Legend of Ravana: Was he the most ancient Pervert?

Kalidas said “उत्सवप्रिया: खलु मनुष्याः” means all people love festivals because the celebrations enable them to forget their miseries and enmity and build new bridges of love and friendship. Festivals have been around for ages, it gives us relief from our day to day life. It gives sense of relief & rejuvenation to people suffering for stress. There is no doubt that we like our festival to be fun & full of enjoyment. If heart of festivals is fun & enjoyment, soul of the festival would be its capability to teach us philosophy of life. Celebrations of festivals are done by all cultures around the world. Preservation of heritage values is one of the outcomes of festival celebration.

It’s fashionable by one section of our society to criticise and degenerate our festivals. With advent of social media voice of such degeneration and ridicule has been amplified. Social media has also given voice to counter such mindless ridicule of our festivals & deities. But at the same time there is lot of dogmas which we have in our festival, which our society has been following without having critical review. Mindless vulgar Bollywood songs used to celebrate Govinda,  Ganpati Visarsan, Navratri or holi is just demeaning to idea of this individual festivals.

Tomorrow we are going to celebrate Vijayadashmi or Dussehra. We celebrate the victory of good over evil. There is much significance of this day. However I would like to talk about Victory of Rama over Ravana. Tomorrow I expect people to start circulate joke on Rama and Ravana. Like there will be many jokes coming to your inbox, whatsapp, email etc. Some of the jokes will try to make hero out of Ravana and make Ram villain. Usual suspects, including so called feminists might declare their love for Ravana and hatred for Rama. In the same of sarcasm and humor, some of us would like to peddle lie and make hero out of ‘Ancient Pervert’ Ravana.

रावण के १० सर, २० आखें, पर नज़र एक ही लड़की पर,
आपका एक सर, दो आँखे, पर नजर हर लड़की पर,
अब बताओ असली रावण कौन?

I have no issues with second line of the joke, may be intention of the joke is to do introspect and change the way we look at the women. Yes we should change the way we look at women and make India better place in terms of women safety. However I have problem with propagating lie, which is to say Ravana was only committed to one woman. With my limited knowledge I have tried to find some reference to perversity of Ravana.

Ancient Pervert ‘Ravana’

There are many stories and sources about Ravana, from most authentic source as Valmiki Ravana to various other puranas. I have reproduced some of reference of Valmiki Ramayana and some of the known texts in this posts. Valmiki Ramayana projects Ravana as most pervert guy. Let us start with his conversation with Sita in Lanka, where he tries to persuade Sita to marry him. Ravana while trying to reason with Sita in Sunderkand says

स्वधर्मो रक्षसां भीरु सर्वथैव न संशयः |
गमनं वा परस्त्रीणाम् हरणम् सम्प्रमथ्य वा || ५-२०-५[1]

“O one with fear! Obtaining women belonging to others or abducting by force is the righteous deed for ogres by all means. There is no doubt in this.”

Will any of the self-respecting women accept a guy like Ravana? I guess answer will be quite obvious. I don’t think so even by todays context such guys deserves to be hero.

Today so called feminist propagate a lie Ravana truly loved Sita. When Ravana lost his beloved son Indrajit, he would have killed Sita.

उत्प्लुत्यगुणसम्पन्नंविमलाम्बरवर्चसं |
निष्पपातसवेगेनसभायाःसचिवैर्वृतः || ९२-६-३९
रावणःपुत्रशोकेनभृशमाकुलचेतनः |
संक्रुद्धःखड्गमादायसहसायत्रमैथिली || ९२-६-४०

The enraged Ravana, who was very much agitated in mind because of the grief for his son’s death, springing up suddenly and taking his excellent sword, having the dazzle of a clear sky, sallied forth from the assembly hall along with his ministers swiftly and quickly to the place where Seetha was.

It was one of Suparshva, Ravana’s upright minister, stopped him and ask him to release his anger in battle field instead.

कथंनामदशग्रीवसाक्षाद्वैश्रवणानुज || ९२-६-६३
हन्तुमिच्छसिवैदेहींक्रोधाद्धर्ममपास्यहि |

“O Ravana, the younger brother of Kubera himself! How do you wish to kill Seetha, abandoning your righteousness, in a bout of anger?”

मैथिलींरूपसम्पन्नांप्रत्यवेक्षस्वपार्थिव || ९२-६-६५
तस्मिन्नेवसहास्माभीराघवेक्रोधमुत्सृज |

“O king! Behold at Seetha, endowed, as she is, with beauty. Together with us, release your anger, in battle, on Rama alone.”

Let us look at some women, apart from Sita, who became victim of Ravana. Valmiki Ramayana and Uttar kand has references of perversion of Ravana.

Vedvati

Vedvati was daughter of Kushdhwaj. It has been described in Uttar kand that Vedvati was quite brilliant and beautiful lady. At very young age she started vedic recitation. Ravana out of impulse of lust first proposed marriage, but when vedvati refused his proposal, he raped her. Vedvati could not bear this transgression on her mind and body, hence Vedvati burned herself. But she cursed Ravana that she will be cause of Ravana’s death. It is also said that Vedvati was reborn as Sita.

