Ravana's wife Mandodari was a vegetarian; his sister Shurpanakha, however, was a carnivore.
One day Shurpanakha commanded Mandodari to serve meat for dinner, and Mandodari refused.
Shurpanakha was furious at Mandodari, and at Ravana too. She shouted to her husband Vidyutjiva, "Swallow Ravana! Swallow him NOW!"
Vidyutjiva obeyed. He extended his tongue, wrapped it around his brother-in-law, and swallowed him.
"Help me, Shurpanakha!" shouted Ravana from inside Vidyutjiva's stomach. "Your son will be my heir! I'll find you a new husband!"
So Shurpanakha carved open her husband to rescue Ravana. Vidyutjiva died, and Shurpanakha forever blamed Ravana for his death.
Inspired by: Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana by Devdutt Pattanaik
Notes: This story is on p. 123 of the book. Valmiki name Vidyutjiva among the rakshasas, but does not describe him as Shurpanakha's husband. This story comes from Tamil folklore. In the Thai Ramakien Vidyutjiva uses his tongue to protect Lanka, and Ravana kills him thinking that Lanka had disappeared when in fact it was underneath Vidyutjiva's tongue. Shurpanakha's son has various names: Shambukumar, Darasinha, Japasura, Jambukumar, and Sunkumar. For the story of Lakshmana and Shurpanakha's son, see Lakshmana and the Boar.
when she confronts Lakshmana
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