Rama Navami: The Advent of Rama and Ravana

Rama was born to King Dasharatha of Ayodhya with his wife Kausalya, as narrated in the epic Ramayana and Mahabharata. His birth occasion at present day is celebrated as Rama Navami. Having three wives Dasharatha also had Bharata with Kaikeyi and Laxman and Shatrughna to Sumitra. He was married to Sita, the daughter of King Janaka, after breaking the huge arch of Shiva.

Rama's stepmother, Kaikeyi, wanted to see her own son Bharata on the throne. That is why she created an intrigue, through which Rama was banished to the forest for fourteen years accompanied by his wife Sita and Lakshman. During his stay in the forest, Ravana, the king of Lanka, abducted Sita and took her to his palace.

While Rama and Lakshman was in disarray, they met the ape-man Hanuman, perhaps a neanderthal, who was the minister of Sugriva, the king of Kishkindha, exiled by his brother, Vali. Hanuman makes a pact with Rama. They kill Vali and puts Sugriva back as the king, who in turns puts his army at Rama's disposal. To access Lanka with his army, Rama and his army puts up a bridge to Lanka. Rama kills Ravana. Astronomical data from the epics would date his reign at approximately the xxth century BC.

Rama, however to protect his good name, banishes his wife Sita because of the talk of her impurity after staying with Ravana, who after hearing this burns herself to death. Later Rama, Bharata and Shatrughna dies, while their boat capsizes in the river Sarayu.

Ravana was the son of sage Visravas and Asura princess Kaikasi and the husband of Mandodari, daughter of Asura Maya. Ravana, the couple's eldest son, was therefore both an Asura as well as a Brahmin. He had as brothers Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana, and as a sister Surpanakha. Through his mother he was also related to Maricha and Subahu.

Sumali, the father of Kaikesi, wanted her to marry the most powerful among the mortal world beings, in order to generate an exceptional heir, and to this end she rejected the proposals of all the kings of the world, whose powers are inferior to his. Kaikasi searched among the sages and finally chose Vishrava, son of Pulastya and Nikasa. Vishrava already had a wife, Ilavida, with whom he had a son Kubera.

Visrava understood that despite the aggression, his son Rava?a had exceptional qualities as a scholar, and strived to teach him all the sacred texts, as well as the martial arts of the warriors. Ravana sat as the head of his army to wage war on half-brother Kubera. When Kubera scolds him for his aggression, Ravana, angrily, calls for war and win in battle against the deva kings and humiliate Kubera and having taken control of the deva and deadly asura kingdoms, he was proclaimed as emperor of the entire continent. Ravana later seized from him his whole kingdom of Lanka, and Kubera becomes the treasurer of deva kings.

Despite his forceful accession to the throne, his reign was described as benevolent and positive and under his Lankan government it was a period of great wealth and prosperity, and the people never went hungry.

After his conquest of Lanka, Ravana met Shiva. Shiva gave him the moon sword or chandrahas, which was immensely powerful. Ravana is known for his poem Shivá tandava stotra. Thanks to the new power just acquired, Ravana embarks on a series of campaigns, conquering kingdoms, and puts on the throne his son Mahiravana. Having formed an alliance with the invincible Asuras Nivata Kavachas and Kalakeyas, and after winning a large number of realms of the world held by Indra, the powerful deva warrior, he wears the crown of the emperor.

Ravana shows with women the same aggressiveness that applied in his military achievements and had several wives, the latter of which was Mandodari, daughter of King Mayasura and princess of Mandore, famous for her grace and wisdom as well as for her beauty. Ravana had many children, particularly Aksa and Indrajit aka Meghanada.

He maintained a large harem, made by the women who were captured in his many achievements. Any woman not to give in to enticements, were taken by force. Two meetings, in particular, marked his destiny and his end.

The first error Ravana had was to fall in love with a girl named Vedavati. He met him in a hermitage, who wanted to marry her, and he was enraptured by her beauty and her charm but she refused her moves, and Ravana took her by force, taking her chastity away and destroying her dream of marrying her love prince. The girl committed suicide in a sacrificial pyre. He also molested the princess Rambha, who was to be the bride of the son of Kubera.

Another of his error was to kill Vidyutjihva, the husband of his sister Surpanakha. Surpanakha, to take revenge turned to her brother and convinced him to abduct Sita. Later Ravana abducted Sita, in a flying chariot. Rama, with the help of Hanuman, however, recover her again and after a long battle killed Ravana. After the death of Ravana, Rama put on the throne of the island Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana.

Ravana was credited for his knowledge and his musical talent. With the ravanahatha or Ravana vina he invented the oldest Indian string instrument. He also owned the Pushpaka Vimana, a jet which flyed through the air. Many Sri Lankans try to show that on the island there are several sites that could be Wariyapola, the site where it was supposed to land these flying carriages.