Another bit of black anti-rakshas PR?

Artur Karp karp at UW.EDU.PL
Sat Nov 19 08:27:47 UTC 2011

Dear List,

In Ram. III, 2 there appears a hideous rakshas, Viradha. Described as
a monstrosity, he is garbed in animal skins, splattered with blood and

Now, in III, 2.7 he is shown as carrying on an iron spear dead
animals: three lions, four tigers, two wolves and ten [spotted]
antilopes (plus a huge elephant's head):

trīn siṃhāṃś caturo vyāghrān dvau vṛkau pṛṣatān daśa

The numbers of these animals seem to form a sequence,  3-4-2-10.
Considering that Viradha (who, surprisingly, presents himself as a
defender of ashramic values)  is compared twice to "the one who ends
[the world]", antaka:

III, 2.6: trāsanaṃ sarvabhūtānāṃ vyāditāsyam ivāntakam
III, 2.9: abhyadhāvat susaṃkruddhaḥ prajāḥ kāla ivāntakaḥ
shouldn't we see in the sequence a deliberate, satirical distortion of
the numbers 4-3-2-0 of the kali-yuga's 432 000 and the catur-yuga's 4
320 000 years?

Artur Karp

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