Uttara Kanda 4: Ravana's Conquests and Curses

Uttara Kanda 4: Ravana's Conquests and Curses

Uttara Kanda 4: Ravana's Conquests and Curses

Dashagriva was furious and announced that if he could not cross the mountain, he would uproot it and throw it away. Bending low, he inserted his arms below the mountain and lifted it. Shiva, who was at the summit of the mountain, laughed at Ravana’s antics. He pressed his toe, and the mountain fell on Dashagriva’s hands, trapping him.


Dashagriva screamed in pain, and his screams were so loud they filled the three worlds. Shiva then appeared before Dashagriva, and told him he would be henceforth known as Ravana because of the ferocious way in which he screamed. Shiva then released Ravana, who bowed to him and left from there.


Ravana continued to travel in the three worlds, attacking and defeating Kshatriyas. One day, as he travelled through a forest, he saw a beautiful maiden. She was dressed in antelope skin and performing austerities. He asked who she was and she replied that she was the daughter of Kushadhwaja, the son of Brihaspathi.


She told Ravana her name was Vedavathi, and she was praying to Lord Vishnu. Vedavathi told Ravana that her father desired that Vishnu should be his son-in-law. Unfortunately, her father was killed by an evil rakshasa named Shambu. Her father had refused to bestow her to the rakshasa, and the furious demon had killed him.


Vedavathi had decided she would make her father’s last wish come true and was hence trying to win over Lord Vishnu. Ravana, who was smitten by Vedavathi’s looks, told her that he was greater than Vishnu. Ravana then grabbed her by her hair. Vedavathi cut the hair that Ravana had grabbed. She then lit a fire and decided to enter it.


She announced she would enter the fire because she had no protector. Vedavathi told Ravana she would be born again and be the cause of his death. Agastya then told Rama that Vedavathi was born as Sita.


Meanwhile, Ravana continued his journeys. The king Marutta was performing a sacrifice officiated by the sage Samvarta and all the Gods were present. Seeing Ravana and realizing they could not defeat him, the Gods changed their forms. Indra became a peacock, Yama a crow, Kubera a lizard, and Varuna became a swan.


Ravana then told Marutta that he had defeated his own brother and had seized his vimana. He asked Marutta to surrender to him. Marutta then criticised Ravana for humiliating his elder brother. The king questioned what great act of dharma Ravana had done. He informed Ravana he had never heard of him before.


The king then decided to fight with Ravana and picked up his weapons. But sage Samvarta advised that his sacrifice was incomplete, and fighting now would cause the end of his lineage. Based on the wise sage’s advice, Marutta declared that he had been defeated by Ravana.


The evil Ravana killed the assembled sages, devoured them, and proceeded on his way, delighted with his victory. Ravana then went to all the great kings on earth and challenged them for a fight. Kings like Dushyanta, Suratha, Pururava, and Gadhi declared they had been defeated since they knew they could never defeat Ravana because of his boon.


Ravana then went to Ayodhya ruled by king Anaranya. The king refused to obey Ravana and decided he would fight with him. A fierce battle then ensued. Ravana destroyed the king’s army. Anaranya then shot thousands of arrows at Ravana, but the king of Lanka was not affected in any way.


Ravana then struck the king of Ayodhya with his palm. The king collapsed on the ground. As he died, he declared that one of his descendants would avenge his defeat and kill Ravana. The king then ascended to heaven while Ravana continued his campaign.