That forest infested with terrible Raksasas was called Dandaka. Along the way, they found the huts of several quiet and serene ascetics who were jolly, and who possessed a deep knowledge of spiritual things. They were always available for dialogue and answered every question. Their glories were the austerities and the study of the sacred Vedas, and it was thanks to their holy life that peace existed on the planet. In those days, they enjoyed great respect from the monarchs.
Rama offered each of them respectful obeisances and inquired about their well-being. He noticed that their answers were quite similar to each other.
“Everything is going well in the practice of our austerities, but unfortunately we are always disturbed by the Raksasas who haunt this forest. Please protect us from these evil beings. By eliminating them, you will facilitate the execution of our disciplines.”
Rama promised protection to all. The prince and his loved ones went further into the forest in search of the terrible Raksasas.
One day they met one. He was a hideous monster, the size of a mountain and with a fearful voice. He had very long arms and was covered in reddish hair. As soon as he saw them, he immediately attacked, extending his arms disproportionately.
Quick as lightning, he grabbed Sita and kidnapped her. But Rama followed him and after a short fight struck him dead. As he was about to exhale his last breath, to the amazement of the princes, the Raksasa spoke.
“I am called Viradha. Now you see me as a scary monster, but in my previous life I was a Gandharva named Tumvuru. I was sentenced to be in this wretched form by a curse. One day, I was to perform an important service for Kuvera when I saw the Apsara Rambha. Attracted by her beauty, I followed her, neglecting my duty. It was for that reason that Kuvera cursed me, and I became a terrible Raksasa. But first he told me that I would regain my original state when I was killed by the son of Dasaratha named Rama. Thanks to you, I will now return to Svarga-loka. “
So, Viradha left his body.
This is a section of the book “The Ramayana”, in English.
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