Katha Chopais

Kala pai muni sunu soi raja | bhaeu nisachara sahit samaja ||
Dus sira tahi bees bhujadanda | Raavan naam bir baribanda ||

Listen, sage, in due time this king and all his household were born as demons.
He had ten heads and twenty arms; his name was Raavan, a formidable and valiant warrior.

Katha Translations

Baal Kaand – Doha 175K?l p?i muni sunu soi r?j? | Bhayau nish?char sahit sam?j?||
Das shir t?hi bis bhujdand? | R?van n?m bir bariband? || O sage, in due time, i tell you, this king, with his family, was born as a demon.
He had ten heads and twenty arms. His name was Raavana; he was a formidable hero.

This katha, Manas Ravan, is about who Ravan is according to the Ram Charit Manas. Ravan is throughout the granth (scripture), but he is also in our panth (path).

The result of a shraap (curse) is ashubh (not good). The result of ashirvad (blessings) is shubh (good) because ashirvad itself is shubh.

The four places in the Ram Charit Manas where Ravan becomes pragat (appears) there is Shraap, yet the one place where Ram becomes pragat there is ashirvad.

A Shraap is ashubh because it stems from krodh (anger). Krodh is the doorway to narak (hell); it is ashubh. Bodh (advice) is always shubh. The truth of life is that krodh and bodh are two paths that we must balance; we must choose the one to take us towards Ram.

Always look at the shubh (good) even out of something bad.

Ravan means “rav” “na” – there is no rav left.

One must eliminate shikayath (complaint) from life.

Ravan is a vruti (way of thinking). We must use him as a mirror to look in to see ourselves so that something shubh happens in our lives.

Ram Charit Manas is considered to be our mata (mother). In the Bhagvad Gita’s 10th chapter, Lord Krishna explains that women have seven vibhuti (greatness):

1. Kirti (fame) – the majority of a family’s fame is in the hands of the women of the house
2. Shri (wealth) – women are considered Laxmi
3. Vaak / vani (speech) – in general, women have shubh vachan (good speech / words)
4. Smruti – women remember a lot
5. Buddhi (intellect) – “buddhi rupain sansthithan”
6. Druti / dhirag (patience) – overall, women have a lot of patience
7. Kshama (forgiveness) – women can forgive a lot of things

Notice that all the above words describing the seven vibhuti’s are also nari vachak shabdo (feminine form of words). Since the Ram Charit Manas is seen as matru roop (female form), then these seven vibhuti’s also apply to its seven kands (chapters):

1. Bal kand = kirti
To show Paramatma’s kirti, there is a big dand (punishment) in this kand.

2. Ayodhya kand = shri
This kand continually alludes to shri. For example, it has the word “shri” in the beginning of the kand, and it describes “shri” in the form of Sita going to the forest.

3. Aranya kand = vani
Many Mahatma’s (great sages) became mukhar (used their speech to express themselves) in this kand.

4. Kiskindha kand = smruti
Sugriv returns to doing Ram kam (work for Ram) after his smruti is brought back by Hanumanji.

5. Sunder kand = buddhi
This kand depicts Hanumanji who is “buddhimatam varishtam” (embodiment of intellect).

6. Lanka kand = druti / dheeraj
One who is patient during sangarsh (dispute / war) is saphal (fruitful). In this kand we can see that Ravan, despite Mandodari and Kumbhkaran constantly telling him things, has tremendous dhiraj. Furthermore, Ravan even does thap (penance) which dhiraj.

7. Uttar kand = kshama
In Mahakal’s mandir one sadguru (spiritual teacher) forgives his shishya (disciple). Guru is kshama murti (embodiment/statue of forgiveness).

Sadguru charan dhuli (dust particles of the feet of one’s spiritual teacher) gives the following:

1. Kathorta – A sadhak (one on the path of spirituality) becomes like a pahad (mountain) and/or a chattan (hill/pasture) so that nothing affects him/her; one develops dheriya (patience) and sahan shiltha (tolerance).

2. Mruduta – A sadhak becomes komal (tender) in his/her vachan (speech), vinay (humble) and sheel (qualities) and is not stubborn.

3. Madhurta – A sadhak becomes sweet like amrut (nectar).

4. Divyata – A sadhak becomes divya (great)

5. Sunderta – A sadhak becomes sunder (beautiful) in his/her vichar (thoughts).

Bapu quoted Yagnavalkya on the timely birth of Ravana and others, commenting that every event and incident involves four factors, what philosophers call causation. The first is time; nothing happens before the proper time, nothing is delayed. We cannot hurry the process. Even instant happenings, kshirop bhavati, require long time processing. The second factor is karma both in the sense of action and in the sense of destiny. Our actions lead to good and bad results. Third is our svabhav, our own nature and habits, our approach to life that makes or mars the existing situation. Lastly events are shaped by what sankhya calls guana of prakrati, satva, rajas, and tamas.

