Born in the pious Brahmin family of Rishi Pulastya, Ravan was adept in Japa, austerities (tapas) and meditation. He was a great Shiva worshipper, highly learned ,yet highly materialistic and sensuous . Performing  Tapasya and rituals he gained prowess and superhuman powers ( siddhies), eg. (Ipsita) , the ability to take any form or multiple forms simultaneously.  He once offered his own heads as sacrifice to Shiva for which the Lord granted him millions of heads which also multiplied his sensuousness a million times . Therefore, new heads sprang up each time Ramji’s arrows beheaded him! Tulasidasji compares this to the evil deeds done in holy places. It is said that whatever one does in a sacred place of pilgrimage,good or bad , the reactive result of such actions multiplies manifold for the doer.

When Trijata reported to Seetaji that Ravan does not die despite Ramji beheading him as new heads spring  up immediately, Seetaji was terribly dejected. Trijata then narrates to Seetaji one of Ramji’s sweetest messages. She says that Ramji can kill Ravan immediately by shooting at his heart but refuses,saying ,”Ravan’s heart harbours Seetaji constantly and Seetaji’s heart constantly harbours me, and my heart harbours and supports this entire universe.So, shooting at his heart will destroy the entire universe.” He adds, ,” As I keep beheading him, he will be ruffled enough to let go the thought of my Seeta from his heart, I will kill him then.”

The all powerful Lord, was playing a man, he waited for the hour of Ravan’s death, he waited for the boons of Brahmaji and Shivji to play out, he waited for the results of Ravan’s protective deeds to finish,and he waited for his friend Vibheeshan  to advise the killing of his unrighteous brother himself. The ideal Ramji was acting ideally.

Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi. Email: