- By Dr Rahul A. Shastri
Who was Ravana?
Ravana’s birth-name was Dashanana. His father was Vishravas s/o brahmin sage Pulastya, who is believed to hail from village Bisrakh in Haryana. His mother was Kaikesi, daughter of the Rakshasa King – Sumali. Ravana married Mandodari, the daughter of the divine architect Maya.
Thus, contrary to what the leftists tell their confused followers, Ravana was neither Dravidian nor a sudra nor oppressed. He was a North Indian brahmin, very well connected and belonged to the royalty.
What did Ravana do?
Ravana did tapas and got a boon from Brahma that none but humans could kill him. Empowered by this boon, he took away Lanka and Pushpaka Vimana from his cousin Kubera, conquered many regions with the help of his family and even subjugated the devas.
Marching north he reached Kailasa and threatened Nandi that he would throw Kailasa away with Siva. To carry out this threat he put his hands under the mountain, but Siva put his toe down, trapping Ravana’s hands under the Kailasa. His fingers painfully caught, Dashanana then sang songs praising Siva so loudly, that Siva gave him the name Ravana (which means crying or roaring) and the sword Chandrahasa.
Puffed up by his success, powers and boons, Ravana turned into a bully, serial rapist and eve- teaser, misbehaving even with gods and rishis, earning eighteen curses in the process. It is because of these curses, that some of his atrocities are still known and remembered.
The many rapes by Ravana
When Ravana molested Vedavati who was engaged in penance to obtain Madhava as husband, she cursed that he and his family would be ruined by Lord Narayana on her account. Since he no longer feared gods because of the boon from Brahma, Ravana went on with his depredations. He raped Madanamanjari, wife of Rtuvarman, a tapasvi of Marutta forest, who cursed then that Ravana would be killed by a man.
Finally, he raped his own would-be daughter-in-law, Rambha, betrothed to be wife of his nephew ‘Nalakubara’ s/o Kubera. Furious at this, Nalakubara pronounced this curse
“You, who have become blind with lust, shall not touch a woman who does not reciprocate your love. If you do so your head will be split into seven pieces.”
It is this curse that later kept Sitadevi and many other chaste women safe from Ravana’s depredations, although they still were victim to molestation and insults by him. After this curse, Ravana resorted molestations, humiliation and abductions to cater to his lust, but never committed a rape again.
Rape, Rakshasas and Human Civilization
Rape is a part of Rakshasa culture, and ‘marriage by rape’ is known as ‘rakshasa vivaha’ to the Hindus. Ramayana, which is a story of the destruction of Ravana, is an eternal reminder that rape can have no place in human culture, and that the culture of rapists is bound to be destroyed by divine forces.
Molestations of women by Ravana
Ravana tried to humiliate Punjikadevi, the daughter of Brahma, who reiterated the curse of Nalakubara that he would die with all his ten heads broken if he touched unwilling women. By way of revenge, Ravana took to molesting and misbehaving with women in the presence of their helpless relatives. He humiliated Svahadevi, in the presence of Agni, earning Agni’s curse. When he molested Dvaipayana’s sister in the presence of Dvaipayana, the latter cursed him with humiliation by monkeys. Similar curses were pronounced when he molested Atri’s wife in his presence, and he misbehaved with and humiliated brahmin girls who were bathing in the sea, in the very presence of their mothers.
Once Ravana tried to catch Sulekhadevi, the daughter of Brihaspati after conquering Devaloka. Then Brhaspati cursed that Ravana would die hit by the arrows of Rama.
Some other atrocities of Ravana
Ravana committed innumerable atrocities, some of which are remembered only because of the curses that they fetched him.
He kicked Astavakra, the sage with eight hunches, saying ‘Oh ! handsome fellow ! I shall cure your eight hunches”. This earned him the curse of the sage: “For kicking me, a poor innocent sage, you will be kicked from head to foot and foot to head by monkeys.”
Knowing his perverse proclivities, Vasistha turned down his invitation to teach him Vedas. Owing to this, Vasishsta was imprisoned until the solar King Kuvalayasva rescued him. Vasishta then predicted that Ravana and his family would be destroyed by those born in the solar dynasty.
When Narada refused to explain the meaning of ‘Om’ to him, he threatened to cut off Sri Narada’s tongue, earning the curse, that all his ten heads would be cut off by a man.
Maharsi Maudgalya was once doing the svastika asana, resting his neck on the yogadanda. Seeing him thus, Ravana cut the yogadanda into two with chandrahasa sword. The rishi fell and broke his backbone. This earned Ravana the curse that the chandrahasa (given to him by Siva) would become ineffective.
Once Ravana invited a Vedic brahmin to install the idol of Tripurasundari given to him by Siva. For being late, the brahmin was imprisoned for seven days. This earned him the curse that he would be imprisoned for seven months by a man.
King Anaranya of the solar dynasty sought shelter with him. In our culture, one who takes refuge with us is protected, but Ravana killed Anaranya with a blow on the chest. The dying king cursed him that he would die from the arrows of a prince of the solar dynasty.
Sage Dattatreya had collected water which he consecrated with mantras, in order to bathe the head of his Guru. When Ravana saw this water, he poured it on his own head. Dattatreya cursed him that his head would be polluted by the feet of monkeys.
It can be seen from the above that Ravana was not an admirable character, in spite of his boons, lineage, royal power and worldly success. He was a serial rapist and tormentor of the weak. Leftists are promoting the worship of such a person by deceiving the Indian masses. Their real aim is to foster divisions among us, to degrade our values and destroy our culture. Why are they doing this?
Leftists promote divisions because according to their ideology, progress comes only by conflict and not through unity. To promote conflict, they attack our culture and our values. Why?
They know that the unity of Indian people comes from our culture and values. It is our culture which teaches us patience in difficulty, compassion for suffering, respect for learning, reverence for elders and traditions, and love for the motherland. These are the values that have held us together for millennia and which we uphold today. To destroy them, to fan the flames of discontent and discord among us, leftists attack our culture.
Their deceptions about Ravana are part of this greater game plan. May their confused followers know the true nature of Ravana, see through their game plan, and strengthen national unity and the motherland.
References: Puranic Encyclopedia by Vettam Mani 1964, Sanskrit Dictionary . Shivram Apte