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Thread: Ravana Granting a Blessing to Rama?

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    Re: Ravana Granting a Blessing to Rama?

    Quote Originally Posted by Webimpulse View Post
    Namaste HDF,

    I have a question about a particular point in the Ramayana. Admittedly I haven't read that far into the Ramayana yet (it's a long book, even when translated into English by Ramesh Menon), but I did hear about one part of the Ramayana that is confusing to me. Again, I haven't gotten to this part yet, but if someone could explain it to me, that might help me understand the Ramayana better.

    The part I'm referring to is the part where supposedly Sri Rama has to seek the blessing of a prominent priest (or whatever the proper title is) in order to defeat Ravana. The problem being for Rama is that the most prominent priest at the time of the story is none other than Ravana himself. And yet Ravana does the puja for Rama anyway.

    Maybe there's something else in the Ramayana I haven't gotten to yet that would explain this, but right now I'm confused why Ravana would essentially doom himself by granting a blessing to his enemy. In another thread on the Ramayana I did read about how some of the themes of the Ramayana involve love and forgiveness between unexpected sources, even bitter rivals or mortal enemies. Still, though, from what I've read so far, Ravana doesn't seem like the type of villain who would essentially do a favor for his enemy and contribute to his own downfall.

    Maybe someone can explain this better for me? Don't worry about "spoiling" the story for me; I'm sure I will still get spiritual uplift from the Ramayana.
    Namaste Webimpulse,

    There is a tendency to interpret the Ramayana as a black-and-white moral treatise, with Rama representing pure good and Ravana representing pure evil. The reality is significantly more complex, and incidents like this serve to highlight this complexity. The Rakshasas were not a race of purely evil beings; Ravana's brother Vibhisana was a devout Vaishnava, and he ended up joining the side of Rama and providing valuable intelligence during His battle with Ravana. This is confirmed by the following verse from the Bhagavad Gita:

    Chapter 10: The Opulence of the Absolute Bg 10.30
    TEXT 30
    prahladas casmi daityanam
    kalah kalayatam aham
    mrganam ca mrgendro 'ham
    vainateyas ca paksinam
    SYNONYMS
    prahlādaḥ—Prahlāda; ca—also; asmi—I am; daityānām—of the demons; kālaḥ—time; kalayatām—of subduers; aham—I am; mṛgāṇām—of animals; ca—and; mṛgendraḥ—the lion; aham—I am; vainateyaḥ—Garuḍa; ca—also; pakṣiṇām—of birds.
    TRANSLATION
    Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlāda; among subduers I am time; among the beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuḍa, the feathered carrier of Viṣṇu.
    PURPORT
    Diti and Aditi are two sisters. The sons of Aditi are called Ādityas, and the sons of Diti are called Daityas. All the Ādityas are devotees of the Lord, and all the Daityas are atheistic. Although Prahlāda was born in the family of the Daityas, he was a great devotee from his childhood. Because of his devotional service and godly nature, he is considered to be a representative of Kṛṣṇa.
    There are many subduing principles, but time wears down all things in the material universe and so represents Kṛṣṇa. Of the many animals, the lion is the most powerful and ferocious, and of the million varieties of birds, Garuḍa, the bearer of Lord Viṣṇu, is the greatest.

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    Re: Ravana Granting a Blessing to Rama?

    There is a tendency to interpret the Ramayana as a black-and-white moral treatise, with Rama representing pure good and Ravana representing pure evil. The reality is significantly more complex, and incidents like this serve to highlight this complexity. The Rakshasas were not a race of purely evil beings; Ravana's brother Vibhisana was a devout Vaishnava, and he ended up joining the side of Rama and providing valuable intelligence during His battle with Ravana. This is confirmed by the following verse from the Bhagavad Gita:
    Namaste

    There had been a similar thread in the past without valid proof behind the claim. Best resource to learn Ramayana is Code : 452 and Code : 453 at http://gitapress.org/english/Search_result.asp. Free resource are at http://www.valmikiramayan.net/, https://archive.org/details/Valmiki_...t_1891_to_1894

    Hope this helps.




