Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Story of Kumbhakarna

Kumbhakarna was the younger brother of Ravana ,the ten headed Rakshasa King of Lanka.He was strong and was a big bully.He love to frighten and hurt those who was weaker than him.Ravana was pleased with what Kumbhakarna was doing but his younger brother Vibhishana was unhappy.Ravana always encourage Kumbhakarna on carrying on his work but Vibishana was worried that they have to face Indra’s anger if Kumbhakarna continues in this manner 

Indra, King of the devas was indeed angry.He didn’t like the idea Kumbhakarna harassing the sages and decided to teach him a lesson.Indra with his army attacked Kumbhakarna.When Indra hurled his mace towards Kumbhakarna , Kumbhakarna swallowed it.Instead Kumbhakarna leap forward and caught hold of Indra’s elephant by its tusks and flung it far away.Indra’s army fled in terror. 

One day , Ravana decided to pray to Lord Bhrama to get more power and strength to conquere the three worlds.He asked his brothers to join in too .Vibishana joined his brother but for a different boon.They went to a quiet place and began meditating.Bhrama was pleased and decided to grace them . In between Indra was worried and went to Goddess Saraswathy,the goddess of Speech. He seek her help to make Kumbhakarna ask a foolish boon. If all of them wished for power then Indra ‘s kingdom will be doomed.The Goddess agreed. 

Bhrama appeared in front of them and first asked Ravana what were his wishes .Ravana wished to be the King of the Three Worlds.Bhrama granted him his wish.Then he went to Vibishana and granted his wish too. Now it’s the turn of Kumbhakarna.Saraswathy quickly cast her spell and Kumbhakarna requested that he would like to sleep all day long.As Bhrama granted , Ravana intervened and told Bhrama to take back the wish. Bhrama told that boon given will never be taken back . Such was the rule. If Kumbhakarna sleeps all day long then Ravana wont have his brother’s help to destroy his enemies.They will surely know that without Kumbhakarna ,Ravana’s troup can be weaken.Saying thus Ravana asked Bhrama to reconsider. So Bhrama said that Kumbhakarna will be awake once every 6 months.But if anyone wakes him up on any other day, his life would be in danger.The next moment Kumbhakarna was fast asleep. 

Ravana and Vibishana took back to the palace and laid him on his bed. Bhrama’s boon to ravana also came true.Ravana became the master of the three worlds.Because of his strenth and power ,Ravana carried away Seeta,wife of Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. 

At Lanka, Ravana kept Seeta in his Ashoka Garden .Vibishana was angry with what his brother had done.He advised his brother to send back Seetha to Rama, but Ravana was stubborn.Vibishana left Lanka and joined Rama who was marching towards Lanka with hugh army of monkeys .With the help of Sugreeva(The Monkey King) ,Rama built a bridge across the sea to Lanka. 

While at Lanka, a guard informed Ravana of the approaching Rama and his troops .He sent Bhasmalochana to fight them back. 

Bhasmalochana has power to reduce whoever he sees to ashes .For this reason he always covers his eyes. When Rama and his army reached the shore of Lanka ,they saw Bhasmalochana.Vibishana informed Rama of Bhasmalochana’s power and advised Rama to use mirrors to attack Bhasmalochana.Raman quickly created million of mirrors and aimed at Bhasmalochana.Before Bhasmalochana could cover his eyes ,the mirrors had surrounded him.He felt hundred of eyes burning inside of him .Bhasmalochana was burned to ashes. After the defeat,Ravana sent many more Rakshasa to fight Rama.But all failed. 

Finally Ravana himself decided to go .Riding on the shoulders of Hanuman(the mighty monkey-warrior).Rama let go his arrow .ravana too took his aim towards Rama.But Rama was too quick for him. Struck by the deadly weapon,Ravana fell unconscious. After a while , he was on his feet again .Rama flunged a creacent shaped weapon towards Ravana.As his crown flew from his head,Ravana fled. Because of his failure ,he decided to wake Kumbhakarna.Even thou Ravana knew the danger his brother would be in for waking him before his time but Ravana wanted to cripple Rama and his army.After all the attempt to wake Kumbhakarna ,the food did the magic. 

The message of Ravana was delivered to him. Kumbhakarna was in no mood to fight. He also thought that Ravana was in wrong inviting this unnecessary war due to his useless insistence to marry Sita. He accordingly advised Ravana to release Sita and put an end to this avoidable conflict.

However, he was a loyal and patriotic Rakshasa. He was proud of his ancestors and glory of the demon rule and prosperity of Lanka. Hence when Ravana appealed in the name of glory of their forefathers, in the name and honour of their clan and dynasty, Kumbhakarna agreed to terminate Rama for ever. Thus full of enthusiasm and well prepared for the ensuing battle, he led his army to the battle ground.

A fierce fight raged between the two armies. Many monkeys were killed so also many Rakshasas. Even Angad and Sugreeva were on the defensive. Hanuman was helpless. Therefore, Rama took charge of the front himself. Kumbhakarna was adept in taking various illusory forms to confuse his enemy. It was difficult to attack his true body! as many Kumbhakarnas used to appear in front. All the missiles and arrows eluded him.

Moreover, Kumbhakarna could create 'rain of fire' engulfing the enemy. This caused confusion and chaos amongst Rama's army. To this, Rama replied by pouring rain of water to put off the fire. Kumbhakarna poured 'rain of stones', and Rama countered by appropiate protective cover. The battle went on for quite some time. At last Rama attacked the demon with his most powerful arrow fortified with deadly divine missile. This hit the mighty Kumbhakarna at his vital centre that led to his downfall.

On the death-bed Kumbhakarna took the name of Rama and thus he was liberated from his base instincts and tendencies. 

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