We all have heard about the stories of heroes whether they be heroes in any field, we love to listen them; we are keen to know each and every thing about them. We want to follow their path. They became our idols. They occupy special place in our heart because they have stood for right always. They have fought against the villains challenging them. Even History and our mythology have many such villains. Today I will tell you about some of the epic villains of Hindu Mythology and some facts about them
Kaikeyi was one of the three wives of King Dasharatha and the Queen of Ayodhya in the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. It was because of kaikeyi Lord Rama has been sent to exile for 14 years. When King Dasharatha selected Rama to be the crowned King, Kaikeyi was delighted. But later on after being fuelled by Manthra Kaikeyi’s hidden jealousy and envy came out. Kaikeyi demanded her son Bharat to become the king and Lord Rama to be sent to exile for 14 long years.
Raktabija ( Rakta-Blood and Bija – seed)
Raktabija was another demon who believed he was invincible and came to fight the Devi. He was given a boon by the Lord time a drop of his blood would fall on the ground, he would become stronger and another Raktbija would emerge. Due to this he has made the life of other people miserable. So to fight against him God decided to combine their energy together and produce one superbeing godess Kali who drank every drop of blood before it touched the earth and eventually killed him.
Duryodhan (Dur= extremely hard Yodhana= Yudh/Fight)
Duryodhana, the one with whom the fight is extremely hard also known as Suyodhana is a major character in the Hindu epic Mahabharata and was the eldest of the Kauravas, the hundred sons of blind king Dhritarashtra and Queen Gandhari. Duryodhan was the main antagonist who played a pivotal part of the angst between the Pandavas and Kauravas that led to the disastrous battle of Kuruskshetra. The battle of Kuruskshetra wiped out 18 Akshauhini of army (one akshauhini consisted of 21,870 chariots, 21,870 elephants, 65,610 cavalry and 109,350 infantry). The reason of war was the throne of Hastinapur. He, along with his uncle Shakuni, brother Duhshasan and friend Karna, were believed to be the epitome of the evil and misfortune that fell on the Kuru race.
He had the honour of being the father-in-law of Lord Shiva but he was not happy with the fact that his daughter, Sati, had married a yogi. Infuriated, Daksha Prajapati once held a mammoth ceremony where he invited everyone from gods to mortals but intentionally did not invite Sati and Lord Shiva. Sati arrived, nevertheless, but after witnessing the humiliation of her husband – whose image Daksha had erected at the entrance – in his absence, she committed suicide by jumping into the yagna fire. Thus, came about the ire of Lord Shiva.
We all know about Shakuni – symbol for wickedness and slyness. It is said that Shakuni had no animosity against Pandavas, his real enemy was Bhishma. Shakuni was unhappy with his sister Gandhari’s marriage to Kaurava prince Dhritarashtra. He was especially angry with Bhishma for bringing this proposal as he found it insulting and demeaning, only because Dhritarashtra was blind. He swore to avenge this insult by slowly destroying Bhishma’s clan. He achieved this by poisoning the mind of his volatile nephew Duryodhana into instigating the war with the Pandavas, which destroyed the Kuru Kingdom line. Thus, he is seen by many as one of the key persons that caused the Kurukshetra War. He was the mastermind in corrupting the relation between sons of Gandhari and Kunti which led to the great war
Kamsa was the brother of Devaki, the mother of the god Krishna. Out of ambition and upon the advice of his personal confidante, Banasura, Kamsa decided to overthrow his father and install himself as the King of Mathura. After a heavenly voice prophesied that Devaki’s eighth son will slay him, he imprisoned Devaki and her husband Vasudeva and killed all their children.
Ravana is the multi-headed demon-king of Lanka in Hindu mythology. With ten heads and twenty arms, Ravana could change into any form he wished. Representing the very essence of evil, he abducted Goddess Sita taking her back to Lanka in his aerial chariot to be kept captive. After which a series of titanic battles between Rama’s forces and the demons followed which Ravana was dead and the world rid of a terrible lawless force.
The story of Hiranyakashipu happens in three parts. The first has to do with the curse of the Four Kumaras on the gatekeepers of Vaikuntha, Jaya and Vijaya, which causes them to be born as the asuras Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. The second part deals with Hiranyakashipu’s penance to propitiate Brahma and gain a boon from him. The final part deals with his efforts to kill his son Prahlada (a devotee of Vishnu) and his subsequent death at the hands of Narasimha.
Maricha was Ravan’s maternal uncle. Maricha is an important character in Ramayana, who turned the story by helping Ravana to kidnap Sita. When Ravan approached for help, Maricha was reluctant to support Ravana. Maricha told Ravana that he is leading an ascetic life like a saint by controlling his food habits. He counselled Ravana and he even did not believe Ravana when he said that Rama attacked Khara, Dushanas with no reason.