Bapu chose six names from Ramcharit Manas: Ravana, Kumbhkarana, Vibhishana, Lakshmana, Shatrugana and Hanumana, all ending in ‘ana’ or ‘na’. Three are from Lanka, and three are from the side of Rama.  All of them play important roles in the unfolding story of Ramayana. The Western culture does not attach any importance to names and Shakespeare even ridiculed name – “What is in a name?” But we from the Eastern Culture, attach great importance to names and would say that naam is all and everything. Changing divine name, naam jap, is of great importance in purifying our mind and our intellect. This does not happen every time but may happen anytime. Bapu keep on telling his beads and very often participates in launching books in the hope that some beads and some books may purify his mind and his hands. But he advised that naam jap is effective only if you have a liking for it. Otherwise it may become just show.

Tulsidas has extolled the importance of naam jap. Even a great and reputed scholar like Chaitanya threw away all his books and resorted to naam jap. One who is devoted to naam jap can overcome all difficulties.

Yagnavalkya calls Ravana very powerful and brave but Angad knows better. He is a prince and grew up in a royal family. He was chosen and sent to Ravana for negotiating peace. When Ravana tried to impress him with all the pomp and show of his strength, Angad reminded him of his three earlier humiliating experiences. Children at the court of Baliraja caught him as a prisoner and tied him down in a stable of horses. Sahastrarjun treated him as a mere insect and shrugged him off. Vali caught him and kept him in his armpit for six months.

Bapu then explained in great detail the allegorical interpretation of these three events. Vishnu had overcome Vali, and when Ravana tried to compete with Vali (which also means “mighty”) Ravana suffered humiliation. Ravana is our infatuation, our moh, but the doors of Vali were guarded by Hari himself. Moh cannot enter our mind if every entrance of our body is guarded by god or by guru. Ravana had twenty hands, but Sahastrarjun had a thousand. Ravana approached out of jealousy and was therefore worsted; jealousy is the product of our ego, ahankaar, and to humiliate persons who are better than us, more powerful than us, richer than us, would result in our own disgrace.

Bapu explained that real Ravana is our moh, our arrogance and both can be controlled by recitation of Rama naam. If Ravana was arrogant so was Vali, but there is a difference. Vali confessed to Rama that he was arrogant, while Ravana never confessed his defect. Confession or awareness of our limitation is the beginning of purification. Vali had that purity and therefore he could conquer Ravana. Angad reminded Ravana of such experiences and advised Ravana to give up his arrogance, ahankaar, but Ranava rejected his advice. He boasted of his strength and told Angad about his victories at Kailash and over all the gods and digpals.

Bapu also explained that the twenty hands of Ravana, the thousand hands of Sahatrarjun and the six hands of Kartikeiya worshipped as murgan in South India. This implies so many weapons and so many strategies. But moh and ahankar destroys even the bravest and the strongest. If we get enlightenment from a proper guru, if we give up our infatuation, our arrogance and our jealousy, we can be a better person. Anything that takes us nearer to our goal is our nayan, our eyes.

Bapu said that every limb in our body: our hands, our feet, our stomach, our tongue, our nose have their own individual function and each one of these is important. But if Bapu was given a choice, he would prefer the eyes. Bapu talked at length because eyes are not to be taken only in the physical sense. Eyes imply sight, a proper darshan, a proper understanding, a proper approach to life. The Gita has mentioned millions of eyes of God. One can see God himself in the eyes of a child resting on the lap of its mother. Bapu’s Catholicity was revealed when he mentioned the eyes of Jesus on the cross when he forgave his tormentors, the eyes of Hussein at Karbala when he saw children all around him dying of thirst, the eyes of Mohammad when he released his mortal enemies, the eyes of gopis when looking at Krishna, the eyes of saints like Ramkrishna Paramhansa or Raman Maharishi, eyes of Surdaas, the eyes that help us visualise the beauty of the rising sun, the eyes of Jesus freeing the erring girl from those who wanted to stone her. Eyes, eyes, eyes everywhere.

This katha, Manas Ravan, is about who Ravan is according to the Ram Charit Manas. Ravan is throughout the granth (scripture), but he is also in our panth (path).

The result of a shraap (curse) is ashubh (not good). The result of ashirvad (blessings) is shubh (good) because ashirvad itself is shubh.

The four places in the Ram Charit Manas where Ravan becomes pragat (appears) there is Shraap, yet the one place where Ram becomes pragat there is ashirvad.

A Shraap is ashubh because it stems from krodh (anger). Krodh is the doorway to narak (hell); it is ashubh. Bodh (advice) is always shubh. The truth of life is that krodh and bodh are two paths that we must balance; we must choose the one to take us towards Ram.

