Ravana

Ravana

Meaning ‘Of the terrifying roar’ …………….and the earth quivered when he roared with pain while being pinned down with Mt.Kailash above him.

He is verily one of my favourite characters from mythology.  When you read the Ramayana ……. I ultimately end up quoting one of those famous quotes “History belongs to the victorious”.  Maybe because Rama was victorious – History belonged to him.  But when you compare the virtues of Rama and Ravana and their negatives – they are more or less the same.  I will do the comparison some other day.  Today its just Ravana.

For starters he was a brahmin, a great player of the veena, hugely knowledgeable in the vedas, a devout worshipper of Lord Shiva and a great conquerer.   In fact there are so many places all over India where you will see his imprints.  Gokarna in Karnataka is replete with his story of having left behind the atmalinga there.  Mt. Kailash almost has Ravana’s name etched in many places.  Be it the legend of the waves on Mt. Kailash which they say are marks of the huge chains which Ravana tied to it – attempting to pull it to Lanka or the lone rock on an adjoining mountain top which they say is the linga which he worshipped.   Next to the Manasasarovar lake is the Rakshas Tal or Ravan Harda.  On the way to Kailash you will find Ravan Parvat.  He was the author of the “Shiva Tandava Stotra”.

Victory wasn’t his all the time.  He had his fair share of losses as well.  He was defeated by the mighty Vali and Karthaveerya Arjun.  Eventually he was done in by Rama. 

A person of great accomplishments – what eventually did him in was …they say – was his arrogance and him being a womaniser.   Yet time and again – he comes across as essentially an evil person throughout the scriptures.   But was he considered evil because he lost the war and because the victorious usually tend to portray the losers as evil (so as to justify the conquest) ……or was he really evil.  We never will know.

As I promised I will talk about Rama another day

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5 thoughts on “Ravana

  1. ಮರುಕೋರಿಕೆ (Pingback): Namaskaara India « My life and my search for inspiration
  2. Nice snippets about Ravana. Thanks for the info… I was always intrigued by his charectar… An ardent (probably the greatest)devotee of Shiva…. A devoted son (Same as Rama – A similarity).. and more over a Brahmin who ruled Rakshasas and defeated many Gandharvas… I always wondered why he was considered as ultimate evil but Vali was just quoted as a bad person who was a womanizer himself.

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