By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Sibi, Zibi, shibi
Śibi is also known as Vṛṣādarbhi. He was a king of Kāśī. He had taken a vow that he would protect anyone who took refuge in him. Once Indra and Agni decided to subject him to a severe test. Indra took the form of a hawk and Agni took the form of a pigeon. The hawk started pursuing the pigeon to kill it and eat it. The pigeon managed to approach the king Śibi and sought his protection, which he instantly promised.
When the hawk also approached him to give the pigeon which was its rightful food, Śibi struck a compromise saying that he would give as much flesh as the pigeon weighed, from his own body. When he started cutting his own body, the two gods revealed themselves in their true form, appreciated his sacrifice and gave him several boons including making his body whole as it was earlier.
- Mahābhārata, Vanaparva, 197
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore