Friday, February 8, 2019

Guide: Kumbhakarna

This is a guide to Kumbhakarna: The Sleeping Giant (Volume 528). You can find it at Amazon.

Bizzell Reserves call number: PN 6790 .I443 A437 v.528

There is a detailed reading guide below!

Kumbhakarna and Indra (pp. 1-3). Meet Kumbhakarna, a giant rakshasa who is able to defeat even the god Indra in battle.
Additional reading: You can learn more at Wikipedia about Indra and also about Airavata, the celestial elephant that is his vahana (vehicle). 
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The Brothers' Wishes (pp. 4-7). Brahma awards boons to the three rakshasa brothers: Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Vibhishana. Indra is worried about Kumbhakarna becoming any stronger, so he arranges for Kumbhakarna to make a foolish wish.
Additional reading: You can find out more about the god Brahma and the goddess Saraswati at Wikipedia. You can also find out about Vibhishana and the wish he was granted at Wikipedia.
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Rama's Army (pp. 8-12). When Rama comes to rescue Sita, Ravana first sends the warrior Bhasmalochana to fight him, and Ravana himself then confronts Rama.
Additional reading: The story of Bhasmalochana comes from the Bengali folk tradition. Bashmalochana's "deadly gaze" may remind you of the Greek myths of Medusa and of the basilisk.
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Kumbhakarna Awakes (pp. 13-20). Unable to defeat Rama himself, Ravana turns to Kumbhakarna. Waking the giant is both difficult and dangerous, and when he wakes up, he is very hungry!
Additional reading: Arthur William Ryder has translated this famous part of the Ramayana into English verse which you can read here: Pot-Ear's Awakening. (The name "Kumbha-karna" means "Pot-Ear" in English.)
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Kumbhakarna in Battle (pp. 21-27). Kumbhakarna terrifies Rama's army, but the monkey warriors Neela and Sugreeva mount an attack.
Additional reading: You can read more about Sugreeva, the monkey king of Kishkindha, at Wikipedia.
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Rama and Kumbhakarna (pp. 28-30). Kumbhakarna returns to the battlefield and demands that Rama face him in combat.
Additional reading: Now that you are done with the comic book version, take a look at the Wikipedia article about Kumbhakarna and see how it matches up with what you read here.

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