(Last Updated on : 25/09/2009)
Kalmashapada is a mythological king. He is also known as Saudasa. Once Kalmashapada went to hunting in the jungle and encountered Saktri or Sakti, the son of Vasishtha. He met him in a narrow path in a thicket and asked Saktri to move out of his way. The sage Saktri refused to move and in return Kalmashapada struck the sage with his whip. Saktri cursed the king to become a cannibal or a man eating rakshasa.
Vishwamitra once had a quarrel with Vasishtha. Vishwamitra was looking for a way to harm Vasishtha and his family. Vishwamitra directed a Rakshasa to take control of the king so that he might become the instrument of destroying the family of the rival saint.
Mitrasaha, a Brahman came to visit Kalmashapada and asked for food. The king Kalmashapada ordered his cook to dress human flesh, and give it to the Brahman. Mitrasaha came to know what the food and again cursed that Kalmashapada would become a cannibal. With the effect of this Kalmashapada began to eat men. One of his first victims was Saktri, who he slew and ate. Under the secret impulse of Vishwamitra's demon, Kalmashapada killed and ate greedily all the other sons of Vasishtha. Vasishtha in the end liberated Kalmashapada from the Rakshasa who possessed him, and restored him to his natural character.
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