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Ravana, Fact or Myth?

Independent Study

Tharaka Devinda Gunasekera 040119

Table of Contents
Introduction.................................................................................................................................................. 3 What makes him a myth .......................................................................................................................... 3 Are there facts that say otherwise? ......................................................................................................... 4 The beholders eyes ................................................................................................................................. 4 Ravanas History ........................................................................................................................................... 5 Facts that prove Ravana was real................................................................................................................. 6 The runway ............................................................................................................................................... 6 The plane .................................................................................................................................................. 7 The city that sank into the sea ................................................................................................................. 9 Scattered facts........................................................................................................................................ 10 Generations misled?................................................................................................................................... 11 My View of all this ...................................................................................................................................... 13 Bibliography................................................................................................................................................ 14

Introduction
We all know the story of Ramayana, which is retold over generations. And we also know the super villain character Ravana plays in it. But, is the story all true? Was Ravana a vicious king as the text tells us, or did he even exist? These are some of the questions that this study will discuss.

What makes him a myth


What makes the king a myth is the storybook appearance that has been there in the texts. Ramayana is the only popular text that refers to Ravana as the king of Lanka. In the story, he is the super villain king that abducts Seetha and brings her to his palace because of a dispute between Rama and his sister Suparnika. The story says that Ravana has 10 heads (The name dasis refers to the one who has ten heads) and has a boon given from god that no man can defeat him in battle. There is a part of the story that tells how Hanumantha burned the city Lankapura by lighting up his tail and going through the city. These facts point towards the decision that Ravana is just a storybook character that you tell small boys to make them sleep. The war between Rama and Ravana is also greatly exaggerated in the stories to make it look deadly. The civilisation was known as Asura. This is misinterpreted in most of the books and stories as Demon, but the word Asura is not for demonic. People living far from the equator needed something to warm them up since the climate is too cold. Therefore they used alcohols, known in the language as Suraa. Thus they were the Suras and the people who lived near the equator needed it not. Thus they were the A-Suras or simply Asura. This may have been a big reason why people thought of Ravana as a vicious king, and we can see what they see out of him by observing the pictures and other illustrations from India and other countries.
An Illustration of Ravana by an Indian artist Wikipedia.org

Are there facts that say otherwise?


But did Ravana really exist? Is there any clue that we see in the present day that support the fact that there was in fact a great king that ruled us ages ago, in a country with a well developed culture and technological wonders that his Indian adversaries would never have dreamt before? As a matter of fact, there are things more than enough to prove that Ravana really existed and that Sri Lanka was once far superior to all the other cultures. The facts that we look at, make Greek and Roman cultures negligible in technological advancement. The Aryan culture that is told in the Mahawansa is far inferior compared to the facts that we see in this context. But, there is one drawback that prevents us from adding Ravana to the list of king of this country; written reference. The Mahawansa itself starts from the day that king Vijaya came to Sri Lanka. The Rajawaliya tells of a king named Ravana in the period 2554 2517 BC. There are a few stone tablets that help too. To make matters worse, critics believe that the Mahawansa itself was written to hide the great culture. For some reason some think that Mahawansa itself is not entirely true! Somehow, Mr. Paranawithana was not able to or for some reason, intentionally did not write some of the findings according to the sources from the Ravana Brothers, a group of researchers that look for the history of Sri Lanka.

The beholders eyes


The story of Ramayana was told to us in the viewpoint of the prince Rama, right from the beginning of his birth and up to the point where he defeats Ravana and rescues Seetha from Lankapura. Is this just a story that tells of the typical tale of the damsel in distress? There is however views that point to the fact that this actually happened, and some believe that the story itself has been tampered with, to insult the king, Ravana. It is the fact that nobody looks at the story from the point of view of the Other, Ravana; that makes us feel that he is a bad guy who kidnaps women. But before that, we would look at some of the facts that point us in the direction that Ravana actually was alive.

