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It is often heard that Raavan was one of great person to live. He was expert in Vedas, and other scriptures. He was sitar player. However, I'm not able to find any scriptures' details to ascertain this. So far, I have found that Raavan was adharmi right from birth, perhaps the most evil Rakshash ever born (although not the most powerful one : Valmiki Ramayan, Uttarkand, Ashtam sarg, Shlok 24)

For example, Raavan had no knowledge of Bhagwan Shankar, even after receiving boon from Brahma. His ignorance of Shiva's great powers and that he was savior of Rakshash clan is clearly exposed in Valmiki Ramayan, Uttarkand, Sarga 16. How could such an ignorant be a great scholar?

My question is not limited to just ved gyaan. What were his dharmik or positive qualities if any (besides his tap for brahma and Mahadev, and a fierce warrior)? Did he ever help someone or did positive acts? Thank you.

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  • The only positive act he did was probably to fight with God to get his grace.
    – Adiyarkku
    Jul 10 at 6:05
  • Most of his greatness's are present in the four-five chapters starting from here
    – hanugm
    Jul 10 at 23:22
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    But, in sanathan dharma, reading scripture, possessing skills or doing tapas for boon are never considered as ultimate or in-fact great. Only character and the consequential knowledge of a character are of prime importance.
    – hanugm
    Jul 10 at 23:25
  • Very True. It is like learning to be an engineer but using knowledge to build weapons to hurt people or self benefit
    – sbharti
    Jul 11 at 8:30
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I too don't recall reading any such 'Dharmic' qualities in Ravana. He r*pes woman, plunders from innocent. In fact, even the assumption that Shiva Tandava Stothram was his creation, was probably apocryphal.

Most of these distortions are leftist propaganda. I think it's called normative inversion. Since they cannot directly attack Rama, they want to elevate his enemy.

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  • In Ramayan there is no mention of Shiv tandav strotam. Nowhere it says he's shiv bhakt (or bhakt of any god for that matter) .
    – sbharti
    Jul 10 at 20:35
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    @sbharti There are traditions, pre-modern, of Ravana being considered as a devotee of Siva. For instance, in Srisailam, there is a seva called Ravana vahana seva. In some temple architecture too, he is depicted as a devotee of Siva. Whether these traditions are derived from any scriprures, I do not know.
    – user23407
    Jul 11 at 1:51
  • Yes I do believe tradition counts and maybe even more than book because tradition is a living entity, hundreds or possibly thousands of years. Many times we are not able to find scriptures about them. Hopefully "historical notings" about the tradition can put more light on them.
    – sbharti
    Jul 11 at 8:24

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