Tips on Statecraft by Ravana
The most revered Hindu Epic Ramayana sheds light on the life of Lord Rama, the crown prince of Ayodhya who was exiled for 14 years by his father King Dasarath and step – mother Kaikeyi. Lord Rama, as commanded by his father went to stay in forest with his beautiful wife Sita and younger brother Lakshmana.
To satisfy his lust, and take revenge for the dishonor of his sister Surparanakha by Rama and Lakshmana, Ravana – the demon king, the mighty ruler of Lanka, abducted Sita by deceit and made her a captive in Lanka, so a war took place between Rama and Ravana in which the latter was killed by Lord Rama and afterwards Vibhishana, the younger brother of Ravana was declared the King of Lanka by Lord Rama.
The Demon king, famous for his erudition was renowned as the greatest devotee of Lord Shiva. He was invincible even by the Gods but was rendered powerless by Rama along with his supporting army of monkeys and bears. While Ravana was about to die, Rama sent Lakshmana on his behalf to learn something about statecraft from Ravana as he was a great ruler and a great scholar with an expertise in political science. Lakshmana went to take tips from Ravana about how to be successful as a ruler. He stood near his head and asked him to impart some knowledge on politics. Ravana declined the request and Lakshmana returned. Later Rama asked Lakshmana to go again and this time stand near his feet, kneel down and politely request for the advice. Lakshmana went near Ravana and as directed by Rama requested Ravana to impart tips on how to become successful in statecraft. Ravana said that he wished that he should have been a teacher of Rama instead of opponent and readily gave the following tips for being successful ruler as well as an expert politician :-
- शुभस्य शीघ्रम् (One should not postpone a good work). The benefic works should be completed on priority, and only later on, one should engage in other distractions. Ravana planned to make a way from Earth to paradise but delayed it, and meanwhile abducted Sita which became the cause of his annihilation.
- Never underestimate your opponent as Ravana did by underestimating the army of monkeys and bears with Rama.
- Never reveal your secret to anyone even your brother. Ravana’s brother Vibhishana disclosed his secret to Rama resulting in the death of Ravana.
- Try to remain on good terms with your brother, cook, driver and gatekeeper. Enmity with these four might harm you in future.
- Be careful of your relatives as they have a tendency to rejoice your misfortunes, grief or hardships.
- Don’t over estimate yourself in spite of several victories. Over confidence leads to the fall of a person.
- Have trust in the person who criticizes you and try to check your flaws.
- Don’t appreciate and rejoice flattery.
- Success in statecraft is the result of continuous deliberations with well – informed intelligent people.
- Last but not least, have faith in God. No matter how strong or capable you are but all lies in the stars. No one can outperform the stars.