Monday, September 28, 2009

Burning Ravana


It's Dusshera today...a Hindu festival that signifies victory of good over evil which ends when Ram conquers the evil demon Ravana.....I'am not a religious person, so these Hindu mythology stories of Ram & Krishna only seem to as the epics of Homer like Iliad to me,  they are a piece of literature, that give me an insight into the society, people & times they were written in....1 read them to have a better understanding of the evolution of Hindu & Indian society & the Hindu mindset.
                                           So, When i woke up today & checked my twitter & other social networking sites, I was expecting to see a lot of Happy Dusseherra wishes & status messages...but as i was going through my Public timeline on twitter i saw a lot of people discussing about the relevance of burning Ravana as a symbol of evil in modern times....when the devil is so commonly rampant...I read questions like" Ravana has been damned to be burnt at the stake of evil for eternity....but rapists & terrorists & murderers in our times just spend 10-20 yrs in prisons or maybe a lifetime..so is our system of justice flawed?"....the questions were many as I saw people dissecting the events & characters of Ramayana.
                                          This happens every year....The new generation India questions the age old traditions that they grow up with without questioning the significance behind them, to find the relevance of these practices in their present day lives...As read through & pondered....this thought came into my mind:


                                  Our ancestors believed strongly in Symbolism...all these ancient texts are filled with characters & acts that stand for some symbolic meaning..So, What was the symbolism behind burning of Ravana year after year on Dusshera at the hands of Ram...my answer is  " That the purpose behind throwing Ravana (considering the great scholar he was) to this eternal damnation of being burnt as a symbol of evil, was to set an example for people that would act as a deterrent to prevent them from doing wrong, it was meant ,so that every year when they looked at the effigy of the man burning & realized who he had been, they would also realize that one wrong act could subject them to such an eternal hell, Who would want such a fate???"
                                                Thus even in our times, the symbolism of this day has not diminished, it's just that we have lost the meaning behind the symbol!!!

6 comments:

Bijay Rungta (rungss) said...

very Well put..

Nice thoughts...

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princeofprose said...

Well put. But i'd say. Who gave these scholars the right to condemn Ravana to be burned year after year. He was neither a Murderer or a Rapist. He was merely trying to protect the dignity of his sister, whose nose Laxman cut-off joyfully. Tell me would anyone not seek justice if their loved ones were mutilated in such a way? Ram being an unforgiving god condemned his wife, made her walk on hot coals and even almost killed his sons. Just because he wanted to be popular in his Kingdom. Tell me now, who's evil?

meeta said...

@ princeofprose i agree that Ram had flaws..he's not the ideal human being that valmiki tried to potray..or maybe his hell ebnt conviction 2 stick to his ideals irrespective of what he did to people around him leads to the downfall of his character from d ideal.
& here u consider Ravana's action just in relation to Ram...but his over all atrocities on people may have lead scholars to believe him as evil & then again it could simply be twisting of text by the winning side..isn' that what history is all about..justification of winners??

princeofprose said...

Or maybe its all just fiction created by Valmiki. And he picked up small details like Adam's Bridge from the geography of our land. Ahh well we'll never know. But its motivated me enough to write a blogpost.

Bijay Rungta (rungss) said...

@princeofparas, Lakshman's cutting the nose of Suparnakha doesn't give Ravan the right to kinap Sita...

what do you say?

Also as pointed out by meeta, Ravan being burnt is more because of the atrocities he did...

@rungss on Twitter

Bijay Rungta (rungss) said...

@princeofparas,

Forgot to mention in my last Comment...

I am an atheist so I do believe it is a work of fiction..

@rungss on Twitter
Bijay Rungta aka @rungss Spreading Knowledge
http://bijayrungta.com