By Swami Harshananda
Kabandha (‘headless [demon]’)
An interesting interlude in the story of the Rāmāyana is that of Kabandha. He was a headless demon with two very long arms and a mouth inside his abdomen. A gandharva (a class of semigods), Viśvāvasu by name, he had incurred the wrath of the sage Sthulaśiras and had been cursed by him to get this grotesque form. A blow on the head by Indra with his vajrāyudha (thunderbolt) had made it worse.
When Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa were wandering in the Daṇḍaka forest, searching for Sītā, they were caught by him. However, when they cut his arms, he enquired who they were and was glad to get their identity since his liberation from the curse was in Rāma’s hands. At his request Rāma and Lakśmaṇa killed him and cremated his body. Once the abominable body was destroyed, Viśvāvasu appeared and advised Rāma to contact Sugriva for help in locating and recovering Sītā.
Kabīr (A. D. 1440-1518)
One of the great leaders of the Bhakti Movement and a pioneer of Hindu-Muslim unity, Kabīr—also known as Kabīrdās— was brought up as an adopted child by the Muslim weaver couple Nīru and Nīmā who had found him abandoned near a tank. From the childhood days, he was of a devotional and philosophical temperament. He cleverly managed to become a disciple of the great saint of the times,
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore