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Is admiring Ravana a sin?

Admiring Ravana may not be a sin. But if that admiration ends up, over a period of time, in justifying sinful thoughts in you, then there is trouble. Thoughts lead to actions and actions bring punya or papa.

Imagine thoughts like these:

  • “I am a great scholar; most people around me are idiots. Idiots are meant to be banished”
  • “I am a great devotee if God. I always have had the blessings an protection of my God. I can do whatever I feel like and get away with it”
  • “I am the Managing Director of this massive corporation; none else is as powerful as I am. That Secretary in accounts dept. is so beautiful. I want to enjoy my night with her. She is married? Very devoted to husband? So what? I can even abduct her, woo her with my power and wealth! Who on earth will not fall for my personality and stature?”
  • “Well wishers around me say that it is wrong? Hell with them! Who are they to advise me so ignoring my greatness? If you can’t say yes to whatever I say or do, get out! I just don’t care.”

Get the point? Whatever be the goodness in a person, if evil qualities in him are more predominant, better to be watchful of the evil tendencies rather than just admiring the goodness, brushing aside the evil.

Why do some people do hero-worship of Karna and Ravana? Is it the effect of Kali yuga?

Eulogizing villainous characters like Karna and Ravana is a reflection of existence of villainous tendency or mentality in us either openly or subtly. If we find a character’s behavior, taste, looks, action, speech and so on creating a positive resonance in us, we tend to love the character.

No one is cent percent good or cent percent bad. In Karna and Ravana, the evil tendencies were very predominant. No questions about it. They also happened to have some good qualities and tendencies. The great itihas keep both the aspects open and clear. You will find that when it comes to acknowledging the great qualities of these villainous characters, there is no dilution in the narratives.

Hence, if we tend to appreciate them only for their goodness and ignore their negativeness, it is only a reflection of our own psychological status.

It is not just the effect of Kaliyuga. Even in Mahabharat period, there were people appreciating Karna. Almost for all the 100 Kauravas, Karna was a Hero! But, for the Pandavas, Karna was anything but a despicable character — a warrior who thought too much of himself without proportionate merit. Bhishma, one of the grandest personalities of Mahabharat had the least regard for Karna. He considered Karna to be boastful, shallow, arrogant, and not possessing enough capability or prowess to the extent of his self-image.

So, it is quite obvious that only people with villainous tendencies tend to worship villains as heroes.