What did Ravana say to Lord Rama while dying?

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The article is presented into two parts. One part is taken from Original version of Valmiki Ramayana the second one is based on other versions of Ramayana. 

You need to know that in South Asian continent we have more than 300 different types of Ramayanas. Even Sri Lanka has their own Ramayana where they praised Ravana as a hero that accepted the death but never leave his glory.

Well, to answer this question we will discuss on both of these different versions.

The original version of Valmiki has no documentary evidences of any conversation between Sri Rama or Lakshman and Ravana. 

But some other versions (ex. Kirtibyas) we can see some last and heart touching conversation between Ravana and Two Brothers (Sri Rama and Laxman).

First Part 

Ravana neither talked to Lord Rama nor to Lakshman during his death.

Firstly in television versions of Ramayana (except the most authentic version ie ramanand sagar ramayan) we see ravan giving teachings to lakshman which is completely illogical and unauthentic.

Unauthentic in the sense that it is not written in Valmiki Ramayan or ShriRamcharitmanas. Also even if it is written in other later created regional versions of Ramayan still it cannot be considered truth as it contradicts both original Valmiki Ramayan and Shriramcharitmanas.

Illogical in the sense that Lord Rama used bhramastra to kill ravan and the person on whom bhramastra is thrown dies instantly they will not be able to give long lectures to someone.

Remember aswathama used bhramastra against unborn child of uttara. Even though Lord Krishna’s sudarshan protected uttara still the baby was born dead. Bhramastra is so powerful that even sudharshan which defended uttara was unable to stop its effect and the baby was still born (later krishna gave him life). Then how could ravan who was even unprotected by any other divyastra cannot die instantly even after using such powerful bhramastra against him.

If a person is saying Ravana didn’t die instantly after he was attacked by bhramastra either don’t know what powers of bhramastra are or doesn’t have proper logic to comprehend. So ravan giving gyan to lakshman is illogical and foolish because bhramastra results only in instant death ie death within a second.

Secondly according to Valmiki Ramayan Ravana dies instantly after being attacked by lord Rama’s arrow.

तमुत्तमेषुम् लोकानामिक्ष्वाकुभयनाशनम् |

द्विषतां कीर्तिहरणम् प्रहर्षकरमात्मनः || १०८१३

अभिमन्त्र्य ततो रामस्तं महेषुं महाबलः |

वेदप्रोक्तेन विधिना संदधे कार्मुके बली || १०८१४

Making it sacred by a special formula as per the procedure specified in scriptures, Lord Rama who was endowed with an extraordinary strength then fixed that arrow which was the foremost among the three worlds, capable of removing the fear of Ikshwaku dynasty, taking away the glory of the enemies and bestowing joy to one’s own self on his bow.

तस्मिन् संधीयमाने तु राघवेण शरोत्तमे |

सर्वभूतानि संत्रेसुश्चचाल वसुंधरा || १०८१५

While that excellent arrow was being fixed by Lord Rama, all the beings were frightened and the earth trembled.

रावणाय संक्रुद्धो भृशमायम्य कार्मुकम् |

चिक्षेप परमायत्तः शरं मर्मविदारणम् || १०८१६

That enraged Rama, stretching his bow well and with an attentive mind, hurled that arrow which can tear off the vitals, towards Ravana.

वज्र इव दुर्धर्षो वज्रिबाहुविसर्जितः |

कृतान्त इव चावार्यो न्यपतद्रावणोरसि || १०८१७

That arrow, which was inviolable as a thunderbolt hurled by the arms of Indra and irresistible as Yama the lord of Death, fell upon Ravana’s chest.

विसृष्तो महावेगह् शरीरान्तकरः शरः |

च्छेद हृदयं तस्य रावणस्य दुरात्मनः || १०८१८

That arrow, released with great speed and which was capable of destroying the body, tore off the heart of that evil-minded Ravana.

रुधिराक्तह् वेगेन शरीरान्तकरः शरः |

रावणस्य हरन् प्राणान् विवेश धरणीतलम् || १०८१९

That arrow, which was capable of causing death to the body, after taking away the life of Ravana and having been anointed with blood, penetrated the earth.

