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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Hinduism

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  #1  
Old 21-08-2019, 03:58 AM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is online now
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King Ravana

Hero to some, scoundrel, demon or villain to others...all that can be said about the King of Lanka is that he was most certainly a tortured and enigmatic soul...and one I can most certainly relate to.

Ravana was born as the human incarnation of the gatekeeper to heaven (Vaikuntha) called "Jaya" after being cursed to take human birth by the four Kumaras for refusing them an audience with Lord Vishnu.

Jaya was given the choice of taking seven births as a devotee of Lord Vishnu or just one birth as an enemy of Lord Vishnu...of course, Jaya chose the latter because he loved Lord Vishnu SO much, he wanted to spend as least time as possible away from Him...away from Vaikuntha on the planet of the humans.

So, Ravana was born as an Asura...as a demon who also happened to be a great devotee of Lord Shiva.

Now, Lord Shiva does not have any rules or regulations when it comes to worshiping Him..you don't need to be a Brahmin...you don't need to be "holy" or "good" or even a "creature of the Light"..in fact, all that is required to receive blessings from Lord Shiva is patience, determination, dedication and unwavering focus.

Ravana is often pictured as having ten heads..this means that he was extremely intelligent.. intelligent enough to realise that he was born AS a demon and will thus always BE a demon! Yes, he deeply and dearly wanted to be spiritual, be a being of light and love so as to know and understand the peace and bliss of the Divine, but that is not who Ravana WAS! and no matter how much he tried, he could never be nor even TRY to be something other than a Demon. All his attempts at being a "good person" was like a cat trying to be a dog by pretending that his "meows" were actually "woofs". After many years of trying to make good, he realized the futility of it and embraced his demonic nature totally and completely because that is what he WAS.

King Ravana actually had great admiration and respect for Lord Shiva, but was also not above testing out his boons on the Lord either! After Lord Shiva granted Ravana the boon of unlimited strength, Ravana wanted to test it out by lifting up Mount Kailash while Shiva and Parvati were sitting on top of it.

What followed was Lord Shiva laughing and responding to Ravana's display of strength with Lord Shiva's display of incredible weight, which pushed King Ravana down into the netherworlds.

What followed, was Ravana composing the most amazing hymn to Lord Shiva EVER called the "Shiva Tandava Stotram". This Stotram goes to highlight Ravana's brilliant intellect, because the mathematical structure and meter of the Sanskrit prose is just beyond astounding:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YIHsJPSLQhE

However, even through his devotion to Lord Shiva, Ravana realised that he was still an Asura....still a demon and that was all he could EVER be. Even though Ravana was a tyrant of a king, his subjects loved him because Ravana was pretty much consistent in his tyranny in that he never played favourites and treated everyone the same, no matter how unfair or unjust that was...one could even say that he was fair in his unfairness and he was also a great, fierce and noble warrior, which were very admirable traits in prehistoric times.

Still, Ravana had absolutely no idea of his previous incarnation as Jaya, the Gatekeeper of heaven. He didn't know that his brother, Kumbhkarna was also his brother in heaven called Vijaya who was cursed along with him.

All that Ravana knew was because he was of the Asura lineage, it would take him many, many births and lifetimes before he could attain to Moksha and he just didn't have the patience to wait that long...so what better way to enter heaven than to be an affront to Lord Vishnu directly and what better way to achieve this than to kidnap Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, who many were claiming to be the Earthly avatar OF Lord Vishnu. He had no intention of ever harming Sita and tarnishing her chastity...she was actually treated very well whilst in captivity.

The means eventually justified the end however and the demon gained entry back into heaven through being slain by God himself...with Lord Shiva's blessings of course. This is why Lord Rama prayed to Lord Shiva at Rameshwaram to get the "okay" from Lord Shiva to go ahead and slay one of his greatest devotees, so as not to incur the wrath of Lord Shiva for doing so.

Meanwhile, Ravana was in the process of sacrificing all of his ten heads to Lord Shiva... sacrificing his great intellect to the greatest intellect of all.

