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Is Ravana really the “Asur” we are taught of ?

I know you must be thinking what kind of mad thought this is? How can we question the act of a God? His enemy is our enemy right? All your thoughts are valid around your own perspective. I respect your thoughts, it will be foolish to state right away who is right or wrong, given the fact, clay urn takes the shape as the potter works on it. Our ideas and conceptions about Ramayana started taking roots right from the very day when our grandparents/parents used to tell us stories while feeding us as a baby, it developed a little further rather the facts began to enter our brains when we started to study it in schools and then suddenly it vanished.

Right at the point of life where we had become matured enough to correlate the facts between mythology and understanding, the very reason for studying the books was taken away, our grandparents stories didn’t interest us anymore and the syllabus had turned its attention towards more technical aspects of life. However since we keep on burning the effigies of Ravana every year for the very specific reason that he was evil and by burning his idol we are representing that good wins over evil, it’s important to discuss the fact was Ravana really the evil “asur” we think of him as, if not verified.

This is purely a discussion and not intended to harm any sentiments be it personal or religious. Let us simply analyze certain events of Ramayana purely on the practical perspective where Ravana and Ram and just simple humans and beings belonging to two different regions and kingdoms. We will try to analyse the facts, and at the end you the readers will decide “Is Ravana really the asur we are taught of?”

“History is written by victors” – Anonymous.

If we study the geographical formations of earth closest to the tentative dates of the Ramayana (7323 B.C.-7292 B.C), the maps show that the island of present Sri Lanka was attached to the Indian landmass which can be verified through modern satellite imagery. The joining strip was under water back then and the depth has increased considerable over the years. Thus Sri Lanka can be considered the southernmost tip of the then Indian landmass. Now let us consider the position of Ayodhya, it is present on the northern part of India near Nepal. Please remember this information for further discussion. Now considering the physical features of Ram as described by scriptures and age old idol he belonged to the Aryan race. Now the point to be carefully understood that historical Aryans are generally considered to be the Indo-European-Iranian people with fair complexion, bright eyes. And it is also considered that earliest Aryan settlers came to India from the northern frontiers through Iran which can be confirmed by the Indo-European language family. So if the people of Ayodhya were Aryans then the people of Sri Lanka isolated from the world are natives.

Palk Strait
Connection between India and Sri Lanka as seen by satellite.

Now let us consider a situation that Ram is a prince of Ayodhya who goes to a dense jungle for certain reasons be it to keep a promise or any other not much of a concern along with his brother and wife. There he is met by native girl who likes him and wants him. Now as per the commonly practiced early native rules polygamy is allowed. So this girl has no problem that Ram already has a wife.

But Ram and Sita being from more polished race believe in monogamy and hence try get her off their trail. In this process the native woman gets hurt and goes on to complain her brother Ravana who is the ruler of a very powerful native state, Sri Lanka. Again the same native rules apply where they considered an human being as asset and took revenge by capturing a man’s wife.

Ravana did the same thing and captured Sita, took her to Sri Lanka and kept her safely as a prize. It was perfectly normal for him given his upbringing and native laws of his land. Now Ram could use his own army as they were not expert against the native dwellers who lived surrounded by dense forest and ocean. By circumstance he met another tribe of native dwellers and with their help defeated Ravana and won over his wife. Isn’t it the whole story in brief?

Now if we consider Ram, the Aryan as the man who led invasion against the native dwellers, than the Sri Lankans aren’t the natives anymore they are aboriginals. Where is Ravana wrong in this whole story? He simply followed the rules of his own land, kept Sita safe, and was betrayed another native tribe. Asurs are infact the dark skinned people who are the natives of India. We will discuss that in some other article.

 So I ask again is Ravana really the asur we are taught of?

Please think of the answer and next time before burning Ravana idol please observe your own skin color.

Hope you liked our article. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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