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[From   Raamaayan]

Shoorpanakhaa was the youngest child of Muni Vishravaa and Kaikasee. She was married to Vidyutjivhaa Raakshas but Raavan killed her husband while he was out for Tri-Lok victory. When Shoorpanakhaa complained about her being widow, Raavan sent her to Janasthaan as in-charge of that place along with Khar and Dooshan. So since then she used to live there with her brothers and wandered there.

Shoorpanakhaa in Raam's Hut
As Shoorpanakhaa used to wander in Dandak Van for its safety and security, one day she came out to Panchvatee side and seeing Raam and Lakshman got attracted to them. First she proposed to Raam but Raam refused her proposal saying that "You are very beautiful. You can get many husbands. I cannot marry you as I am already married, you may try my younger brother as he is still without wife". So she went to Lakshman, but Lakshman said - "I am the servant of my elder brother, you are a princess, you might not get all the comforts and pleasures living with me, so it is better to choose Swaamee".

At this Shoorpanakhaa got very furious and ran to eat Jaanakee, as she thought Her as the hurdle in fulfilling her wish. Immediately Lakshman cut her nose and ears with his sword at the gesture of Raam. Crying with anguish and fury she ran away in the forest from where she came.

How Shoorpanakhaa Came to Raam's Hut and Why Raam Called Her Beautiful?
[Taken from Valmiki Ramayan, 3/17]

In older versions of Vaalmeeki Raamaayan there are a few more verses that contain a situation where Jataayu comes to Raam, after their return from the River Godavaree, to take leave of Him to go and see his relatives and bird-friends. Then Shoorpanakhaa knowing that Jataayu was not there, enters the hut area of Raam in a guise of a winsome beauty. [Tulasee's Maanas does mention that she changed her guise into a beautiful woman before coming to Raam's hut].

In fact no Raakshas or Raakshasee could approach that hut of Raam, as long as Jataayu was around. And as he went away to see his relatives and friends, and Shoorpanakhaa knew that he was not there, only then she could enter the hut area. It seems logical. But in the present version she is depicted without any guise change.

The beauty aspect of Shoorpanakhaa is not narrated in these verses by Vaalmeeki Jee. But Raam is addressing her as a beautiful woman. In this case, it looks like as if either it is for fun sake or a nobleman's etiquette. If it is accepted for fun sake then this episode of Shoorpanakhaa may be considered to have some Haasya Ras (comic relief), in Raamaayan. Since Tulasee's Maanas says that she changed her guise in a beautiful woman, it is no more a Haasya Ras there.

Shoorpanakhaa Instigated Her Brothers
After Lakshman cut her nose and ears, she went to her brothers, Khar and Dooshan and instigated them to kill those two brothers who had devoured her. She wanted to drink their blood. Khar and Dooshan were very brave and mighty and had many powers. They came to fight but were killed along with their 14,000 Raakshas army.

Then she went to her eldest brother Raavan in Lankaa, and said many instigating sentences about his living style and system of ruling. She knew that his weakness was woman so she intentionally mentioned about Seetaa and Her impassable beauty along the mention of those two brothers and advised him to have Her as his queen. As Raavan's spy had already informed him about the incident of Janasthaan, now he intended to abduct Seetaa.

Thus in one way Shoorpanakhaa was the instrumental for the abduction of Seetaa. If she had not gone to Panchvatee, she had not met Raam, Lakshman and Seeta; she had not been attracted to them; Lakshman had not cut her nose and ears, she had not called on Khar and Dooshan to kill Raam and Lakshman; Janasthaan had not been destroyed; Akampan (Raavan's spy) (in Raamaayan) or Shoorpanakhaa (in Maanas) had not informed Raavan about Janasthaan and Shoorpanakhaa had not instigate Raavan to abduct Seetaa. And he wouldn't know about their staying there.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 10/17/13