Friday, July 16, 2010

Ravan's Three Wishes

I have been thinking of writing a blog covering this very topic "Ravan's Wish-List" for so long that before I could realize, my planning had already gone on for about 9 months. Just proves that I am a very good planner and equally bad, when it comes to execution :)

This thought crept into my mind around 9 months ago, when I was going to get my head shaven. In most parts of India, its a custom to do so in Hindu families, as a mark of respect for any deceased family-member on his death-anniversary. In my case, it was my grand-father, who breathed his last 4 years ago, leaving us all alone with a never-to-be-filled-again void in the family.

It was a huge loss to us. I had lost my story-teller. I still find it hard to believe that he had not even cleared Standard X and yet he possessed so much of knowledge that he could spellbind the entire village just by his narration of trivially simple events. Be it Baital Pachhisi, Stories from Mahabharat, Panch Tantra, Ramayana, Singhasan Battisi or even a simple journey from our village to a nearby town on a bullock-cart. He was a master-piece at stories and according to him stories, if told in a proper way, was a very good medium for imparting one's gyan onto next generation. If you only preach, people will not be able to relate to what you are saying. How true ??

Dadaji, we miss you a lot. I wish you could have stayed with us for some more time. If you had been alive, our family would have been in a lot better position than it is currently. This piece of mine is dedicated to him, the most knowledgeable uneducated person that I will ever come across in my life.

Its believed that when Ram finished with his war with Ravana(not to mention the little help from Ravan's own brother Vibhishan, without which I strongly doubt, if Ram could ever have killed Ravana), he was still alive. So when the dust settled down and everything subsided, Ram suggested Laxman to go to Ravan and take some lessons and acquire some knowledge. I am sure Ram also rated Ravana very very highly, he was that kind of intellectual. Even God couldn't afford to ignore him.

Laxman decides to go to Ravan, who is injured and almost counting his last breathe. He goes there and makes his intention clear that he had come here to gain some knowledge from him. Ravan refuses to oblige and tells him to go back. Laxman, feeling somewhat insulted, goes back to Ram and tells him what transpired between them, when he went to seek knowledge from Ravan.

Ram(well aware of Laxman's hotheadedness and arrogance): Anuj Laxman, there must be some reason, why Ravan didn't entertain you.
Laxman : I can't think of any ??
Ram : When you had gone there, where did you seat ??
Laxman : Next to his head Bhaiya, where-else I could have sat ??
Ram : Now I know, why he rightfully refused to oblige you.
Laxman : Why ??
Ram : When you go to seek someone's blessings, you always do so, by kneeling in front of them, or at least sitting next to their feet. You have not done that, my brother. You ought to pay enough respect to a great warrior and scholar, that is Ravan.
Laxman(realising his mistake): Ok, you are right. I made a blunder. Now let me go back to rectify it.
Ram: Sure, best of luck !!

Laxman goes back again and follows what Ram had advised him. Ravana duly obliges him and imparts all the knowledge, that he acquired in his life-time, to Laxman,whatever he could. Ravana taught him that a king who is eager to win glory must suppress greed as soon as it lifts its head, and welcome the smallest chance to do good to others, without the slightest procrastination. Greed arises from attachment to the senses and catering to them. Put them in their proper place; they are windows for knowledge, not channels of contamination. Then he tells him about Politics and Niti which mainly said

1- do not be enemy of your charioteer, your gatekeeper, your cook and your brother, they can harm you anytime

2- do not think you are always a winner, even if you are winning always

3- Always trust the minister, who criticises you

4- never think your enemy is small or powerless, like I thought for Hanuman

5- never think you can outsmart the stars, they will bring you what you are destined to

6- Either love or hate god but both should be immense and strong

Then Ravan told Shri Ram, I did not allow you to enter my Lanka till I was alive. But I am entering your Baikuntha when you are alive. So I am the winner, not you !!

When Ravan was done with KT(A terminology coined by software-industry, meaning knowledge-transfer between an experienced pro and an amateur. Unfortunately, more often than not, this takes places ONLY WHEN an attrition takes place or a veteran decides to hang up his boots), he tells Laxman that he has some unfinished business and its his long-cherished dream to get them accomplished before he dies.

Laxman: What are those ?? I am sure Maryada Purushottam Ram should be able to get them done. After all, he is nobody but Lord himself !!

Ravan: Well, I hope so.. I couldn't get following three things done during my life-time.

1- Ravan was well aware of the problems farmers face, when heavens don't co-operate with them and they end up with a poor yield. So he wanted rain to be at discretion of individual . Every time, somebody felt that they needed water for irrigation, they would just call up Devraj Indra and he will have to oblige them with rain. 

While this may sound ridiculous to us, even today, when we are talking of declaring India a developed nation, our GDP growth-rate relies heavily on nothing but a good monsoon !!

2- He must have seen the agony and trauma, an old father faces, when he loses his young son. So he wanted to ensure that if a father is alive, his son would never die in front of him. How practical ??

Well, not really. Ravan never envisaged sons deserting their parents, come what may. Unfortunately, that has become a norm nowadays. In some cases, even if they are alive, they are dead for all practical purposes. I have this software friend of mine, who can be seen constantly praying for the day, when his parents are going to die, so that he can sell off all farm lands in his village and buy a home in Bangalore. There are cases, when they have settled abroad or in one of high-paying job in a Metro, but when it comes to looking after their parents, they turn a blind eye, though occasionally they can be seen on an NRI-style visit holding mineral water bottles and carrying laptop on their back. If Ravan had been alive, he surely would have felt disappointed at these happenings.

3- He also knew that people always longed going to Swarg, so he wanted to build a ladder to Swarg, so that any one willing to go to Swarg, could do so at his will, not at Yamraj's mercy.

Well, it may be debatable whether it holds any relevance in Kaliyug, when everyone seems destined to hell. But looking at the litany of people(belonging to all age-groups and from all walks of life) standing outside Venkateshwara Temple, on the occasion of Baikunth Ekadasi, and that too in scorching sun, I started wondering, do people still long for heaven ??

After Ravan died, Lord Krishna presided over this world during Dwapar Yuga. He couldn't do anything about them. After Krishna went, Kali arrived. But even today Ravan's last three wishes stand unfulfilled !!


Anonymous said...

did he mention anything abt women mentality ??

Love Care said...
Sep 24 2014 : The Times of India (Delhi)
Coming by 2050, an elevator that travels 96,000km into space.
Japanese construction giant Obayashi said that robotic cars powered by magnetic linear motors will carry people and cargo to a newly-built space station [Haven].
It will take seven days to get there, the company said. A space elevator can now become a reality because of the development of carbon nanotechnology , it said.“The tensile strength is almost a hundred times stronger than that of the steel cables so it's possible,“ Yoji Ishikawa [ kali-yug ka RAVAN], a research and development manager at Obayashi told ABC.

Ishikawa admitted that at the moment they would be able to create carbon nanotubes that are only 3cm long, but cables long enough to reach into space may be ready by 2030. A working space elevator [ladder to Swarg].

Naveen Periasamy said...

Can you cite a source where the 3 wishes of Ravana is mentioned?