Lankapati Ravan ( Part 3 )

Karishma Mishra
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Depiction in other scriptures

As Vishnu's cursed doorkeeper

In the Bhagavata Purana, Ravana and his brother, Kumbhakarna, were said to be reincarnations of Jaya and Vijaya, gatekeepers at Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu and were cursed to be born in Earth for their insolence.

These gatekeepers refused entry to the Sanatha Kumara monks—- who, because of their powers and austerity, appeared as young children. For their insolence, the monks cursed them to be expelled from Vaikuntha and to be born on Earth.

Vishnu agreed that they should be punished. They were given two choices, that they could be born seven times as normal mortals and devotees of Vishnu, or three times as powerful and strong people, but as enemies of Vishnu. Eager to be back with the Lord, they choose the latter one. Ravana and his brother Kumbhakarna were born to fulfill the curse on the second birth as enemies of Vishnu in the Treta Yuga. The curse of first birth was fulfilled by Hiranyakashipu and his brother Hiranyaksha in Satya Yuga when they were both vanquished by earlier avatars of Vishnu (Hiranyaksha by Varaha and Hiranyakashipu by Narasimha) and the curse of third birth was fulfilled by Dantavakra and Shishupala in the Dvapara Yuga when they both were slain by Krishna, the eighth avatar.

Conflict with other kings and Asuras

Ravana had gotten into a conflict with some other major Asuras.

  1. In Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh is where he is said to have fought, but lost, to Kartavirya Arjuna, and he was tied up; later Kartavirya got the name Da┼Ťagrivajayi (the conqueror of Ravana just like Indrajit got his name by defeating Indra) and released him on the request of his grandfather sage Pulastya. Ravana vanquished.
  2. Marutta (Chakravarti King of Ushiraviga),
  3. Gadhi (Vishwamitra's father),
  4. Dushyanta (Bharata's father),
  5. Suratha (King of Vidarbha),
  6. Gaya (Chakravarti king of Dharmaranya), and
  7. Paurava (King of Anga).
  8. Ravana killed Anaranya, the king of Ayodhya although the latter cursed Ravana to be slain by Rama.
  9. Ravana was vanquished by the Ikshvaku King Mandhata, an ancestor of Rama.
  10. Ravana had wrestled his brother Kubera for the Pushpaka Vimana.
  11. In the Ramayana, he fought Vali the Kishkindha king, but was defeated by him.
  12. He also fought with the Nivatakavachas, the descendants of Prahlada, but being unable to defeat them, struck an alliance with them.
  13. Another time he was vanquished by the sage Kapila.
  14. One time, upon hearing a discourse from Sage Sanatkumara, Ravana attempted to invade Vaikuntha. Only Ravana managed to enter Vaikuntha's capital Shwetadwipa where he was hopelessly outmatched by the inhabitants over there and was forced to retreat.
Karishma Mishra
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