शरो रावणं हत्वा रुधिरार्रीकृतच्छविः |

कृतकर्मा निभृतवत्स्वतूणीं पुनराविशत् || १०८२०

Smeared with blood on having killed Ravana and thereby accomplishing its mission, that arrow re-entered its own quiver (of Rama) silently.

तस्य हस्तद्धतस्याशु कार्मुकं ससायकम् |

विपपात सह प्राणैर्भ्रुश्यमानस्य जीवितात् || १०८२१

From the hands of the slain Ravana, who was being separated from his life, fell his bow with its arrows (fitted to it), at the same time coinciding indeed with his life-breath.

गतासुर्भीमवेगस्तु नैरृतेन्द्रो महाद्युतिः |

पपात स्यन्दनाद्भूमौ वृत्रो वज्रहतो यथा || १०८२२

Having lost his life, that king of demons for his part, who was endowed with terrible swiftness and invested with great splendour, fell down from the chariot to the ground , like Vritra the demon when the latter was struck down by the thunderbolt.

Moreover even in Mahabharata it is clearly said that evil ravan was burnt into ashes because of which we metaphorically burn ravan every dussera. How could someone who has turned into ashes come back to real form to give lecture and long speeches to others.

Words by Rishi Markandeya about ravan vad from Mahabharata

This is actually repeat telecast of the iconic scene of ramayana where lord rama shot brahmastra and ravana was blasted into ash. His body caught fire and soul was liberated by rama in single shot

– Vana Parv, Mahabharata Section-274

ततः सुपत्रं सुमुखं हेमपुङ्खं शरोत्तमम् |

तूणादादाय काकुत्स्थो ब्रह्मास्त्रेण युयोज ||२४||

तं बाणवर्यं रामेण ब्रह्मास्त्रेणाभिमन्त्रितम् |

जहृषुर्देवगन्धर्वा दृष्ट्वा शक्रपुरोगमाः ||२५||

अल्पावशेषमायुश्च ततोऽमन्यन्त रक्षसः |

ब्रह्मास्त्रोदीरणाच्छत्रोर्देवगन्धर्वकिंनराः ||२६||

ततः ससर्ज तं रामः शरमप्रतिमौजसम् |

रावणान्तकरं घोरं ब्रह्मदण्डमिवोद्यतम् ||२७||

तेन राक्षसश्रेष्ठः सरथः साश्वसारथिः |

प्रजज्वाल महाज्वालेनाग्निनाभिपरिष्कृतः ||२८||

ततः प्रहृष्टास्त्रिदशाः सगन्धर्वाः सचारणाः |

निहतं रावणं दृष्ट्वा रामेणाक्लिष्टकर्मणा ||२९||

तत्यजुस्तं महाभागं पञ्च भूतानि रावणम् |

भ्रंशितः सर्वलोकेषु हि ब्रह्मास्त्रतेजसा ||३०||

शरीरधातवो ह्यस्य मांसं रुधिरमेव |

नेशुर्ब्रह्मास्त्रनिर्दग्धा भस्माप्यदृश्यत ||३१||

Translation –

At that, Kakutstha took a supreme arrow out of his quiver. It was excellent in the head and in the shaft and had a golden shaft. He invoked it with brahmastra and fixed it to his bow. When Rama invoked that excellent arrow with the mantra of brahmastra, on witnessing that, all the gods and the gandharvas, with Indra at the forefront, rejoiced. With the invocation of brahmastra, all the gods, gandharvas and kinnaras thought that the rakshasa only had a short span of life left now. Rama then released the arrow, unmatched in its energy.

It was terrible and resembled Brahma’s raised staff, destined to kill Ravana. It enveloped the foremost among rakshasas, with his chariot, horses and charioteer, in a great mass of blazing flames. The thirty gods, together with the gandharvas and the charanas, were delighted to see that Ravana had been killed by Rama, whose deeds were unsullied. The five elements departed from the immensely fortunate Ravana. Through the energy of brahmastra, he was deprived of all the worlds. The ingredients of his body, together with his flesh and blood, were burnt so much by the brahmastra that even the ashes could not be seen.”

