Was Ravana really a Brahmin or a Dalit?

Since many years there has been a weird narrative built in the country about the caste of Ravana, the demon in the Ramayan history. In the epic Ramayan, it is said that Lord Rama killed demon Ravan after he kidnapped Rama’s wife Sita with a lust to marry her. But in the recent past, few people have tried to twist the entire story and built a new narrative. Many people who are mostly leftists have spread news among the Dalits that Ravana who killed by Rama only because he was a Dalit.

This narrative was first started by the political parties and few groups which scripted the fake Aryan invasion theory which has been busted time and again by many historians and geneticist.

Let’s come to the topic whether Ravana was a Brahmin or a Dalit!

To start with, Ravana was one of the most powerful demon in the history. He was the son of Saint Vishravan and demon mother Kaikashi and was mother’s favourite son. Although Ravana was regarded as a demon he had few very good qualities and was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He also had great respect towards his mother and would do anything for her. But in the epic Ramayan, he was well known to be the biggest enemy of Lord Rama (The Avatar of Vishnu). But not many people know the history of Ravana and who he really was in his previous life.

Ravana was originally not a hater or enemy of Lord Vishnu. He and his brother Kumbhakarna were blessed devatas who were the guards at the gates of Vaikunta, known as Jaya and Vijaya respectively. According to Bhagavata Purana, once while Jaya and Vijaya were guarding the gates of Vaikunta, 4 sages arrived and asked their permission to be let in. But Jaya and Vijaya were instructed by Lord Vishnu not to allow anyone inside during that particular time. Even after many requests, Jaya and Vijaya refused to let the sages in. Angered by their conduct, the sages cursed Jaya and Vijaya to be born as enemies of Vishnu for the next 100 life’s. Following the curse, Jaya and Vijaya requested Lord Vishnu to relieve them from the curse. But Vishnu said it was not possible to revoke the curse and instead gave them an option to be either born as Vishnu devotees for 100 life’s or be born as demons and enemies of Vishnu for three life’s. Jaya and Vijaya chose to be demons as it was only for 3 life’s and were born as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashyap during their first rebirth then Ravana and Kumbhakarna in the second rebirth and Dantavarka and Shishupal in the last rebirth. In all the life’s it was Lord Vishnu who in different avatar killed them to grant salvation to the demon life.

Ravan was a great scholar and a master of all arts. According to Ramayan, Ravana had mastered 64 different types of knowledge which included Vedas, Upanishads, music, weaponry skills, mantra, tantra and all sort of poojas to please Gods. He was regarded as the best Brahmin scholar who had written many books Arkapraksha, Prakrata kamadenu, Indrajala, Prakrata Lankeshwara, Ravana Samhita, Ravanabheta, Kumaratantra and many books on Vedas Rigveda Bhashya, Krishna Yujur Veda.

He was also the person to compiled the Sama Veda in the musical form. The famous Shiva thandava Stotra which is even used today was first composed by none other than Ravana himself. His devotee towards Lord Shiva was so great that he is said to have made the Rudra Veena using his blood vessels to please Shiva.

There is an instance in the Ramayana before the start of the war where Lord Rama, Hanuman and all his warriors will be waiting to do pooja and look for the correct time to start the war, while nobody would know which Brahmin to approach, Lord Rama himself says that we cannot find a better Brahmin scholar and astrologer than Ravana himself and goes to him to ask the perfect timing (Muhurta) to start the war.

Ravana even though knew that advising right time to Lord Rama only meant that he will be killed, gives the right time to Lord Rama and blesses them to win the war.

The Ramayana says that Ravana had ten heads, people think he literally had ten heads, but in real, the ten heads of Ravana depicted the 6 Shastras and 4 Vedas that he had mastered. It also represented other side of Ravana where his ten heads depicted the quality of every human being who are engulfed with 10 emotions of Kama (Lust), Krodha (anger), Madha (Pride/proud), Moha (delusion), Lobha (greedy), Maatsarya (expectations), Manas (state of mind), Buddhi (intelligence), Ahankara (ego) and Chitta (will).

It is said that once while Ravana was praying to Lord Brahma to gain immortal power, he is said to have chopped off his head 10 times to show that he was away from all worldly pleasures. But even then his head kept growing back which got him the name ‘Dashakanta’ or ‘Dashamukha’.

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The great King Mahabali had once advised Ravana to keep all his 9 desires suppressed if he wants to attain salvation and had warned him the moment you go behind desires and lust you will lose everything. This is exactly what happened to Ravana who got attracted to Lord Rama’s wife Sita and ultimately saw his end.

So when we look at these stories it is very clear that Ravana more than being a Brahmin or a Dalit was a combination of characters in which both good and evil existed. And the killing of Ravana by Lord Rama depicts the win of good over evil and has nothing to do with Brahmin or Dalit.

A fake narrative which is spread that Ravana was killed because he was a Dalit is nothing but a blatant lie scripted by anti India forces and few politicians with a sole aim to divide people on caste. In Ramayana, there are many instance which shows that Ravana followed all the traditions performed by a common Brahmin and was very strict follower of rituals.

So calling Ravana as a Dravidian and Lord Rama as Aryan is the most bizarre argument one could make. Those people who use Ravana to attack Lord Rama and Hindus should first realise that Ravana himself was not really a Vishnu hater but his curse made him behave like one.

Ramayanis a lesson which teaches how good deeds and good conduct and truth ultimately wins over evil. People should use it as an example in their life and follow the righteous path and not make it a political gimmick to tarnish the image of Lord Ram or Ravana who were the greatest scholars.

Aishwarya S