When Subramanian Swamy speaks even Arnab Goswami listens . Then whether he calls Sonia Gandhi a KGB agent or gives us theory of ‘how facial hair is an indication of Naxal bent’, even then we nod our head in agreement.
And then one fine day, we see a report in Times of India which says, Mr. Swamy calls ‘Ravana’ a Dalit from UP. Yes, in a seminar on ‘I and My India’ in no less than the BHU campus, Varanasi! Compelling me to dig facts about Ravana yet again from our ancient texts – Not because I buy Mr. Swamy’s latest historical findings, but because Ravana needs to be understood better.
Ravana Was the Son of Visrava and Grandson of Pulastya, a Saptarishi
In Book 2, Section XI, page 25 of Mahabharata translated by KM Ganguly, you’ll see that Pulastya is one of the mind born sons of Brahma, popularly called as Prajapatis. The same is mentioned in Section 23, Book 5 – Sundar Kanda of the Hindu Epic Ramayana Written by Valmiki. Both the sources mention the fact that Ravana was the Grandson of Pulastya via his son Visrava.
Great Grandson of Brahma, Ravana was Brahmarakshasa
Lord Brahma’s son Pulastya had two sons – Maharishi Agastya (Yes, the same you heard in Mahabharat) and Visrhava. Now, Visrava was a great scholar who attained lot of knowledge and yogic powers through his penance. Impressed by Visrava’s power, Rishi Bharadwaja bethroed his daughter IIlavida to him. He fathered her son Kubera. However, news of Visrava’s yogic powers reached the ears of the Asura king and his wife. They then planned the meeting of Visrava and their daughter Kaikesi.
As planned, Visrava fell in love with Kaikesi and left his first wife. Kaikesi was a Daitya, a certain clan of the Asuras. Daityas are actually the children of sage Kashyapa and the Goddess of Earth, Diti (Godess Aditi’s sister). Visrava and Kaikesi had 4 kids, the eldest being Ravana. As mentioned by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, Ravana was born in Bisrakh village (near present day Ghaziabad) but as explained above, he was not Dalit but Daitya who belonged to the caste of Brahmins. Besides, later he won the kingdom of Lanka from his brother Kuber.
Lanka, created by Vishwakarma, the celestial architect was handed over to Visarva for his services as a Brahman by Lord Shiva.
“Maha Brahman” that’s what Lord Rama called Ravana Once!
Ravana had mastered 64 types of knowledge, from the skills of Kshatriyas to the holy books of the Brahmans. A devotee of Shiva, he like any other Rishi is known for his Tapasya for several years. Both, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma were impressed by his Tapasya. Lord Rama too was impressed by Ravana’s wisdom and knowledge. This is the reason why Rama appreciated the dying Ravana, and even asked his younger brother to seek Ravana’s blessings and wisdom.
Mandodari Too Wasn’t Dalit as Mentioned by Dr. Subramian Swamy
According to the Uttarya Ramayana, Lord Shiva once had a coitus with an Apsara called Madhura in absence of Goddess Parvati. However, Goddess Parvati comes to know about this incident. She curses her that she’ll become a frog and live in a well for 12 years. But, Lord Shiva tells her that she would turn a beautiful girl after these 12 years.
After 12 years as frog, Madhura turns into a beautiful girl who shouts from a well. Her scream is heard by a couple doing a penance for a daughter. They are no ordinary couple but Mayasura (son of sage Kashyapa) and Hema (Apsara). They adopt this girl. This girl is none other than Mandodari who later marries Ravana.
Meanwhile, human rights activist and Youth Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla wants a FIR to be registered against BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for the casteism shown in his speech.
However, later Dr. Swamy confirmed that he didn’t say Ravana was a Dalit from Ghaziabad. In his tweet, he mentioned that TOI is lying, and he will sue them for wilful defamation. Further tweeting that his fame doesn’t depend on Newspaper Slander.
Last year Swamy had Tweeted, “Ravana was from Noida.”even explaining that he was from Bisrakh Village. He maintains the same even now, which is actually true as explained above.
Does that mean Dr. Swamy said ‘Daitya’ and it was misquoted as Dalit?
Can anyone who was present in BHU during the speech, clear this confusion? Please!
By: Deepti Verma
Book 2, Section 11, Mahabharata translated by KM Ganguly
Book 5, Section 23 of Valmiki Ramayana
Mahanirvana Tantra, translated by Arthur Avalon, (Sir John Woodroffe), 1913,