~ 66. Rama Visits Agastya ~


Rama came to Agastya's ashram.
"Two rakshasa brothers once lived here," said Agastya, "Ilvala and Vatapi. Ilvala would transform into a brahmin and invite another brahmin to dinner. Vatapi would transform into a sheep which Ilvala cooked and served. Then, after the guest ate, Ilvala would shout: Come out, Vatapi! Vatapi would burst through the brahmin's stomach, killing him."
Rama stared at Agastya, horrified.
"But I defeated them," Agastya explained, smiling. "I used my powers to digest Vatapi before Ilvala could summon him. Afterwards, I incinerated Ilvala with the power of my gaze."
Rama then regarded Agastya with great admiration.


Inspired by: Valmiki's Ramayana
Notes: This is the Aranya Kanda (Book 3), sarga 11. The story is also found in the Mahabharata. See Wikipedia for details about the town named Badami (Vatapi), located in Karnataka.




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