[INDOLOGY] fate of demons slain by Rāma

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at uchicago.edu
Sun Sep 13 10:22:02 UTC 2020

Dear friends,

It is often said that the demons killed by Rāma
are in fact liberated or dispatched to favorable rebirths, which of course provides a needed ethical fig-leaf with which to gloss the violence done to them.
The notion that the demon is in fact freed by Rāma is, so far as I am aware, explicit in some cases (e.g. the story of Virādha), but not in every case.
When and where does it become a universal principle applied to all those killed? And are there any studies that you can recommend that focus on this particular theme? (which is perhaps more systematic in Kampan than in Vālmiki??)

Thanks in advance for any references you may be able to provide to scholarship on this subject.


Matthew Kapstein
Directeur d'études, émérite
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago

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