About TADAKA DEMONESS
Tatakā or Taraka (ताड़का) or Tadaka or Thataka (Tamil: Tatakai; Thai: Kakanasun, from Sanskrit Kākanāsura, "Crow Demoness"; Malay: Jagina) was a Yaksha princess-turned-demoness in the epic Ramayana. Her father Suketu, a yaksha king performed tapasya (Principle and practice of physical and spiritual austerity and discipline to achieve a particular aim) for an offspring. Suketu had desired a son, but Lord Brahma blessed him with a strong and beautiful daughter. She was a beautiful princess that was wooed by and married Sumali, an Asura King. She had two sonsMaricha and Subahu and a daughter, Kaikesi. Tadaka and Sumali schemed to marry off Kaikesi to the Rishi Vishrava in order to obtain progeny that would be all-powerful and rule over all the three worlds. They orchestrated their daughter's "chance encounter" withVishrava, whereupon the Rishi, although already married, fell in love with Kaikesi and through her, fathered Ravana, the mighty Asura King of Lanka, Vibhishana, Kumbhakarnaand Soorpanaka, all of whom would later play important roles in the immortal epic, the Ramayana When Rishi Agastya cursed both Suketu and Sumali to death, Tadaka took it upon herself (with her son, Subahu's, aid) to wreak vengeance on the sage. This earned them both the Rishi's anger. Agastya cursed Tadaka with the loss of her beautiful physique, and transformed both mother and son into hideous demonic creatures with a cruel, cannibalistic nature (Rakshasas). The curse particularly transformed Tataka into a man-eater with an ugly and fierce figure. After being cursed by Agastya, Tataka started living in a place near the habitations of Malaja and Karusha in a forest near the River Ganges opposite the confluence of the River Sarayu. The area was came to be known as the Forest of Tataka. She terrorized the people, devouring anyone who dared to set foot in that forest. As revenge, Tadaka and Subahu attempted to harass as many rishis as they could, by destroying their Yagnas with rains of flesh and blood. Brahmarishi Vishwamitra was especially at the receiving end of Tadaka's harassment. Unable to cope with her mischief any longer, Vishwamitra finally approached Dasaratha, the King of Kosala, for help. The King obliged by sending two of his four sons, the 16-yr-olds, Rama and Lakshmana, to the forest, charging them to protect both Vishwamitra and his Yagna. When Tadaka and Subahu both attempted to destroy yet another of Vishwamitra's yagnas, Rama warned them not do so. They responded by laughing at Rama, and deriding him as a 'mere boy'. The sage asked Rama to slay the monster Tataka, but Rama demurred, because he did not want to slay a woman. However, when it was explained to him that evil has no gender, his mind was eased and he slew the demoness with his arrows. This act gained the young princes the blessings of not just Vishwamitra but also the blessings of all of the assembled sages in the yagnashala.