Ramayana and Mahabharata are considered as the oldest epics of our country. Ramayana was written in various languages among which the oldest versions were found to be written in the languages of Sanskrit and Tamil. Valmiki wrote Ramayana in Sanskrit, whereas Kambar wrote the Tamil version. These two forms have various contradictions, some information portrayed in the Sanskrit version exclusively differs from the Tamil version. In order to make the story interesting, one character is made protagonist and other an antagonist, given the author’s liberty anybody can be visualized as a positive or negative character as per the author’s wish. This made one character of this story as a God and the other as a demon. The difference of opinions still creates a buzz among language enthusiasts, as it denotes the cold war between Aryans and Dravidians. Still, there is a controversy that archeologists and atheists argue that there are no scientific proofs that this epic battle was fought.
Ravana (Tamil – Ravanan) a Tamil king was the emperor of a wealthy dynasty of the kingdom called Lanka. His Pseudonym was Lankeeswaran, as he ruled the country with a capital at Lankapuri. He was born as an elderly son of Vishrava and Kaikesi. He had seven brothers and two sisters. Mandodari was married to Ravana. Ravana was portrayed as a symbol of evil power and the “King of Demons” in the mythological storyline. If any of us hear the name “Ravana” the first thought that comes to our mind is his ten heads. His real name was “Dashamukha”. He was not a man of ten heads (Tamil – Thalai) he was a man who can do ten arts (Tamil – Kalai)at the same time, which justifies his real name. As the man who practiced ten arts at a time his name and fame was widespread in all eight directions. But the tort is; the nature of Lankeeswaran was fabricated in the negative aspects of the authors. Some people have expressed their anxiety, that the character of Ravana was totally denied its importance by the authors of this Ramayana.
Many of us believe that the story plot of Ramayana started when Ravana abducts Sita, the beloved wife of Rama. But if we search and deeply analyze this story, this battle started when Shurpanaka, the sister of Ravana was thwarted by Lakshmana by cutting her nose. If we were supposed to be in that position, we had also fought for our beloved sister, the same thing which this uncelebrated hero had done. Even after knowing his enemy as a Superpower, he fought against them. This makes the Demon very special and unique one from my point of view. These epics have highlighted only about the cruel characters of this demon. As a coin has two sides, let’s see the positive things of Ravana.
The following data were collected from the Indian mythological books.
Ravana is a great devotee of Lord Shiva. As he was portrayed as an evil and demon, he was the only human and one among the five members who earned the title as “Easwaran”, a special title, which was provided for people who had a great love and devotion to Lord Shiva. The other four who have entitled “Easwaran” are as follows:
1. Vignesh“waran” – Lord Vinayaga (Lord Shiva’s Son)
2. Nandhikesh“waran – Lord Nandhi (Lord Shiva’s Vehicle)
3. Sandikeesh“waran” – Lord Sandi (Lord Shiva’s Accountant)
4. Saniesh“waran” – Lord Sani (A Planet)
Following their path he was entitled as “Raavaneswaran”. This shows the level of devotion which he had on Lord Shiva. Ravana not only had a great devotion to Lord Shiva; he has many other notable qualities.
Ravana was a great physician. He had a wide knowledge of Ayurvedha herbal formulations. He wrote so many books on these Ayurvedhic medicines which are still considered as a Holy book for the physicians of Southern part of Tamilnadu (Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts) and Kerala, who practices Ayurvedhic medicine. His notable contributions are Nadi Pariksha (examining the health using pulses), Arka Shasthra (preparation of drugs by combining the extracts of various herbs), Arka Pariksha (drugs used to cure cuts and wounds by the herbal extract combinations), Kumara Tantraya (medications for Gynecology and pediatrics) and so on. He also identifies the unique treatment method called Sindhuram which helps to cure wounds instantly.
2. Renowned Scholar:
He was a renowned scholar and a great warrior. As per the epic stories, he was a half Brahmin and half Demon. His father belongs to a learned Rishi (brahmin) and mother belongs to a Demon dynasty. So, as per the heredity and genetic nature, he was sound in both knowledge and war tactics. He was the one had a thorough knowledge of four Vedas and six Upanishads. Ravana was a master of many Sciences. He was a great astrologer of his time and also well versed in black magic. He has captured all the nine planets and made them in a “Lagna Bhava” at the birth of his son to make him as the strongest man of the world.
Ravana was considered as one of the most learned scholar till date, Rama (God) asked his brother Lakshmana to learn the skills and knowledge from Ravana during the dying period of this demon-king. He also shared his knowledge, important lessons of diplomacy which he learned from his experience. The one who shares his knowledge to others is called as guru. At this point the so called demon-king prevailed as a Guru even for the God.
Ravana was a great musician. He has designed his own string musical instrument called “Ravanaveena”. This instrument was considered as the pioneer for modern day Violin. Having a big interest in music and devotion to Lord Shiva, he has composed his own Sanskrit Stotra “Shiv Tandav” using this Ravanaveena, which is still considered as a Masterpiece for praising Lord Shiva.
Remaining unseen faces of Ravana will be showcased continuously….