The Ramayana - Sita haran episode 4


Ultimately, Ravana heard about Lord Rama and his exile (vanavasa). Through his trusted spies (guptachars), he found out everything about Sri Rama and his background and instinctively knew Rama was the man. Now the question was how to convince Rama to kill him so that he (Ravana) could gain Moksha. Sri Rama would not agree to that. In that case, Sri Rama’s followers and devotees would queue up to gain Mokha in that same manner. And that would mean interfering with the destiny of the people. So that was out of question.

Again, Rama would not kill him for any ordinary offense or crime since brave men are always forgiving. (kshama virasya bhushanam). And Rama was brave. Ravana had to give enough reason to Rama to kill him. So he planned, changed his form and kidnapped Sita. Except for that one incident, He never again attempted to touch Sita. He had no intention to. In fact, Ravana had kept her in Ashok Vatika (garden) and had arranged an elderly and kind caretaker (dasi) to be with her all the time. Though he had threatened Sita on several occasions, he never intended to harm her. Had he wanted, he could have easily kept Sita in one of his many secluded palaces. Instead he chose to keep her in the open.

When Sri Hanumana visited Lanka, he located Sita in Ashok Vatika, introduced himself to her as Sri Rama’s humble servant and devotee (Ram Bhakt). He then got himself arrested and be presented in front of Ravana. Here too, when questioned, Hanuman introduced himself as Sri Rama’s servant and messenger and advised Ravana to release Sita or be prepared for war with Sri Rama. Ravana refused intentionally, insulted Hanumana knowing fully well that Rama had no option but to attack Lanka. War was inevitable. Now it was a matter of honor. Ram had to follow his kshatriya dharma, kill Ravana, win and retrieve his wife Sita and her honor. After Ravana’s refusal to Rama’s messenger Hanuman, all doors for negotiations were closed. Ravana knew it. Rama knew it.

Thus Ravana invited his own death, compelled or tricked Rama to kill him in order to attain Moksha. Attain he did.

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