I have not yet begun on the book ‘Asura’ by Anand Neelakantan, and am already fixated on the prologue to the story, a little snippet on why Ravana is portrayed as a dasmukha (i.e. having ten heads). Anand writes that Ravana had ten heads, each one of them symbolizing a trait which are otherwise considered to be flaws, those traits being: anger, pride, jealousy, happiness, sadness, fear, selfishness, passion and ambition. On one hand where Rama prided on being able to suppress these baser emotions, Ravana prided on having them and wore them on his heart or literally on his head. You can read his story here.
“Rama may be a God, but Ravana was a complete man“.
Emotions define us, every one of those so called flaws are a part of me like my arms or legs. Yes, I get angry, I get so angry that I scream, huff or snap. There are days when I am happy as a goofball without any qualms and there are days when I sob uncontrollably into my pillow. I fear things about to come to the point of wrecking my present. I feel jealousy with an incomparable passion. I am selfish, and I am ignorant. I aspire to go places. And despite knowing my flaws, I pride on myself. I want to accept who I am, as I am, like Ravana did and never be ashamed of it. Not hang my head in front of anyone for it. Embrace life and embrace it fully.
To just let go of all my emotions, and not hold back, be hysterically happy and inconsolably sad, be murderously angry and have unrestrained passion, to be blinded by jealousy, selfishness and pride. Feel every bit of every emotion that exists and feel it with a fierceness that will not make me regret that I did not love something with all my heart be it a person, myself, my past or an inanimate object. I am probably writing my own doom by asking for these, and will probably regret it when am dying on the battlefield with my intestines spilled out and the vultures looming over my head. But I am human, my life is short and I really don’t know for sure if there is an afterlife. Ravana was an able ruler, a venerated scholar and a fierce warrior and he never intended to check his flaws, he saw himself as the epitome of being human.
I want to embrace and taste life – all of it, the asura way.