False Rape Complaint in ‘Ramayana’

Picture:Goddess of Justice, Old Bailey, London



False Rape Complaint in ‘Ramayana’

We read lot of news stories in Western Newspapers about false rape complaints. Women do this when they are jilted by their lovers or to black mail a male to get money or to take revenge upon him for some reason or other.

We have more than 300 versions of Ramayana. I have already written several posts about Ramayana wonders. I have also mentioned that 2000 year old Sangam Tamil literature give some interesting information which is not found in Valmiki Ramayana or Kamba Ramayana. Now Thiruppugaz gives a strange story of a false rape complaint about a Ramayana character.

Thiruppugaz consists of 1311 verses sung by the Tamil saint Arunagirinathar in fifteenth century. It has got innumerable references to Ramayana and Mahabharata, though the book is about Lord Muruga/Skanda.


Krupananda Variar (1906-1993)  became popular by giving talks on Saivaite literature in simple Tamil mixed with a sense of humour. He was a great exponent of Thiruppugaz. He explained very minute, but interesting, details from the book. Several secrets of Ramayana were known to Tamils for two thousand years. One of them was a false rape complaint. Krupananda Variar while explaining the meaning of a Thirupugaz gave this interesting story (Talk at Sakthi Sangam, Virudunagar on 9-1-1977)

“ Why did Arunagirinathar in this Thiruppugaz verse called Surpanaka as Vibheesana’s sister? He should have sung Surpanaka, Ravana’s sister to show both were wicked. But he did not compose the verse that way. The reason is:

Satyavrathan was a good king. He had only one son by name Sangachudanan.  He went to a Guru/teacher called  Ananda Guru for learning the scriptures. That teacher had a beautiful daughter named Sumuki. She also joined other students when she was young. She fell in love with Sangachudanan. When she attained puberty, her father did not allow her to sit with other students.


A few months passed. Sangachudanan needed some clarification regarding a lesson and so he went to Guru’s house at night. Guru went to temple for the last puja of the day known as Arthajama puja. Sumuki opened the door for Sangachudanan and felt very happy. After all the formalities, she revealed her love for him. Sangachudanan was shocked to hear that because he considered Guru’s daughter as his sister. All his explanation and reasoning fell in deaf ears.

Sangachudanan ran away from the house. Sumuki was furious. She thought he insulted her by rejecting her love. When her father returned home from the temple she cried loudly and shed tears. She told her dad that Sangachudanan raped her in his absence. Next morning Ananda Guru went to the king and accused his son Sangachudanan of raping his daughter. When such a respected Guru says something like this the king thought there was no need for any enquiry. The king ordered to cut one hand and one leg of his son for the ‘rape’ . He was banished to the forest.

Sangachudanan was very sad. He wondered why it happened to him though he was honest. The earth trembled and Sangasudanan was taken in by the Mother Earth. Adiseshan came out from the earth and promised to punish his accusers. To take revenge upon Sumuki, Sangachudanan was born as Vibheesanan and Sumuki was reborn as Surpanaka. Adiseshan was born as Laksmana.

This was the reason for Thiruppugaz saying Surpana=Vibhieesana’s sister, explained Sri Krupananda Variar. The above details are in a Thiruppugaz verse sung at Thiruththani.

For the sake of Tamil readers, I have given the quoted verse below


மூக்கறை மட்டை மகாபல காரணி

சூர்ப்பநகைப் படுமூளி உதாசணி

மூர்க்க குலத்தி விபீஷணர் சோதரி           முழுமோடி

மூத்த  அரக்கனி ராவணனோடு இயல்

பேற்றி விடக்கம லாலய சீதையை

மோடன் வளைத்தொரு தேர்மிசையே கொடு   முகிலே போய்

மாக்கன சித்திர கோபுர நீள்படை

வீடில் இருத்திய நாளவன் வேரற

மார்க்கமும் முடித்த விலாளிகள் நாயகன் மருகோனே (திருத்தணி)


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