Sunday, 6 December 2015

322. Kumbhakarna goes to meet Ravana.

            Hearing the commotion, Rama presumed some rakshashas were attacking the vanaras unexpectedly. Hurriedly taking his sword, bow and quiver he (Rama) rushed out to their aid. Seeing the bulky Kumbhakarna, adorned with a diadem Rama realized the reason for the brouhaha. However, he became very much curious seeing the form of a mountain and looking like Lord Narayana  taking strides across space, and measured the whole universe in a couple of strides. Nevertheless he became vigilant. He also wanted to know about that mountain like rakshash.
       Beholding him again, who looked like a rainy black cloud and wearing a golden bracelet as an ornament on his upper arm, almost all the vanaras took to their heels in full speed in terror. Seeing the army running away, the rakshash increased the size of his body. Rama became interested to know who that rakshash was. He asked Vibhishana "Who is this eminent rakshash, appearing as a mountain, with a diadem and tawny eyes and looking like a cloud with a flash of lightning?  I have not seen such a creature earlier at any time."
          Vibhishana replied "He is the powerful Kumbhakarna, the son of Visravasa. He conquered Yama and Indra in battle. There is no other rakshash, corresponding to the size of his body. O Rama! He conquered thousands of Devas, Yakshas, Bhujangas (Serpant faced rakshashas), Pisithasanas (a kind of ghost), Gandharvas  and Vidyadharas  in battle.
          "Seeing the mighty Kumbhakarna with ghastly eyes and a spear in hand, the Devas were not able to face him. For them he looked like Yama. This Kumbhakarna, by his very nature, is energetic and mighty in contrast to the strength of the other prominent rakshashas (like Ravana, Intrajit etc.) attributable to the boons (granted on request by gods).
         "He was born with a perpetual voracious hunger, ipso facto soon after his birth, he was said to have consumed thousands of living creatures. This kind of activity continued with increased vigor, capability and quantum with his age. The frightened people sought refuge with Indra explaining the matter about him. Indra struck Kumbhakarna with his weapon thunderbolt. Kumbhakarna struck by Indra's thunderbolt became quite agitated and angry, roared loudly with anger. That roar of Kumbhakarna, made  the frightened people further frightened.
           "Enraged as he was on Mahendra (an alias for Indra), the mighty Kumbhakarna then pulled out a tusk of Airavata, Indra's elephant and struck it into Indra's chest. That Devendra, tormented by the hit of Kumbhakarna, was burning with rage. Devas, Brahmarishis and Danavas were felt aggrieved by the torments of Kumbhakarna. Indra, himself felt aggrieved,  taking Devas and other his co-aggrieved subjects, went to the abode of Brahma for solace, protection and remedy.
          "The evil doings of  Kumbhakarna were reported to Brahma, including how he devoured the living creatures right from the day of his birth, his assault on Devas, the destruction of hermitages and his taking away of others' wives. If he eats away the living creatures continuously like this, the world will become desolate shortly. Brahama, the great grandfather of the entire world, as well as to Ravana and his brothers, after thoroughly examining the report, sent for all the rakshashas.  He, Brahma, was stunned seeing Kumbhakarna along with them. He, just could not believe that he, himself created him.
      "The mere sight of Kumbhakarna was frightening even to Brahma. After pondering for a few moments, Brahma cursed Kumbhakarna  'I just could not believe that Visravasa begot you. Anyhow, your consuming living beings like the way it is reported to me is not acceptable to me.  Hence you will be sleeping apparently dead from now onwards.' Humbled by Brahma's curse, Kumbhakarna then promptly fell down and started sleeping. Ravana was greatly pained to see his dear brother sleeping like this. He represented to Brahma 'O Grandpa! You are cutting off a well-grown golden tree, just at the time of yielding its fruit. It is not fair on your part to curse your own great grandson like this. I know that you will not be able to revoke the curse. I request you to modify it in such a way that some space of time be fixed for his sleeping and waking.'
          "Brahma felt that the request of Ravana was just and fair. He modified the curse by  'He will sleep for about six months and wake-up for a day.' 
            "On the single days he was awake, having starved for six months, he  wanders all over the earth and eat the human race  like an augmented fire. Ravana, who was thoroughly subdued by you seems  frightened at your prowess, now got Kumbhakarna awakened for retribution.
         "The mere sight of Kumbhakarna seems to terrify our vanaras."
             After hearing Vibhishana, Rama ordered Neela, the chief of the vanara army "O Neela! Go, marshal the entire army. Occupying the door-ways, high-ways and bridges of Lanka, stand ready for operation. Draw together the mountain-tops, trees as well as the rocks. Let all the vanaras with their weapons and rocks in hand, ordered to stand ready."
           As per the direction of Rama,  Gavaksha, Sharabha, Hanuman and Angada, reached the gates, taking the mountain-tops. 

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