Friday, April 19, 2013

The pretender is slain by this "Birthday Avatar"...

"Ravan abducted Ram’s wife, a crime for which he was killed by Ram himself. So says the Ramayan. The epic makes Ravan the archetypical villain. And since Ram is a God for most Hindus, Ravan’s actions make him the Devil incarnate. This justifies the annual burning of his effigy on the Gangetic plains during the festival of Dassera.
But on the hills of Rishikesh or in the temple of Rameshwaram, one hears the tale of how Ram atoned for the sin of killing Ravan. Why should God atone for killing a villain? One realizes that, like most things Hindu, the Ramayan is not as simplistic and pedestrian an epic as some are eager to believe.
 
Ravan was a Brahmin, the son of Rishi Vaishrava, grandson of Pulatsya. Ram, though God incarnate, was born in a family of Kshatriyas. In the caste hierarchy, Ram was of lower rank. As a Brahmin, Ravan was custodian of Brahma-gyan (the knowledge of God). Killing him meant Brahma-hatya-paap, the sin of Brahminicide, that Ram had to wash away through penance and prayer. Another reason why this atonement was important was because Ravan was Ram’s guru.
The story goes that after firing the fatal arrow on the battlefield of Lanka, Ram told his brother Lakshman, "Go to Ravan quickly before he dies and request him to share whatever knowledge he can. A brute he may be, but he is also a great scholar." The obedient Lakshman rushed across the battlefield to Ravan’s side and whispered in his ears, "Demon-king, do not let your knowledge die with you. Share it with us and wash away your sins."
Ravan responded by simply turning away. An angry Lakshman went back to Ram, "He is as arrogant as he always was, too proud to share anything." Ram comforted his brother and asked him softly, "Where did you stand while asking Ravan for knowledge?" "Next to his head so that I hear what he had to say clearly."
 
Ram smiled, placed his bow on the ground and walked to where Ravan lay. Lakshman watched in astonishment as his divine brother knelt at Ravan’s feet. With palms joined, with extreme humility, Ram said, "Lord of Lanka, you abducted my wife, a terrible crime for which I have been forced to punish you. Now, you are no more my enemy. I bow to you and request you to share your wisdom with me. Please do that, for if you die without doing so, all your wisdom will be lost forever to the world."
To Lakshman’s surprise, Ravan opened his eyes and raised his arms to salute Ram, "If only I had more time as your teacher than as your enemy. Standing at my feet as a student should, unlike your rude younger brother, you are a worthy recipient of my knowledge. I have very little time so I cannot share much, but let me tell you one important lesson I have learnt in my life:
Things that are bad for you, seduce you easily; you run towards them impatiently. But things that are actually good for you, fail to attract you; you shun them creatively, finding powerful excuses to justify your procrastination.
That is why I was impatient to abduct Sita but avoided meeting you. This is the wisdom of my life, Ram. My last words. I give it to you.” With these words, Ravan died.
With ten heads, twenty arms, a flying chariot and a city of gold, the mighty Ravan is without doubt a flamboyant villain. His sexual prowess was legendary. When Hanuman entered Lanka, in search of Sita, he found the demon-lord lying in bed surrounded by a bevy of beauties, women who had willingly abandoned their husbands. Ram, by comparison, seems boring – a rule-upholder who never does anything spontaneous or dramatic. He is the obedient son, always doing the right thing, never displaying a roving eye or a winsome smile. It is not difficult therefore to be a fan of Ravan, to be seduced by his power, to be enchanted by his glamour, and to find arguments that justify his actions.
One can’t help but wonder: why does the poet, Valmiki, go out of his way to make his villain so admirable, so seductive, so enchanting?
Valmiki describes Ravan as the greatest devotee of Shiva. In many folk versions of the epic such as Ram-kathas and Ram-kritis, we are informed that Ravan composed the Rudra Stotra in praise of Shiva, the ascetic-god. He designed the lute known as Rudra-Vina using one of his ten heads as the lute’s gourd, one of his arms as the beam and his nerves as the strings. The image of Ravan carrying Mount Kailas, with Shiva’s family on top, is an integral part of Shiva temple art.
Perhaps, say some scholars, this expresses the legendary battle between Shiva-worshippers and Vishnu-worshippers. Ram, who is Vishnu on earth, kills Ravan who is Shiva’s devotee. But this argument falls flat when one is also told that Ram’s trusted ally, Hanuman, is a form of Shiva himself. Valmiki is clearly conveying a more profound idea by calling Ravan a devotee of Shiva. And to understand the thought, we have to dig a bit deeper.
Shiva is God embodying the principle of vairagya, or absolute detachment. He demonstrates his disdain for all things material by smearing his body with ash and living in crematoriums. The material world does not matter to him. Ravan may be his great devotee; he may sing Shiva’s praise, and worship Shiva everyday, but he does not follow the path of Shiva.
In reality, Ravan stands for everything that Shiva rejects. Ravan is fully attached to worldly things. He always wants what others have. He never built the city of gold – he drove out his brother, Kuber, and took over the kingdom of Lanka. Why did he abduct Sita? Avenging his sister’s mutilation was but an excuse; it was the desire to conquer the heart of a faithful wife. And during the war, he let his sons die and his brothers die before entering the battlefield himself.
Ravan has ten pairs of eyes, which means he can see more. Ravan has ten sets of arms, which means he can do more. Ravan has ten heads, which means he can think more. And yet, this man with a superior body and superior mind submits to the basest of passions. Despite knowing the Vedas and worshipping Shiva, he remains a slave of his senses and a victim of his own ego. He arrogantly shows off his knowledge of detachment but is not wise enough to practice detachment. Deluded, he gives only lip-service to Shiva. This pretender is therefore killed by Ram, who like Shiva, is another form of God.
- Source Dev Dutt.

