WWW Virtual Library - Sri Lanka



Kumbhakarana Fortunate are those devotees who prayed to their Lord for long and got their desired boons. Still greater are the devotees who dedicated their whole life selflessly only to have a glimpse of their Lord. Kumbhakarna, the brother of Ravana was such a great devotee.

Kumbhakarna was a seemingly ordinary creature of the universe but his appearance posed a grave problem for the creator himself. Pleased by his penance when Brahma arrived to grant him a boon, he got worried even before granting one and began to think: " If this man takes a regular meal, he will devour everything on earth." So Brahma invoked Saraswati to create illusions in Kumbhakarna's mind. Thus in illusion, Kumbhakarna begged Brahma to grant him a boon of a 6 month long sleep and wake up only for a day in these six months of slumber.

Thereafter, Kumbhakarna had nothing to do with sin and charity, religion or atheism, he simply spent his time sleeping in a cave. Having slept for 6 months in a row, he used to wake up only once for a day that was spent in only eating and inquiring about the well being of his near and dear ones. Kumbhakarna had no hand in the misdeeds of Ravana. He was a man of clean, pure heart and had a gigantic body. Because of the purity of Kumbhakarna's heart, Devarishi Narad had himself preached him about the divine knowledge.

During the battle in Lanka, when all the valiant fighters of the demon army like Avani, Akampan etc. were slain, every demon of Lanka began to feel insecure. Ravana then ordered the demons to wake up Kumbhakarna up. Those demons could wake him up with great difficulty. When Kumbhakarna came to know about the events, he felt sorry and said to Ravana: " O brother, you have abducted none other than Mother Jagadamba herself. This act of yours could be disastrous for the entire demon clan. Now, why have you disturbed my sleep? It would still be better for you to give up your ego and take refuge at the feet of Shri Rama. He is the ocean of kindness. He will definitely help you in your well being."

Kumbhakarna has no intentions to disregard his brother. He simply expressed his desire. He wanted to have a glimpse of the Lord and thus make his life peaceful. When Kumbhakarna finally arrived at the battlefield ready to fight, seeing his pure heart, Vibhishan came forward before him. Kumbhakarna told him a very thoughtful Sholka:


Thus despite having a pious feeling of devotion in his heart, that gigantic demon with a mammoth body arrived at the battlefield just to respect his brother Ravana. He had arrived with a purpose of having a glimpse of the Lord that would clear all his sins. So, Lord Rama decided to counter Kumbhakarna himself with his bow and arrow. In the battle, Kumbhakarna utilized all his strengths to bear the arrows of the Lord. Thus, showered by the Lord with arrows, Kumbhakarna gave up his body and annihilated in him.

It is true that Kumbhakarna was a demon, he ate demon's food, had a demon's vices, used to be in a slumber for days on end and had come to fight on the side of the demons. But Lord Rama knew his feelings, his pure and pious heart and that he believed Lord Rama as the supreme God (Brahma). He had arrived at the battle with the purpose of getting salvation from the arrows of Lord Rama and there was not any surprise when he attained salvation.

WWW Virtual Library - Sri Lanka