So, that is the story.

Ravana is still respected and admired by those who understand the full story..even though those of emotion will still see him as a tyrant...a demon...the one who kidnapped Sita and effigies of him are burnt every year at Diwali time to commemorate the victory of the forces of good over the forces of evil, but what they are truly commemorating is just the Divine Leela of the Lord playing itself out.

Meanwhile, others compose tributes to King Ravana like this one I found the other day:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ebAaUm55i98

Enjoy!

Aum Namah Shivaya
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  #2  
Old 21-08-2019, 03:52 PM
Jainarayan Jainarayan is offline
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It's also the greatest blessing to be killed by God, since instant moksha is guaranteed. Hiranyakashipu hated Lord Vishnu so much the Lord was always in his mind. One could say that Lord Vishnu took up a lot of room in Hiranyakashipu's head. Being a devotee is not only about love, one can be a devotee in hatred. So when Hiranyakashipu was killed by Lord Narasimha, moksha was instant. All one has to do is think of the Lord upon leaving the body. I prefer to think of him with love though.
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  #3  
Old 22-08-2019, 06:00 PM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jainarayan
It's also the greatest blessing to be killed by God, since instant moksha is guaranteed. Hiranyakashipu hated Lord Vishnu so much the Lord was always in his mind. One could say that Lord Vishnu took up a lot of room in Hiranyakashipu's head. Being a devotee is not only about love, one can be a devotee in hatred. So when Hiranyakashipu was killed by Lord Narasimha, moksha was instant. All one has to do is think of the Lord upon leaving the body. I prefer to think of him with love though.
Most definitely!

It is also my understanding that Ravana was fully aware of that too, so the whole scenario between himself and Lord Rama was scripted from the very start, only Rama/Vishnu was fully aware of the background story, whilst Ravana was not.

Lord Shiva often gets blamed for giving blessings and boons to demons like Ravana and Bhasmasura, however Lord Shiva, in His defense, always says "my blessings are available to all who seek it - it is just unfortunate that Asuras do, but who am I to take sides?"

Well, Lord Vishnu in His guise as Mohini helped Lord Shiva out with the whole mess He got himself into over the Bhasmasura incident - being very careful not to destroy Bhasmasura Him/Herself because Bhasmasura wasn't deserving of Moksha as he had no care for the Lord either way.

There is a very interesting dynamic between Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva..they are the greatest devotees of each other!

However, Lord Shiva did actually make good with boons as well... Parvati and Mrikandu/Rishi Markandeya being two cases in point.

It is very difficult to keep in constant remembrance of the Lord as a Bhakta and the trials of Narada Muni attest to this.

Narada Muni was a great Bhakta of Lord Narayana...always going around chanting His praises..."Narayan...Narayan"....just like that...he was usually made the "comic relief" of most Hindu teleseries during the 1980's

One day, Lord Narayana decided to test Narada's devotion by placing a full lota (jug) of water on his head saying "I want you to walk to the other side of Bharat without spilling a single drop...BUT you must always be in constant remembrance of me too" to which, Narada replied "no problem" however it soon became a huge problem for Narada Muni, because if he focused on not spilling a drop, he lost remembrance for the Lord and as soon as he regained remembrance for the Lord, water went everywhere.

This illustrates how difficult it is to remember the Lord whilst doing other things and of course, all of the Gods in Devaloka kept on having fun at poor old Narada's expense.

Like the time when Narada thought he attained to Moksha, but he was so puffed up with pride and arrogance he gave all the Gods a headache by reciting the scriptures to them constantly....so, Lord Narayana sent Narada down to the human world to chill out where he fell in love with a princess...she fell in love with him too and they were about to be married when Lord Narayana played a cruel joke on Narada, changing his appearance to an ugly old man so the bride wouldn't recognize him...even though he appeared to himself to be the same whenever he looked in the mirror..the wedding was eventually called off because the groom failed to show up.

All the Gods were in fits of laughter over that one for many years...

