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In this video, Sadguru Jaggi Vasudeva says that Shri Rama performed 1 year penance in Himalayas for killing Ravana, who was a great devotee of lord Shiva.

Is it true?

  • If yes, then how did he do PrAyashchita?
  • If no, then did he ever felt sorry for killing Ravana?
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    It was Brahm Hatya, one of the biggest sin(as Raavan was a son of powerful Brahmin of his time), not because Ravana was worshipper of Shiva. Brahmins with their knowledge represented face of Brahman(God) and God is knowledge. Unfortunetly Ravana's idols are burnt every Dussehra, mimicking Brahm Hatya and air pollution :/
    – user16546
    Oct 28, 2018 at 8:01

3 Answers 3

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Did he ever felt sorry for killing Ravana?

Yes, this is described in PADMA PURANA: PATALAKHANDA: Chapter 8. Agastya Advices Rama to Perform Horse Sacrifice.

When Agastya narrated Ravana's story, Rama felt very much sorry about killing Ravana born in a brahmana-family. Agastya tried to convince Rama that Ravana was a servant in Vaikuntha and he obtained demonhood due to the curse of sages. By killing him Rama have favored that brahmana (viz. Ravana) and said Rama to not again grieve over (the death of Ravana).

But,

Sri Rama said :

24-26. Sin is said to be of two kinds, viz. deliberate and nondeliberate. Deliberate is that which is done with an intention. The non-deliberate is that committed unintentionally. The deliberate sin is exhausted only after experiencing (the fruit of that sinful) deed. The other one would perish through remorse. This is declared by the scriptural injunctions. The words of the good cannot be properly regarded as removing the grief of me who have intentionally committed the extremely censurable killing of a brahmana.

27-28. Tell me a vow, a gift, a sacrifice, a (visit to a) holy place, or some great worship like that, which would burn my sin, and by which my spotless fame will purify the people who are defiled by sinful conduct and whose lustre is taken away due to the killing of a brahmana.

Then, Agastya spoke these words to Rama

29-36. "O Rama, O great hero, O you who does favour to the worlds, listen to words which I (shall now) speak for removing (the sin due to) killing a brahmana. He who would perform a horse sacrifice, overcomes all that sin. Therefore, O soul of the universe, you perform that auspicious horse-sacrifice.....

Agastya also told that how others like Indra overcome from Brahmhatya by performing horse-sacrifice.

And then, Lord Rama performed an Asvamedha yajna which is described in subsequent chapters of Padma Purana.

As per Valmiki Ramayana also, Laxamana gave a strong reason (that Indra purified himself from the sin of Brahmhatya by Asvamedha) to perform Asvamedha which indirectly might mean to perform Asvamedha to remove the sin for killing Ravana. This is discussed in Why did Lord Rama perform an Ashwamedha Yajna? post.

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There is no brahmahatya for rAma even if he had killed a "brAhmaNa" rAvaNa because as per this chapter of Adi parva mahAbhArata such a killing was permitted in case of a war initiated by brAhmaNa (arjuna in disguise of a brAhmaNa in this case):

Then those bulls among Brahmanas shaking their deer-skins and water-pots made of cocoanut-shells exclaimed, 'Fear not, we will fight the foe!' Arjuna smilingly addressing those Brahmanas exclaiming thus, said, 'Stand ye aside as spectators (of the fray) Showering hundreds of arrows furnished with straight points even I shall check, like snakes with mantras, all those angry monarchs.' Having said this, the mighty Arjuna taking up the bow he had obtained as dower accompanied by his brother Bhima stood immovable as a mountain. And beholding those Kshatriyas who were ever furious in battle with Karna ahead, the heroic brothers rushed fearlessly at them like two elephants rushing against a hostile elephant. Then those monarchs eager for the fight fiercely exclaimed, 'The slaughter in battle of one desiring to fight is permitted.' And saying this, the monarchs suddenly rushed against the Brahmanas.

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Contrary to popular belief, Ravana was not a brAhmana, but a kshatriya.

We have to remember that during Ramayana era, Varna system, but not the rigid Caste system, was in vogue.

In Varna system, a person's birth in a particular family does not decide his Varna, but his deeds will decide. This Varna system was also prevalent in Mahabharata period also.

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः।

तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम्।।4.13।।

The four Varnas have been created by Me through a classification of the gunas and duties. Even though I am the agent of that (act of classification), still know Me to be a non-agent and changeless.

Sri Hanuman attacks demons in Sundara Kanda. After the death of Akshaya, another son of Ravana in the hands of Sri Hanuman, Ravana orders Indrajit to proceed to the battle field.

न खल्वियम् मतिः श्रेष्ठा यत्त्वाम् सम्प्रेषयाम्यहम् | इयम् च राजधर्माणाम् क्षत्रियस्य मतिर्मता || ५-४८-१३

"This thought of my sending you is not indeed the best option. But, this decision is said to be according to the duties of a king and is the commendation of a warrior-class."

Here, Ravana himself declares that he was a Kshatriya.

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Coming to the question part:

  1. Sri Rama eliminated another warrior, which is nothing wrong and he did not have any remorse in killing Ravana. And, he said Hostilities end with death.

मरणान्तानि वैराणि निर्वृत्तं नः प्रयोजनम् || ६-१११-१०२ क्रियतामस्य सन्स्कारो ममाप्येष यथा तव |

"Hostilities end with death. Our purpose has been accomplished. Let his funeral rites be performed. He is even as good mine also, as yours."

  1. As Ravana was not a brAhmana, there is no question of Sri Rama doing penance. The story of Ramayana ends with coronation of Sri Rama as the king of Kosala Kingdom.

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