Effigies of Ravana readied ahead of Dussehra

November 14th, 2007 - 2:34 am ICT by admin  
Scores of people throng ‘Ravan Mandi’, the market place to buy effigies of the demon king.

“Here, effigies are available for as low as Rs 100 and as high as Rs 2000,” said Jethmal Sharma, a buyer.

Arji Rau, a worker said: “Hundreds of Ravana effigies are made here. The height of the smallest effigy is around one foot while workers are engaged in making a 100-feet tall effigy.”

Ravana is considered embodiment of evil. But villagers near Vidisha town in Madhya Pradesh worship the ten-headed demon.

Interestingly, this village is named as Ravangram, village of Ravana and the villagers revere the demon king as ‘Ravana Baba’ with a temple dedicated to him.

Indeed, this is an ancient temple where the idol of Ravana, in a lying posture, has been worshipped for the past 600 years.

Villagers feel that Ravana protects their habitation from evil designs. They don’t burn effigies of the demon king, but offer prayers and worship him as God.

“I don’t think Ravana is a symbol of evil. People come early in the morning to worship him on Dussehra. We have never burnt the effigy of Ravan Baba, on the contrary we worship him in a devout manner,” said Sanjeev Tiwari, a villagers.

People from neighbouring villages also gather at the temple to pay obeisance to Ravana.

According to Hindu mythology, the ten-headed Ravana abducted Sita, Lord Ram’s consort. Ram went to war with Ravana to release his wife from captivity and killed the demon-king, his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkarna.

Ram’s victory over Ravana is described as the triumph of good over evil and is celebrated every year as Dussehra.

Dussehra is also interpreted as “Dasa-Hara”, which means the slaying of the ten heads of Ravana, denoting abdication of ten vices –passion, pride, anger, greed, infatuation, lust, hatred, jealousy, selfishness and crookedness. (ANI)

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