Raavana – a terrorist?

Anything to get masses involved. Its reported that, in a new cassette, the VHP has said that the only way to fight terrorism is to build a temple in Ayodhya. For, that would be a tribute to Ram who annihilated ??Aatankvadi Ravan,?? (Ravan, the terrorist).

I dont think the plan to thwart terrorism by building a temple at ayodhya is a workable one. Well, let me think again. No, still I dont think this is going to work. Most likely way I can think of now to eradicate terrorism is by a combination of force and anti-propoganda (other words, make people undestand the futility of terrorism in this day and age to create a nation or fight a holy war).

But I was not as surprised at the funda of fighting terrorism by building a temple as I was reading about annihilation of “Aatankvaadi Ravan”. Ahem ahem, Raavana – a terrorist?! Thats taking it too far. From whatever little mythology I have known, Raavana was a great and just king, who took care of his people really well. Ever thought what happened to Lanka which was burnt down by Hanuman with his tail on fire. It was rebuilt overnight by Raavana for his people.

Not only was Raavana a great ruler, a scholar well versed in scriptures and a great musician, but he was also a great devotee of Lord shiva. Ravana was grandson of Pulasthya maharshi, and son of Visravas maharshi, who had two wives. Ravana’s half brother Kubera was the richest man during that time and ruler of Sri Lanka. A tussle between them led to Ravana and his brothers doing austerities to achieve power and eventually oust Kubera.

Ravana was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, and once went to Kailas requesting Lord Shiva to come to Srilanka. Lord Shiva gave a shivalingam with his presence to Ravana, and asked him not to keep it down on earth on the way back, lest it might get established at that place. Raavana heads back to lanka with the shivalingam.

The Devas grow worried over this. They know that if Raavana is successful in taking the shivalingam to Lanka, then he will become more powerful, with the blessings of Lord Shiva. They hatch a plan. Varuna the god of water plays role in that that Raavana feels the need to urinate before continuing the journey. But since he is holding the shivalingam, he cant do it either.

As if on cue, a brahmin boy appears on the scene, who volunteers to hold the shivalingam till Raavana relieves himself. By the time Raavana relieves and comes back to get the shivalingam, the brahmin boy, none other than disguised Vishnu, keeps the shivalingam down and disappears. The shivalingam on touching earth becomes rooted there. Raavana tries to uproot it, but he is able to just break a chink of it and returns empty handed. This Shivalingam is one of 12 Jyotirlingams in existance, worshipped by thousands of devotees in India.

I can understand that VHP is trying to create a mass movement to preserve our culture, but sometimes they have to think before shooting from their mouth.

ps: Raavana plays role in several mythological stories. I have heard that there is a temple still in existance where Ravana is the presiding diety. Unfortunately Google failed to get me the location.

9 thoughts on “Raavana – a terrorist?”

  1. “I can understand that VHP is trying to create a mass movement to preserve our culture, but sometimes they have to think before shooting from their mouth.”

    WHAT SHOULD I MAKE OUT FROM THIS???

    is the so called culture is a STATIC one so that can be preserved. then it should be a mechanical one with out any evolution. i hope u may understand the organic nature of the LIFE. there nothing is static. is it possible for any society to PRESERVE its culture, is it happend in any time of the history. the answer is a big NO. when ever there was any attempt to PRESERVE the culture the society will face its DEATH. as it cannaot breath in a so closed circle. it has to accept the changes….

    OR what was our culture….Indian Culture sorry it is defiend by the foreign invadors so BHARATHA CULTURE??

    just consider the present “Gods own country” the castism, feudal agricultrualist and the poor down troden alien society and the never counted population of adivasis.. who was holding the cultural values here???

    socially upper class, they ruled and suppressed other groups. kept a culture of untouchability. they never allowed the harijan to get educated or to have some piece of land of their own. even these landless hapless people lived here in a conditon worst than that of animals. they never could use the roads, transports system even the names or GODs of the upper class.

    do u agree thos culture on the “good old” days are to be preserved, the VHP is not having anything against that AS they can simply dwell on karma sidhanatha or vedantha or infinite number ot theorm to outcast these untouchables from the frontiers of the life.

    the Hindutwa force, they want to rebuld the same old CULTURE. Help them……

    Let u be elevated to that Culture….

    Vante Matharam!!!!!

  2. These questions will lead only to more questions. I dont know if I can reply to this clearly. Let me try to explain from where I can see.

    1. I understand that our culture is not static but a dynamic one. It has its own natural dynamism. This dynamism has to be preseved. I am not saying VHP is going to preserve it, but they have created a ripple, a ripple where Hindu’s are becoming aware of themselves, their past, their glory. Is it wrong to take pride in our own culture, Is it wrong to study ones own cutlure and admire it and preserve it for future? Whenever society fails to preserve the natural dynamism of the culture, disaster looms.

    2. Casteism. This indeed is a major problem. But arent we getting more aware of it and trying to make some headway on that matter. And Casteism is not exclusive to religion. Take away the religion completely and you will still get casteism… old wine new bottle. There will be people who will exploit and there will be people who will be exploited.