Always look at the shubh (good) even out of something bad.

Ravan means “rav” “na” – there is no rav left.

One must eliminate shikayath (complaint) from life.

Ravan is a vruti (way of thinking). We must use him as a mirror to look in to see ourselves so that something shubh happens in our lives.

Ram Charit Manas is considered to be our mata (mother). In the Bhagvad Gita’s 10th chapter, Lord Krishna explains that women have seven vibhuti (greatness):

1. Kirti (fame) – the majority of a family’s fame is in the hands of the women of the house
2. Shri (wealth) – women are considered Laxmi
3. Vaak / vani (speech) – in general, women have shubh vachan (good speech / words)
4. Smruti – women remember a lot
5. Buddhi (intellect) – “buddhi rupain sansthithan”
6. Druti / dhirag (patience) – overall, women have a lot of patience
7. Kshama (forgiveness) – women can forgive a lot of things

Notice that all the above words describing the seven vibhuti’s are also nari vachak shabdo (feminine form of words). Since the Ram Charit Manas is seen as matru roop (female form), then these seven vibhuti’s also apply to its seven kands (chapters):

1. Bal kand = kirti
To show Paramatma’s kirti, there is a big dand (punishment) in this kand.

2. Ayodhya kand = shri
This kand continually alludes to shri. For example, it has the word “shri” in the beginning of the kand, and it describes “shri” in the form of Sita going to the forest.

3. Aranya kand = vani
Many Mahatma’s (great sages) became mukhar (used their speech to express themselves) in this kand.

4. Kiskindha kand = smruti
Sugriv returns to doing Ram kam (work for Ram) after his smruti is brought back by Hanumanji.

5. Sunder kand = buddhi
This kand depicts Hanumanji who is “buddhimatam varishtam” (embodiment of intellect).

6. Lanka kand = druti / dheeraj
One who is patient during sangarsh (dispute / war) is saphal (fruitful). In this kand we can see that Ravan, despite Mandodari and Kumbhkaran constantly telling him things, has tremendous dhiraj. Furthermore, Ravan even does thap (penance) which dhiraj.

7. Uttar kand = kshama
In Mahakal’s mandir one sadguru (spiritual teacher) forgives his shishya (disciple). Guru is kshama murti (embodiment/statue of forgiveness).

Sadguru charan dhuli (dust particles of the feet of one’s spiritual teacher) gives the following:

1. Kathorta – A sadhak (one on the path of spirituality) becomes like a pahad (mountain) and/or a chattan (hill/pasture) so that nothing affects him/her; one develops dheriya (patience) and sahan shiltha (tolerance).

2. Mruduta – A sadhak becomes komal (tender) in his/her vachan (speech), vinay (humble) and sheel (qualities) and is not stubborn.

3. Madhurta – A sadhak becomes sweet like amrut (nectar).

4. Divyata – A sadhak becomes divya (great)

5. Sunderta – A sadhak becomes sunder (beautiful) in his/her vichar (thoughts).

Ravan has 10 heads that are often depicted in pictures as one main head with five heads to one side and the remainder four on the other side. Logistically, this may not make sense, but look at the symbolic meanings behind them.

Shrutikar Manu gave ten lakshan (characteristics) of dharma (righteousness). In the vyas gadi’s opinion, Ravan’s ten heads are the ten lakshan of dharma. The ten lakshan of Manu — being the Ravan’s ten heads starting from the left – are as follows:

1.Dhruti i.e. Dhairya (patience)
Ravan has a lot of patience. If he did not, then he could not done so much taap (penance). Yesterday we talked about Ravan’s laksh (goal) being nirvan (salvation / heaven). Even for that, he had a lot of patience. To get Sita, Ravan first went to Janakpur where he had to tolerate a lot of upmaan (disrespect) and later went to kidnap her. He was patient in attaining Sita who symbolizes bhakti (devotion) and shakti (strength). Furthermore, he was patient in waiting for Ram to come to him so that he can fulfill his nirvan laksh. One who does not have patience is not dharmic (religious).

2. Kshama (forgiveness)
Ravan is kshama sheel (has qualities for forgiving).

3. Dum (suppression / control)
Ravan did a lot of daam on his body and always respected various rekhas (boundaries) in life.

4. Astheya (not to steal)
On the outset, it appears as if Ravan kidnapped Sita. However, he was actually kidnapping bhakti, shakti and bhav. Stealing is when one must hide and cover up. And that he didn’t even do when taking the Pushpak because others knew he took it. He did steal one thing – he discretely took Ram naam without others knowing.

5. Shauch / pavitrata / shuddhi (purity)
Ravan’s karma kaand was shuddh, and if one looks at him from within, he has a lot of bhav shuddhi (purity of feelings).

6. Indriyah nigrah (control of senses)
Despite having twenty eyes and twenty arms, he controlled them / their actions. Furthermore, he controlled his anthakaran’s (inner self) mun, buddhi and chith.

7. Buddhi (intellect)
Ravan is very intelligent in many ways. For example, he was smart enough to remain discrete about how he would stay up late at night and cry while remembering Ram.

8.Vidhya (knowledge)

9. Satya (truth)
Ravan wanted to gain param (supreme) satya.

10. Akrodh (free of anger)
If one were to take an X-ray of Ravan’s inner self, one would see that there is no krodh (anger).

If Ravan had these ten heads that are the ten lakshan of dharma, then why was there no dharma in him or in his empire? Ravan’s heads were dharma, but his acharan (conduct) was of adharma (unrighteousness).

Question to Bapu: What is your katha Shaili? In responding, he presented the following niyum (principles) as given to Bapu by His Guru:

1. Hold onto the mool arth (root meaning) of the shastra (scripture).
2. Use saral (easy) bhasha (language) whenever possible so that everyone can understand.
3. Keep vichar pradhan – think with your intellect to get the saar.
4. Don’t ever become boj on your shrota. Instead, make them sahaj (natural) and Nirbhaar (weightless).
5. Ensure that sarvang darshan is done – look at every angle.
6. If the above is done by God’s kripa (grace), then don’t get abhimaan (pride).

Gyani is one who is saral, is shanth, has vivek buddhi, and has vinod buddhi.

Before Ram speaks, He smiles. Always smile. Make others smile – that is nagad puja.

Need shakti (strength) in bhakti (devotion).

It was not only Kumbhkaran who slept all the time. Even Ravan and Vibhishan slept day and night. Kumbhkaran slept in rajogun while Ravan slept in tamogun. Ravan awakens Kumbhkaran like moh (attachment) awakens rajogun. Shurpankha awakens Ravan like vasanah awakens moh. Hanumanji awakens Vibhishan exemplifying real jagruti where a Sadguru awakens others.

Malti is a dasi (servant) of Kaushalya. One day, Malti asked Kaushalya her age. Mata answered that she is two shun (moments) younger than Ram’s age. This shows that it is only when Ram and/or satsang enters ones life that the true years are counted.

Ravan took his entire family to Ram’s sharan. His mahantha (greatness) is that he did not have mamta of anything except attaining moksh (salvation) and Ram.

In your head, maintain buddhi (intellect). In your chest, maintain hriday (heart). In your feet, maintain dharm (righteousness).

Ravan’s nam-karan (naming ritual) was done by Shankar. When and how this happened … we will discuss tomorrow

If Raavan is so mahan (great), then why is his birth not celebrated / depicted in the Ram Charit Manas? It is because only Ram, symbolizing prakash (light) takes birth, not Raavan who symbolizes andherah (darkness).

One can become (ie. attain the qualities of) a rakshas (demon) even if they are:
1. born a rakshas. – for example, Jallandhar
2. from vaikunth lok
3. from Kailas / Shiv lok – for example, as a result of a curse
4. manushya (humans)

It is possible for a sur (demi God) to become an asur (Rakshas or Demons) and for an asur to become a sur. If one has bad “sang (company) then one could become like a rakshas; if one has good company, then even a rakshas can turn around.

The more savdhan (cautious) an individual, the more the individual is a sadhak. One who is not badhak (in the way of others) is a sadhak.

Ones hriday (heart) does vishvas (trust). Ones buddhi (intellect) does shraddha (faith).

Anubhuti / anubhav occurs when the following three occur together:
1. buddhi’s kam (the job of one’s intellect) is to think
For example, “when I eat, I will gain strength.”
2. hriday’s kam (the job of one’s heart) is to believe
For example, thinking, “if I don’t eat, then I will feel weak.”
3. hath’s kam (the job of one’s hands) is to do kriya (actions)
For example, putting food in your mouth.

Dharma should be in one’s acharan (conduct), not just in one’s vichar (thoughts).

Raavan has twenty arms. Jagadamba Bhavani also has twenty arms symbolizing shakti (strength). Therefore, Raavan’s twenty arms symbolize Raavan’s shakti / bal. Raavan’s vishesh (main) bal (strength) is the fact that he has twenty arms.