Thirdly lakshman himself is a well educated and well mannered man why should he approach ravana for gyan when ravana possessed only these gyan in his life – how to rape innocent and helpless women like rambha, how to widow his own sister like he widowed surpnaka, how to run away from battle field (the great ravan was defeated 4 times by Lord Ram, twice by vali, twice by kartaveerya arjun, once by mahadev, once by mahakali, once by King bali), how to kill once own brother by sending him to a battle in which he is not interested like he did to kumbkarn, how to kick and humiliate ones own brother when he tries to guide you through good path, how to kidnap someone else’s wife, how to be the reason of death of one’s own sister in law by torturing her like he did to maya the sister of mandodari, how to treat women as doormats like he treated his wives, how to be mahan shiv bakth by asking lord Shiva to send devi parvati to live with him, how to be attracted to parvati, how to earn lanka by cheating his own god Shiva. And I hope real men are not interested in such rubbish things.

There is only one gyan which we can learn from ravan’s life ie “don’t live a useless life like he lived otherwise you will not only die but will also become the cause of the destruction of your entire clan”

  • Prineetha Cheruvally.

Second Part

Ravana, though a Brahmin and well-educated, was punished by Lord Rama because of his ‘Adharmic’ deeds . It’s a historic fact that Lord Rama was very impressed with Ravana’s knowledge and wisdom—which is why after defeating him, he praised Ravana and deputed brother Lakshmana to seek the blessings of the dying Ravana.

Lord Rama asked his brother Lakshman to go to him and learn something about the world, which no other person except for such a learned Brahmin like Raavan could ever teach him.

Lakshman obeyed his brother’s order and stood near dying Raavan’s head. But Raavan did not say anthing and Lakshman returned to Rama. Rama then told Lakshman that whenever one wants to learn something from a person, you should never stand near his head, but his feet.

Lakshman again went to Raavan and this time he stood near his feet. Raavan seeing Lakshman standing near his feet told him Three main secrets that would anyone’s life successful.

1 – The first thing Raavan told Lakshman was that one should complete any auspicious work as soon as possible and keep delaying the inauspicious work as much possible. He supported this teaching by saying, “शुभस्य शीघ्रम्” (Shubhasya Shighram).

He told Lakshman that he could not recognize Rama and therefore delayed arrival at the shelter. Hence this is his condition.

2 – The second thing he taught Lakshman was never to underestimate one’s enemy. He said that he did this mistake of understanding the monkeys and bears lesser or incompetent and he lost the battle against them.

He said, when he asked Lord Brahma to make him immortal, he said no one else except for monkeys and human could kill him. This is because he believed that both these living beings were not capable to kill him.

This was his mistake and he suffered life as a result.

3 – The third and final thing Raavan told Lakshman that one should not reveal one’s life secret to anyone in the world. Here also Raavan made a mistake as Vibhishan knew the secret of his death. Raavan knew this was his biggest mistake of life.

Ravana also told Lakshman about politics and statesmanship:

1- Do not be the enemy of your charioteer, your gatekeeper, your cook and your brother, they can harm you anytime.

2- Do not think you are always a winner, even if you are winning all the time.

3- Always trust the minister, who criticises you.

4-Never think your enemy is small or powerless, like I thought about Hanuman

5- Never think you can outsmart the stars, they will bring you what you are destined to

6- Either love or hate God, but both should be immense and strong.

7–A king who is eager to win glory must suppress greed as soon as it lifts its head.

8–A king must welcome the smallest chance to do good to others, without the slightest procrastination.

After enlightening Lakshman with wisdom including Politics and Statesmanship Ravana gets last breath. A light from sky enters Ravan. Then Ravan’s soul in the form of a flame goes up. Ravan takes Ram’s name and dies. Laxman bows to Ravan and returns to Ram.

  • Speaking Tree

Conclusion:

These are still mysterious what Actually happened after Ravana’s death. 

But the lessons that Ravana offered to Laxman , mentioned in other versions, are just the core and primary knowledge one can acquire in life from both of the versions.

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