Nearly 650 km from Ayodhya, a priest of a temple dedicated to demon king Ravan is eagerly awaiting the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram temple. Tucked away in Gautam Buddh Nagar’s Bisrakh area is a temple dedicated to Ravan, the dark figure in the epic Ramayana who was killed by Lord Ram.
Mahant Ramdas of the Ravan temple said he will distribute sweets after the conclusion of the ‘bhoomi poojan’ ceremony in the temple town of Ayodhya on August 5.
“I am very happy that the bhoomi pujan for the temple of Lord Ram is taking place in Ayodhya. After the ceremony, I will distribute ‘ladoos’ and celebrate the happy moment. The bhoomi poojan for the temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya is indeed a very good development. I am happy as a grand temple will be built there,” he told PTI.
Mahant Ramdas said, “If Ravan was not there, then no one would have known about Shri Ram. And in the absence of Lord Ram, no one would have known anything about Ravan”. According to local folklore, Bisrakh is the birthplace of Ravan and, “we call it the Ravan Janambhoomi,” the priest said.
Describing Ravan as a knowledgeable person and an expert in many fields, he said, after abducting Sita, he kept her at Ashok Vatika, and did not take her to his palace. “Apart from this, he posted women to guard Sita. If Lord Ram is called ‘maryaadaa purshottam’ (the person who upheld dignity), then I think Ravan also to some extent can be considered as a person who upheld dignity (of people in various aspects),” he said
The temple in Bisrakh has idols of Lord Shiva, Parvati and Kuber. “The temple does not close even during the night. Devotees coming here offer prayers to Lord Shiva, Kuber and even Ravan. Around 20 per cent of devotees who come here worship Ravan,” acccording to Mahant Ramdas.
According to Ramayana, Ravan abducts Lord Ram’s wife Sita and takes her to his kingdom of Lanka, where he keeps her in captivity in Ashok Vatika. Later, Lord Ram, with the support of ‘vanara’ King Sugriv and his army of ‘vanars’, attacks Lanka, kills Ravan, and rescues Sita.