Those quite moments with that coffee in hand, at dusk, can be very intriguing sometimes. The stillness can either lead you to the depths of solitude you never wish it ends or it can just churn up the weirdest of thoughts leading to challenging some existing perceptions, which you may have been believing all this while, until it strikes a cord over that little conversation with yourself.
A series of thoughts curl up and you have an altogether different story to believe. Last evening, as I sipped my evening coffee, sitting by a window, trying to unwind after a day that seemed never ending – what caught my eye was a glimpse of the books that laid at a distance on a desk. And what held my sight for about a few lasting seconds, was the beautiful book of ‘The Ramayana’. All this while that my stare at it lasted, a flash of all the characters of the Epic just sort of appeared and disappeared, in an absolute disorder and my silence sort of grew in it more, as I continued to sip my coffee and look outside the window thereafter.
While most of us fondly remember Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Hanumana because of their worshipping characters, in our daily prayers or occasional temple visits, we certainly do not express much fondness in remembering the one character, which in our eyes holds the spitting image of a devil and as much as we hate to admit, Ramayana would have been incomplete without this otherwise unbeatable character – Ravana. As much as we have grown up seeing, reading and hearing stories out of this beautiful epic, we have perpetually been told about his wrong deeds and how he was crucified by our dear Lord Rama because of his Karma (for stealing the lady love – Goddess Sita from her husband Lord Rama).
Though I have been witnessing a little of Ramayana, quite often, through the television series, the little lessons learnt shared by my Mom, a little prayer on and off – this time it was different. Somewhere, my mind just stuck to this character of Ravana and just wouldn’t stop scrutinizing why was Ravana like the way he was. So much so, my curiosity just ended up in finding more about him and getting to know what sort of person he was after all. And as much I was amazed at what I found, I would love to share a different stroke of this incredible person, who cannot be even touched to where he stood in terms of his devotion and knowledge (and you would come to know why I am so lovingly mentioning about his long forgotten existence suddenly).
He was one obedient son to his parents, who loved gaining knowledge through possibly everywhere. He was one of the greatest scholars Indian Mythology ever witnessed, knowing the best of Vedas and the Holy scriptures; He is believed to be one of the biggest devotees of Lord Shiva, who spent years and decades in his devotion; His leadership skills are worth a mention and his dynasty never saw anyone who could be termed as ‘poor’; He was a great king that his kingdom witnessed and was an effective ruler, bringing times of great prosperity to the island during his rule. Not to mention, he is still worshipped in the lands of his then dynasty, Sri Lanka, for all the good that he did.
Having said all this, a series of questions that tick – Am I falling in love with his existence? Or maybe, am I starting to support his character and show the world how they interpreted him wrong? Well, the answer is – None of the above.
What brings me to this little piece of his existence then? A Man with immense devotion towards God, one of the most omnipotent kings of all times who had the courage to mess with another God (or his wife to say), this person with the most in supposable knowledge – trapped himself to death because he never learnt to take charge of his arrogance, anger and ego. It is no joke to challenge the world (and the God Himself) just for the winning streak or pleasure of getting a woman. His inadequacy lied in the act of forgiveness. And what made things worse, was his infinite belief, that all the possible knowledge of Universe already existed inside him and there was nothing beyond that was left for him to know. He was self invited on an ego trip. He discarded the values he grew on and of whom he grew with. Time and again, he was told innumerably by his family, servants and strangers to keep a tab on that empowering ego that made him believe nothing in the world could do any harm to him, but so much was he rooted to these, that his knowledge, wisdom, devotion, family or his kingdom – nothing could save him, nothing !!
Come to think of it, we are just humans. Was Ravana any different from any one of us who exist in today’s world? He lived with the best of all values that we believe we are brought up with all our lives. And as much as we hate to admit, we all have an enormous slice of Ravana dwelling inside us even today. No matter whatever you earn – the riches, the educational degrees, that 5 figured pay, the family – nothing can save you from those literal eternal pieces of Ravana (anger, lust, hatred and ego) within us, growing by the day, slowly sucking us into the trap and suffocating our minds. That one within us, the ‘I-know-it-all’ soul, exists most of the times and it is this part of us that eventually becomes our own biggest demon. The smallest of complications in our relationships, careers and families prospers so much anger and ego in us, that we are ready to leave everything behind but amend the way we live.
Ravana would have got a greater place in Indian Mythology, had he surrendered in front of God, admitting that he committed a mistake, knowingly or unknowingly, and wished to just amend the wrongs he did to his family, his kingdom and himself, knowing that there is the existence of a greater power in this Universe and there is so much more that he needed to take from this life. His was a self destruction. And believe me when I say, surrendering and seeking forgiveness is the biggest kill of ego and anger that any one can sustain. Not that I am an exception, but that day, my perception about this rich king changed and suddenly it seemed, he was in that story to teach us something much bigger than what just shows. He showed us that he was killed only once, but we kill our ourselves every single time we let our anger and ego win ! This life would continue to evolve till it lasts. He was amongst us. Don’t hate Ravana, hate the characters he nourished and chose to live his life on.
It is a small life indeed. Don’t let this beautiful life die before its lived !! Be a Ravana with the right values !!
Do leave me your comments/suggestions and valuable feedback of how you think of this little piece 🙂