If you happen to visit Sri Lanka, don't ever try to convince anybody out there that Raavan was a devil. Because the Sri Lankan Hindus are not going to believe you.
For the Sri Lankan Hindus (who form 12.6% of the total population in Sri Lanka), Raavan was the greatest ruler the world has ever seen.
The tragic end that he met was all because of his brother, who disclosed his secret to Rama. The secret was in regard to Ravana's death, without knowing which, Ravana could never have been killed or defeated.
There are no temples built for Ravana, but he is greatly revered all over Sri Lanka. Here are some interesting facts associated with Raavan's respect in Sri Lanka:
1. Ravana was a king with the powerful administration (Leadership)
Ravana belonged to a highly intellectual family. He was born to great sage Visravas and Kaikesi.
Ravan’s father was the famous rishi, Visravas, who himself was a son of Prajapati Pulastya, one of Brahma’s ten ‘mind-born’ sons.
Since his father was a saptrishi, Ravana had the access to good education and martial arts training.
He had surplus knowledge and strength, which made him administer a great kingdom and become a renowned king. This is the most important reason why people respect him.
2. Ravana was an Ayurvedic physician (Knowledge)
Ravana is said to have the authorship of 7 books written on Ayurveda.
He had profound knowledge on the healing power of natural ingredients and could cure people of ailments.
He even wrote a book on Ayurvedic remedies for infants at the request of his wife.
3. Ravana was a champ of science and technology (Skills)
Ravana invented the pushpak viman, on which he abducted Sita from Ashok Vatika India during his time.
That was an advanced flying vehicle as that was clearly a pre-aeronautical era.
It had tremendous capacity and as many people sit in it, one seat used to be vacant.
Some people even call Ravana the 'engineer of his time' for this marvel creation.
4. Ravana was a devotee of Lord Shiva (Religiousness)
Ravana was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, who is believed to have the incredible powers to bring the end of the world.
He meditated and prayed to Lord Shiva to get divine powers to use weapons. This made him more powerful.
When Lord Shiva asked him, 'What do you desire?', he said that he wants him (Shiva).
So, Lord Shiva gave him a shivling (which had the power to grant wishes) and asked him to carry it where ever he goes.
If he places the shivling on the ground, it will be fixed there forever. This shivling granted his wishes.
5. Ravana was a man of principles (Morality)
Ravana abducted Sita in order to avenge the humiliation of his sister Supranakha when Lakshman scraped her nose.
He loved his sister and did this for her sake, even when his wife Mandodri and brother Vibhishan stopped him.
They warned him of the consequences but Ravan went ahead for his sister.
He was impressed by Sita's beauty and also, had an attraction towards her.
But, after kidnapping Sita, he never touched Sita without her permission and did not do any harm to her.
He was a Brahmin, and hence, possessed high values and principles.
These 5 reasons make Ravana so much popular and respected among the Sri Lankans. What do you think?