    Anirudh...

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    Re: Ravana Granting a Blessing to Rama?

    namaskāraḥ

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    ...

    There had been a similar thread in the past without valid proof behind the claim. Best resource to learn Ramayana is Code : 452 and Code : 453 at http://gitapress.org/english/Search_result.asp. Free resource are at http://www.valmikiramayan.net/, https://archive.org/details/Valmiki_...t_1891_to_1894

    ...
    Agree with Anirudh; the story has no basis in the original Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa.

    There is another popular story of Rāvaṇa teaching 3 valuable lessons to Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa before he (Rāvaṇa) dies as indicated in this blog post by Devdutt Pattanaik.

    From http://devdutt.com/articles/indian-m...ravan-too.html


    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.

    ...but again that story has no basis in the original Rāmāyaṇa because Rāvaṇa instantly dies after Rāma's brahmāstra hits straight in his chest and he collapses. Following are some verses from Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa.


    From http://www.valmikiramayan.net/utf8/y...08.htm#Verse18:



    स विसृष्तो महावेगह् शरीरान्तकरः शरः | च्छेद हृदयं तस्य रावणस्य दुरात्मनः || ६-१०८-१८
    18. That arrow, released with great speed and which was capable of destroying the body, tore off the heart of that evil-minded Ravana.

    रुधिराक्तह् स वेगेन शरीरान्तकरः शरः | रावणस्य हरन् प्राणान् विवेश धरणीतलम् || ६-१०८-१९
    19. That arrow, which was capable of causing death to the body, after taking away the life of Ravana and having been anointed with blood, penetrated the earth.

    स शरो रावणं हत्वा रुधिरार्रीकृतच्छविः | कृतकर्मा निभृतवत्स्वतूणीं पुनराविशत् || ६-१०८-२०

    20. Smeared with blood on having killed Ravana and thereby accomplishing its mission, that arrow re-entered its own quiver (of Rama) silently.

    गतासुर्भीमवेगस्तु नैरृतेन्द्रो महाद्युतिः | पपात स्यन्दनाद्भूमौ वृत्रो वज्रहतो यथा || ६-१०८-२२
    22. Having lost his life, that king of demons for his part, who was endowed with terrible swiftness and invested with great splendour, fell down from the chariot to the ground, like Vritra the demon when the latter was struck down by the thunderbolt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Webimpulse View Post

    ...

    The part I'm referring to is the part where supposedly Sri Rama has to seek the blessing of a prominent priest (or whatever the proper title is) in order to defeat Ravana. The problem being for Rama is that the most prominent priest at the time of the story is none other than Ravana himself. And yet Ravana does the puja for Rama anyway.

    ...
    From what I heard, the recent TV show Siya Ke Raam showed the above line of story but a TV series cannot be considered authentic as their objective is entertainment so they source material from multiple scriptures and regional variations of the story.


    The Episode starts with Raavan walking to Ram and everyone. Hanuman smiles and welcomes Raavan. Raavan goes to Ram. Ram greets him as Brahman ji and welcomes him. Vibhishan says Brahtashri and greets Raavan. Raavan looks at him. Ram folds hands and says you accepted your request, I will always be thankful to you, this is big prestige for me and Raghu kul that my father’s Shraddh will get completed by such a big Gyaani like you. Raavan says its time for puja, shall we sit. Ram says sure.
    The truth is, Rāvaṇa actually sends Śuka and Sāraṇa to assess the strength of Rāma's vānara army and also possibly talk Rāma into resigning from the war. But Śuka and Sāraṇa get captured by the vānaras and later released on Rāma's request. They go back home and speak highly of Rāma's hospitality which irritates Rāvaṇa very much. They in fact try to convince Rāvaṇa into resigning after seeing Rama's strength and their preparations - the exact opposite effect of what Ravana intended ... so Rāvaṇa admonishes both of them:

    From http://www.valmikiramayan.net/utf8/y...s29.htm#Verse6:

    अधो मुखौ तौ प्रणताव् अब्रवीत् शुक सारणौ |
    रोष गद्गदया वाचा सम्रब्धः परुषम् वचः || २-२९-६

    6. (Ravana) abraviit = spoke; tau = to those; shuka saaraNau = Shuka and Sarana; praNatau = who saluted; adhomukhau = with their faces bent donw; vaachaa = in a voice; roSagadgadayaa = choked in anger; samrabdham = excited; tathaa = and paruSam = and harsh.

