Ravana,the King of Lanka

M G Singh By M G Singh, 15th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Mythology

Ravan was the king of Lanka and abducted the lovely Sita. The god Rama mounted an invasion, rescued Sita and killled Ravana

Who was Ravana?

Ravana was the king of Lanka. Ravan was born to a great sage Vishrava (or Vesamuni), and his wife, the daitya princess Kaikesi. In Indian folklore he abducted Sita the wife of Lord Rama and took her to Lanka (Ceylon). Rama then mounted an invasion army that crossed to Sri Lanka. In an epic battle Ravana was defeated and killed and the Lord Rama brought Sita back. This is all related in the Ramayana. He is reported to have ruled during the period 2554-2517 BC. Ravana was supposed to have 10 heads, but Lankans feel that this represented the 10 kingdoms that he ruled. Ravana is very much a historical figure and historians generally credit him as the ruler of Lanka with his headquarters at Polonnaruwa which is located in North Central Sri Lanka. This palace is still in existence and has been identified by Sinhalese historians

Hindu texts of that period also credit Ravana as a man who ruled the 3 worlds and was a follower of Shiva, the creator and destroyer. He is reported to have been administered the juice of immortality by Shiva. He had also mastered the Vedas and all the religious books of the Hindus.

Ravana Revival

There has been a revival of sorts in Lanka and it is pointed out that Ravana had made great advances and also invented the pushpaka vimana or the airplane. In addition he is held in high regard as a physician. 7 medical books are credited to Ravana which were originally written in Sinhala and later translated to Sanskrit. Ravana's medical books are Nadi Pariksha, Arka Prakashata, Uddisa Chiktsaya, Oddiya Chikitsa, Kumara Tantraya and Vatina Prakaranaya.

In addition Sinhalese credit Ravana as a man of great knowledge and wisdom and also a great warrior. One strand of thought says that Ravana attended the swayamvara of Sita, where Rama won her. But he could not take part in the contest as he recieved false information that his sister is kidnapped. Many writers opine that perhaps Rama may have won Sita then and hence had a grudge against Rama.

Ravana and Sita

Hindu texts also agree that Ravana was a virile king, who was fond of women, his favorite wife being Mandodri. Indian texts in particular the Ramayana mention that Ravana abducted the lovely Sita from the Jungles of central India and took her to Lanka.

Why did Ravana abduct Sita? The Ramayana mentions he did this as an act of revenge for his sister Supernlakha, whose nose had been chopped off by the brother of Rama, Laxman. there is another side that perhaps after he was thwarted at the swayamvara, he began to love Sita and desired her.

When Ravana took Sita to Lanka he kept her with him in a separate palace in Central Lanka. He visited her everyday and lavished gifts and presents on Sita. The Ramayana mentions that during this entire period of captivity of Sita, she remained chaste. This does not gel with the actual facts as a beautiful woman in the custody of a powerful king cannot be left untouched.

Hindu texts do not discuss the relationship of Ravana and Sita in any detail. He did lavish gifts on her but the core issue is untouched. As Rama was the 9th avatar of Vishnu perhaps in deference to Rama this issue is left untouched. But now people in the 21st century can draw their own conjectures.

Last Word

The Ramayana is a original record, but perhaps later additions are made. The core story is however true. Ravana was a great warrior and the follower of Lord Shiva. He was supposed to be invincible, but Rama was able to discern a chink in his invincibility and kill him. The tale of the epic battle is also true and the Ram Setu a set of underground rocks ( that can be seen from space) clearly show a bridge existed, by means of which the army of Rama could cross to Lanka.

Thsi si a great tale from ancient Indian history and one of the great epics of Hinduism.Ravana is also worshipped among some sects in India , but they are few.


Lanka, Rama Vs Ravana, Ramayana, Ravana, Sita And Ravana

Meet the author

author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Souvik
15th Nov 2015 (#)

Excellent article Madanji. Even better is the dates you have given. A big section consider the history as mythology and question the dates.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th Nov 2015 (#)

Thanks Madan, these are always worth reading again and again. Every time I wonder what it was like and how truthfully the events were recorded.

I draw my own conclusions as certain facts are not stressed like the chastity of Sita while she was imprisoned by Ravana. But I believe there are also good sides to supposed evil ones that are conveniently overlooked and also the negative sides of the virtuous! siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Arundhati_India
17th Jul 2016 (#)

Siva Sir, very glad to find you here, below I have explained the reason behind chastity of Sita, as found in Valmiki Ramayana. Please check.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Arundhati_India
17th Jul 2016 (#)

Sir, very glad to find you here. It's a pleasure to read your articles. Now I would like to share what I have found in my reading of the ancient text.
Ravana did not touched Sita because of a curse. Once he was travelling in the sky path where he found a beautiful Apsara, whom he raped. The lady complained to Lord Brahma, who cursed the lecherous king that if he did the same with a woman again, he would die immediately.
Another thing is that, Pushpak Biman was gifted to Kuber by Brahma. Kuber was the son of Visraba and a step brother of Ravana. Ravana snatched the plane later.

Reply to this comment

author avatar M G Singh
21st Jul 2016 (#)

Thank you Stingray for this information and also for commenting

Reply to this comment

author avatar M G Singh
21st Jul 2016 (#)

Sorry Stingray came on auto . Read as Arundhati

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?