In what places is Ravan worshiped?

Why is Ravana worshiped like God by Ramayana and also considered a demon?

In Sundara Kanda by Valmiki Ramayana, Hanuman, addressing Ravana, says the following verses which, in my opinion, sum up Ravana's life:

न तु धर्म उपसम्हारम् अधर्म फल सम्हितम् || ५-५१-२८
तत् एव फलम् अन्वेति धर्मः च च नाशनः |

The fruit of righteousness does not coexist with the result of injustice (although he practices virtue). This consequence of injustice alone follows him. Justice in abundance destroys injustice.

प्राप्तम् धर्म फलम् तावत् भवता न अत्र संशयः || ५-५१-२९
फलम् अस्य अपि अधर्मस्य क्षिप्रम् एव प्रपत्स्यसे |

You have already received the fruit of virtue.There is no doubt about it.In no time you will also receive the fruit of injustice.

If you are interested in Sribhashyam Appalacharyulus Commentary (Tatva Deepika) on the above verses, you can read it here.

Now those who consider Ravana a hero might enjoy some of his so-called virtues, such as:

  • His repentance to receive blessings from Lord Brahma.

    However, this was motivated by jealousy towards his stepbrother Kubera, as explained here.

  • He praises Lord Shiva.

    However, he only did so on the advice of his ministers when his arms were trapped under the mountain. Kailash and there was nothing else he could do to break free.

You said:

I know that he was a great king who kept his kingdom and administration in an organized manner.

I suppose it is because he consulted and listened to his ministers early on and rode on the good fortune and blessings he received from Lords Brahma and Shiva.

But here, too, the Lanka he ruled was forcibly taken from Kubera. Now compare that to what Rama tells his brother Lakshmana in Ayodhya Kanda:

धर्ममर्थं च कामं च पृथिवीं चापि लक्ष्मण |
इच्छामि भवतामर्थे एतत् प्रतिशृणोमि ते || २-९७-५

O Lakshmana! For your sake, I wish for virtue, lawfully acquired wealth and pleasure, or even the earth itself. I promise you that.

भ्रातृइणां संग्रहार्थं च सुखार्थं चापि लक्ष्मण |
राज्यमप्यहमिच्छामि सत्येनायुधमालभे || २-९७-६

O Lakshmana! I only want the throne for the protection and happiness of my brothers. I touch my gun and swear that fact.

Long before Ravana kidnaps Sita, he raped Rambha and also molested Vedavati. His two brothers, Kumbakarna and Vibhishana, question his actions after Sita's abduction and advise him to release her and save both Lanka and his people.

When Kumbhakarna heard Ravana's complaint, he laughed at full volume and said, "The same dire consequence that we had earlier envisioned in the final decision after our consultation now faces you because you have it have completely disregarded the words spoken by your well-wishers . "

Of course, Ravana doesn't listen to them. Poor Kumbakarna decides to side with Ravana out of loyalty. However, Vibhishana chooses Dharma over his brother and seeks Rama's help and is instrumental in Ravana's downfall.

All of the above only shows what a bad person and a bad King Ravana is.

This is why most Hindus and followers of Valmiki Ramayana do not consider Ravana to be a god or worship him. In fact, another name Valmiki gave Ramayana is poulastya vadha (Ravana's elimination).


However, there are some people in India like the Gond tribes of Maharashtra, like im HinduArticles mentioned that neither consider themselves Hindus nor believe in Valmiki Ramayana. It is understandable, therefore, that they consider Ravana to be their god.

“Our understanding of Dussehra is different. It does not mean the murder of Ravan, but implies 'Dassar Puja' or the worship of weapons, ”says Vasudevrao Tekam, a descendant of the Gond king of Lanjhigarh in Odisha. Tekam was among the many Gond guests who attended the event. " We have nothing to do with Hinduism.Gonds believe in totems.We are the warisdars of Ravan: Ravanvanshis.We are not Hindus. We are being forced to be Hindus ... ”Tekam's rejection of the Aryan terminology is a reference to the counter-narration of the Gonds.

According to their version, Ravan was a Gond king who was killed by Aryan invaders. He was the tenth Dharmaguru of the tribe and carried on the legacy of Kupar Lingo, the supreme deity and heroic ancestor of Gonds, who gave them their phratry structures and lifestyle values.

Also, AK says Ramanujan in his essay Three hundred ramayanas The following:

Jaina Tellings

When we enter the world of the Jains tales, the Rama story no longer bears Hindu values. Indeed, the Jain texts express a feeling that the Hindus, especially the Brahmins, slandered Ravana and made him a villain.
...
Vimalasuri of the Jains opens the story not with Rama's genealogy and size, but with Ravanas. Ravana is one of the sixty-three leaders or Salakapurusas of the Jain tradition. He is noble, learned, earns all his magical powers and weapons through austerity measures (tapas) and is a follower of the Jaina masters. To please one of them, swear he even that he will not touch an unwilling woman.

Depending on which Ramayana one follows, Ravana could be viewed as her hero or villain.

Further references:

Valmiki Ramayana - Answering relevant questions with Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh (YouTube playlist)