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Ravana was Lord Shiva's devotee. Lord Shiva was impressed with Ravana's tapasya and fulfilled his dream. My question is, Ravana was evil and took Sita from Rama, then why did Lord Shiva help him?

I saw this question where OP is asking something different, whether Ravana worshiped Vishnu or not, but it's not related to this question.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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    why does evil exist at all, if God created everything. there are many such questions. it simply is His play, God's Lila. Lord Shiva is the prime mover. He is Brahman Himself. He is Bhagavan. He is God. The entire Ramayana was not an ordinary Historical event! It was all orchestrated by Lord Shiva the Supreme to teach Mankind some important lessons. This is all Lord Shiva's Lila. Lord Shiva plays with the Jivas in various ways. Though Ravana played the role of a vicious and evil Rakshas, he was actually blessed, for He was liberated by God's Hands . All the best! – Sai Feb 9 '15 at 6:49
  • In an Indian serial, Lord Vishnu says Lord shiva is bhole (means innocent) and will fulfill wishes of evil people. And every time Lord Vishnu have to incarnate and do the killing. It is funny but if we see any example every time Lord Shiva gives power to them and then all Gods will run for help to Lord Vishnu and then he solves it. Off course Lord shiva knows every thing as Sai said it's their Lila. they Generate Operate Destroy (GOD) – Rishi Apr 26 '17 at 7:17
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Every action, thought and word has consequences. Which is why it is imperative that we adhere to dharma every waking moment, if one is to avoid negative consequences for oneself and the universe.

If a rowdy student works hard and does brilliantly in an examination, is the teacher not obligated to give them good marks? It is the same principle here. When a rakshasa does tapasya, if the tapasya is meritorious, the rakshasa will be given the fruits of his labor. However, when they use these fruits to wreak havoc, that action is countered by other means.

Also, it was Brahma who gave boons to Ravana on account of his penance. Not Shiva.

  • FYI Raavana was not total Raakshasha, but a half Bhrahmin by birth and had born near modern day NOIDA. – iammilind Feb 14 '15 at 2:23
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    @iammilind How is that relevant? God does not bless only brahmins. – user1195 Feb 14 '15 at 4:04
  • I agree with you and writing my own answer right now. Just wanted to correct it since, you have referred Raavana as total Raakshasha. He had many nobility inside him and was half Brahmin. NOIDA thing is something which has come out recently. :-) – iammilind Feb 14 '15 at 4:32
  • @iammilind You are mistaken in your comprehension of my answer. – user1195 Feb 14 '15 at 5:33
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    @Moonstar there is a mention in uttarakanda of Valmiki Ramayana where Shiva gives a sword to Ravan which returned back shiva again. So shiva also gave boon(kind of) to Ravana. I think OP i asking about whole rakshasa kula. – Sarvabhouma Apr 22 '17 at 8:08
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Now, I can ask why does Agni Deva burn good people too? Isn't Agni Deva supposed to be merciful to them because those are good and innocent people? The answer is NO.

Devas and God are impartial. If you seek the blessing of god, you can get it by true devotion alone. Ravana was a great (probably the greatest of his time) devotee of Lord Shiva (or at least, that is what I understand from Ramayana). So, he earned the blessings of Lord Shiva through his pure devotion towards the Lord.

If your devotion is pure, you will always have God's blessings. It is as simple as that. But, of course, your karma has a great influence over your life. I don't mean to say that you can escape from the effects of your karma if you are devoted to God. You should note that even though Ravana was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and he received boundless boons from Lord Shiva, he indeed paid with his life for all the atrocities he committed.

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Short Question: Why Lord Shiva fulfilled wishes for evil people also?

Because, Everyone is entitled to get all their wishes fulfilled!

Shiva is another name of Supreme Brahman, & everything is part of that Brahman including good & evil. Shiva fulfilling Raavana's wish is as good as, Brahman itself wishing & fulfilling itself.

Now here "Lord Shiva", one should refer to "Any simple/easygoing (भोला) form of God", because Shiva like God should not be just limited to traditional Hinduism. Such lord is equal for everyone inside/outside the earth before, during, beyond religion.

Short Answer: Why Lord Shiva fulfillsed wishes desires for evil all people always also?

For example, if the current human population of 7 billion humans desire that "I want to become the richest person on the earth for X years", then it can happen for all the 7 billion for sure!
Yes, it will take due time depending on one's Praarabdha Karma and Other Karma. His/her wish is bound to be fulfilled in this birth or the births afterwards.

Once the desires are attached to Soul (जीव/Jiva), its current/upcoming body will also deviate its efforts towards fulfilling that desire.
A soul will take body after body to fulfill the wish.

Such philosophy would spawn various questions. Will refer the answers from the Bhagvad Gita. So we should go into a different direction from the actual question asked to explain the same.

