The story of ‘Vritrasura Vadha’ (Killing of Vritrasura) is mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatham. Lord Indra killed Vritrasura with Vajrayudha which is made with Dadhichi’s bones.
Vritrasura Vadha is mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatham from Slokas 6.12.1 to 6.12.35.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.1
evam jihasur nripa deham ajau
mrityum varam vijayan manyamanah
sulam pragrihyabhyapatat surendram
yatha maha-purusham kaitabho ‘psu
Sukadeva Gosvami said: Desiring to give up his body, Vritrasura considered death in the battle preferable to victory. O King Parikshit, he vigorously took up his trident and with great force attacked Lord Indra, the King of heaven, just as Kaitabha had forcefully attacked the Supreme Personality of Godhead when the universe was inundated.
Although Vritrasura repeatedly encouraged Indra to kill him with the thunderbolt, King Indra was morose at having to kill such a great devotee and was hesitant to throw it. Vritrasura, disappointed that King Indra was reluctant despite his encouragement, took the initiative very forcefully by throwing his trident at Indra. Vritrasura was not at all interested in victory; he was interested in being killed so that he could immediately return home, back to Godhead. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.9), tyaktvadeham punar janma naiti: after giving up his body, a devotee immediately returns to Lord Krishna and never returns to accept another body. This was Vritrasura’s interest.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.2
avidhya sulam tarasasurendrah
kshiptva mahendraya vinadya viro
hato ‘si papeti rusha jagada
Then Vritrasura, the great hero of the demons, whirled his trident, which had points like the flames of the blazing fire at the end of the millennium. With great force and anger he threw it at Indra, roaring and exclaiming loudly, “O sinful one, thus shall I kill you!”
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.3
kha apatat tad vicalad graholkavan
nirikshya dushprekshyam ajata-viklavah
vajrena vajri sata-parvanacchinad
bhujam ca tasyoraga-raja-bhogam
Flying in the sky, Vritrasura’s trident resembled a brilliant meteor. Although the blazing weapon was difficult to look upon, King Indra, unafraid, cut it to pieces with his thunderbolt. Simultaneously, he cut off one of Vritrasura’s arms, which was as thick as the body of Vasuki, the King of the serpents.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.4
chinnaika-bahuh parighena vritrah
samrabdha asadya grihita-vajram
hanau tatadendram athamarebham
vajram ca hastan nyapatan maghonah
Although one of his arms was severed from his body, Vritrasura angrily approached King Indra and struck him on the jaw with an iron mace. He also struck the elephant that carried Indra. Thus Indra dropped the thunderbolt from his hand.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.5
vritrasya karmati-mahadbhutam tat
apujayams tat puruhuta-sankatam
nirikshya ha heti vicukrusur bhrisam
The denizens of various planets, like the demigods, demons, Caranas and Siddhas, praised Vritrasura’s deed, but when they observed that Indrawas in great danger, they lamented, “Alas! Alas!”
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.6
indro na vajram jagrihe vilajjitas
cyutam sva-hastad ari-sannidhau punah
tam aha vritro hara atta-vajro
jahi sva-satrum na vishada-kalah
Having dropped the thunderbolt from his hand in the presence of his enemy, Indra was practically defeated and was very much ashamed. He dared not pick up his weapon again. Vritrasura, however, encouraged him, saying, “Take up your thunderbolt and kill your enemy. This is not the time to lament your fate.”
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.7
yuyutsatam kutracid atatayinam
jayah sadaikatra na vai paratmanam
sarvajnam adyam purusham sanatanam
Vritrasura continued: O Indra, no one is guaranteed of being always victorious but the original enjoyer, the Supreme Personality of Godhead,Bhagavan. He is the cause of creation, maintenance and annihilation, and He knows everything. Being dependent and being obliged to accept material bodies, belligerent subordinates are sometimes victorious and sometimes defeated.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.8
lokah sapala yasyeme
svasanti vivasa vase
dvija iva sica baddhah
sa kala iha karanam
All living beings in all the planets of this universe, including the presiding deities of all the planets, are fully under the control of the Lord. They work like birds caught in a net, who cannot move independently.
