Aranya Kanda, Chapter 4
Curse of Viradha
On seeing those two very dexterous scions of Kakutstha, and the best ones from Raghu dynasty, namely Rama and Lakshmana, grabbed and being carried off, Sita screamed in a high-pitched voice.
"He that truth-abiding, virtuous, and the flawless Rama of Dashratha is carried off along with Lakshmana by the demon with a ferocious look...
"Wild bears, tigers and panthers aspire to eat me away... oh, best demon, thieve me instead and release Kakutstha-s... Hail to thee..."
On hearing Vaidehi's that utterance those valorous ones Rama and Lakshmana speedily busied themselves in eliminating that evil-minded demon Viradha.
Soumitri indeed severed the left arm of that ferocious one, while Rama rent the right arm of that demon with his might.
When his arms are mutilated that demon similar to a dark-cloud is frustrated, fainted, and fell onto ground, like the mountain demolished by the Thunderbolt of Indra.
They battered that demon with their fists, hands and feet, and even by heaving and hurling him again and again they entirely pounded on him on the ground.
Though that demon is battered with many arrows, even sheared off with two swords, and even though he is entirely pounded on the ground he is not killed.
On observing that the mountain-similar demon is ineradicable that easily, then Rama, the sublime one, and the bestower of shelter in fear, spoke this sentence to Lakshmana.
"Oh! Manly-tiger Lakshmana, it is impossible to overpower this demon with weapons in a confrontation, hence, let's bury this demon...
"Lakshmana, a very deep pit be dug for this furious and ferocious reprobate in this forest, as though for an elephant...
On saying to Lakshmana that a trench shall be dug...' then Rama repressively placed his foot on the throat of Viradha, and stood by.
On hearing that said by Raghava, demon Viradha sincerely spoke these humble words to Rama, the finest one from Kakutstha dynasty.
"Dead I am, oh! Manly-tiger and a coequal of Indra in your strength... I have fallaciously not identified you earlier... oh, best one among men...
"Oh, sire, now I have known you to be Rama, the son of Kausalya... and even propitious Sita and greatly renowned one Lakshmana are now known to me...
"By curse I had to enter this ghoulish demon's body, but I am a celestial gandharva, named Tumburu and Kubera cursed me...
"When entreated by me, he that greatly renowned Kubera said to me, 'When Dashratha's Rama kills you in a fight... then you will attain your nature of celestial body and you will go to heavens...'
" King Kubera thus cursed angrily me for not presenting myself in his service when I was interested in a celestial dancer Rambha, and indeed he alone said this curse-clearance to me...
" And by your grace I am released from this utterly hideous cruse, and now I wish to go to my own heavenly abode, oh, firestorm of enemies, let safety betide you all...
"Oh, Sire, att one and half yojana-s of distance from here Sage Sharabhanga, a great saint of virtue, and an efficacious sage with sun-like resplendence dwells, you shall quickly approach him for he advises you opportunely...
"Rama you go safely on burying me in a pit... this is the age-old custom for those demons that lost vitality... those that are inhumed in pit, to them there will be the worlds of manes..."
"And on saying thus to Rama that Viradha who is hurt by arrows became heaven-worthy on leaving his body.
And Raghava on hearing those words of the demon ordered Lakshmana, "Lakshmana, a very deep pit be dug for this furious and ferocious reprobate in this forest, as though for an elephant..." On saying to Lakshmana that a trench shall be dug...' then Rama repressively placed his foot on the throat of Viradha, and stood by.
Then, on taking a digging tool Lakshmana dug a deep pit beside the great soul Viradha.
On releasing his throat from the stamping of Rama, he that long eared, lurid voiced Viradha is ensconced in that pit while he is still blaring with his horrific voice.
Those deftly victorious ones Rama and Lakshmana who compose themselves in a given fight, both have gladly raised that Viradha, a ghoulish one in fight, a terrifying demon who is still blaring, with all their might and hurled him into the pit.
On observing the indestructibility of that demon with any weapon, however sharp it might be, those two best ones among men that are very expertly skilled have thought over well and undertook the elimination of that great demon in a pit.
Viradha himself preferred his death at the hands of Rama and desired for a long to be killed by Rama and that forest walker himself appraised that, "Killing me with any weapon is impossible..."
On listening to that which is said by Viradha, Rama resolved his mind to cast him into pit, and when that mighty demon is being flung into the pit the whole forest blared with that demon's cries.
Rama and Lakshmana felt happy by way of their look in burying Viradha in the pit of the earth, and on burying him they two felt rejoiced for gone is the fear in that great forest, and within the pit they have also concealed him with boulders in order to make it a burial-chamber to the departed soul.
Then they two who have dazzling golden bows have eliminated that demon and retrieved Sita, and they gladly journeyed on in that great forest like the two entities abiding on the skies, namely the Sun and Moon.
The episode of Viraadha assumes some importance in Hindu mythology. It may be observed that Viraadha drops down Sita, lifts and carries Rama and Lakshmana far away from Sita, where Rama and Lakshmana kill Viraadha. aadhyaatma raamaayana which occurs in the chapter 61 of brahmaanmda puraana also narrates this episode of Viradha as a one to one fight, herein Rama affronts and kills him straight. But in Valmiki Ramayana, Viradha takes away Sita first and then Rama and Lakshmana, too. A question arises as to why the demon should snatch Sita away and later carry Rama and Lakshmana to a distant place from Sita. It is part of the scheme that Rama kills no demon or sinner in the presence of Sita, including Ravana, for she is that benevolent one to all the sinners and pardons them if surrendered in faith at her feet, as an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Our concern here is with skaanda purana , a Shiva Puraana, in which Viradha's episode is explained detailedly. The skaanda puraana puts it as: