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Ravana – The Hero?

June 6, 2010

“A tall, dark and stout body, rumbling laughter, thick whiskers and dasmukha”

needs no introduction. The most dreaded ogre of the Indian mythological epic and every indian kid’s villian! You observed it correctly. I did not say every Indian’s villian. May be its not.

My 6 year old niece is fond of playing video games which personifies ravana as the villian and the ultimate target to win the game! I would not have thought of diving deep into Ravana’s life, had my niece not asked me on seeing Ravana movie’s trailors “Who is Ravana in this move?” She was expecting to see a dasmukha, dark and horrifying Rakshasa. I replied “This is new-age Ravana!”  And restrained myself from going into further details but will be writing now.

Ravana has been the “muse” for a long time to filmmakers, writers, gamers, cartonists and the list goes on.. 

Ray Garton, author of the Buffy series, says “The idea of using Hindu mythology in the book struck me when I saw a lot of figurines from Hindu mythology at a store. The variety of interpretations around Ravana fascinated me.  Hindu mythological characters can not be described good or bad, they are deep characters with layers of stories surrounding them!”

And I quite agree with him. The line between evil Ravana and good Ram was always little blurred to me!

Ravana was born to a great sage known as Vesamuni, and his wife, the daitya princess Kaikesi. Even though he was partly Brahmin and partly Rakshas, Rama praised Ravan as Mahabrahmin. Rama had to do Ashwamedha yagna as penance for killing a Brahmin (Brahmahatyadosha). 

 Ravana is described as a devout follower of Shiva, a great scholar, a capable ruler and a maestro of the Veena.

His description as a ten-headed person is a reference to him possessing a very thorough knowledge over the 4 Vedas and 6 Upanishads, which made him as powerful as 10 scholars.

There are many places where Ravana is worshipped. The fascination to understand this ogre has attracted many across the world. The recent viral launched on April Fool’s Day had Ravan abducting Rakhi Sawant which in the end resulted in Rakhi Sawant kidnapping Ravan 😉 Ravan has also acted in headache-relif ointment ads too. From the object of lampoon to the most evil ogre, Ravan has been alive in our lives from the beginining.

Mani Ratnam’s much awaited release ‘Ravana’ also underlines the statement ” When the lines dividing the good and the evil starts to blur, whose side will you take? When hate turns to love and good starts looking as evil which side will you battle for?”  And so the unending debate goes on………………………….

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Nalini permalink
    June 7, 2010 5:27 am

    hey very well written Vineeta..
    I always liked Ravana than Rama. It was bcoz of Rama, Sita jumped to a fire..
    But in the movie depends on the acting 😀

    • Vineeta permalink
      June 11, 2010 5:13 am

      hahahaha… thats a very feminist view Nali 🙂

    • Vineeta permalink
      June 11, 2010 5:14 am

      hahahahaha.. thats a quite feminist view.. good one 🙂

  2. June 7, 2010 1:18 pm

    History is written by the winning side hence we know only what we read abour RAM.
    But, it is said that RAVANA was a very learned person, however, it is also true –VINASH KALEN VIPRIT BUDDHI

    • Vineeta permalink
      June 11, 2010 5:16 am

      very true Mr. Chowla!

    • shreeshail permalink
      September 2, 2010 12:25 pm

      as you said that ravana was a very learned person dis metohor that you used was very much known 2 him b4 hand but the reasons of his actions were bcoz he needed moksha and tht was possible by only getting it by lord vishnu as he was aware tht ram was none other than vishnu he had 2 die by his hands bcoz in mortal or even immortal world no 1 had the power to give ravan his moksh.

  3. June 7, 2010 1:18 pm

    History is written by the winning side hence we know only what we read abour RAM.
    But, it is said that RAVANA was a very learned person, however, it is also true –VINASH KALEN VIPRIT BUDDHI

  4. June 8, 2010 4:46 am

    Tricky subject…I think we all are at least two-faced, if not ten-faced like Raavan. In the ever going battle inside between the good and bad, the mind has to decide which side it wants to take.

  5. June 9, 2010 5:39 pm

    All said and done, I think its a fairly good movie.

  6. June 13, 2010 3:55 pm

    Thanks danke merci danyavad nanri shukran shukriya….hey buddy….

  7. June 15, 2010 2:54 pm


  8. June 22, 2010 4:23 am

    I am not quite sure…but i belive down here in south Asuras are venerated…

    But it was the aryans who dubbed Asuras as evil…
    Very informative post on Raavan

  9. June 22, 2010 8:25 am

    interesting insight

  10. manjari permalink
    February 20, 2011 9:43 am

    No where are the asuras venerated. They are known, but definitely not venereated. Other than when discussing the myriad conflicts amongst Indian subcontinent of racial and climatic and of gender related nature. But please be corrected, Unhealthy, unduly wild people are in great pain.

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