28 comments:

trainee said...

Good morning Sir
you are excellent in the field of spirituality also
i feel myself luckier to be in your contact.
lot of thanks to my Master Shriparthasarthi Rajgopalachariji ( whose story you had shared in the first week of Mar 13). your link is the greatest award for me. keep us mesmerised.please bless me to understand your thoughts.i wish i to be you. i thank you. i love you.

saravanan k said...

Good morning Ilango sir & all blogmates.

Happy Ram Navami to all.

Rgds
Saravanan

Amol Sharma said...

Good Morning Master and all.
|| Shree-Ram Jay Ram Jay Jay Ram || Ram Laxman Janki Jay Bolo Hanuman Ki

Sanjay Jaiswal said...

Namaste Ilango Sir and Friends,

Wishing all a very Happy and Prosperous Ram Navami...

rochak parekh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rochak parekh said...

आखिरकार
आखिरकार, कल वोह दिन है, वोह दिन फिर आ रहा है

रामनवमी

जिसका कि साल भर, जी हाँ, पुरे साल भर, दिन गिन गिन के इन्तेजार रहता है
यूँ कि इस दिन, साईं बाबा की पालकी यात्रा शहर के भ्रमण पर निकलती है

जी हां, १९ अप्रैल के दिन, रामनवमी के उपलक्ष्य में, साईं बाबा द्वारा अपने जीवनकाल में, इस दिन, शिर्डी में, आयोजित किये जाने वाले उर्स की परंपरा के निर्वाहन के सिलसिले के अंतर्गत, इंदौर शहर में साईं बाबा की पालकी यात्रा का आयोजन हर वर्ष की तरह इस वर्ष भी किया जा रहा है

समय शाम ५ बजे,

प्रारंभ स्थल - बड़ा गणपति मंदिर, इंदौर

पालकी यात्रा मार्ग : महात्मा गांधी मार्ग , बड़ा गणपति मंदिर से प्रारंभ हो के, गोराकुंड चौराहा, खजुरी बाज़ार, राजबाड़ा, कृष्णपुरा, जेल रोड चौराहा, नोवेल्टी मार्किट, चिमनबाग चौराहा होते हुए, स्काउट मैदान सुभाष मार्ग पर समापन