Ravanas History
First let us look at what sources we have that tell us of Ravanas History. He was the son of a Brahmin called Vishrava and a princess called Kaikesi. When Kaikesi came of age to be married, her father Sumali the king of the Daityas, wanted her to marry the most powerful and noble man in the world. He refused a lot of offers made by a number of prices and went to Vishrava instead. He agreed to marry Kaikesi. Yet, he told that Kaikesi approached her in the wrong time, and the children that were to be born to them will be bent towards evil. Ravana was the eldest of the sons that they had. He was named Dasagriva or Dashanana since it is believed that he had ten heads. But this may be because he had the power and strength of ten men. Some say the ten heads were due to the reflections of a crystal necklace gifted to him by his father at the time of his birth or he had the mental strength of 10 people. Ravana had two brothers, Vibhishana and Kumbhakarna and one sister, Meenakshi (Later named Shoorpanakha). During Ravanas time, the kingdom Lanka was divided between three rulers by the queen Mandratha. Namely Tharaka; who ruled from a location near the current day Kelaniya, Surapadma; who ruled from the southern parts near Tissamaharama. The third, Sinha-Mukha did not have a city to rule from. Thus he called upon the greatest architect and engineer of all time, Maya-Asura (Known to some as Vishwakarma) to build him the city Lankapura. (Legend says this is Atlantis itself) But soon, the king Surapadma had a dispute with a foreign king and takes him into custody and brings him to Lanka. This triggers an event that shapes the history of the country. A prince named Kathira (Later renamed Mahasena because of bringing a great army), comes to Lanka (The place he set his armies is currently known as Katharagama Kathira-Gama broken down) and rescues the abducted prince by killing Surapadma. Unfortunately, during this time, Tharaka and Sinha-Mukha leave their strongholds and escape from the country. The country goes to the hands of a king named Kuvera (AKA Kubera), also known to be a son of Vishrava. (Ravanas father) It is then; Ravana overthrows the attacker Kuvera and secures the country and most importantly, the Pushpaka, the flying machine. Kuvera might not have known to use it, but Ravana who had much knowledge given to him by his father and his studies of the Vedas might have had an idea how to fly the thing. From the stories that are told about queen Devayani

(Mentioned later) showing off the battle capabilities of the Pushpaka, Ravana might have figured out that it would be a great advantage to have such a craft. He took the country into a period of utmost prosperity. It is rumoured that the poorest of the houses in the country had golden pots to feed from. The people knew not the meaning of hunger. It is this prosperous culture, did Rama decided to bring down, and it all happened because of a single female. (We still dont know whether this abduction story is true) Ravana's last references are in the war that he made with Rama. He was quite an adversary to Rama. Given the fact that his knowledge of science and warrior tactics, Rama was no match for him. But the inside help Rama got from Vibhishana seems to have worked for him. If not for that, the story would have been told in a different manner. Some argue that the abduction story is a setup done by Vibhishana himself to overthrow Ravana from his empire. The Ramayana states that Rama even winning his queen in a war, did not trust Seetha to be pure. But Seetha proved that she was pure and this fact also says that Ravana never even touched the woman when she was in Lanka. Why abduct her and then keep her till she says Yes when you can always do what you want by force. This is a serious question that we must seek answers to. We have seen political scandal stories all our life and of all the countries in the world, we must know how bad politicians become when they want power. Perhaps Vibhishana was overcome by his greed of the empire to force him into such an action. (Wikipedia, 2007), (Suriya Gunasekera, 2006)

Facts that prove Ravana was real


As we discussed, there are facts that depict that Ravana was once alive, a living breathing technocrat that made the first airplane, (Yes he did beat the Wright bothers to it) the greatest civil engineer ever, known in history as the one who built the city that sank into the sea, coming in the stories as Atlantis, and the humanitarian that showed pity to his enemy even when he was at the verge of victory.

The runway
The first clue that comes to us is from three places still intact. Those are Maha-eliya (Known today as Hortons plains named after the person who shot down all the deer in the park, to the last one), Ussangoda in Hambanthota and Wariyapola. What do these places

have in common? For starters, all these places are flat lands with wide open areas, ideal for landing an airborne craft. The place name Wariyapola breaks down in to Air-Ship-Port (Waa=air). Couple together this, with the fact that almost all the place names in this country has a history that made them, we have our first clue, the runway lines of the kings airplane, or was it fleet?

The flat contours of Ussangoda

Ussangoda also seems a good spot for landing an aircraft. But the land is somewhat tilted in some areas. The best craft to land there would be a helicopter. But we also know that it is possible to land airplanes in a short distance, which is done in a fighter carrier. There are certain models that can land vertically too. Thus, the uneven ground may not be a problem. It might have been completely flat by the time of Ravana, so the problems might not have been there at all. The fact that, the Ussangoda rock has no high rising trees is intriguing. The soil there does not support high growing trees, not even coconuts that grow normally in that area are there on the rock formation.