Question 1. For fulfillment of the permutations/combination (योग/Yoga) for so many souls' so many desires would require (nearly) infinite time duration. Isn't it impractical?

From our point of view, the required time is infinite, but if look into the overall picture, God indeed has plenty of time.

Chapter-8 Verse-17

By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together form the duration of Brahmā’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.

Chapter-8 Verse-18

At the beginning of Brahmā’s day, all living entities become manifest from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls, they are merged into the unmanifest again.

Chapter-8 Verse-19

Again and again, when Brahmā’s day arrives, all living entities come into being, and with the arrival of Brahmā’s night they are helplessly annihilated.

  1. People have different opinion about human age (i.e. युग/Yuga), but
    definitely the 1 day duration of Bhrahma is quite
    large
    by human standard. We don't know how many such Bhrahma days have passed and would pass.
  2. With the visible universe having 10^22 stars, there can be many more earth like planets existing for execution of desires.
  3. Soul can have all kind of desires and God has large amount of birthplaces (योनि/Yoni) for fulfillment

In brief God has enough amount of 1-time, 2-resource and 3-bandwidth to fulfill each and every desire of each and every Soul.
What we are today is result of our Karma and Desires.

Question-2. If every desire is going to be fulfilled, then it doesn't seem like an achievement. Then why should I desire for something?

Yes, you are right. Ideally one shouldn't desire for material things but to get rid of birth/death cycle. :-)

Chapter-8 Verse-16

From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again.

There can be many good wishes:

  • being powerful/rich man,
  • having beautiful spouse,
  • getting 1st rank in exams,
  • able to invent something new,
  • earning money in a game show,
  • always loved and respected for being generous,
  • getting appreciated for one's profession,
  • being expert and knowledgeable,
  • have great holiday with family or friends,
  • getting awarded of being most beautiful/handsome,
  • having a child which is admired by everyone
  • getting employed in the best firm
  • having maximum followers of your own religion!

There can be many bad wishes:

  • getting assassinated by a dear friend in any birth,
  • earning money for years and loosing in days,
  • getting killed from the highest peak in the world,
  • getting exploded in any kind of aircraft,
  • join a company as a CEO and bring it down,
  • become a country dictator and cause havoc in world ,
  • taking amplified revenge for someone's misdeed,
  • becoming a cause of whole stock market crash
  • murder highest number of people so far
  • cuckolding someone or being cuckolded
  • having maximum followers of your own religion!

Let's consider Soul's desire of being the most rich/powerful person. This can primarily be fulfilled in 2 ways based on Karma:

[A] Getting birth in the family of the most rich/powerful and taking the legacy forward. Now here, one cannot appreciate own greatness due to lack of experiencing the lower levels and the misery comes when the body start feeling being trapped in a golden cage. It soon starts envying some of the trivial happiness other normal people feel.

[B] Getting birth in lower family and carving out the way to become the most rich/powerful person. But those people also have to go through boring schools, work for day and night, listen to people's taunts, health/family compromises.

Above are just examples. They may or may not occur to individual Soul. But the misery will come in one or other form. The ultimate misery will come when the Soul realizes, "Ok, I have become the most rich/powerful, so what?"

Question-3. How to get rid of having desires and liberated from birth & death cycle?

With body having 3 virtues (त्रिगुण / 3 Gunas) of

  1. Illumination/Enlightenment (Satva)
  2. Attachment/Passion (Rajas)
  3. Delusion/Ignorance (Tamas)

The desires may get generated and we act accordingly.

Chapter-14 Verse-5

Material nature consists of three modes – goodness, passion and ignorance. When the eternal living entity comes in contact with nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, he becomes conditioned by these modes.

The subsequent verses describe about those 3 elements from which one may derive a conclusion:
Illumination (Good) > Attachment (Bad) > Delusion (Ugly)

But that doesn't mean that "Goodness" should be maximum to get liberated. With any % combination, a soul can get liberated provided following ...

Chapter-14 Verse-22,23,24,25

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O son of Pāṇḍu, he who does not hate illumination, attachment and delusion when they are present or long for them when they disappear; who is unwavering and undisturbed through all these reactions of the material qualities, remaining neutral and transcendental, knowing that the modes alone are active; who is situated in the self and regards alike happiness and distress; who looks upon a lump of earth, a stone and a piece of gold with an equal eye; who is equal toward the desirable and the undesirable; who is steady, situated equally well in praise and blame, honor and dishonor; who treats alike both friend and enemy; and who has renounced all material activities – such a person is said to have transcended the modes of nature.

It's not trivial for everyone to live without desires. But one should control by not getting associated to it. The moment you get associated to it, you make your case stronger for next birth/death ;-)

e.g. If a person desires richness/power, then might get associated depending on those 3 virtues (just examples/situations):

  1. More % Illuminated: I want to become rich/powerful by honesty and hard work
  2. More % Passionate: I have to become rich/powerful and I will
  3. More % Ignorance: I am rich by my standards

In the 1st, 2nd case, god may help you becoming rich/powerful but finally you may go through misery as discussed in the Question-2 [A] and [B] respectively.
In the 3rd case, you may go through misery when God makes you realize that actually either you were not the most rich/powerful or you haven't properly defined the most rich/powerful in your dictionary.
The number of births would increase until you realize the misery!

