Defending Raavana

July 7, 2010

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"!



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13 comments:

p00ja said...

What you've written is very true, but like most things in life we are made to accept decisions and judgments passed on from generations to generations. We have been “programmed” to believe them without questioning or asking for logic, and most of the times we do it.

A Restless mind with a sensitive heart! said...

@ pooja: That's why I wrote this, so that some of us can question why we do what we do?

Mag[m] said...

hey dude.... just check google for free blog templates and download them...

and keep writing all the best

A Restless mind with a sensitive heart! said...

i tried that but cudnot get any decent site. anyways, thanks, will try again.

zephyr said...

You are so right about good and bad being there in everyone of us. We are the gods and we are the demons. How we tame the demon and rise above the evil is what life is all about,isn't it? Loved your post and thoughts. Will keep coming back!

looking for maya said...

Very well written .. grt post .. thnks for ur comment ..

stillbutmoving said...

Very well said, and I could relate with most of what you have written. Even I subscribed to your school of thought, which said that Raavana wasn't that bad a guy. It was just that Ramayana was unfolded through the eyes of Rama, and hence Raavana being his enemy was cast in bad light. And millions of devotees across the country and beyond seemed to follow what was written in the epic book.

Purba said...

We are all a combination of the good, the bad , the ugly. It's how we balance it out that makes us the person we are.

divz said...

raavana......i know him for something he said aham bramha asmi.

what confidence what knowledge and what wisdom would have a bramhin have to say he is equivalent to bramha who is the generator according to hindu mythology.

i am not aware if we have the right to burn that demon ..burn him for what year after year?? when justice in the court is delivered here after either the victim is dead or the convict....then why he gets that treatment year after year...geeta says when you die you change your attire and you wear new one the soul is eternal its the body which dies then when one of the gods of hindu mythology suggests that then do we have the right to burn his effigies year after year...and if you have to burn something burn corruption ,poverty,hunger,illitercy..but know we wont' our tyhinkng is if we think that A is bad he will be bad be it whatsoever....... dhanya hai ramraaj dhanya hai hamara desh

A Restless mind with a sensitive heart! said...

@ divz: great thought! thanks for comments.

@ purba : actually balance is the key!

@stillbutmoving : yes rightly said, unfolded from rama's point of view. thanks for commenting. shall look forward to more from u.

@ looking for maya : nice name! thanks for encouragement!

Vee... said...

I have a similar opinion about Ravan. Not just Ravan, but many demonified personalities of our epics and histories. Its just a perspective which made it to those books. Ram is still a hero despite killing Vaali without actually fighting him. Its just a perspective...

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

appreciated and agreed... but Ravan was a wise man, who was blinded by envy and the desire for revenge. Probably he was more wiser to do that sin too but that is more debatable, but you have hit upon my memory of a distant talk with my teacher upon this topic.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Vee - Ram is still a hero despite, dumping his pregnant wife because of society! am glad u c the point in what i wrote.

@ BA - At least he had the decency of not molesting Sita.... he respected her..... but he is one big villian, don't understand why?

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