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Atreya is a descendent of Sage Atri. He had done many yagnas and was able to go to any place he liked.  One day in course of his wanderings he came to the court of Indra which fascinated him by its beauty and festivities.  He thought that no other place could be more pleasant and he wanted it with all his heart.  His modest hut could not please him any more.  He called his wife and told, ‘What sort of rubbish are you giving me to eat?  Does it taste good?  Your fruits and vegetables cannot come anywhere near the sweetmeats I ate at Indra’s court’.  So saying he called Viswakarma and asked him to make his hermitage like Indra’s palace.  If you do not do as I tell I shall reduce you to ashes by curse.  The buildings, the court, the gardens, the elephant, the horse, the chandelier, the music, the food, the courtiers – all these must be as they are in Indra’s palace.

Afraid of the curse, Viswakarma forthwith built a palace which could rival Indra’s palace. Much pleased the muni said, ‘This is the very thing I wanted’.  After some time however the demons began to frown at the place and said, ‘Look, that fellow Indra has surreptitiously left the heaven and built up a home on earth.  Let us go and give him a good thrashing for killing our Vritra’.  Shouting, ‘Kill Indra! Kill Indra!’ the demons in a body laid that palace under siege.  The muni was happily reclining on his bed.  But when he heard the shouts of the demons he became mortally afraid.  Within minutes using all kinds of weapons the demons reduced the place to a heap of rubbles.  The muni himself did not escape some minor injuries.  He came out trembling and going to the demons he told them with folded hands, ‘I swear, I am not Indra, I am a muni, a Brahmin and a very poor and innocent man. Why are you so angry with me?’  ‘Then why have you been posing like Indra?  Remove your trappings at once’, said the demons.  ‘At once I am doing as you say.  I must have lost my head and did these foolish things.  I shall never do it again.’  Viswakarma was summoned and was told by the muni to replace the palace with his modest ashram.  He told him, ‘Do it soon, or I shall die at the hands of these demons.’

Realizing that the muni was in grave danger Viswakarma readily obeyed and the huts and the forests reappeared where a short while ago a palace stood.  However, before he left Viswakarma enjoyed a hearty laugh at the predicament of the muni. 

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