Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Khara included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Khara

A giant (Rākṣasa). Khara and Atikāya were the rebirths of Madhu and Kaiṭabha. For details see under Kaiṭabha and Atikāya.

Birth and genealogy.

Mahābhārata mentions as follows about the birth of this giant:—Viśravas was born from Pulastya the son of Brahmā. Kubera was born from Viśravas. Kubera ruled over Laṅkā. Viśravas who had no one to help him once looked with anger at Kubera, who, understanding the wish of his father gave him three giantesses named Puṣpotkaṭā, Rākā and Mālinī as attendants. They attended on him faithfully and Viśravas was pleased with them. To Viśravas two sons named Rāvaṇa and Kumbhakarṇa were born by Puṣpotkaṭā, Vibhīṣaṇa was born by Mālinī and the twin sister and brother Śūrpaṇakhā and Khara were born by Rākā. By and by Khara became a famous archer. Rāvaṇa, Kumbhakarṇa and Vibhīṣaṇa performed penance to obtain boons and Khara and Śūrpaṇakhā stayed with them to serve them. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 275).

Other brothers.

Khara had two other brothers Dūṣaṇa and Triśiras. (Uttara Rāmāyaṇa).

The slaughter of Khara.

While Śrī Rāma, Sītā and Lakṣmaṇa were staying in the forest of Daṇḍakāraṇya Śūrpaṇakhā the sister of Khara came there once and tried to get one of the brothers Śrī Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa as her husband. Lakṣmaṇa cut off her nose and ears. She went to Khara, Dūṣaṇa and Triśiras and lamented before them. The three of them immediately started with an army of fourteen thousand giants and fought with Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, who killed every one of them. (Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa, Araṇyakāṇḍa, Sargas 19 to 30).

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