Shiva tried his best to explain her seriousness of the situation but she did not listen. Lord Shiva let her go, aftermath, it is a well-known story where Sati could not bear the insult done to her Consort by her father and she burnt herself into ashes. Everybody present there were afraid of the power and status of Daksha Prajapati and nobody objected when Lord Shiva was insulted. It was Sage Dadhichi alone not caring the authority of Daksha Prajapati left the ceremony and place as he could not digest the insult caused to his Ishta Daiva (Favorite form of God). When Lord Shiva got to know after the self-sacrifice of Sati through his sixth sense he got enraged and threw one of his jata(hair strands) on the ground which gave birth to Veerabhadra Swamy and taught the lesson to Daksha Prajapati. Sage Dadhichi is personification of learnedness, severe penance, sacrifice and strong will-power (Vajra Sankalpam). Once there was a king by name Kshuva who was good friend of Sage Dadhichi. As a part of their friendly talk once they started a point of who is superior, Brahmins or Kshtriyas which took a bad turn and changed its course into big argument. Both of them were enraged and led into physical abuse. Sage Dadhichi considered himself superior as he is a Brahmin and learned in Vedas. King Kshuva regarded himself high because of his affluence and valor. Hence Kshuva hit Sage Dadhichi with his weapon by name Vajra which made him to get hurt badly and started to bleed. Sage Dadhichi sought the help of Sage Shukracharya who treated his wounds with the help of mantras. Once he got better, performed severe penance for Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before him and blessed him with three boons. The first one being that his body became as strong as Vajra (Diamond) and the other two were that he would never be defeated by anybody and he would never be humiliated by anybody. He went back to Kshuva to fight again and this time Kshuva became helpless and he prayed Lord Vishnu through severe penance. On the word of Lord Vishnu, Sage Dadhichi pardoned Kshuva but cursed all the deities that they would be defeated at the rage of Rudra on one of the important occasions which was actually fulfilled when Veerabhadra took birth from the hair strands of Lord Shiva and he defeated everybody including Lord Vishnu who were present at Daksha Prajapati’s Yagna. As a proof of his learnedness one legend goes like this: Sage Dadhichi was good at many types of Vedic arts and one among them was Madhu Vidya or Brahma Vidya. This was knowledge which can actually enable mortals to become immortals. Ashwini Devatas (Horse-formed sons of Lord Surya) wanted to attain this knowledge through sage Dadhichi to become Demi-gods. Lord Indra got to know about this and felt insecure that he might lose his position in Swargha (Heaven), hence he got enraged and wanted to kill the Guru who was teaching them this Vidya. Ashwini Devatas being aware of this, took off the head of Sage Dadhichi (separated his head from the body through the aid of mantras) and fixed a horse head to his neck. In rage, Lord Indra came there and beheaded him. Once he is gone, Ashwini Devatas fixed his original head and brought him back to life again through Madhu Vidya. Since then Sage Dadhichi is also known as Ashwashira (One with a Horse head). Sage Dadhichi is believed to have framed/authored Narayana Kavacham, a famous hymn in South India sung for power and peace.