~ 87. Kabandha Grabs the Princes ~


In the forest Rama and Lakshmana encountered Kabandha, a ravenous monster whose head was in his stomach. He grabbed anything that moved, shoveling it into his stomach-mouth.
Rama and Lakshmana sliced off Kabandha's arms. As he lay dying, the monster thanked them. "I was once a gandharva named Vishvavasu," he said, "ravenous for music, food, drink, everything. My all-consuming greed turned me into a monster, but now I am free." 
When they cremated Kabandha's corpse, his gandharva form emerged. "Go to King Sugriva in Kishkindha," the gandharva told them. "The monkeys will help you."
Then he vanished into the sky.


Inspired by: Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana by Devdutt Pattanaik
Notes: This story is on p. 161 of the book. In Valmiki's Ramayana, this is the Aranya Kanda (Book 3), sarga 69.


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