juhuvE rAkShasa shrEShThO
sa havirjala saMskArair
juhuvE pAvakaM tatra
lOhitAni cha vAsAMsi
sruvaM kArShNAyasaM tathA.
sa tatrAgniM samAstIrya
galaM jagrAha jIvataH.
brAhmam astravidAM varaH
dhanush chAtmarathaM chaiva
sarvaM tatrAbhya mantrayat.
hUyamAnE cha pAvakE
sa pAvakaM pAvakadIptatEjA
hutvA mahEndra pratimaprabhAvaH
sa chApabANAsirathAshvasUtaH |
There is a need to dispel two general impressions or misconceptions among Indians:
1. That rAvaNa, his son indrajit,and demons in general, were against sacrifices. In vol.1 rAmA's child (bAlakAnDA), Sage viSvAmitra approached daSaratha, to send rAma for saving the sacrifices being performed by him (viSvAmitra). mArica and subAhu were shown as pouring blood, flesh and other impurities into the sacrificial fire, from the sky.
ybremWhat did rAvaNa and demons dislike? sacrifices to please Gods vishNu and indra. ikshvAkus and rAvan clan kings seem to be neighbor kings. ikshvAkus were ruling North of 23 degrees N. latitude or the north of the Ganga river. rAvaNa and his assistants khara and dUshaNa seem to be ruling the Central India. Since rAvaNa and his followers worshipped Creator and Shiva and performed sacrifices in their favor, they seem to have gone on a rampage against the indra-vishNu sacrifices.
2. That rAvaNa and his demon followers were buddhists, who were opposed to performing of sacrifices. It might have been true, from the point of view of history, that some buddhist kings and their soldiers might have disrupted the sacrifices performed by Brahmins. But, we cannot infer that rAvaNa was a buddhist and that his commanders and soldiers, brothers and relatives were determined to obstruct all sacrifices.
The above nine verses from the volume 6 of War (yuddha kAnDa)show that rAvaNa's son indrajit performed a sacrifice using the stipulated chants and following the stipulated procedures.
War commenced between rAvaNa and rAma. After suffering some losses, rAvaNa commissioned his greatest son indrajit to the war. Indrajit equipped himself with the "weapon of the Creator" (called brahmAstra) before proceeding to the battle-field.
(ybrem: The sacrifices performed by ikshvAkus, rAma, and others traditionally sent their oblations to the Demy God of Heaven indra (also called Sakra). After the advent of the vaishNava cult, the core of the oblations has started to be addressed to Lord vishNu, leaving some remnants to indra.
The followers of the trident-wielding God Shiva (Sankara) wanted that the core offerings were to be given to Lord Shiva. The legendary story of daksha yagna (sacrifice by Shiva's father-in-law daksha) revolves around this demand. In that story, vIrabhadra, an incarnation of Shiva from his hair, killed daksha and restored the honor of Shiva). These stories we find in Shiva purANa and all other Shiva literature.
rAvaNa was said to be a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Before shifting to Shiva, he performed penance on the Creator (brahma) and got his boons of near-immortality. indrajit's sacrifice should also have been directed to Lord Shiva. But the above verses do not indicate it. Since, rAvaNa and indrajit were said to have defeated and imprisoned indra (Sakra), obviously, indrajit would not direct the offering of his sacrifices to indra. We have to presume that indrajit's sacrificial offerings were addressed to the Creator, because indrajit was loading the weapon of the creator (brahmAstra). This is also logical. We cannot find any evidence in vAlmiki rAmAyaNa that rAvaNa or indrajit possessed the weapon of Shiva.
6-73-24 shows that indrajit sacrificed the neck of a live-black-goat in the sacrficial fire. If either rAvaNa or indrajit were buddhists, they would not have done that direct ghastly violence.
If rAma excelled in killing deer for his food and propitiating petty Gods, and horses in aSvamEdha sacrifice (for pleasing which God? indra or vishNu), indrajit seems to be satisfied with sacrificing goats.