The difference between the suras and the asuras is that the suras know that nothing can happen without the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas the asuras cannot understand the supreme will of the Lord. In this fight, Vritrasura is actually the sura, whereas Indra is the asura. No one can act independently; rather, everyone acts under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore victory and defeat come according to the results of one’skarma, and the judgment is given by the Supreme Lord (karmana-daiva-netrena). Since we act under the control of the Supreme according to our karma, no one is independent, from Brahma down to the insignificant ant. Whether we are defeated or victorious, the Supreme Lord is always victorious because everyone acts under His directions.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.9
ojah saho balam pranam
amritam mrityum eva ca
tam ajnaya jano hetum
atmanam manyate jadam
Our sensory prowess, mental power, bodily strength, living force, immortality and mortality are all subject to the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not knowing this, foolish people think the dull material body to be the cause of their activities.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.10
yatha darumayi nari
yatha patramayo mrigah
evam bhutani maghavann
isa-tantrani viddhi bhoh
O King Indra, as a wooden doll that looks like a woman or as an animal made of grass and leaves cannot move or dance independently, but depends fully on the person who handles it, all of us dance according to the desire of the supreme controller, the Personality of Godhead. No one is independent.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.11
purushah prakritir vyaktam
saknuvanty asya sargadau
na vina yad-anugrahat
The three purushas — Karanodakasayi Vishnu, Garbhodakasayi Vishnuand Kshirodakasayi-Vishnu — the material nature, the total material energy, the false ego, the five material elements, the material senses, the mind, the intelligence and consciousness cannot create the material manifestation without the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.12
avidvan evam atmanam
manyate ‘nisam isvaram
bhutaih srijati bhutani
grasate tani taih svayam
A foolish, senseless person cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although always dependent, he falsely thinks himself the Supreme. If one thinks, “According to one’s previous fruitive actions, one’s material body is created by the father and mother, and the same body is annihilated by another agent, as another animal is devoured by a tiger,” this is not proper understanding. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself creates and devours the living beings through other living beings.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.13
ayuh srih kirtir aisvaryam
asishah purushasya yah
bhavanty eva hi tat-kale
Just as a person not inclined to die must nonetheless give up his longevity, opulence, fame and everything else at the time of death, so, at the appointed time of victory, one can gain all these when the Supreme Lord awards them by His mercy.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.14
samah syat sukha-duhkhabhyam
Since everything is dependent on the supreme will of the Personality of Godhead, one should be equipoised in fame and defamation, victory and defeat, life and death. In their effects, represented as happiness and distress, one should maintain oneself in equilibrium, without anxiety.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.15
sattvam rajas tama iti
prakriter natmano gunah
tatra sakshinam atmanam
yo veda sa na badhyate
One who knows that the three qualities — goodness, passion and ignorance — are not qualities of the soul but qualities of material nature, and who knows that the pure soul is simply an observer of the actions and reactions of these qualities, should be understood to be a liberated person. He is not bound by these qualities.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.16
pasya mam nirjitam satru
O my enemy, just look at me. I have already been defeated, for my weapon and arm have been cut to pieces. You have already overwhelmed me, but nonetheless, with a desire to kill you, I am trying my best to fight. I am not at all morose, even under such adverse conditions. Therefore you should give up your moroseness and continue fighting.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.17
prana-glaho ‘yam samara
atra na jnayate ‘mushya
jayo ‘mushya parajayah
O my enemy, consider this battle a gambling match in which our lives are the stakes, the arrows are the dice, and the animals acting as carriers are the game board. No one can understand who will be defeated and who will be victorious. It all depends on providence.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.18
indro vritra-vacah srutva
tam aha gata-vismayah
Sukadeva Gosvami said: Hearing the straightforward, instructive words of Vritrasura, King Indra praised him and again took the thunderbolt in his hand. Without bewilderment or duplicity, he then smiled and spoke to Vritrasura as follows.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.19
aho danava siddho ‘si
yasya te matir idrisi
Indra said: O great demon, I see by your discrimination and endurance in devotional service, despite your dangerous position, that you are a perfect devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul and friend of everyone.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.20
bhavan atarshin mayam vai
yad vihayasuram bhavam
You have surmounted the illusory energy of Lord Vishnu, and because of this liberation, you have given up the demoniac mentality and have attained the position of an exalted devotee.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.21
khalv idam mahad ascaryam
yad rajah-prakrites tava
sattvatmani dridha matih
O Vritrasura, demons are generally conducted by the mode of passion. Therefore, what a great wonder it is that although you are a demon, you have adopted the mentality of a devotee and have fixed your mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, who is always situated in pure goodness.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.22
yasya bhaktir bhagavati
kim kshudraih khatakodakaih
A person fixed in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord, Hari, the Lord of the highest auspiciousness, swims in the ocean of nectar. For him what is the use of the water in small ditches?
