Monday, May 4, 2015

Guide: Ravana Humbled

This is a guide to Ravana Humbled: An Arrogant King Finds New Friends (Volume 610). You can find it at Amazon.

Bizzell Reserves call number: PN 6790 .I443 A437 v.610



In the commentary below, I have provided links so that you can compare the comic book version with other accounts of the story and/or important background information. Make sure you read the comic-book version AND explore some of the additional reading listed based on what interests you most, and then you will be ready to write your Diary post. Doing the reading and writing the blog post will take 1-2 hours.

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The Feet of Shiva (pp. 1-9). Ravana happens to disturb Mount Kailasa while Shiva and Parvati are arguing. Shiva presses down with his toe, trapping Ravana beneath the mountain. Shiva is impressed by Ravana's courage, and gives him the sword Chandrahasa.
Additional reading: You can read other versions of this famous legend at Wikipedia: Ravananugraha. In other versions of the story, Shiva keeps Ravana imprisoned until Ravana's beautiful singing persuades Shiva to release him. In a Tamil version, Ravana makes the veena that he plays out of his own body parts!
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The Mahishmati Episode (pp. 10-24). Ravana comes to the royal city of Mahishamati where Kartaveerya Arjuna is king (not to be confused the character in the Mahabharata who is also called Arjuna). Arjuna is bathing in the Narmada river and, provoked by his wives, he uses his arms to block the flow of the river.  Ravana, meanwhile, is worshiping a Shiva linga, but the flood of waters washes it away. Ravana challenges Arjuna to a fight, and Arjuna is the winner. Ravana's grandfather Pulastya begs Arjuna to set Ravana free, and he does, pledging friendship with him.
Additional reading: You can read more about Kartavirya Arjuna at Wikipedia. You can also read about the Narmada river, which is one of the seven sacred rivers of India.
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INSERT: Ravana the Mighty (pp. 16-17). On the tenth day of the festival of Dussehra, the people burn Ravana in effigy, commemorating Rama's victory.
Additional reading: You can read more about Dussehra and the Ramlila (Rama Play) at Wikipedia. There are lots of Ramlila videos at YouTube also!
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Tailpiece (pp. 25-31). Ravana comes to Kishkindha. The monkey Vali is engaged in prayer, so he does not salute Ravana. This makes Ravana angry! He grabs Vali's long belt, but then he gets tangled. As Vali leaps from one side of the river to the other and plunges into the water, he drags Ravana behind him. He even carries Ravana to the Himalayas. When Vali finally realizes what has happened, he sets Ravana free and vows friendship with him.
Additional reading: The monkey king Vali is one of the main characters in the Ramayana; you can read more about him at Wikipedia.



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