Raavan’s twenty arms symbolizing his strength are as follows:
1. Dhan – He has lot of monetary wealth; his Lanka is made of gold.
2. Bahu / bhuj – He lifted Kailas without any difficulty.
3. Kul – He has a very pavitra (pure) family.
4. Buddhi – He is very intelligent.
5. Shustra – He uses many weapons.
6. Shastra – Brahma would go daily to Raavan’s house to do paat (reading) of Veda’s.
7. Yog – He attained many siddhiya’s.
8. Taap – He did a lot of penance. He even gave his head as ahuti (offerings) in a yagna.
9. Punya
10. Dharma – For example, he had satya, prem, … this was discussed in depth yesterday.
11. Yudh kaushalyuh – He knew when to go to war.
12. Shabd – Raavan was a big pandit.
13. Mantri – Raavan had good council of Ministers.
14. Sheel – He recognized other sheelvan’s (people with good qualities) like Hanuman.
15. Parampara (tradition)
16. Aabhijatya
17. Smaran – He did Paramatma smaran from within in such a way that no would could hear or tell.
18. mrityu / maran – Raavan was not afraid of death.
19. Prem – He had love for music, dance, … He also stayed with his family.
20. Abhayum – He was not afraid.

Once, Raavan’s arms were caught underneath Kailas. Raavan cried a lot and seeing him, others in tinolok cried too. Then, Shiv decreased the weight of Kailas so that Raavan could take out his hands. When he did, Raavan did pranam (salutations) to Shankar. At that time Shankar named him Raavan. Those who cry and make others cry are Raavan.

To maintain smaran bal, one should be able to answer the following:
1. why they do smaran / bhajan
2. how much bhajan to do
3. which way bhajan is to be done
4. where to do bhajan
5. when to do bhajan

Raavan had smaran bal of the above five. To help answer those questions in an individual’s life:
1. do bhajan for God or just for the sake of doing bhajan
2. how ever much you can
3. some places may be more suitable to do bhajan for different individuals
4. it can be shubh whenever, and bhramya murat is when you wake up
5. whenever you feel like it and get the bhav

Stay svabhavik and sahaj.

In the Ram Charit Manas, there is another darshan of Raavan’s twenty arms. This is when Angad goes to Raavan’s darbar (kingdom) for sandhi prastav (to make peace). At that time, Angad saw Raavan in a special way, and it was described that Raavan’s arms are like vruksh (trees):

Bhuja bitapa sira srung samana |romavali lata janu nana ||
— Lanka kand 18

His arms appeared like trees and heads like mountain peaks, the hairs of his body like numerous creepers.

Tulsidas says that a tree is paropkar ka pratik (symbol of selfless service), which is like a sadhu.

Raavan is comprised of Ram’s “R”, Vaidehie’s “V” and Hanuman’s “N”.

Pushpadant Gandharvah also talks of Raavan’s arms. Raavan’s mother, Keksi, was a Shiv bhagat (disciple). In the month of ShRaavan, she used five grains to make a Shiv ling. Every day, she would hold the Shiv ling in one hand and do abhishek of it with the other. One particular day, she was very engrossed in her puja when Indra came by. He didn’t like seeing her do such a puja, so Indra took the Shiv ling and threw it in the water. Later when Raavan met Keksi, she explained what had happened. Raavan went to look for http://moraribapu.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=12859&action=edit# the Shiv ling but could not find it. Then he went to bring Shiv Himself from Kailas – he put his arms under Kailas, as described by Pushpadant.

Once, Brahma came to Raavan and told him to ask for anything. Raavan asked that he die only at the hands of a vanar (monkey) or manush (human). The vanar is Shankar’s roop [ie. Hanuman] and the manush is Ram. In other words, Raavan is asking to die from the hands of his Guru or his isht (God).

In this katha, we are discussing the shubh (good / positive) tatva (elements) in Ravan. Each human body is a bhavan (house) that has walls, windows and doors. In the human body, an individual’s dosh (faults) represent the walls, and the shubh / sad goon (good qualities) represents the windows and doors. If we keep trying to enter a house through the walls, we would never get inside. Similarly, if we were to only look at ones faults, we would not be able to understand from within.

Just like Hanumanji is Ram’s mandir (temple), Ravan is Sita’s mobile mandir. If we want to go to Sita, we must go through the windows and doors of Ravan, not through the walls. That is, we must look at the good qualities of Ravan, not just his faults.

Sita is within Ravan. Ravan’s atma (soul) is Sita.

Take ashrai (surrender) of one whom:
1. does kranti (revolution)
2. gives shanti (peace)
3. eliminates bhranti (illusions)
Search for an individual with these three characteristics – those who search will attain.

The difference between adhyatma (spirituality) and dharma (religion):
Adhyatma — There is only one; there is no mandal (group); it is sanatan; it involves understanding your own soul and nature.
Dharma – There are many; there are mandals; it can sometimes be bound by time; it involves understanding that others are also Paramatma (God) (ie. Do good deeds for others, practice non-violence, etc.)

Dvait (duality) is eliminated with sadhu sang (company of a sadhu). This leads to lagan (love) in Raghunath’s (Lord Ram’s) feet. It is then that the vikar’s from one’s body are removed and an individual becomes sthit in that body.

