Demon or scholar?
We can stretch this debate about Ravana forever but he admittedly had the power to create history; not merely make history but also land in the good books of some people - yes, also in the bad books of most people.
As most of you might be aware of his evil side, here’s a quick glimpse of another version of Ravana:
Initially named Dashanana, the demon king is known to have helped his opponent and raised the odds of Ram winning the battle of Ramayana.
Ravana is a known physician, an accomplished veena player, and is said to be one of the gatekeepers of Vishnu.
Though seen only as a destructive person, Ravana built one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen.
But why does any of this call for our attention or hold any significance?
Prioritizing The Art of Learning and Sharing (Ram did it too)
Our parents and guardians have often shared lessons with us that involved the importance of learning from others (no matter who they are) and sharing with others (no matter what they share) - some of us followed blindly while others took it as another unfair do-good lesson.
Most of us have tried both, but it hardly works as expected.
What happens when you dismiss an opportunity to learn because of an opinionated reason?
In this case, let’s talk from Ram’s side.
Most of us know that Ram suggested Laxman (his brother) request Rava
na to share his knowledge and teachings. But there’s more.
As the story goes, to rescue Sita, Ram had to cross Lanka and reach Ravana at the other end. That is when Ram’s army (Vanar Sena) built a bridge that helped Ram reach Ravana.
Here is what’s missing:
Though we see the power of faith as Vanar Sena built the bridge using Ram’s name and some rocks, not many of us know the role that knowledge sharing played in this.
To build the bridge, Ram had to do a Yagya for Shiva’s blessings and the only person who could perform the Yagya was Ravana, and
Long story short, if Ram would have not acknowledged that Ravana is knowledgeable and asked for help courageously, maybe Ramayana would not have ended as it did.
Knowledge Sharing and Our Victories: A Win-Win?
As employees, organizations, and leaders of the new era, one of our core questions has been: can teamwork and transparent knowledge flow truly help us all?
When done right, knowledge sharing can be one of the rare non-zero-sum games (a.k.a. A win-win situation for all the parties).
A win-win Ramayana
In Ramayana’s context, many experts in the matter share that Ravana wanted a way out of his life and his death was anything but a defeat for him. To this date, Ravana is known for his expertise, creative and strategic mindset, and devotion to Shiva. That is a win for him, and our lessons from Ramayana are a win for Ram and us.
Now, it may sound too good to be true but you wouldn’t know until you check for yourself.