Story of Shurpankha

One day Rama and Laxmana were sitting a distance apart near their forest dwelling. As it happened Shurpankha, sister of Ravana, was passing from there. She was ugly looking widow, but was ambitious and powerful because of protection assured by her brother, the mighty King of Lanka, Ravana. She fell in love with Rama at first sight! With her maya power she changed herself in a very beautiful maiden and approached Rama with a lady-in-love like gestures. As she came near, Rama inquired, “O lady, who are you, what can I do for you?” Shurpankha replied, “O handsome, I have fallen in love with you. I am also beautiful, therefore, please marry me.”

In those days polygamy was not unusual in common people, and hence such requests were natural. But Rama never dreamt of any other woman as his wife other than Sita. He had vowed to monogamy. Moreover he could very easily see through the plan of Shurpankha. It did not take him more than a second to know the real nature of the beautiful woman in front of him. But he also decided to play some joke on her. Therefore Rama said, “O lady, I am sorry I cannot marry you. I am already wedded to one wife Sita. But my younger brother, Laxmana who is sitting there is still unmarried and he may be pleased to marry you. Why don’t you approach him!”

Shurpankha agreed and went to Laxmana with similar request to accept her as his bride. Laxmana also was in a jolly mood. He told her to go again to Rama because at present he did not have any plans to marry. Thus three or four times Shurpankha was shuttled between the two brothers. At last her patience gave way and she came to her original form and threatened to kill Rama and Laxmana. At this folly of her, Laxmana was irritated and as a result cut her nose and ears with the arrow. Bleeding and in rage, she fled to her one of the brothers, in nearby forest. The demon, brother of Ravana and equally powerful as Ravana, marched with huge army to put an end to the tormentors of his sister. A great fight broke out and ultimately the demons were defeated.

Seeing the end of his brother, Shurpankha rushed to her second brother Ravana and narrated the whole story. Ravana was puzzled. He could not understand that a single sanyasin like person could defeat his brother and his army. He thought over the matter and came to the conclusion that Rama must be God incarnate and nobody else. But he promised his sister that he would take revenge of her insult.

Leave a Reply