Maricha discouraged Ravan when asked for help. Maricha praised the great qualities of Rama and asked Ravana to not to get into a fight with Rama. Ravana not pleased with his uncle Maricha and wanted his plan to be executed. Ravana told him that he would kill Maricha if he could not execute his plan. Ravana wanted Maricha to be a golden deer with attractive spots on the body and wander near the hermitage of Rama. This Deer should be unique and beautiful, so Sita would want it. Rama and Lakshman would go for the deer giving way for Ravana to kidnap Sita. Maricha decided to go with Ravana and support his plan. Maricha took this decision as he might want to die in the hands of Rama instead of Ravana
Tarkasura was a powerful asura and the son of Vajranaka in Hindu belief. Tarakasur repeatedly defeated the gods until heaven was on the verge of collapse. Yet he had a clever boon that he could be defeated only by the son of Shiva, who was a complete yogi, given to severe austerities, far from any thoughts of marriage. Eventually, Lord Shiva’s son Kartikeya was born who killed Tarakasur and his brothers Simhamukhan and Surapadman who eventually became the mounts of Parvati and Kartikeya.
Dhritharashtra knew what he was doing was wrong but was powerless due to attachment for his son Duryodhana. He was centrally responsible for the Mahabharata war and catastrophe
Bhandasura was defeated and killed by Goddess Lalitha in a battle. In Lalitha Sahasranama and other texts related to Shakteyam it is mentioned that Bhandasura was so powerful that he was able to resurrect all the ten asuras like Kamsa, Ravana, Bali, Hiranyakashyapa, etc to use them as warriors in the battlefield against Goddess Lalitha. They were all in turn killed (again) by the ten avatars of Vishnu who were invoked into the battlefield by the Goddess.
Blessed with a boon of invincibility, King Hiranyakashyap thought he was mightier than god and ordered his people to worship him. All his subjects obeyed except his son Prahlad, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Unable to persuade his son otherwise, Hiranyakashyap then tried to have Prahlad killed. All his attempts failed, so he turned to his sister Holika who had a special gift: a shawl that protected her from fire. She agreed to sit in fire with Prahlad. Holika wore a shawl that would protect her from fire. So when she was asked to sit in the fire with Prahlad she put on the shawl and sat Prahlad down in her lap. When the fire was lit Prahlad began praying to Lord Vishnu. So Lord Vishnu summoned a gust of wind to blow the shawl off of Holika and on to Prahlad, saving him from the flames of the bonfire and burning Holika to her death.
Manthara in the Hindu epic Ramayana is the maid who convinced Queen Kaikeyi that the throne of Maharaja belonged to her son Bharata, and that her step-son, Rama, should be exiled from the kingdom. Manthara is said to be hunch-backed and ugly in appearance. However, she, it appears, is an expert talker and a cunning woman who can manipulate her way to get what she wants.
Putna is probably one of the wicked of the demons Kansa sends to take out Krishna and is a sadistic, witch-like demon whose vile deeds involve kidnapping children and feeding them poisoned breast milk. Putna disguises herself as a beautiful woman, tricks Krishna’s mother, and tries to feed Krishna. However, he realizes what is happening and defeats her by sucking the life out of her.
Shurpanakha was Ravana’s sister. She was married to Asura Dushtabuddhi and enjoyed great favours from Ravan at his court. But Dushtabuddhi’s greed for more power saw him soon lose favour of Ravan, and in due course of time, Ravan had him killed. There are a few versions of the Ramayana that claim that Surpanakha had no real romantic interest in Rama and that she had orchestrated the war for no reason other than to seek revenge against Ravana for her husband’s murder.
Bhasmasura was given a boon by Lord Shiva which gave him the power to turn anyone whose head he touched into ashes (bhasma). Shiva granted this request, but Bhasmasura thereupon attempted to touch the head of Shiva with his hand because he saw Parvati and wanted to possess her, which would only be possible when he turned Shiva into ashes. Shiva fled, and was chased by Bhasmasura. Somehow, Shiva managed to reach Vishnu to seek a solution to this predicament.Vishnu, in the form of Mohini, appeared in front of Bhasmasura. Mohini was so exceedingly beautiful that Bhasmasura immediately fell in love with Mohini. Bhasmasur asked her to marry him. She told him that she was very fond of dancing, and would marry him only if he could match her moves identically. While dancing, Mohini, struck a pose where her hand was placed on top of her own head. As Bhasmasura imitated her, he was tricked into touching his own head, and hence he turned into ashes.
Credits & Source : Speaking Tree