In the following chopai (couplet), Raavan is asking Brahma that his death is at the hands of only a vanar (monkey) [ie. His Guru in the form of Hanuman] or manush (human) [ie. Ram].

Hum kahu ke marahi na mare | baanar manuj jati duiee bare ||
— Bal kand 177

Brahma said “evamastu”, granting Raavan his boon.

For a shishya (disciple) who has full nishtha (faith), their Guru is / gives maha mrityu (great death) by killing the vikar in a sadhak’s mind. A Guru that does gives the following three things to a shishya is maha mrityu:
1. seva (service) done from near
2. aadar / sanman (respect) from far
3. gyan (wisdom) from bhitar (within)

Due to a shraap (curse), Raavan became a rakshas (demon); as a result of his taap (penance), he was given a boon by Brahma; he then was given a beautiful wife who did not have any trishna vrutti or mamta.

May tanuja Mandodari nama | param sundari nari lalama ||
Soiee may dinhi Ravanhi jani | hoieehi jatu-dhan-pati jani ||
— Bal kand 178

Three dukh’s (pains) take an individual to God:
1. Paramatma’s viyog
2. Praschit / pasthav (guilt) from sins
3. Becoming dukhi (sad) seeing others dukhi.

The shastra’s (scriptures) and Pushpadant Gandharv describe Paramatma’s (God’s) murti (statue) as being:
1. surya (sun)
2. chandra (moon)
3. agni (fire)
4. pani / jal (water)
5. akash (sky)
6. pruthvi (earth)
7. vayu (air)
8. atma (soul)

Tomorrow we will take the katha towards Ram janam (birth of Ram).

Tulsidas calls Raavan an abhimani (one who is proud of himself) at various instances in the Ram Charit Manas. Furthermore, Tulsidas says that Raavan is sahaj (naturally) abhimani, and that there is no one like him in the world in this regard. Even Shankar calls him an abhimani. However, being abhimani is not a shubh gun (good quality) — thus, it is not a dwar (doorway), as discussed yesterday. However, it will become apparent that Raavan’s abhiman (pride) is really a dwar / shubh gun.

One of the main characteristics of an abhimani is that he/she will not listen to others and will be very stubborn in their own way. Regardless of how much one tries to explain and reason with him/her, that person will not be happy accepting advice. Raavan is so abhimani that he did not fully pay attention to / realize the extent of the chaaunauti’s (challenges) that were presented in front of him until the fifth time when Supnakha described how Khar and Dushan were killed, and how her nose and ears were cut off.

Possibly, Raavan purposely did not become cautious of the chaaunauti’s because he wanted to become so bimar (sick) that God would come to him quickly — just like a doctor would quickly visit a patient who is in serious condition. Raavan wanted to fall so badly that God would come on His own will and Raavan could die at His feet.

When Supnakha described the details of her encounters with Ram and Lakshman, Raavan was affected. Raavan went home and could not sleep that night. It is this incident that gives us the true parichay (introduction / recognition) of Raavan’s abhiman. Khar and Dushan were sum (at the same level) to Raavan. Abhiman can never tolerate sumanta (equality). On the outset, it becomes apparent here that Raavan’s abhiman is starting to melt.

Khar Dushan mohi sum balvanta | tinhahi ko maraee binu bhagvanta ||
sur ranjan bhanjan mahi bhara | jo bhagvant linh avtaara ||
to me jaiee bairu hati karu | prabhu sar pran taje bhuv turoo ||
hoeehi bhajanu na tamas deha | mun krum bachan mantra drudh eha ||
— Aranya kaand 23

As for Khar and Dushan, they were as mighty as myself; who else could have killed them, had it not been for the Lord Himself? If the Lord Himself has become incarnate to gladden the gods and relieve the earth of its burdens, then I must go and stubbornly fight with Him and cross the ocean of mundane existence by falling to his arrows. Worshipping the Lord is out of the question in this fallen form made up of darkness and ignorance; this is therefore my firm resolve, which I shall carry through in thought, word and deed.

From within, Raavan was not abhimani like us — he was abhimani as the Ram Charit Manas describes:

us abhiman jaiee jan bhore | me sevak Raghupati pati more ||
— Aranya kaand 11

Never let this exalted feeling disappear from my mind, even in an unguarded moment, that I am Ram’s servant and He is my master.

This is actually the abhiman that is present in Raavan — all the other prasang (incidents) were a cover. The real abhiman in Raavan is that he is a sevak. If Raavan were to eliminate all the abhiman in him, then there would not be any dwait (duality) between him and God. And dwait is necessary for seva (service). Thus, he kept this one abhiman that he is a sevak.

Raavan has ten mouths and twenty arms. This shows that Raavan spoke less and worked more.

