Hinduism - Who Is Kumbhakarna In Hindu Mythology?


 ("Pitcher-eared") Kumbhakarna is the brother of Ravana, the demon lord of Lanka, in the Ramayana, the earlier of the two major Indian epics.

His large ears, as his name suggests, are his most notable facial feature.

Kumbhakarna is a reincarnation of Vijaya, Vishnu's gatekeeper, who was condemned to reincarnate three times as a demon, each time being destroyed by the deity Vishnu.

In their youth, Kumbhakarna and his brothers practiced severe austerity (tapas) in order to obtain boons from the gods.

Kumbhakarna means to seek "nirdevatvam" from the deity Brahma when he eventually appears to grant him boons (that he cannot be conquered by any of the gods).

The goddess Saraswati, who has control over speech, foils him at the crucial moment.

She dances on his tongue, perplexing his words and prompting him to ask for "nidravatvam" (sleepiness).

Kumbhakarna would sleep for six months at a stretch as a result of this blunder, then wake up to feast himself on food and drink for a brief period before falling asleep again.

The violent attempts to awaken Kumbhakarna so that he might participate in the fight account for some of the dramatic tension in the Ramayana's combat sections.

He fights bravely once woken, but is finally murdered by Rama.

Kumbhakarna, like all the demons, isn't completely bad.

He chastises Ravana for stealing Rama's wife, Sita, before fighting alongside Rama's army.

He also mentions that it is his responsibility as the younger brother to protect the family honor.

The demon Kumbhakarna is seen here upholding idealized Indian family values, with the younger brother supporting and defending his elder brother's interests in order to keep the family together.

Rama's younger brothers, Lakshmana and Bharata, have the same virtue.

Despite their hatred for one another, the epic's "heroes" and "villains" share significant principles.

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