Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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VIRADHA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology]

A horrible man-eating Rakshasa, son of Kala and Satahrada. By penance he had obtained from Brahma the boon of invulnerability.

He is described as "being like a mountain peak, a man-eater, loud-voiced, hollow-eyed, large-mouthed, huge, huge-bellied, horrible, rude, long, deformed, of dreadful aspect, wearing a tiger's skin, dripping with fat, wetted with blood, terrific to all creatures, like death with open mouth, bearing three lions, four tigers, two wolves, ten deer, and the great head of an elephant with the tusks, and smeared with fat, on the point of an iron pike, shouting with a loud voice."

Rama, with Lakshmana and Sita, encountered him in the Dandaka forest, when he foully abused and taunted the brothers, and seized upon Sita. The brothers proved with their arrows that he was not invulnerable, but he caught them, threw them over his shoulders, and ran off with them as if they had been children. They broke both his arms, threw him down, beat him with their fists, and dashed him to the earth, but they could not kill him, so they dug a deep hole and buried him alive.

After his burial there arose from the earth a beautiful person, who said that he was a Gandharva who had been condemned by Kuvera to assume the shape of a Rakshasa, from which Rama had enabled him to escape.

He was also called Tumburu.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM