Ravana- 'The Fallen Angel'
In the battle between the good and the bad, the victory goes to the virtuous one. Those who are worthy of all that is pure, sublime and chaste. The garland of praise adorns only his neck, who stood upright in front of the dark and evil lustre of the sword, possessed by the hands of devil.
But, what good is 'Good', if there is not a 'Bad' highlighting its goodness? God would've never uttered 'Let there be light' if no darkness was there to be cleaved. The firm and sturdy ground on which any truth or goodness stands emerges only after vanquish of the evil. Any story or a drama or a play would become stale and prosaic if an antagonist is not there to tease and torture the noble one. And pave his way to the glory of being an idol. Behind every great hero there is a greater villain, responsible for his heroism.
Or, if I have to say it in a literary sense, behind every Ram there is a Ravan.
Ramayana is a scripture which teaches humanity the true values of being human. Ravana is shown as a great and eminent character, who proceeded on a series of campaigns, conquering humans, divine races and other beings. He was the undisputed overlord of all asuras in three worlds. He performed all the necessary sacrifices and penances to attain absolute supremacy. His thorough knowledge of the four Vedas and six Upanishads, made him as powerful as ten scholars, in-turn named 'Dashanana' (the one with ten heads). Brahma appeased with the rigorous tapa performed by Ravana, gave him the nectar of immortality.
A great devotee to lord Shiva, he attained the highest level of devotion and reverence. Sung the greatest ever hymn praising the Rudra (Shiv Tandav Stotram), wrote Ravan Samhita and being a great chanter of the Sama Veda, he was no commoner among the Humans or Asuras.
A character worthy of all praise and all good, he sunk deep in the abyss of evil generated by power.
Angels who can’t sustain their rise, fall. And so did Dashanana. 'All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy'.
Ravana had never chosen an easy path. His gait towards glory imbued the unconventional endeavor. The only impairment in his colossal psyche was his surrender to the five senses and five bodily instruments of action. While Rama was always in full control of these ten.
Year after year the burning effigy of this great litterateur, sage and a sovereign ruler, symbolises the greatest ever victory of a perfect good over a perfect evil. Ravana will keep on burning for centuries to come. And provide hope for millions of tormented masses that their saviour will come one day to remove their agony and save them from all the Ravanas 'the archetype evil'.
Evil is nothing but the force which propels the engine of good to function properly. Ravanas have always been the makers of Ramas. No good can ever terminate any evil completely. Because, then there will be no reason left for a good to exist.
As someone rightly said-
"Are there, infinitely varying with each individual, inbred forces of Good and Evil in all of us, deep down below the reach of mortal encouragement and mortal repression -- hidden Good and hidden Evil, both alike at the mercy of the liberating opportunity and the sufficient temptation?"
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