Punjisthala

In Yuddhakand(Valmiki Ramayana), when one of rakshasha “Mahaparsva” provokes Ravana to rape Sita. This is what Ravana said in

महापार्श्व निबोध त्वम् रहस्यम् किंचिदात्मनः |
चिरवृत्तम् तदाख्यास्ये यदवाप्तम् पुरा मया || ६-१३-१०

“O, Mahaparsva! Know a little secret about me. I shall tell you an incident, which occurred to me long ago.”

पितामहस्य भवनम् गच्चन्तीम् पुञ्जिकस्थलाम् |
चञ्चूर्यमाणामद्राक्षमाकाशेऽग्निशिखामिव || ६-१३-११

“Once I saw a celestial nymph, Punjikasthala (by name) flashing like a flame, concealing herself in the sky and proceeding towards the abode of Brahma.”

सा प्रसह्य मया भुक्ता कृता विवसना ततः |
स्वयम्भूभवनम् प्राप्ता लोलिता नलिनी यथा || ६-१३-१२

“She was made unclothed by me and was enjoyed forcibly. Thereafter, appearing like a crumpled lotus, she went to the abode of Brahma.”

तच्च तस्य तदा मन्ये ज्ञातमासीन्महात्मनः |
अथ सम्कुपितो वेधा मामिदम् वाक्यमब्रवी || ६-१३-१३

“I think that the matter was made known to the high soled Brahama and then the enraged Brahma spoke to me the following words:”

अद्यप्रभृति यामन्याम् बलान्नारीम् गमिष्यसि |
तदा ते शतधा मुर्धा फलिष्यति न संशयः || ६-१३-१४

“From today onwards, if you revel with any other woman forcibly, your head then undoubtedly will break asunder into a hundred pieces.”

इत्यहम् तस्य शापस्य भीतः प्रसभमेव ताम् |
नारोहये बलात्सीताम् वैदेहीम् शय्ने शुभे || ६-१३-१५

“Fearing the curse given in this manner by Brahama, I am not violently making Sita the daughter of Videha, to mount on my beautiful bed forcibly.”

Curse by Brahma was main reason why he could not rape Sita. Curse was given by Brahma because he was serial rapist/offender. I will not talk about whether punishment given by Brahma is appropriate or not, because that’s not point I want to highlight here.

Rambha

Rambha was one of apasara, who also was raped by Ravana. Rambha was wife of NalKuber. NalKuber was son of Kuber. Kuber and Ravana were step brothers. Rambha pleaded before Ravana he should spare her because she is was his daughter in law. However Ravana went on with his perverted act and he raped her. It is also said that NalKuber also cursed Ravana.

Vaidyanath Jyotirling Story

Ravana got jyotirling as ashirwad from lord shiva, he wanted to take this jyotirling back home in lanka. Condition of giving jyotirling by lord shiva was that jyortirling should not keep on earth. Once it is kept on earth no power in universe can remove it from that place. While on journey he wanted to urinate, at that time lord ganesha came in garb of shepherd and offered him help. Ganesha informed him that he can carry ling but he will call for Ravana if Jyotirling becomes too heavy for him to hold. He will call for Ravana three times. If Ravana will not appear after three call, Ganesha will put down jyotirling on mother earth. Ravana agreed with this and went for urination. On the bank of river he sees beautiful Bhil lady and here again he goes after Bhil Lady and pursues her. While Ravana enjoying Bhil lady at the bank of river, Ganesha shouts his name three times and put Jyotirling at Vaidyanath. Thus we have one of the Jyotirling at Vaidyanath.

Summary
There are more proof/references in Valmiki Ramayana and other puranas that Ravana was indeed pervert and rapist. While I agree that current onslaught of assault on women’s dignity and honour must stop. But making hero out of Ravana for rape jokes and Dushera wishes we are making irony of our ignorance and idiocy.

Festival are meant to celebrate our heritage, we owe our next generation to pass on the festivals which were celebrated by our forefathers in its original and pious form. We have to stop pollution which is taking away original intent and joy of celebration.

I hope this Dussehrra brings victory of good/truth over evil/ignorance.

विजयादशमी की हार्दिक शुभेच्छा

http://www.valmikiramayan.net/utf8/sundara/sarga20/sundara_20_frame.htm
http://hindustories.blogspot.sg/2011/05/curse-of-vedvati.html
Vedavati : Mata Sita was a reincarnation of Vedavati..!!
scribd.com/doc/28062501/Uttar-kand-valmiki…..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambha_(apsara)
http://jyotirlingatemples.com/article/id/585/temple/52/legend-of-vaidyanath-temple

By – Kalpesh Chavda (@ekvichar_)
Link for Hindi Translation – प्राचीन व्यभिचारी रावण

Ekita Parmar
Dentist & Cricket Fan @LostByWaves

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