We’ve come across so many mythological being throughout our lives. Zeus, Gaia, Goku, Rick, Ang, Kratos, Elon Tusk…… Lol, jokes apart myths play a key role in most of our world culture. When you ask Siri to define what a myth is, she gives you two definitions, first one is a “traditional story about early history…. With supernatural beings” the second is a “misrepresentation of the truth or a wildly held false belief”; I’m gonna be using the former perspective. In Ramayana Ravana is portrayed as a symbol of evil. But personally I don’t believe anyone to be 100% evil; I don’t think anyone can be. “A rose tree has more thorns than roses but it’s still a rose tree and not a thorn tree”; I’m sure you’ve seen the evil perspective of Ravana, so let’s take a different route and count the roses. Think of it as a contradiction to a math equation.
According to Ramayana, the name Ravana means the “one who screams” or “one with the terrifying roar”, the name was given to him by the god Shiva along with an invincible sword and a lingam, Ravana made a veena called the ‘Ravana haththa’ to praise the god; it is said that Ravana sang hymns known as the ‘Shiva thandava stotra ‘ which pleased the angry god so much that he danced in joy. , Ravana is considered the greatest devotee of Shiva , when Ramas’ army was building the (Adams’ bride) to rescue Sita and needed to praise Shiva ; Ravana willingly performed the yagha and gave Rama his blessing . In the epic Ravana’s birth name is Dasamuka , and said to have ten heads but I think maybe it’s figurative. It could be describing something like a split personality disorder, according to some local experts’ ten great skills and knowledge or if looking at it with a Mahayana Buddhist perspective ; six lower ( hunger , hell, animalistic instinct , humanity, etc ) and four upper worlds(rapture, learning, reality, enlightenment )that theory is actually pretty interesting , check it maybe !? And some say it’s an artificial hologram made by the nine bead necklace given to him by his mother. What I’m saying is nobody seems to be sure of anything…..
In all versions of the legend, Ravana possessed knowledge and power like no other. The Ramayana Ravana was a master of war; he took the battle straight to the heavens and made the gods tremble, thanks to the elixir given to him by Brahma as a boon he was immune to being killed by any god. he had super speed, super strength, ability to shape shift, arsenal of weapons with immense powers of destruction, aerial vehicles described as more advanced than anything we have right now. It’s said that he was even able to control planetary movements, He was so powerful that Vishnu had to be reborn as human (Rama) to kill him.
The Sri Lankan version of king Ravana is human. He gained his powers through spirituality and practiced medicine from a young age. He revolutionized Aryuvedic (Hela Medicine) medicine wrote several books on the practice that’s still used today. Studied both astronomy and astrology , Not only piloted vimanas’ he built and perfected a smaller faster version with the help of Mandodari, he was a skillful architect and a great artist. In both versions he was a great scholar, a cunning and generous leader. He possessed so much knowledge and wisdom, it’s said that Rama regretted having no other options. After Ravana fell; Rama asked Lakshman to grasp anything he can from Ravana’s last words because that knowledge was found nowhere else.
The abduction of Sita is one of the most known facts about the Ramayana, so let’s talk about why instead of how. And I’m gonna give you a brand new take on the whole thing. According to the Jein version of the epic Sita was Ravana and Mandodaris’ daughter whom they gave up to provide a better life away from the bloodsheds .Ravana’s life has been one fight after another ; At the time of his death he would have been 42 years old and tired of war . It’s mentioned in the legend that all along Ravana knew the war with ram would be his end. Pay attention I’m about to make some mad connections lol. It’s also known that Ravana and his brother Kumbakarna was the cursed gate keepers of Vishnu; given the choice of standing with the gods for 7 lives or to stand against them for 3. That gives us new motives for the kidnapping of Sita on top of avenging his sister and why he didn’t harm her (other than being afraid of getting his head blown to thousand pieces apparently ) , by abducting Sita , he gets to look destiny in the eye and fight fate till ones end ; a tyrants’ dream , he gets to meet his daughter again, and most importantly he and his brothers’ curse is no more… as it was their last life as demons , Kumbakarnna didn’t agree with Ravanas’ plan but he fought beside him till the very end. No matter how it unfolds, Ravana comes on top; dead but at peace as what he know it can be. Death isn’t the end, especially in this context. Bet you didn’t see that coming…
Let’s be real, you’re thinking I’m making wild assumptions out of thin air. I mean you’re not wrong. But hear me out , it’s all about perspectives , Ramayana has about 300 different versions and I haven’t read all of them and you haven’t ether I’m guessing. There’s a lot of uncertainty, there’s no way of knowing what really happened but we can know all the possibilities of it, to be honest that’s more important. Until if and when the truth unfolds, embrace the uncertainty. One of the most interesting takes I’ve read about Ravana was called (I’m pushing my luck here) Ravana vs. aliens . l knows that sounds like a DLC for the new Mortal Kombat but nevertheless it made sense. The paper argued that the gods were advanced celestial beings that used to exploit earth’s resources. (Which is basically the description of a god) and Ravana was half celestial and half human, who had enough of their reign and led an uprising against their control. Even the Ramayana Ravana hated casteism.