The plane
Findings from a pyramid in Egypt revealed four airplane structures shown in terracotta slabs. Among them are the two crafts that show resemblance to the current day helicopter and the passenger airplane. A third is said to show a structure similar to a faster craft may be used in battle. There is however references that the queen Devayani, mother of Tharaka, 7

Surapadma and Sinha-mukha, showed her sons how the bombing is done. Where it is said that rock turned into marble. Only at very high temperatures will this happen and either a nuclear or a plasma grade weapon is necessary to do such damage. (Suriya Gunasekera, 2006) There are findings of airplane like structures all round the world. The first is from Egypt, which resembles a bird. Although archaeologists categorised it as a bird at first, people now have their doubts about it. The wings that are flat as well as a tail which is vertical rather than horizontal are the facts that tell us its actually a sculpture of an airplane. (El-Baily)

The sculpture found in Egypt Touregypt.com

The writings on the sculpture said it was the Gift of Amon. Amon is the god of wind in Egyptian mythology. As I suspect, this is not a gift from Amon, but a gift to Amon. From whom, I do not know, but it might as well be from Ravana. A similar finding was done in Central America and coastlines of South America. This time it was made out of gold rather than wood. The sculpture shows patterns of wind upon it very clearly.

A picture of the sculpture from America

But the people who found it categorised it as an animal. But the writers at bibliotecapleyades.net argue that it is no such thing but an airplane. Working with a scientist from Bell, they support the theory. (Janku, 1996) The Americans have been keen on the technological advancements told in these stories. It is said that they even tested a prototype of the Pushpaka, and succeeded. It is rumoured that they extracted the details from a Vedic script. Thus we know that there were airplanes operating at a period way before the time of the Wright brothers and there were landing sites here in Sri Lanka that was suitable to land the crafts. The story Ramayana itself proves that Ravana had a flying machine named Pushpaka Vimana. This is clear fact that proves the existence of Ravana.

The city that sank into the sea


In the South-East of Sri Lanka there are two lighthouses erected on two small islands, known even today as Maha Ravana Kotte (Great Basses) and Kuda Ravana Kotte. The word Kotte may well be fort. There is evidence in the nearby vicinity that depicts the ruins of a fort or a citadel. However the rocks that are visible only in the low tide can only be examined with great care as the sea is very rough in the area. The Lankapura that is in the Ramayana cannot be located anywhere in the island. Therefore the only clues that come from are from the sea. The findings from a Babylonian terracotta slab revealed that the city Babylon was constructed according to the instructions given by the Lion People that came from the sky. This is acceptable, since we know that the king Sinha-Mukha (Lion Mouth?) built the city, and he may have led a team of engineers to help

build Babylon according to his city. Comparing the records of Plato (4th Cent. BC) and the description that comes from Ramayanas Hanuman, Platos Atlantis and Hanumans Lankapura seem to be the same. Then where is this city of gold? To find the city now, we would have to dive deep in the eastern seas of Sri Lanka. Legend has it after the death of Ravana; the city sank into the sea. Clues can be found in the areas given above, where the lighthouses were and the areas of Trincomalee. The lovers leap is a ridge of rock that is no natural formation, a good indicator that the land that was once connected to it, sank in to the sea. People still have no correct answer to whether the city was actually there or how it sank, but recent history tells us how it sank. The tidal wave that hit the eastern shore tore apart most of the buildings and took many lives. We could place our doubt in a larger scale tidal wave, bringing the city down. Since there are no ground structures even islands left in the eastern shoreline, we can assume that most of the city was artificially built ground. The Europeans searched for Atlantis, obviously in the Atlantic Ocean and nearby seas, but they have left out the search, maybe because they couldnt find a way to say that Atla ntis was a white mans wonder. (Theyve done this before; Zimbabwe was a white city to them until an all female group of archaeologists proved otherwise) Thus we have our second clue, linking the king to a long lost city that is no longer unknown. (Suriya Gunasekera, 2006)

Scattered facts
There are several other scattered facts that support the existence of Ravana. One of them is a holding cell that is said to have held Seetha while Ravana was carrying her to his kingdo m. This is found in the Devinuwara area. This conflict with the stories that tell Seetha was held in the hill country where Seetha-eliya is. But as we know, the kingdom that we know as Lankapura, was in the Eastern shores of the island. The holding ce ll that we talk about, support that fact. It was supposed to have made for Seetha to rest on the journey to the capital.