Jain dharma (religion) says to keep the following five khand:

1. gyan (wisdom) / samuj (understanding) — to attain nirvan
2. lajja / sharam (shyness / shame) — others are living such a life with good qualities after listening to the Ramayan, so why can I not do the same?
3. kripa (grace) — my sadguru has done so much kripa on me
4. vrut — live with some niyum (rules / principles) and shisht
5. dharma — have good qualities like kshama (forgiveness), ahimsa (non-violence), etc.

Raavan married Mandodari and is now looking for a place to stay.

giri trikut ek sindhu majari | bidhi nirmit durgam ati bhari ||
soiee muya danuv bahuri sanvara | kankarchit manibhavan apara ||
bhogavati jasi ahikul basa | amaravati jasi sakrannivasa ||
tinh te adhik ramya ati banka | jas bikhyat nam tehi lanka ||
kaiee sindhu gabhir ati charihu disi firi aav |
kanak kot mani kachit drud barani na jaiee banav ||
— Bal kaand 178

In the middle of a certain ocean there was a three-peaked mountain called Trikut, brought into being by Brahma, and most difficult to access. The demon Muya (who was a great magician and architect) renovated it. There were countless golden palaces there, all set with jewels. It was even more splendid and charming than Bhogavati, the city of the race of serpents, and Amaravati, the capital of Indra (lord of paradise). It was known throughout the world by the name of Lanka. The ocean encircled it on all sides as a very deep moat; its four massive walls were of jewel-studded gold whose fashioning defied description.

sunder sahaj agam anumani | kinhi taha Raavan rajdhani ||
jehi jas jog bati gruh dinhe | sukhi sakal rajnichar kinhe ||
— Bal kaand 179

Perceiving that the city was beautiful and naturally inaccessible, Raavan made it his capital. He assigned quarters to all the demons according to their several deserts and made them happy.

Pitamah Brahma himself came to Raavan’s rajya abhishek (coronation as King). Even Bhagwan Shankar was present at that time. After his abhishek, Raavan did a big daan (Donation) by building homes of gold for his sevak’s (servants).

sukh sampati sut sen sahai | jai pratap bal buddhi badhai ||
nit nutan sab badhat jayee | jimi pratilabh lobh adhikai ||
— Bal kaand 180

His happiness and prosperity, the number of his sons, his troops and allies, his victories and power, his might, his intelligence and renown — all these grew more and more in the same way as greed increases with every fresh grain

In the Bhushundi Ramayan, Tulsidas calls both Raavan and Ram an avtaar (incarnation).

Puni Narad kar moh aparah | kehesi bahuri Raavan avtaarah ||
Prabhu avtaar katha puni gayee | tab shishu charit kahesi man layee ||

The word “avtaar” is reserved for someone who is a Maha-purush. We know that Ram is an avtaar because He is a Maha-purush, but so is Raavan because he too is a Maha-purush. God’s hands are like a kamal (lotus) as described in the Vinay Patrika. This symbolizes God remaining akarmah despite engaging Himself in various karma. Raavan is also an avtaar, so he himself described his hands as being like a kamal because no one else did this for him.

By doing pranam (salutation / bowing down) to elders, one will gain:
1. aayushya (longevity)
2. vidya (knowledge)
3. yash (reputation/fame) / sheel (good qualities)
4. bal (strength)

Do pranam to your parents each morning and night.

One should do Trikal (Three times) sandhya:

· In the morning, recite Hanuman Chalisa.
· In the afternoon, recite bhaye pragat kripala
· In the evening, recite Bhushundi Ramayan.

Raavan had three things:
1. sanskriti / parampara (tradition)
2. satta (power)
3. sampatti (wealth)

A sansari (materialistic person) lives in a hexagon with six corners comprising of kaam(desires), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), madh (pride), moh (attachment) and matsar.

A sadhak lives in a rectangle with four corners comprising of dharma (righteousness), arth (wealth), kaam (desires) and moksh (salvation).

One who is siddh lives in a triangle with three corners comprising of a sant (saint), Hanumant (Hanumanji) and Bhagvant (God).

One who is shudh (pure) lives in a circle without any corners in empty space symbolizing that there is nothing to hide.

Although Raavan lived in a circle, let us look at all four geometrical figures with respect to Raavan’s physique:

  1. In his nabhi (belly button), he kept Ram naam (name of the Lord) amrit (nectar) showing that he was a para jaap upasak. This is how he lived in a circle.
  2. In his hriday (heart), he kept Sita’s roop (physical form) showing that he was a nami. This is how he lived in a rectangle.
  3. Raavan’s kunt (throat) symbolizes the three corners of a triangle.
  4. Raavan’s vani (voice) was like a hexagon.

Raavan has a golden Lanka. One day, he wanted the Pushpak (plane) from Kuber (wealth demi God), so he won it and brought it back to Lanka. Raavan mostly won things as opposed to stealing them, except in the case of Maa Janki (ie. Sita).