जिन लोगो के लिए, इस यात्रा का यह पहला अनुभव रहेगा, उनसे निवेदन है, कि इस विलक्षण अनुभव के मौका हाथ से ना जाने दे, आपको आनंद की वो अनुभूति , होगी कि आप भी इंदौर के हर साईं भक्त की तरह, दीपावली, होली, रक्षाबंधन, नव वर्ष को भूल कर, सिर्फ और सिर्फ इस दिन का इन्तेजार करेंगे

ॐ साईं राम

ॐ श्री अनंत कोटि ब्रह्माण्ड नायक राज धिराज, योगिराज, परब्रह्म श्री सच्चिदानंद सदगुरु साईनाथ महाराज की जय

venkatapathy l said...

Namaste Ilango Sir.

Thanks for showing the other side of Ravan as well as that of Ram.
Enriching.

Love and regards.

LV

Parimal said...

Dear Sir
thanks for a day of prayed and meditation
Happy Ram Navami, Prosperous Ram Navami

shriram said...

Wonderful Master,

Wishing all JN family, a Happy Ram Navami.

amber said...

Sir ILango ji and everyone good morning
Happy Ram Navami to everyone

anmpatel said...

good morning master and friends

Happy Ramanavmi to all.

The_Unprejudiced_Observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ALBELA HOUSE said...

R/Ilango Sir,Namasten Namaskaar 2 all reader's.Best Wishes 4 Happy n Bright Future on Ram Navami 2 everybody.

Nilesh Patil said...

Good Morning Master & Friends,
Happy Ram Navami to everyone

sandeep said...

Good morning master and Blog mates

Happy Rama Navami to all

Thanks master for spiritual enrichment.

Manish said...

Enlightening as always you are...

Happy Ramanavami to you and all friends.

Regards !

HARISH TAHKKAR said...

Happy Ram Navami to all.
Power of mind & body,Ram accepted Ravan's edge,knelt & ask to share wisdom.Ravan did share who equally believe Ram is no
more enemy because of custodian of Braham Gyan.Ravan won
Indra & many, was Shiva's devotee.Ran won only Ravan. King never
physically forced Sita.Ravan shown in fact superior but.......
Only difference Ravan lost because he has already lost to " Power
of seduction of bad things."This makes one God & one Devil.

Piyush Sharda said...

jaisiyaram.
my best wishes to sir and friends on occasion of ramnavmi

paddy said...

Excellent message!! Dev Dutt Patnaik has a great skill in analyzing any situation and come out with powerful message!! Thanks for sharing!! Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram!!

sometimesbullsometimesbear said...

Happy Ramanavami to all.

On a historical note, it appears that before the Vedic tall fair skinned and gray eyed people migrated into the Saraswati river and Gangetic plains, Shiva worship, Shivlinga worship (phallus worship), and Devi worship as well as worship of other paraphernalia of devtas, bhutas, spirits, etc etc was very well prevalent in India even before 2500 BC.

In fact there are images of devi worship and shiva worship as well as an ascetic in the Padmasana in the Indus valley civilization seals of 2500 BC.

Before 2500 BC there is rig vedic terminology and Gods found in an archaelogical site in Turkey (Mittani Civilization) as well as in Iran (Persian civilization before Islam).

So, hypothetically, probably the rig vedic people came over from Turkey>Iran>towards Afghansitan(Gandhar Pradesh)> Pakistan(Sind Punjab Pradesh). towards Kashmir and Western India into the Indus Valley Civilizations bringing along with them the Rig Vedic yajna culture, fire rituals etc.

Post their arrival 1500 BC to 500 BC, there seems to have been a healthy mix of this culture with the original Shakti and Shakta worship locals in India.

And then began documentation of the vast sanskrit literature that we have today as well as temple worship, yoga, astrology, vastu ...etc ...etc.

The Rudra of the Rig veda got identified with Shiva in ancient India. In fact Visnu was not the prime God in the Rig Veda at all, he was one of the vast pantheon of Gods with Indra given prime importance.