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A side view of the structure

This cell is constructed from stone and the roof is a marvellous installation, which is a solid rock plate. The lifting power that would have been required must have been enormous. If this is actually a holding cell that Ravana rested Seetha, it must have been built in short notice. Therefore, we must believe that they knew how to operate at least pulley systems to do such task. The stones themselves are fitted in great accuracy and precision. There are no notable gaps between the stones. The interior of the building is decorated with flowers carved onto the stones and the roof slab itself. The stepping stone (Sandakada-pahana) has no carvings, telling us that this is not a construction after the Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa ages.

Generations misled?
Considering the facts that are given above, we see that there is a very high possibility that a ruler named Ravana once existed in Lanka and he leaded the country into prosperity. There facts that we pointed out are valid, but need to be straightened out. There is too much in the facts that can be misled or that the historical references of today do not agree with. Before we can argue with the current historical recordings, we need to find better facts to prove that Ravana existed. It is highly unlikely that the general community will accept that what they have believed to this date as their history has been a story that has been tampered with for a long time by 11

several parties. The reason for changes of the history of the country may be because to hide its former glory and prevent it from developing into one. As we all know, the English that ruled the country for about two centuries have done it very successfully. They knew very well that a country with such a history would be very hard to be kneeled before them if they didnt do something about their history. The history that we have so far studied at school has not showed us all that was in the country. The historian that uncovered most of the Sri Lankan history was Mr. Senerath Paranawithana. But some statements that he even had made are doubtful. For instance, he has stated that there is no evidence that successfully proves the visits by Buddha to this country. But there are stone tablets that can prove it without any doubt. The fact that the Buddha recognised a civilisation that is far advanced than the Aryans must have had a major blow on some people, because the Buddha came to see the Yaksha and Naga People in this island and they were not primitive hunters. Another fact that reeks in our history is that king Vijaya was a banished man that accidentally came here and made a civilization. This must be the biggest lie in history. How can a person with a clan of madmen that have trouble obeying the law make civilizations? People say that the Wedda people in the country are descendants of the civilization once there was before Vijaya came here. Vijaya did come to this country, but there was a far better civilization here than he ever imagined. When he was tied up with the royalty of this country, he might have had a good place that helped him to the throne. But believing that the Sinhalese are a race that descends from an outlaw is the biggest mistake that we ever made, or the biggest mistake the English had us make.!! Without a proper history, the morale of a race can severely diminish. Once they didnt find a way to hide the solid facts, they made up a sto ry that overshadowed the wonder of our history.

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My View of all this


We took into account various facts and sources that prove or disprove the existence of Ravana. From all these facts that have been laid out, my opinion is that Ravana did exist. The ambiguities that arise saying otherwise are there because of the lack of solid facts. But, like all other great findings, they will come some day, slowly though, to prove that there was actually a great kingdom, here in our country. History is the very foundation of a civilization. Our history is golden compared to other countries past records. But some have ignored it or covered it with a veil of dust and mud. It is time for us to clean that dust and rediscover the gold that lies within our legends, the golden part that lies within us ourselves. It is time to rewrite our history from scratch, to rewrite the true version; not something that was planted there purposely. Finally, I tell you, Ravana is solid fact. There is too mush evidence to believe he was only a myth. A real king that walked in our country, leading it to be the worlds number one.

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Bibliography
Ahubudu, A. (2006). Ravana Puwatha. Ravana Dahana , pp. 34-35. El-Baily, D. M. (n.d.). Egypt: A Sailplane in Ancient Egypt. Retrieved 10 04, 2007, from touregypt.net: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/air.htm Janku, L. G. (1996). Ancient Egypt and Precolombian Airplane Models. Retrieved 10 04, 2007, from bibliotecapleyades.net: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_aviones_precolom02.htm Ravana Brothers. (2006). Ravana Dahana. Ravana Dahana , all. Suriya Gunasekera, P. (2006). Lanka Ithihasaye Hela Yugaya. Ravana Dahana - Souvenier , 1215. Wikipedia. (2007, 10 02). Ravana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 10 04, 2007, from wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravana

Special thanks go to the Ravana Brothers, and My father for providing me with the photographs.

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