The kidnapping of Sita symbolizes Raavan secretly doing bhakti (devotion) — “bhakti chhipee chhipee lenah”.

Ek bar Kuber par dhava | pushpak jan jeeti lai aava ||
— Bal kaand 179

On one occasion he attacked Kuber and carried away his aerial car Pushpak as a trophy.

One day, Raavan remembered how his mother used to hold her Shivling (made from flour) in her hand to do puja in the shrawan maas and decided to measure how much strength he had. He decided to lift Kailash (mountain where Shiv and Parvati reside).

Kautukahi Kailas puni linhesi jaee uttaee |
manahu tauli nij bahubal chala bahut sukh paiee ||
— Bal kaand 179

On another occasion in a sportive mood, he went and lifted up Mount Kailas, testing, as it were, the might of his arm, and then returned most jubilant.

The following ten things of Raavan increased each day just like lobh (greed) increases in an individual:

1. sukh (happiness)
2. sampatti (wealth)
3. sut (children)
4. sena (army / troops)
5. sahayak log (allies)
6. jay (victory) — he had new vijay
7. pratap (power) — his prabhav increased
8. bal (strength)
9. buddhi (intellect)
10. pratishtha (fame)

These ten will increase if they have satya (truth) in their roots.

Sukh sampati sut sain sahaiee | jay pratap bal buddhi badhai ||
nit nutan sab badhat jaiee | jimi pratilabh lobh adhikaiee ||
— Bal kaand 180

His happiness and prosperity, the number of his sons, his troops and allies, his victories and power, his might, intelligence and renown — all these grew more and more, in the same way as greed increases with every fresh gain

Raavan is a mahatma (great soul), an avtaar (incarnation), mumuksh (one who wants mukti) and a jaapak (one who does jup) from his nabhi (belly button).

Raavan’s character is portrayed in the Adhyatmik Ramayan in an extremely unique manner:

One night, Raavan was sitting alone in Lanka wondering why Ram had not yet come. It had been so many days since Sita was brought to Lanka, and Raavan now wanted a war so that he could die by the arrow of Ram. In Raavan’s eyes, Sita had come so that Ram could follow; yet Ram had not yet come. Raavan was doing nirantar (continuous) chintan (meditation) and was always remembering Ram in his heart. On this particular night, Raavan was very dukhi (sorrowful) and fell asleep while thinking about all of this. In a dream, Ram came to Raavan and told him to wake up to go to Ashok Vatika where a vanar (monkey) had come. Ram continued to explain that this vanar had taken a sukshma roop (miniature form) and had hidden in a tree. “Oot (wake up) Raavan and go say katu vachan (harsh words) to Sita so that the vanar will become upset and run to bring me to Lanka” says Ram in Raavan’s dream.

This is why Raavan said katu vachan, and why he took Mandodari and other rani’s (queens) to Sita. This is why this prasang (event) is shubh (good).

It is a big sin to pragat (spark) sandeh (doubt) in others.

Vali’s death and Raavan’s death are similar because both Vali and Raavan were abhimani. However, there was no shikayat (complaint) in Raavan’s death.

Raavan is abhimani (full of pride), where as Kumbhkaran is Ahankari (full of vanity and conceit).

Kumbhkaran’s ahankar(pride) was asleep. When he awakened from his sleep, Kumbhkaran sometimes did satsang and sometimes did bad things. Ahankar is like cancer — it does not die without bhagvat kripa (grace of the Lord). Ahankar needs to be awakened in order to kill it.

ati-bal Kumbhkaranus bhrata | jehi kahu nahi pratibhut jag jata ||
karaee paan sovaee shat masa | jaagat hoiee tihu pur trasa ||
jo din prati ahar kar soiee | bisva begi sab chaupat hoiee ||
samar dhir nahi jaiee bakhana | tehi sum amit bir balvana ||
— Bal kaand 180

He [Raavan] had a brother, the mighty Kumbhkaran, a rival to whom was never born in this world. After a draught of wine, he remained buried in sleep for six months; and at his waking the three spheres trembled for fear. Were he to take a meal every day, the whole world would soon have been left bare. He was unspeakably staunch in fight; there were, in fact, countless such stalwart warriors in the city as he.

Raavan is so buddhi-man (intelligent) that he killed kaam (lust) and Ahankar (pride) first.

kumukh akampan kulisrad dhumketu atikay |
ek ek jag jiti sak aise subhat nikay ||
— Bal kaand 180

There were many more doughty warriors, each by themselves capable of subduing the whole world, such as the hideous Kumukha the intrepid Akampana, Kulisrada with teeth like thunderbolts, the fiery Dhumketu, and the gigantic Atikaya.