    3. What exactly is the culture of the “Good old” days? Its no secret from you that till a few hundreds of years ago our own country was a prosperous and a rich state. No, it wasnt a single country at that time, but culture was same and it bound the country together. Whats wrong in being proud of its heritage. I am not saying that it was perfect in everyway, but its not fair to just highlight the dark shades totally ignoring the bright sides.

    4. I dont know if “Hindutva Force” will rebuild their own version of culture. But atleast they have set some things in motion, which indeed has set people thinking. And its these thinking people who will impact the future of our country.

    And yes… Vande maatharam.

  3. hmm…
    a good reply. everything is perfect in its place or clearly ‘WAS’. now only we have to “proud of its heritage”.

    the so called richness, cultural values, etc etc. was a total out put of the then society or as a part of the upper brahminical classes. or of the ruling kshathirya’s. what was the participation of the majority in the socalled culture. they are out of the main stream, they were never accounted as human beings. dogs and cats got better positions and previlages than the paraya.
    it is the british or the modern education has created some RIPPLES is the mind of some of the upper class and some social changes has occured. with out these foreign forces, would there be any HINDUS.

    the so called history or the culture was never democrative and i don;t know will it be ever.

  4. This again raises few more questions.

    1. As to the question of participation of majority in a culture, lets look at this way. America is a superpower. Very advanced in science, technology, space research. Why? There were a great community of scientists working(oh! the brahminical class), a powerful political system in place (oh, the kshatriya class). Now ask if majority of americans did have any role in sending mission to moon and mars. Obviously they had. Even now there is racial discriminatin in US. Are you saying that due to some racial discrimination or some stupid system in one area (say foreign policy), the americans should not be proud of their achievement.

    2. Ripples caused by british or modern education. Are you implying that only when upper class decides, the social change will occur. Yes british education did bring some changes. We have become more open to outside world. But then we dont have to stay there holding our mind still influenced by colonialism. We dont always have to look upto them to progress. We can take our own path.

    3. Archealogical investigations needs to be picked up. We need to piece together our history. Instead of having “educated people” criticising any attempt to verify our history, it needs to be investigated. Did saraswati valley civilisation exist. Did the marauding arab kings destroy our country, research on the naval capabilities our ancient tamil kingdoms. Our infulence in the south east asia etc. A new India needs to be born, an inquisitive one, but not one which scoffs at ones past or heritage, which accepts it and moves on.

  5. i won’t comment on the other aspects .. but jus on a minor mythological minisculity. i think the kid who volunteers to hold the ‘lingam’ isn’t vishnu but ganesha, who is then angry abt his father shiva’s excessive benevolence .. which causes him to give away his own lingam (a tantric symbol of potency) to ravana, a ‘bhakta’.

  6. I would just like to add some info based on popular folk stories in Sri Lanka. According to the those, King Ravana never abducted Sita. She was actually running away from Rama to get away from brutal treatments she received from him. King Ravana felt sorry for her and offered to protect her from Rama. King Ravana kept his word and gave his life for that. Even though the monkies of Rama set fire to houses and spread rabies, Ravana and his great army fought back. When Rama realized he is no match for Ravana, he bribed King Ravana’s brother Prince Vibhishana. King Ravana loved his dear brother and did not expect him to betray. When Prince Vibhishana came to terms with the terrible mistake he did, it was too late. Great King Ravana was dead and Rama and his monkies have destroyed Sri Lanka. It is said that Rama burned Sita alive to take revenge. Vibhishana spent his rest of life rebuilding the country. Thereafter people forgave him and even today, he is worshiped as a god in rural Sri Lanka. With the demise of King Ravana, Sri Lanka lost the secret of the “flying machine” which is said to have been used by the great king.

  7. I have read all the above things, what i know is that Ravaana truely was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, great musician and perhaps the greatest king of his times. It is injustice to portray Rama above Ravaana, the reason why is..Rama left Sita and asked her to leave the kingdom just because a dhobi said that she is not sacred and lived with Raavana, concludes he was a very jealous kind of person and didn’t even have faith in his wife. Secondly he was not that powerful and couldnt face Bali in jungle and hid under a tree to kill him. Agreed that Bali had taken over Sugreevs kingdom along with his wives, but after killing Bali he did wrong by handing over Bali’s wives to Sugreev. Stories of luv-kush cant be heard..why? There are many questions which even Ramayana(holy granth) hasnt answered. Serious research has to be done… Please read Vayam Rakhshamah to understand more about Raavana.

  8. After a long time…..I heard somebody talking about VAYAM RAKSHAMAH – a great book by Sri Acharya Chatursen…..For all in this blog…please find some time and read the book….

    Ravana was never a demon…..It was a clash of Civilizations…
    We have also read about SEVEN types of marriages in the past Raksas vivah was one of them….which Ravana attempted….
    And for those who think our Stories of Bhagwan Vishnu ( whose RAMA is an avatar) may please read TULASI VIVAH….

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