Vol: 68   No: 19

May 15, 2022

Narasimha in Kamba Ramayana

Sunitha Madhavan

Kamban sang in Tamil the great story of Rama for the people of his region and in his own style. Kamba Ramayana was not a literal translation of Valmiki Ramayana, but a free adaptation of the original concept. The ancient Tamil country to which Kamban belonged abounds in Narasimha Kshethrams. The poet introduced the Man-Lion Avatar in the most appropriate context as the perfect fit for highlighting the glory of Vishnu whose incarnation is Rama. He subtitled it as ‘Hiranyakasipu Vadhai Padalam’ i.e., annihilation of the demon king. It is presented through the

Bhagavatha character Vibhishana, at the beginning of Yudha Kandam. When Rama and the Vanaras had landed in Lanka, a war council was convened by Ravana. Vibhishana used the opportunity and tried to direct his brother on the Dharmic path. Earlier when Hanuman was to be put to the sword it had worked. But this time Ravana was in no mood to yield. He mocked Vibhishana for considering Rama as Divine.
Vibhishana now attempted to cure Ravana of his pride and lust through another route. He prayed to his brother that he listen to the

Bhavan's Journal May 15, 2022∎ 25

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