Almost an year back, I wrote about Raavana, when there was absolutely no furore in the media about seeing Raavan's point of view. It was Dussehra and my heart ached to see the plight of three effigies of demons, who were burnt merciless by a jubilant crowd. Then I wrote "Raavana Is In My Soul" in my blog.
Today, after the Mani Ratnam movie 'Raavan' is the talk of the town, suddenly the guy is in limelight! Today, articles are being written and so many books have surfaced which were written about him.
It is quite interesting to know that the grandfather of Raavan wanted a child who had the intellect of a Brahmin and the might of an 'asura' (demon), so he married off his son "Vishrava" to a demon woman, and there began the sprouting of two extreme characters in one human being (or asura?). Raavan, the young boy was taught 'Vedas' on one hand and on the other hand was taught to hone his destructive skills.
Rest what happened is known to all.
Whenever I read about him that he was a scholar, worshipper, scientist, musician, a wise and kind leader, it kind of... makes me feel very bad about him, the way we had been seeing him getting burned each year right from our childhood, does not really justify our hatred towards the demon king.
Let me tell you here that among Mahayan Buddhists, Raavan is seen as a benign and wise king who attained enlightened through teachings of the Buddha !!
OK, alright, yes he abducted another man's wife but did not force himself. He fought a fair war for what he thought was right in his eyes. After all women were used for political reasons like commodities (defeated kings offering their daughters for marriage to the winner etc). Also, I fail to understand why Laxman is in no one's bad books for slashing the nose of a (demon) young girl, who showed interest in him ?!! When women could be won, or lost , or earned, or whatever then why, in that era, such hue and cry for stealing a woman ? From that point of view, what should be the punishment for raping one's own daughter ? Should THEIR effigies not burnt then? Raavan, still, had the courage to fight, actually fight a war for that woman (how flattering is that now !!!)
Anyways, many won't agree with what I feel.
You know why I am defending Raavan ? Because there is a Raavan in all of us.... each one of us..... its power, its money, its authority which has the capability to unleash that Raavan in us. I am not saying we should give in to it. But, we should be able to see the man and his evil separately. Treat the man and his evil separately. Have consideration for the good deeds he did and the good qualities he possessed and dislike that one socially and morally bad.
I think we should rethink about our stand on Raavana. Meanwhile, I will say again "Raavana is in my soul"!