Viragh was a dreadful, grotesque looking Rakshasa (demon), who crossed the path of Shri Rama, Sita and Lakshman when they were going through the Dandaka forest, after bidding farewell to Rishi Atri. He lunged and picked up Sita and growled loudly at Rama and said, “You dress like an ascetic but have a woman by your side. That’s not correct. From now on she’s mine.” Rama aimed many weapons at him but no astra or shastr (weapon) was effective. Viragh said, “I have been blessed by Brahma that no weapon can hurt me and no one can kill me with weapons.”
He said, “I am the son of Rakshasa called Jav and my mother is Shathara. I was earlier a Gandharva (celestial being) named Tumbuk but one day when I did not turn up in time, Vaishnav Kuber cursed me to become a rakshasa. I was in love with an apsara called Ramya and that was the cause of my delay. When I pleaded with Kuber, he said that when Dashratha’s son Rama fights you, you would be freed of this curse of becoming a Rakshasa.” When he could not be killed in battle with Rama, he suggested that he should dig a hole and bury him so that he could be freed from his curse. Lakshman dug a huge trench and Shri Rama pushed Viragh in and covered him with stones and mud. At once Viragh turned into a divine being and said, “Lord, at a distance of one and half yojanas from here, there is the ashram of Sharbhang Rishi. Hurry up and go there he will guide you well.” And then Viragh disappeared towards heaven in his original form of Tumbuk Gandharva.
Viragh – Ramayana Characters