With these words Indra vanished. But the son of Bharadwaja would not give up. He pursued his course of austerities with even greater rigor, to the horror and the distress of the gods. Indra again manifested himself before Yavakrida and warned him again: "You have taken the wrong path to acquire knowledge. You can acquire knowledge only by study. Your father learnt the Vedas by patient study and so can you. Go and study the Vedas. Desist from this vain mortification of the body." Yavakrida did not heed even this second warning of Indra and announced defiantly that if his prayer were not granted, he would cut off his limbs one by one and offer them as oblations to the fire. No, he would never give up. He continued his penance. One morning, during his austerities, when he went to bathe in the Ganga, be saw a gaunt old brahmana on the bank, laboriously throwing handfuls of sand into the water. Yavakrida asked: "Old man, what are you doing?" The old man replied: "I am going to build a dam across this river. When, with handful after handful, I have built a dam of sand here, people can cross the river with ease. See how very difficult it is at present to cross it. Useful work, isn't it?" Yavakrida laughed and said: "What a fool you must be to think you can build a dam across this mighty river with your silly handfuls of sand! Arise and take to some more useful work." The old man said: "Is my project more foolish than yours of mastering the Vedas not by study but by austerities?" Yavakrida now knew that the old man was Indra. More humble this time, Yavakrida earnestly begged Indra to grant him learning as a personal boon. Indra blessed, and comforted Yavakrida with the following words: "Well, I grant you the boon you seek. Go and study the Vedas; you will become learned."