• Vijeta Gawdi

Storyteller: Ravan's Death by Design

(Why Ravan chose to die at the hands of Ram)


My daughters have been really patient this whole time. They have exhibited a sense of maturity and responsibility, much beyond their age. They have listened on most occasions and have done all that they can, in the wake of the current situation. At times, they have even taken turns watching the 6 month old and entertaining him with their little gimmicks. Of course, they have had their 'MOMs', moments of meltdown, but they have been brief and far in between. If anything, there are times, when I have lost my patience and been a wee bit mean to them. Yes, they have been extremely righteous with me. I owe them a lot more patience and gratitude. Mental note to self, spend more time playing with them tomorrow.

There is one dictum that I try to live by. Years ago, when we were still in school, my friend had shared this simple yet profound thought with me ,"Always do the right thing, no matter how difficult it may be. "Years later, he chose to marry me:) I always try to base my decisions on this thought and honestly things seem much easier ,when you are just trying to do the next right thing.

Today’s story is about why Ravan chose to die at the hands of Ram?

The story starts in Vaikunth Lok, the abode of the great Vishnu. One afternoon Vishnu went down for his routine nap while Jaya and Vijaya, the doorkeepers of the Vaikunth Lok stood to guard the entrance to the heavens. As they stood guard, the four Manasaputras (sons born from the mind) of Brahma arrived at the gates and asked to see Vishnu. The guards were duty-bound and hence refused entry to the Manasputras, as Vishnu was resting. This infuriated the sons of Brahma and they cursed Jaya and Vijaya, that they would lose their place in the heavens and be born as mere mortals on Earth and suffer the pain and anguish of the human world.

It then dawned upon Jaya and Vijaya, that these four people were great Saints, they begged and pleaded but in vain. By now Vishnu had woken up from all the noise and banter and come outside to see what it was all about. Upon seeing their master, Jaya and Vijaya begged for the curse to be lifted. However, Vishnu’s hands were tied, for a curse could never be taken back. He offered some respite to the two by helping to modify the curse to alleviate their suffering. Vishnu gave them two options. The first option was to take seven births in the terrestrial human world as devotees of Vishnu and the second was to take three births as Vishnu’s nemesis and die at the hands of their master.

They were born as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha and were killed by Vishnu's Varaha avtaar (a boar) and Narsimha avtaar(a man-lion) in the Sat Yug . In their second birth, they were born as Ravana and Kumbhakarna and were killed by Vishnu's Ram avtaar in the Treta Yug. The third and final birth saw them being born as Dantavakra and Shishupala who were killed by Vishnu's Krishna avtar in the Dwapar Yug.

Now in the Treta Yug, Ravan was never aware of his identity, he was in complete oblivion to the fact that he was a doorkeeper in the Vaikunthlok. It was only when Kumbhakarna died fighting in the battle did Ravan have a flashback moment. It was then that he became cognizant of the destiny he was born to fulfil. It is said that Shiva favoured Ravana for his blind devotion towards him. In the battle against Vishnu avatar Ram, Shiva offered Ravan his Trishul, as an arsenal to fight with. Ravan having realised his fallacy of being supreme and indestructible humbly declined the offer and resigned himself to destiny.

Yes, righteousness triumphed over evil, that of Ram and of Ravan. The battle was won by Ram but it was Ravan who felt victorious in the end, dying at the hands of his God, his Guru. Victory can have so many faces. Losing a lifetime of sleep overseeing my children grow and do something extraordinary with the life, I gave them, is me being victorious.

Dear Kaavya, Palak, Rajat

Always do the right thing first, but if the crossroads of life, force you to do the wrong, then do it, with the right intent at heart. That will make it right and you righteous.

The next right thing always!

Let's play tomorrow.


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