[Advaita-l] A question about Kumbhakarna

Ryan Armstrong ryanarm at gmail.com
Tue Dec 27 10:17:55 EST 2022

Namaste All
I have just (last week) finished re-reading the Ramayana.
The story there is that Kumbhakarna, from birth already, would devour
everything he could get hold of.
This included ascetics rich in pennances and firm in their vows, innocents
as well as various animals.
Even on the battlefield, he caused mass confusion by devouring large
portions of the monkey army.
The story says that after he and his older brother had practised severe
austerities and pennances he received a curse from Brahma as well as a boon.
He was condemned to sleep for months at a time - so that he would not end
up devouring the entire creation.

I will also need to check the Bhagavatam (it must be about 20 years since I
read the story) but therein (I think this is what you are referring to)
Jaya and Vijaya were cursed by Sanatkumara when they barred his entry to
Lord Vishnu at Vaikuntha.
If I recall, they were both to be reborn 3 times and each time to be killed
by Lord Vishnu himself.
The incarnations were:
Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu
Ravana and Kumbhakarna
Kamsa and Sisupala (Here my memory may be wrong!)

As with all things, his destruction was previously ordained.

As an aside, I have always seen an allegory that Ravana and Kumbhakarna
represent the chiefs of our desires.
In the case of Kumbhakarna it seems he represents Greed and Slothfulness.
As such, the Lord within needs to slay these desires in order to bring
peace to the being.


On Tue, 27 Dec 2022 at 14:26, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> We hear that Ravana and Kumbhakarna where the same Jaya and Vijaya and had
> to be killed by Rama.
> ततस्तौ राक्षसौ जातौ केशिन्यां विश्रवःसुतौ ।
>  रावणः कुम्भकर्णश्च सर्वलोकोपतापनौ ॥ ४३ ॥  Bhagavatam
> This verse says that both of them were extremely troublesome. We hear a lot
> about Ravana but what kind of trouble did Kumbhakarna cause to the world at
> large? So is the question with regard to Dantavakra in the Mahabharata. Was
> it so serious so as to deserve death in the hands of the lord himself?
> Om
> subbu
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Ryan Armstrong
+27 82 852 7787
ryanarm at gmail.com

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