The 6 Brothers Of Ravana In Ramayana

Ravana, an iconic character in Hindu mythology, is widely known as one of the most formidable demon-kings to ever exist. He takes center stage as the primary antagonist in the epic Ramayana. In Hindu folklore, Ravana is most recognized for his audacious act of abducting Sita, the exquisite wife of Lord Rama, who was revered as one of the most beautiful women of her time.

He is also remembered as the ten-headed demon who reigned over the kingdom of Lanka, which corresponds to modern-day Sri Lanka. In a display of unmatched prowess, he single-handedly defeated the major devas and deities of heaven.

Despite his demonic nature, Ravana was a devout worshiper of Lord Shiva and is renowned for composing the famous ‘Shiva Tandava Stotram.’ His unwavering devotion earned him the boon of invincibility from Lord Brahma, a reward for years of intense meditation and spiritual practice.

However, his ultimate downfall came in a series of epic battles against Lord Rama, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. Ravana, blinded by arrogance, perceived Rama as an ordinary human being, leading to his defeat.

It’s worth noting that Ravana was not inherently a demon by birth. He was born into a Brahmin family as the eldest son of Vishrava, a revered sage from the Vedic period. However, from a young age, Ravana identified himself with his mother’s lineage, Kaikesi, who hailed from the Rakshasi or demon race, being the daughter of Sumali and Thataka.

Delving into Ravana’s family tree, he had six brothers and two sisters. They were Vaishravana, also known as Lord Kuber, Vibhishana, Kumbhakarna, Khara, Dushana, Ahiravan, Kumbhini, and Surpanakha, respectively.

Vaishravana (Lord Kuber)

Vaishravana, the eldest stepbrother of Ravana, holds a prominent place in Hindu mythology. He received a remarkable boon from Lord Brahma, elevating him to the status of the guardian of wealth, often known as Lord Kuber, the god of wealth. Interestingly, Vaishravana had once ruled Lanka for an extended period until Ravana dethroned him.

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Originally described as the chief of evil spirits, Vaishravana’s transformation into a godly figure occurred after he pleased and secured the boon from Lord Brahma. It is said that the wealth and prosperity we associate with Lanka today blossomed during his rule.

Vibhishana

Vibhishana, the younger son of Sage Vishrava and Kaikesi, stood as the younger brother of Ravana and played a pivotal role in the events of the Ramayana. Following the defeat of Ravana at the hands of Lord Rama in the epic battle, Vibhishana assumed rulership over the kingdom of Lanka.

Remarkably, despite his demon lineage, Vibhishana was characterized by his unwavering righteousness and deep devotion to Lord Vishnu. He recognized the extraordinary qualities and divinity of Prince Rama, which prompted him to align himself with Lord Rama and assist in the battle against the malevolent Ravana.

An intriguing aspect of Vibhishana’s mythology is that he is believed to be one of the seven chiranjeevis, immortal beings in Hindu tradition who will endure until the conclusion of the current Kali Yuga.

Kumbhakarna

In the epic Ramayana, Kumbhakarna emerges as one of Ravana’s brothers, distinguished by his intriguing characteristics. Unlike Ravana, Kumbhakarna possessed intelligence and righteousness. Despite ultimately fighting on Ravana’s side, he persistently urged his brother to return Devi Sita to Lord Rama.

Kumbhakarna is often remembered as the colossal giant who indulged in an extraordinary routine of eating and sleeping for six consecutive months.

When he finally awoke and joined the epic battle of the Ramayana, the monkey army was struck with terror at the sight of his monstrous form. Surprisingly, among all of Ravana’s warriors, it was Kumbhakarna who inflicted the most significant damage upon Lord Rama’s army. Nevertheless, he met his end at the hands of Lord Rama himself.

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Khara & Dushana

In the epic Ramayana, Khara and Dushana are depicted as the malevolent cousin brothers of the villainous Ravana. Much like Ravana, they shared the same dark and demonic traits, which included the gruesome act of killing and consuming humans, as well as terrorizing the peaceful rishis and sages residing in the forest.

Under the orders of Ravana, Khara and Dushana carried out a brutal attack on innocent rishis, not only taking lives but also disrupting their sacred yajans, hindering their maha-yajna, or Vedic sacrifices.

According to the original Valmiki Ramayana, Khara and Dushana were twin demon brothers who ruled over the forest of Dandaka. This forest, also known as Danda, holds significant prominence in Hindu mythology. It was one of the colonial states under Ravana’s rule, housing various Rakshana tribes of the time.

Ahiravana

In the original Valmiki Ramayana, there is no mention of Ahiravana. However, in some regional versions of the epic Ramayana, his character does appear, albeit with inconsistencies in his relationship with Ravana.

In certain versions, Ahiravana is portrayed as the son of Mahiravana, while in others, he is depicted as the cousin brother of Ravana. Folk stories in some traditions describe a tale where Ahiravana kidnaps Rama and Lakshmana, spiriting them away to the netherworld, Patala, with the intent of offering them as a sacrifice to Goddess Kamda Devi. Hanuman comes to their rescue, ultimately engaging in a fierce battle with Ahiravana and defeating him.

Surpanakha & Kumbhini

In addition to Ravana’s brothers, it’s worth mentioning his two sisters, Surpanakha and Kumbhini. Surpanakha, also known as ‘Minakshi’ for her captivating fish-like eyes, was the half-sister of Kumbhini.

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According to legend, Surpanakha was married to Vidyutjihva, the prince of the Kalakeya Danava Clan. Tragically, Vidyutjihva met his demise in a battle where Ravana, inadvertently, was responsible for his death.

This sorrowful incident fueled Surpanakha’s desire for vengeance, leading her to play a significant role in the events of the Ramayana. It is said that she plotted and influenced the course of the entire Ramayana battle. After the final confrontation between Lord Rama and Ravana, Surpanakha and her half-sister Kumbhini sought refuge with Vibhishana in Lanka.

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Shiba Prasad

Shiba Prasad

I've been captivated by India's ancient history and Vedic culture. What began as a hobby, reading books on Hinduism, has now turned into my full-time commitment, researching and writing for this blog. When not working, I enjoy spending time with friends.

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