A single good deed dispels all sins – a lesson from Kabandh Rakshas

In life, where good and bad co-exist it is left to man to decide his destiny with his choice. It happens sometimes that few are gifted with great qualities by birth, and considered as the lucky ones. However, when luck is taken for granted and sins are committed, the same qualities lead to the downfall. Going down the slope is easy, but rising up and walking uphill is a difficult task. The life of Kabandh Rakshas gives a beautiful insight on this.


Kabandh Rakshas has a small role to play in the life of Shri Ram, but one cannot deny his importance in giving motivation to Shri Ram in the quest of Mata Sita. When Mata Sita was abducted, Shri Ram and Lakshman move ahead in search of her and enter the Krauncha forest, which is the home of the horrific demon Kabandh. Little did they know that would get help from him, and also lead to a new life of Kabandh.

In reality, Kabandh was a Gandharv named Vishwavasu or Danu who was an extremely handsome Gandharva. He performed great penance about Brahma Ji and obtains immortality. But instead of being humble to destiny which favoured him, pride grows in him and he terrifies the Rishis of Krauncha forest in a hideous form, obtaining pleasure from it. Once, he attacks Rishi Sthulshira, but the powerful sage is enraged at his behaviour and curses Danu to retain the hideous form forever. Danu begs for forgiveness and the noble sage mentions that he would be liberated by Shri Ram and Lakshman.

Later, Danu has an encounter with Devraj Indr, who pushes Danu’s head and legs into his body making him immovable and even more hideous. Danu pleads him for a way to eat food and Indr grants him long arms with which he could catch the animals of the forest and escape from hunger. Danu came to be called as Kabandh meaning headless body and long arms.

While leading such a life, Kabandh sees Shri Ram and Lakshman and grabs hold of them. But the brothers cut of his arms. Kabandh roars in pain and realise that they are none other than Shri Ram and Lakshman. Kabandh realises that this is the time where he could get relieved form his past sins and get liberated from his curse by helping Shri Ram. He requests Shri Ram to set fire to him so that he could get rid of his hideous form and let them know information about Mata Sita.

Trusting Kabandh, the brothers do as he says and Danu emerges from the fire. Relieved from the curse, Danu thanks them and advises them to go further south and make friendship with the Vanar King Sugriv residing on Rishyamuk Mountain, who would help him get back Mata Sita. He foretells Shri Ram that with the help of Sugriv and his army, Shri Ram would kill Ravan and get back Mata Sita.

Kabandh was lucky from birth with good looks and a noble birth. But he could not retain them and becomes a demon for his sins. Yet, the good deed of helping Shri Ram helps him clear all his sins and get a chance for a new life. Kabandh’s life teaches that one good deed sometimes is enough to help us turn our life a new leaf. But at the same time one should always be thankful for the luck and life given by the Almighty, instead of taking them for granted.