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Who Is Kakabhushundi? The Real Dr Strange From The Time Of Mahabharata, Ramayana Who Lives Even Today

Step into the world of Kakabhushundi, India's real-life Dr. Strange. The ancient sage who continues to exist defying all norms of mortality.

Edited By : Mayank Kasyap | Updated: Sep 16, 2023 21:57 IST
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Kakbhushundi, Dr Strange
Kakbhushundi, Dr Strange

New Delhi: In the tapestry of Hindu mythology, Kakabhushundi, also known as Bhushundi, emerges as a captivating sage whose journey from curse to devotion is nothing short of extraordinary. This enigmatic figure finds his place in Hindu literature, particularly in the revered Rāmacaritamānasa, an Awadhi poem chronicling the divine saga of Lord Rama by the revered saint Tulsidas. In this article, we unravel the fascinating tale of Kakabhushundi, a crow sage with a remarkable destiny.

The devotee of Lord Rama

Kakabhushundi is portrayed as an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, tasked with a unique mission. His role in the epic narrative involves narrating the timeless story of the Ramayana to none other than Garuda, the celestial eagle, while assuming the form of a crow. This celestial responsibility makes him one of the Chiranjivis, immortal beings in Hinduism destined to walk the earthly realm until the culmination of the current Kali Yuga.

Exploring the etymology

Delving into the name Kakabhushundi, ‘Kāka’ derives from the Sanskrit word for ‘crow,’ and ‘bhuśuṇḍi’ hints at a type of weapon, sparking intrigue about the sage’s origin and attributes.

The tale of transformation

Kakabhushundi’s journey begins as a Shudra in Ayodhya, fervently devoted to Lord Shiva, but harboring disdain for Lord Vishnu and Vaishnavas. Despite his guru’s counsel, he persists in his beliefs and disrespects his guru during a prayer to Lord Shiva. Incensed by this ingratitude, Shiva curses Kakabhushundi, transforming him into a snake and condemning him to a thousand lives as a lesser creature. After earnest prayers from his guru to mitigate the curse, Shiva offers a path to redemption—after a thousand births, Kakabhushundi would embrace devotion to Lord Rama.


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A Crow’s divine odyssey

As the sage narrates to Garuda, during every Treta Yuga, he descends to Ayodhya, where he observes the young Lord Rama for five years, incarnated as a crow. A moment of doubt about Rama’s divinity arises within him, but a celestial revelation erases these uncertainties. Kakabhushundi witnesses Rama’s cosmic vision, a spectacle of countless suns, moons, and even his own presence within each celestial object. Over centuries, he traverses these realms before returning to Ayodhya in a timeless loop. Perplexed and humbled, he implores Rama for salvation and receives his divine blessings, choosing to remain in the form of a crow—a blessed form bestowed by his cherished deity.

The legend of Kakabhushundi exemplifies the profound transformations and unwavering devotion that thread through Hindu mythology, a testament to the enduring mystique of ancient tales.


First published on: Sep 16, 2023 09:55 PM IST

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