Were there any characters like Ahiravan and Mahiravan in Ramayana? What did they do in Lord Rama's battle against Ravana?
I heard they captured Lord Rama and Laxmana. Can someone explain this incident?
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Airavana and Mairavan were friends of Ravana. These rule the netherworld. Ravana sends for his messengers to get their help in defeating Rama and Lakshmana in the battle.
In the battle, Lord Rama defeats Ravana, destroys his chariot, crown. He gives Ravana a second chance. After thinking Ravana sends for the help of these two rakshasas who were experts in occult. They worship Kamakshi devi in Patala. They have shape shifting powers. After taking orders from Ravana, they go to Vanara's camp in search of the Ikshvaku brothers Rama and Lakshmana resting on a rock. The rakshasas kidnap them tied to those rocks. The rakshasas take Rama and Lakshmana into a cave in the Patala.
Hanuman finds that Rama and Lakshmana were missing in the camp and goes searching them. He hears two pigeons talking that they found two Rakshasas taking up two strong men into netherworld. Hanuman goes to patala and searches there. There he finds a vanara who is none other than Makaradhwaja, son of Hanuman. A conversation takes place between them which I gave in an answer of mine. He blesses him and goes out searching for the Ikshvaku princes. He finds a large goddess's idol in a temple near the cave. He then enters the temple in an atomic size and talks in the voice of goddess addressing Airavan and Mairavan who have been worshipping her for a long time. Hanuman asks them to bring delicious food items for her (the goddess) and also good clothes and weapons for Lord Rama and Lakshmana. He orders them to bring them alive and not dead. They feel happy that the goddess is happy with their worship and does the same.
After sometime, Rama and Lakshmana wake up. They take up the weapons and fight the rakshasas. Rama kills them both but they revive again. It happens again but they are not dead. Hanuman thinks that there is some death secret involved in killing these rakshasa duo. He wanders here and there in search of a way to kill them. Then he finds a woman sitting alone in a garden. She is wife of Airavan (bhoga patni). He asks details of her and she replies she is a Naga kanya who was enjoyed forcibly by Airavan. She says they both ill treated her and given grief. She agrees to give out the secret of Airavana and Mairavana's death on one condition. The condition is when she becomes Lord Rama's wife. Hanuman agrees and goes back to the place where Rama and Lakshmana were fighting. Long time ago, Airavana and Mairavana saved a huge colony of honey bees from children. As a gratitude, they were protecting Airavan and Mairavan. They collect valuable elixir (amrit) and purify the blood of the duo. Hence, they can't be killed when the colonies of honey bees are alive. She says there are crores of bees in the palace of Airavan and Mairavan. After hearing this, Hanuman goes to their palace immediately and kills them except a single bee which sought refugee of Hanuman. Hanuman sends this bee to Nagakanya's gynaeceum and eat out the legs of bed she is resting and stay silent. The rest of the work of killing Rakshasas was done by Rama. He kills both the Rakshasas. Here ends the story of Airavana and Mairavana.
Now, Hanuman requests Rama and Lakshmana to visit Naga kanya's palace as she has helped them killing two rakshasas. Rama agrees to that request. They saw different artifacts, pictures present in the palace. She asks Rama to sit as a mark of receiving guests. When Lord Rama sits on the bed smiling at her, the bed which was already majorly damaged by bee fell down due to his weight. This was counted as Naga Kanya being wife of Rama without Rama not actually marrying or doing anything. She was satisfied with it. She then gets ready to jump into fire. Lord Rama gives a boon to her that she will be reborn as a Brahmin lady in the Dwapara Yuga and he will marry her. She was born as Kanyakumari whom Lord Krishna marries.
Reference: Ananda Ramayana Sara Kanda, Sarga 11. Ananda Ramayana Hindi Translation by Ramtej Pandey is available on archive.org.
Ahiravan or Mahiravan was Rakshas like Ravana. Both are the name of same Rakshahs only. He was bother of Ravana. During the battle of Ramayana, Ravana ask his brother's help in battle. Lord Hanuman was taking care of security during nights. Ahiravan was able to take any roop ( form ). So he took the roop of Vibhishan ( Ranava's another brother ) and went into tent were Raam & Laxman were sleeping. Ahiravana took them to his kingdom in patal.
Later on Lord Hanuman went to Patal lok ,release Raam & Laxmana and come back to earth.