For the liberated soul, the richness/power doesn't matter.
Exactly like how the dust on the road we are walking doesn't matter.

  1. If it has rained, the dust will smell pleasant; (good)
  2. If it's windy, one may put his palm in front of the eyes to protect; (bad)
  3. If it's dirty, it may spoil cloths when a vehicle passes by; (ugly)

But in all the cases for a common man, it won't matter. The moment you start cherishing the smell or complaining the dusty wind on your eyes or start laughing at someone's spoiled cloths, you probably might have associated yourself.

Question-4. "Not associated" leads to actually "not doing anything". So should we not do any deed (Karma) or go to some lonely place or be idle or suicide?

Absolutely NO!

Chapter-2 Verse-47

You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.

From the previous common man example,

  1. If dust smells good or bad then one may inhale it or close the nose, but doesn't stop breathing in any case. Breathing is one's duty and should not be stopped because something is good or bad.
  2. If dust is windy then one may protect eyes or slow down or stop or return. But shouldn't repent on self for reaching late or not reaching for interview. It was not destined to reach on time.
  3. If dust is gross and has spoiled someone's cloths by some vehicle then laugh at him/her only if you are ready to be in his/her place at any point of time. Shout at the driver or curse him only if you are ready to be such driver at any point of time.

Depending on the situations, one shall act based on own conscience, but no strings attached.

Before concluding this answer, I will list down some of the famous historic "wish fulfillment" by Lord Shiva, which worked against the seeker:

  • Raavana: He was awarded immortality in form of nectar in his navel
    and supremacy against other gods, beasts, serpents, raakshashas but
    except mortal men. Finally he got killed by Shri Ram (human form) and ended up loosing all his wealth+power. Still today he is remembered for bad reasons despite of having many noble qualities and people burn his effigy on Dussera, which is non-sense.
  • Draupadi: She insisted for a husband with 14 qualities. In her afterbirth, she had to marry 5 Paandavas to get it but was taunted with insults of practicing polyandry during Mahabharata era. Till today I hear jokes about her, which is bad.
  • Ashwatthama: To protect the remaining Paandava's army, Krishna appointed a raakshasha (form of Shiva) as a guard during the night he was going out with 5 Paandavas. But Ashwatthama with mind of full of vengeance, pleased that form of Shiva and even dilute that rakshasha powers inside him to create havoc over the huge Paandava army. He killed many warriors, sons of Paandava while they were sleeping. This was a great sin during that time. He even wanted to kill the granson of Arjuna who was still an unborn infant. But it failed and ultimately ended up getting curse from Krishna. Till today it's said that he roams around the world without any help for his sufferings, which is sad.
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    Wow what a long answer. But why was that necessary? Shiva or any other Gods are bound to give fruits to all who do penance. anyways, +1 for ur effort. – Rickross Apr 26 '17 at 12:18
  • @Rickross, thx. It was still longer, but edited out for 'clarity'. The foundation resides on "BG 4.12 - Longing for the fruition of actions (of their rites and duties), they worship the gods here. For, in the human world, success from action comes quickly." (though not included here). Which suggests, that whatever one wishes to whichever deity, is bound to get fulfilled. Ultimately that wish also comes from the Brahman only. Some people call Shiva as deity (extended Brahman) & some believe it another name of Brahman. The answer is long to discuss - why all the wishes get fulfilled. – iammilind Apr 26 '17 at 12:31
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In Southern India Shiva is worshipped ,for ,he is the Pantomath.(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to: navigation, search. A pantomath is a person who wants to know and knows everything.) He knows all the four vedas. But in Northern India, he is known as Bhole Nath, which is he is not aware of the (in hindi- Saansarik vyavhar) cultural world. A story describes as-- he doesn't believe in "my". What is my wife, my children, my house. For him, "my" describes one as a selfish and doesn't care for anyone. A evil "Bhasmasur" asked Shiva to grant him a boon, on anything he keeps hand will be destroyed. And, Shiva accepted. He was then destroyed by Mohini, an avatar of Vishnu- Very beautiful (word derives from "Moh" meaning lust and desire). He has neither beginning nor end He is for everyone, not just a single person He is the garland as well as the beads in it He is carefree and happy in his own life....

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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE Please edit your answer for clarity and quote from scripture. Devdutt Patnaik is not an acceptable source. – user1195 Apr 23 '17 at 3:32
  • so, may I know what are the souces from which u get info. you really read vedas and then answer. if this were true, you would n't be surfing on internet – Prem Pradhan Apr 28 '17 at 15:51

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