Shatashloki 58: Marīca advises Ravana not to earn Rama’s wrath

Vāryamāṇa ssubahuśo māricena sa rāvaṇa

Na virodho balavatā kshamo rāvana ten ate.

Meaning- ‘O Ravana, listen. Khara, Dooshana and 14000 other demons met their end in the hands of this mighty Rama. Do not underestimate his prowess. Stay away from him”. In this and in many other ways, Marīca advised Ravana.


Ramayana is not just the story of Rama. It contains within it many moral lessons for everyone. In this chapter, through the medium of Mareeca, Valmiki Maharishi teaches that enemity with persons of great might and prowess should never be maintained.

Marica was undoubtedly of worst demonic tendencies, nevertheless having once been hit by Rama’s arrow, immense transformation occurred in him. He now advised Ravana about the futility in seeking to overpower Rama.

Ravana was a fool. Using his position of power, he threatened Marica who was equally irritated with Ravana’s foolishness. All his advice was going down the drain. As the last straw he finally screamed, “O King! O king of Kings! O Lord of all the demons! I do not know who has advised you to take this terrible step that only leads towards the elimination of your entire lineage. You, who never ever listen to the advice of anyone, have today succumbed to unholy advice that was given to you. Let me know who is that person who is talking very sweetly to you and yet at the same time taking you towards doom. Do you know that emperors of your stature should not listen to lowly advice given by people who inwardly seek your destruction?

A king who possesses good traits achieves dharma, artha and kaama. He will then earn great fame. On the other hand, where the king himself is unrighteous, then not only the king but also his ministers and citizens will suffer. As the king, so are the subjects. Where the king is immoral, the kingdom collapses. In case the king is foolish, then the charioteer who leads him will also be foolish. When the charioteer himself is foolhardy and unwise, then he will not be able to see the path ahead clearly. Holding the horses in his rein, he will be moving blindly. Should a pit come in his way, he will fall into it. Along with him he will drag the chariot, the horses, the king, ministers and all the citizens whom he was leading.


Ravana, you have not been able to keep your senses (indriyas) in check. Because of your foolishness, the entire clan of demons will perish. Many innocent demons will become victims.


Who do you think Rama is? He is an embodiment of righteousness,  living under the guise of an ascetic. His prowess is immeasurable and he is extremely adept in warfare. His brother, Lakshmana, is a man of highest character. He too possesses great strength. Rama’s wife Seeta is a lady who is worthy of worship. Living in these forests, Rama is presently undertaking penance. With intent of ensuring the welfare of all living beings in this creation, he has stepped into Dandakaranya. It is better if you do not meddle in his affairs.

Once upon a time, together with two companions I tried to attack Rama. Mercilessly he let out 3 sharp powerful weapons. The two weapons killed my companions then and there. The third arrow chased me. The story that I am telling you pertains to that period when Rama was still a very young boy. His single arrow threw me 100 yojanas away into the ocean. I was swirled round and round and then thrown down. It was almost as if I had lost my life. Only then I truly understood the real might of Rama.

From then on, I have given up atrocities of all kind and am now living like a hermit. I have been able to achieve control over my senses and my mind. I am now into penance (tapas) as a way of life. I have renounced everything.

Ravana my lord, Rama appears to me like Lord of death (yama) himself. Wherever I see, I find hundreds and thousands of Ramas. This is my experience. This is my knowledge. I know for sure that you can never ever conquer Rama. Discard your evil desires. Control yourself. Realize that you are heading towards disaster. Both of us are going to die in this process. Your impudence is leading towards this. I state this seeking your welfare. Listen.”

This advice that Maricha gave to Ravana contains a very deep lesson that is applicable to everyone in all periods of time.


Om Seeta Ramabhyaam Namaha.


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