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.23
iti bruvanav anyonyam
indra-vritrau yudham pati
Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: Vritrasura and King Indra spoke about devotional service even on the battlefield, and then as a matter of duty they again began fighting. My dear King, both of them were great fighters and were equally powerful.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.24
avidhya parigham vritrah
indraya prahinod ghoram
O Maharaja Parikshit, Vritrasura, who was completely able to subdue his enemy, took his iron club, whirled it around, aimed it at Indra and then threw it at him with his left hand.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.25
sa tu vritrasya parigham
karam ca karabhopamam
ciccheda yugapad devo
With his thunderbolt named Sataparvan, Indra simultaneously cut to pieces Vritrasura’s club and his remaining hand.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.26
babhau rakta-sravo ‘surah
chinna-paksho yatha gotrah
khad bhrashto vajrina hatah
Vritrasura, bleeding profusely, his two arms cut off at their roots, looked very beautiful, like a flying mountain whose wings have been cut to pieces by Indra.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.27-29
maha-sarpa iva dvipam
kritvadharam hanum bhumau
daityo divy uttaram hanum
grasann iva jagat-trayam
akshipams tarasa girin
padbhyam nirjarayan mahim
jagrasa sa samasadya
Vritrasura was very powerful in physical strength and influence. He placed his lower jaw on the ground and his upper jaw in the sky. His mouth became very deep, like the sky itself, and his tongue resembled a large serpent. With his fearful, deathlike teeth, he seemed to be trying to devour the entire universe. Thus assuming a gigantic body, the great demon Vritrasura shook even the mountains and began crushing the surface of the earth with his legs, as if he were the Himalayas walking about. He came before Indra and swallowed him and Airavata, his carrier, just as a big python might swallow an elephant.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.30
vritra-grastam tam alokya
ha kashtam iti nirvinnas
When the demigods, along with Brahma, other prajapatis and other great saintly persons, saw that Indra had been swallowed by the demon, they became very morose. “Alas,” they lamented. “What a calamity ! What a calamity !”
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.31
nigirno ‘py asurendrena
na mamarodaram gatah
The protective armor of Narayana, which Indra possessed, was identical with Narayana Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Protected by that armor and by his own mystic power, King Indra, although swallowed by Vritrasura, did not die within the demon’s belly.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.32
bhittva vajrena tat-kukshim
nishkramya bala-bhid vibhuh
uccakarta sirah satror
With his thunderbolt, King Indra, who was also extremely powerful, pierced through Vritrasura’s abdomen and came out. Indra, the killer of the demon Bala, then immediately cut off Vritrasura’s head, which was as high as the peak of a mountain.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.33
vajras tu tat-kandharam asu-vegah
krintan samantat parivartamanah
nyapatayat tavad ahar-ganena
yo jyotisham ayane vartra-hatye
Although the thunderbolt revolved around Vritrasura’s neck with great speed, separating his head from his body took one complete year — 360 days, the time in which the sun, moon and other luminaries complete a northern and southern journey. Then, at the suitable time for Vritrasura to be killed, his head fell to the ground.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.34
tada ca khe dundubhayo vinedur
vartra-ghna-lingais tam abhishtuvana
mantrair muda kusumair abhyavarshan
When Vritrasura was killed, the Gandharvas and Siddhas in the heavenly planets beat kettledrums in jubilation. With Vedic hymns they celebrated the prowess of Indra, the killer of Vritrasura, praising Indraand showering flowers upon him with great pleasure.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.12.35
vritrasya dehan nishkrantam
O King Parikshit, subduer of enemies, the living spark then came forth from Vritrasura’s body and returned home, back to Godhead. While all the demigods looked on, he entered the transcendental world to become an associate of Lord Sankarshana.