(Thanks a lot Bhagyashree for helping me out with editing)
I used to go to all the Kathas, organised in my hometown. Being from a middle-class family, we had only one TV in our home. So I always had to watch those series which were related to Rama and Krishna, as my grandmother watched those. I was the kind of kid who was inclined towards spirituality from start.
I always liked the character of Rama and appreciated, not just because he was a god but also because of the characteristics they used to show. I liked how much obedient Rama was or how much he loved his wife or the bonding he had with his brother or for even his Vanar Sena . I truly believed, these characteristics are something to have as a virtue. As a kid I hated Ravana for the actions he chose to perform or sometimes just because of evil face he had in the serials.
With time we started talking about it, discussing spirituality in given way as well as their present relevance. One day my group of friends in VNIT were going to Chandrama (Night Canteen of college) and a friend of mine suddenly asked, ” what would you like to be a Rama or a Ravana?”
My immediate question was, “how can you even ask about it?”
He explained himself, “I was reading some article about it and asked it because it is said that Ravana was the most sagacious person in the world, he had that empire which others would be an envy of, in that period his empire was known as ‘the golden lanka ‘, he had that technology in that time which we think of now. He was the bramhin which during that time are known for their acumen, he was most powerful king by army that he had defeated the famous karma god ‘Shani dev’ and held him prisoner. ”
I replied, “But at the end, what matters is your character. What is the use of all that, when he didn’t have a good character” The discussion was long and interesting enough to fill more than 20 blogs but the relevance of those doesnot stick to the main idea of this one.
Why I thought about it now because today is the first day I am understanding and appreciating some parts of what ravana did. I am not saying what he did was right, but at least, I could think of there may have been reasons which lead to misleading most wise men on earth to choose the path of evil. There can be something which you truly want, but you can’t have.
Initially, he wanted to take revenge for his sister and took the first step, he had never planned to fall for Sita but in the end, he did. Despite of his desires towards Sita, he never forced himself on her. He kept Sita in security of his best female guards and away from all the ‘aasuras’ including himself. He always wanted Sita to accept him willingly, but he knew he would never have her. This made him go to the extent for wrong tactics or fighting a war. (Even though Rama had started it)
May be there comes a time in your life, when you just want something at any cost. Ravana wanted Sita, Duryodhana wanted Kingdom, etc. History has been a witness to the fact that every person at some point in his life face this conflict to choose between the Rama (good) and Ravana (evil) existing within. And also the fact that this conflict gives rise to either great heros of the time or to the biggest villians of all times.
I can corelate to it because I am standing in a situation, where I know truly want something or rahter I should say I need it, but i know I cannot have it without embracing the ravana that exists within me. The thing is that the ‘Sanskaras’ given to me by my family and my morals stops me in doing.
Even if I don’t took the step on the path of wrong-doing I will always know in my heart that the thought of taking the wrong path came to my mind to achieve my desires. What makes me sad is that how vulnarable human can be to let desires to takeover on rationality. I am not at all saying Ravana was right. What am saying is if Ravana, the most maverick man can go wrong, then may be sometimes I can too.
All I can control is to hope that the Rama in me wins the battle from the ravana within me. So that there should not the situation comes that the Rama from the outside world have to take steps to defeat the Ravana in me.