Post 1000 AD with the advent of Vaisnava saints like Nimbarka, Vallabhacharya, Ramanjuja, Chaitanya, Madhavacharya etc... Vaisnavism which practiced selfless Love of a sattvic god rather than fear of god flourished across India in the form of the Bhakti cult.

While the ertswhile Shaivaites, devi worshippers, spirit worshippers, Bhuta worshippers, etc... usually practiced more of a tantric cult which also included animal sacrifice etc...

Brahminism and the rigidity of varnashrama dharma seems to have started from 500 AD. There is enough evidence to find that Varnashrama dharma was flexible and anybody could rise to the status of a Brahmin (One who knows Brahman and teaches the science to others).

Temple worship led to more rigidity of this caste system. And today instead of removing this caste ill our leaders are reinforcing it through so many of their unwise statements, ideas, actions.

Today, India is a mix of European, Cenral asian, West Asian, and the ancient dark skinned local gene pools. It is more of a continent rather than a nation trying hard to stay united in the face of divisive politics played by our leaders.

Happy Ramnavami again.

Krunal Gajjar. said...

Wishing all JN family, a Happy Ram Navami.

sandeep said...

Happy Ramanavami to you and all great article master.

durga said...

MASTER.,
HAPPY SREE RAM NAVAMI TO ALL.
@SBSB,
NICE PRESENTATION.MAN IS A PRISONER OF CONFLICTS OF HIS TIMES.WISH GOOD GOINF FOR ALL.

DNSHUKLA said...

Namaskar, Master and friends and Happy Ram Navami to all of you.
Master, I am from Ayodhya and invite you and other JN friends for a visit to Ayodhya for the Darshan of Ram Janmabhoomi and give me privilege of hosting you in Ram Nagri. We are well settled there and can arrange every thing from accomodation to Darshan.
For Ayodhya, Shri Maithili Sharan Gupta a renowned Hindi Poet said
SWARG KI TULNA UCHIT HI HAI YAHAN, KINTU SURSARITA KAHAN SARYU KAHAN.
WO MARON KO MATRA PAR UTARTI, YE YAHIN SE JEEVITON KO TARTI.
"One can compare Ayodhya with Heaven but there is a difference in Saryu and Ganga. Ganga simply purify you to enter heaven after death but Saryu purify you to enter heaven without dying.Legend says that Lord Ram never died. There is a bathing Ghat on river Saryu by name Guptar Ghat west of Ayodhya. Lord Ram went there took a bath and went straight to Swarga. Ayodhya wasis saw him going to swarga.
If any of you are visiting north you can see Prayag, Varanasi and Ayodhya in same trip. These cities are just 150 Kms each other and vertex of a Triangle. So in one trip you take a dip in Sangam, visit Varanasi for a dip in Ganga and Darshan of Lord Shiva and in Ayodhya take a dip in Saryu and have a Darshan of Hanuman Garhi, Shri Ram Janma Bhoomi, Kanak Bhavan and thousands of other temples.There are more number of Temples than Houses in Ayodhya.

siddique said...

....Things that are bad for you, seduce you easily; you run towards them impatiently. But things that are actually good for you, fail to attract you; you shun them creatively, finding powerful excuses to justify your procrastination....

So true .

"... his divine brother knelt at Ravan’s feet. With palms joined, with extreme humility, Ram said.....''

So beautiful and illuminating this gesture. A great lesson to be understood , learned and to be applied .

The Quran says '' Follow not the lusts ( of thy flesh) for they will mislead thee from the path of God "
--------------------------------------------------------------------------Those who really fear God cannot become the slaves of their mundane desires and those who become the slaves of their base desires cannot love God.
Those who fearlessly love God can understand Him better than those who just fear God.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wish you all a happy Rama Navami .
God bless


Kumar Technicals said...

Wonderful, thanx for sharing Master....Happy Ramnavami to all JN family...

Rgrds,

Kumar

Bhushan said...

Jai Shri Ram! Jai Hanuman!

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