Yeah, I have all this stuff in my head...ALL of the Puranas are in there scene by scene...get them out! LOL

Namaste.
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  #4  
Old 26-09-2019, 07:00 AM
kralaro kralaro is offline
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Sri Lanka's first satellite was named after Raavana. [Wiki]
I don't like him as he kept Sita captive.
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Old 26-09-2019, 07:29 AM
NoOne NoOne is offline
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You left out the part where Ravana was cursed for raping one too many women. His punishment was that he would die immediately if he ever tried raping another woman again. That is why he did not touch Sita.

Rama then still rejected her once she was freed, as just being in the presence of another man was an unforgivable offence in his eyes, she was contaminated spiritually just by being in the same room as Ravana. So, she committed suttee, to the satisfaction of everyone involved, because apparently burning yourself alive is better than having another man take a peek at you. I fail to see the morality in the story. It's just effed up...
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Old 26-09-2019, 02:08 PM
Shivani Devi Shivani Devi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoOne
You left out the part where Ravana was cursed for raping one too many women. His punishment was that he would die immediately if he ever tried raping another woman again. That is why he did not touch Sita.

Rama then still rejected her once she was freed, as just being in the presence of another man was an unforgivable offence in his eyes, she was contaminated spiritually just by being in the same room as Ravana. So, she committed suttee, to the satisfaction of everyone involved, because apparently burning yourself alive is better than having another man take a peek at you. I fail to see the morality in the story. It's just effed up...
Namaste.

The reason I left out that part you mentioned, is because I was not aware of it..however, in regards to your second point, I heard it differently.

It is said that after Sita returned from Lanka, Rama did indeed reject her for all those reasons you mentioned..however, it was more of a "trial by fire" rather than Sita committing Sati and dying.

Rama wanted to test Sita's chastity and spiritual purity by subjecting her to the "fire test"..if she got burned and died, she was impure, but if the fire couldn't touch her and she walked away unscathed, she was beyond accusation and reproach..for even a fire cannot burn the truth.

As it happened, Sita walked into the fire and the fire immediately went out and she walked away...upon which they returned to Ayodhya and lived happily ever after.
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Old 26-09-2019, 02:30 PM
NoOne NoOne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shivani Devi
Namaste.

The reason I left out that part you mentioned, is because I was not aware of it..however, in regards to your second point, I heard it differently.

It is said that after Sita returned from Lanka, Rama did indeed reject her for all those reasons you mentioned..however, it was more of a "trial by fire" rather than Sita committing Sati and dying.

Rama wanted to test Sita's chastity and spiritual purity by subjecting her to the "fire test"..if she got burned and died, she was impure, but if the fire couldn't touch her and she walked away unscathed, she was beyond accusation and reproach..for even a fire cannot burn the truth.

As it happened, Sita walked into the fire and the fire immediately went out and she walked away...upon which they returned to Ayodhya and lived happily ever after.

I guess there are different versions… The one I read is obviously not in the original, it was a Hungarian translation (a very good one, I might add), in which the last chapter about Sita's fire sacrifice was left out and just summarised in a few paragraphs, with the explanation that this was not part of the original Ramayana, but was added much later as a supposed justification for Suttee. The translation is from the 1930s though, so it might be somewhat outdated. Anyways, other then this late addition, I really enjoy the Ramayana.
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  #8  
Old 28-09-2019, 07:41 AM
ajay00 ajay00 is offline
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Ravana's main attribute was his tremondous austerities and tolerance for pain and hardship. His austerities build up his great strength, and unfortunately due to his immoral nature, he became a menace to the world. It was similar to the Nazis who had the best military and economic strength in the world at their time.

As per Sai Baba, Ravana's power of austerity or tapas was superior even to the much younger Rama. However Ravana's capture of the chaste Sita greatly reduced his power of tapas, which enabled Rama to kill him.

Thus it was the combination of Rama and Sita who actually defeated Ravana. The Divine always finds a way out to restore the balance of Dharma by eradicating that which is contradictory to it creatively.
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