The Story of Kumbhkaran’s Sleep

 
Contributed by : Shina Utavani   
The Story of Kumbhkaran’s Sleep

This is a story of brahma, Kumbhakarna, Ram, Ravan, and veebhishana.

Moral(s) of the story: penance

The Ramayan is an ancient Sanskrit epic written by the famous sage Valmiki. It describes Lord Rama's effort to rescue Sita from the demon king Ravana. It also describes the challenges faced by Lord Rama, Laxaman, and Sita when they were exiled from the kingdom for 14 years. Following is a story from “The Ramayana”.

The three brothers Ravan, Kumbhkaran, and Vibhishan were the sons of Vishravas. Kumbhakaran was younger to Ravan and elder to Vibhishan. Once, they all engaged in severe penance to please Lord Brahma, their grandfather and the god of creation. Lord Brahma was pleased with the sincerity and their devotion so, he appeared in front of them and promised them boons. Ravan asked that he should not be killed by gods, serpents, animals, demons, birds and his wish was granted.

Vibhishan asked that he should never leave the path of righteousness. Brahma was pleased with his goodness and he blessed him with immortality as an additional bonus.

Kumbhakaran had already created enough fear among all the lives. Brahma feared that he would again ask some strength which he would use against the welfare of the people. Therefore, Brahma requested the Goddess of Speech, Saraswati to sit on his tongue and let him mispronounce the wish so that the lives of others are saved.

Kumbhakaran wished to ask for the position of Indra, the ruler of the heavens. But under the influence of Goddess Saraswati, he mispronounced it as Nidrasana (the seat of sleep). So, Brahma granted him eternal sleep.

Ravan was distressed to see the plight of his brother. He pleaded Brahma to undo the curse. Brahma did undo it, but with a condition. He said that Kumbhakaran would sleep for six months and will stay awake for another six months. He can have his food to full his belly in those six months so, that he can go back to sleep for another six months.




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