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Ahiravan

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For the 1940 film, see Mahiravana (film).

Ahiravan

Ahiravana crushed by Hanuman

In the Krittivasi Ramayan, Ahiravan(a) was the son of sage Vishrava and a brother of Ravana, he was
a rakshasa who secretly carried away Rama and his brother Lakshmana to the nether-world, consulted his
friends and decided to sacrifice the life of the two divine brothers at the altar of his chosen deity,
goddess Mahamaya. But Hanuman saved their life by killing Mahiravana and his army. [1]
In the Ramayana, during the battle between Rama and Ravana, when Ravana’s son Indrajit is killed,
Ravana calls his brother Ahiravana for help, upon the advice of his father-in-law. Mahiravana, the king
of Patala (the Underworld), promises to help. Saint Agastya comes and informs everybody in Rama's army
about some mishap can take place to Rama and Laxmana during the night. Hanuman is put on guard and
told not to let anyone into the room where Rama and Lakshmana are. Ahiravana makes many attempts at
entering the room but all of them are thwarted by Hanuman. Finally, Mahiravana takes the form
of Vibhishana and Hanuman lets him enter. Ahiravana quickly enters and takes the “sleeping Rama and
Lakshmana” away.
When Hanuman realizes what has happened, he goes to Vibhishana. Vibhishana says, "Alas! They have
been abducted by Ahiravana.If Hanuman does not rescue them fairly quickly, Mahiravana will sacrifice both
Rama and Lakshman to Chandi." Hanuman goes to Patala, the door to which is guarded by a creature, who
is half Vanara and half reptile. Hanuman asks who he is and the creature says, "I am Makardhwaja, your
son!" Hanuman is confused since he did not have any child, being an adept Brahmachari. The creature
explains, "While you were jumping over the ocean, a drop of your sweat fell to the ocean and into the mouth
of a mighty crocodile. This is the origin of my birth."
After defeating his son, Hanuman enters Patala and encounters Ahiravana . He has a strong army and
Hanuman is told by Chandrasena that the only way to vanquish him is by blowing out five different candles
located in five different directions, all at the same time in return for a promise to be Lord Rama's consort.
Hanuman assumes his five-headed form (Panchmukhi Hanuman) and he quickly blows out the five
different candles and thus kills Ahiravana. Throughout the saga, both Rama and Lakshmana are rendered
unconscious by a spell by the demons.