Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 18 Nov 2021


How to counter the arguments of certain sections who portray Ravana as hero instead of Lord Rama?

[Shri Ganesh asked: Pādanamaskāram Swamiji, There are certain sections within the society who believe that Lord Rama should not be worshipped but Raavana should be worshipped. I was having a normal conversation with such a person at work. The conversation went as mentioned below.

Ganesh: I have a problem with movies and serials where certain directors take the liberty to portray villains in our Itihaasas as heroes. Such as Raavana and movies of such kind. These movies or shows show the epics from the perspective of Raavana or Karna. Some take the exact character and portray it from those times and some make a spin-off of those characters and make a story relatable to contemporary times.

Colleague: Why do you have a problem with those movies? The directors are free to do whatever they want. They are exercising their freedom of speech.

Ganesh: Freedom of speech should be granted to every citizen but a person should also be responsible because he has that freedom. He should speak and act sensibly to maintain social harmony and order. Moreover, on what basis is he making a spin-off on Hindu Itihaasas? Valmiki Ramayana or Mahabharata as dictated by Maharishi Vyasa do not support these views. Valmiki clearly shows that Lord Rama is following Dharma and Raavana is following Adharma! No other versions after Vaalmiiki also support your claim.

Colleague: Yes, you believe that this is the truth and I believe that Raavana was the hero. On what basis can I believe your version? Also the writer is trying to cater to an audience like me.

Ganesh: Okay let us go by your argument itself. I cannot establish the historical truths in Itihaasas, but the majority of India believes in these scriptures and are a constant source of inspiration to follow Dharma and develop Bhakti towards God. Why do certain people have to criticise and hurt sentiments of the majority?

Colleague: Because we have found logical arguments against those who you consider Gods. I have found casteism and racism.

Ganesh: What are those?

Colleague: If Raama is a Maryaadaa Purushottama, then why did he let Lakshmana cut the nose of Shuurpanakha?

Ganesh: That is absurd. A terrorist wants to murder your sister in law and the terrorist is clearly overpowering and you have a weapon but you will keep quiet?

Colleague: No but I will push her but not cut her nose for it. I would have stopped Laxman from cutting the nose but would have pushed Shuurpanakha away. That is why the war started. Also why did Krishna keep quiet when Karna was denied participation in games which were meant for Kshatriyas! He clearly showed casteism.

After this some emergency situation came at work and the conversation was left at this place. I did not find any reason to talk more about this topic to that person because I felt it was unnecessary. The above conversation is not verbatim but close to what I remember.

How do I tackle these arguments Swamiji? What I have generally observed is that most of these people are either atheists or hate Hinduism for some illogical reason. Should I avoid talking to these people altogether and keep my mouth shut when they have these misunderstandings? Or should I change my approach and explain the unimaginability of God and miracles, just as You always mention and avoid taking examples from Itihaasas? At Your divine feet, Ganesh V]

Swami Replied:- Vaalmiiki and Vyaasa are the authors of these epics, who have seen what all happened in these stories. The person who is talking this nonsense was not there in those times to observe what actually happened. You have to take these Sages as the ultimate authority. Karna was stopped by Krishna not based on caste system because He Himself belongs to a BC caste called Yaadavas. God Krishna, the omniscient knows that Karna is an incarnation of the demon travelled from Sun to the womb of Kuntii. This is the inner truth and God always protects His devotees in a direct or indirect way. Krishna cannot tell that Karna is a demon and can’t avoid the marriage of His devotee, Draupadi based on that. He has taken the concept (inter-caste marriage is objected) that was existing in those days, which was followed by all to save Draupadi. You must answer every criticism and you can take the help of your Sadguru, if necessary.