Killing The Ravana Within

Srimad Bhagavatam 09.10.23 - Killing The Ravana Within (download mp3)
by Shubha Vilas Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 9.10.23
evam ksipan dhanusi sandhitam utsasarja
banam sa vajram iva tad-dhrdayam bibheda
so 'srg vaman dasa-mukhair nyapatad vimanad
dhaheti jalpati jane sukrtiva riktah

After thus rebuking Ravana, Lord Ramacandra fixed an arrow to His bow, aimed at Ravana, and released the arrow, which pierced Ravana's heart like a thunderbolt. Upon seeing this, Ravana's followers raised a tumultuous sound, crying, "Alas! Alas! What has happened? What has happened?" as Ravana, vomiting blood from his ten mouths, fell from his airplane, just as a pious man falls to earth from the heavenly planets when the results of his pious activities are exhausted.

In Bhagavad-gita (9.21) it is said, ksine punye martya-lokam visanti: "When the results of their pious activities are exhausted, those who have enjoyed in the heavenly planets fall again to earth." The fruitive activities of this material world are such that whether one acts piously or impiously one must remain within the material world according to different conditions, for neither pious nor impious actions can relieve one from maya's clutches of repeated birth and death. Somehow or other, Ravana was raised to an exalted position as the king of a great kingdom with all material opulences, but because of his sinful act of kidnapping mother Sita, all the results of his pious activities were destroyed. If one offends an exalted personality, especially the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one certainly becomes most abominable; bereft of the results of pious activities, one must fall down like Ravana and other demons. It is therefore advised that one transcend both pious and impious activities and remain in the pure state of freedom from all designations (sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]). When one is fixed in devotional service, he is above the material platform. On the material platform there are higher and lower positions, but when one is above the material platform he is always fixed in a spiritual position (sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]). Ravana or those like him may be very powerful and opulent in this material world, but theirs is not a secure position, because, after all, they are bound by the results of their karma (karmana daiva-netrena [SB 3.31.1]). We should not forget that we are completely dependent on the laws of nature.

prakrteh kriyamanani
gunaih karmani sarvasah
kartaham iti manyate

"The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature." (Bg. 3.27) One should not be proud of one's exalted position and act like Ravana, thinking oneself independent of material nature's laws.