I understand that Ravan was one of the door guards in Vaikunth, then he messed up and didn’t let in the child saints to see Narayan, then he had to take birth three times as enemy of Narayan. After which he was allowed to take his place again as the faithful guard of his beloved Bhagwaan.

However when he was Ravan he committed lots of sins, out of lust he attacked many ladies, he cheated on Mandodari, he got lots of people killed in the war, he was horrible to his own family members and his sons. And huge amounts of other sins too which I can’t even remember them all right now.

However after doing all that, he never was punished for all those huge sins ?

Does this mean that everyone he harmed, attacked, killed, they were all given their bad karm-phal through him ? So all his victims were getting punished for their own past life sins ?

So sometimes a horrible person who is abusing and harming others is just made to do that by fate to give people their karm-phal and won’t ever be punished for all the horrid things they do ?

I understand Ramayan and Mahabharath are figurative and about enlightenment. Ram represents the individual, he gets back Sita (mind) from ten indriyas (10 head Ravan) to become enlightened. And in Mahabharath, Draupadi is kundalini, the Pandavs are the five chakras and the war is against the mental obstacles to enlightenment with the enemies on battlefield being those obstacles personified. Is amazing the figurative meaning of these epics.

However the genius of them is that they also have huge teachings of Hinduism at lowers levels of understanding too ?

So then at a lower level where we take the story more literally, why wasn’t Ravan punished for his sins ?

Do many horrible people and abusers not get punished ever, because they’re just pretty much delivering karm-phal to victims who have their own past life sins to pay for ?

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    Ravana was reborn as Shishupala again in Dwapara Yuga.He didn't go to vaikuntha after his death....and was killed by Lord Shree Krishna subsequently.... Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 5:54
  • @Rāmachandra That’s right, I forgot, I’ll go back and edit the post. He was killed by Narayan-avtaar each time, however didn’t pay for his sins which is the part that’s perplexing to me. Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 6:13
  • “Ram represents the individual, he gets back Sita (mind) from ten indriyas (10 head Ravan) to become enlightened.” <—— Realizing from reading more elsewhere that the metaphysical take on Ramayan works the other way too, Ram as divinity, Sita as the person who gets separated by pull of Maya by going after deer, so trapped in Lanka w/ Ravan, then reunited with Ram/God who is looking for her to pull her back which she is able to return. How Awesome ?!! 🕉 How magnificent 🥶 The writing of Hindu texts and epics is incredible, amazing 🕉 Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 23:44

1 Answer 1


Ravan was fully confident that Shri Ram will not be able to even find Lanka let alone defeat him then one day a Vaanar comes and kills his youngest son. Throughout the war he had to see his kingdom gets destroyed and sons die.

In Sarga 59 of Yuddha kand, he is defeated and humiliated by Shri Ram and spared.

तं निर्विषाशीविषसंनिकाशं | शान्तार्चिषं सूर्यमिवाप्रकाशम् |
गतश्रियं कृत्तकिरीटकूट | मुवाच रामो युधि राक्षसेन्द्रम् ||

In that battle-field, Rama said to that Lord of Demons whose splendour was dimmed, the setting of his diadem river, who resembled a venomous snake robbed of its poison or like a sun its rays extinguished, bereft of lustre.

कृतं त्वया कर्म महत्सुभीमं | हतप्रवीरश्च कृतस्त्वयाहम् |
तस्मात्परिश्रान्त इति व्यवस्य | न्न त्वां शरैर्मऋत्युवशम् नयामि || ६-५९-१४२

You have accomplished a highly terrific great feat and my brave soldiers have succumbed beneath your blows. Now, you are weary and in this condition, I shall not put you under the clutches of Death.

स एवमुक्तो हतदर्पहर्षो | निकृत्तचापः स हताश्वसूतः |
शरार्दितो भग्नमहाकिरीटो | विवेश लङ्काम् सहसा स्म राजा ||

At these words, that King Ravana, his joy boasting subdued, his bow shattered, his horses and chariot slain pierced with arrows, his great diadem broken, he soon returned to Lanka.

This is before Indrajeet and Kumbakaran even came on battlefield. If Rama had killed him swiftly then he would have spared lot of emotional pain of death of his sons and brother. At the end, he is left all alone before final Ram-Ravan yuddh.

Source: https://www.valmikiramayan.net/utf8/yuddha/sarga59/yuddha_59_frame.htm

  • So you are saying he did pay for all his sins through the pain and loss of his sons, humiliation, then death, and so forth ? For years he was misbehaving with apsaras, ladies, treating Mandodari badly, then in the war, sending his family members to get killed. Seems like a huge amount of sins. But then as MahaDev bhakt he did lots of sadhana too. Perhaps it balances out then. Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 10:16
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    I don't know if it balances out or not because there is no way to measure it. I want to say he did suffer emotionally and psychologically and it wasn't smooth road to Vaikunth for him. It is a big deal for an egoistical person like him. Also, Imagine yourself the strongest person in Triloka who has everything and then in few days all is gone. How can he be even sure on his death bed that his queens will be treated with respect.(Talking from his perspective, we know Rama is dharmic not him).
    – Rambhakt
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 10:58
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    Not related to question, but I have personal theory that Ravan may not have stopped war because of sunk cost fallacy too. It was a war where the more it went, the more personal losses he suffered.
    – Rambhakt
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 11:01
  • Yeah along with his other personality issues, I def think sunk cost fallacy was a huge factor too. Good point ! @Rambhakt Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 12:51
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    @Rambhakt You can also do formatting. I have done it for you now. Thanks for adding verses though :)
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 16:49

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