    Ravana spoke (the following) excited and harsh words, in a voice choked in anger to Shuka and Sarana who stood saluting with their faces bent down.

    न तावत् सदृशम् नाम सचिवैर् उपजीविभिः |
    विप्रियम् नृपतेर् वक्तुम् निग्रह प्रग्रहे विभोः || २-२९-७
    7. na taavatnaama = It is not; sadR^isham = befitting; vaktum = to utter; vipriyam = unpleasant words; upajivibhiH = by dependent; sachivaiH = ministers; nR^ipate = to their king; prabhoH = who has the power; nigrahe = to mete out punishment; pragrahe = or reward.
    "It is not befitting to utter unpleasant words by dependent ministers to their king who has the power to mete out any punishment or reward."



    रिपूणाम् प्रतिकूलानाम् युद्ध अर्थम् अभिवर्तताम् |
    उभाभ्याम् सदृशम् नाम वक्तुम् अप्रस्तवे स्तवम् || २-२९-८
    8. sadR^isham naama = Is it proper; vaktum = to utter; stavam = praise; vipuuNaam = of the enemies; pratikuulaanaam = who are adverse to us; abhivartataam = and who are coming; yuddhartham = for war; ubhaabhyaam = by both of you; aprastave = irrelevantly?
    "Is it proper for both of you to shower irrelevant praise on our enemies who are adverse to us and are approaching for a war?"

    Poor Śuka and Sāraṇa, I truly feel for them

    That's just one of the examples where people try to talk sense into Rāvaṇa but he doesn't care much for their words.

    Hope this helps.

    - SV
    Last edited by svh; 06 January 2017 at 06:51 PM.

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    Re: Ravana Granting a Blessing to Rama?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Namaste

    There had been a similar thread in the past without valid proof behind the claim. Best resource to learn Ramayana is Code : 452 and Code : 453 at http://gitapress.org/english/Search_result.asp. Free resource are at http://www.valmikiramayan.net/, https://archive.org/details/Valmiki_...t_1891_to_1894

    Hope this helps.




    Thank you for the links Aniruddh.
    However, the incident described in this thread does not necessarily have to appear in the Valmiki Ramayana; it can still appear in one of the many local variations, and as such, it still requires analysis from a theological perspective. It is most likely an allegory to represent the qualities of a good ruler.
    One thing that most versions of the Ramayana will agree upon is that Lanka under Ravana's rule was the the ultimate sinful society.
    With nothing in place to restrain people's desires, the fabric of that society inevitably collapsed as powerful people like Ravana were allowed to have whatever they wanted at the expense of the am aadmi.
    As a result, the rulers try to satisfy their populace by providing them with minor concessions to keep them happy, as evidenced by Ravana's granting of a blessing to Sri Rama.
    However, these concessions rarely go as far as necessary to satisfy the people, which means the problem is left unsolved.
    If Ravana really did care about the citizens of Lanka, he would have returned Sita and prevented the destructive war from happening in the first place.

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    Re: Ravana Granting a Blessing to Rama?

    Namaste TTCUSM,

    Srimad Raamaayana or Srimad Mahabharata are not story books. Sriman Naaraayan (paramaatma) needn't require the blessings of a Jeevaatma factually it is always the other way. If we understand both these points we won't get confused.

    Namaste Svh,

    Thanks for explaining the subject. If you get time and haven't listened yet, please listen to lakshmi kadaksham upanyasam from Sri U.Ve. Krishnan Swamigal.
    Anirudh...

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