माझे मित्र शरद तांदळे यांनी लिहिलेली “रावण” ही कादंबरी नुकतीच वाचून पुर्ण केली. रामायन हा भारतभूमीच्या ईतिहासातला कधी न पुसला जाणारा विषय आहे. परंतु आजवर पोथी पुराणातून आपल्याला श्रीराम जेवढे समजले तेवढे रावण नाही. आजच्या कलियुगात मात्र रामासोबत रावणाचा अभ्यासही महत्वपुर्ण ठरतो. रावण हा असुरांचा बलशाली राजा होता. त्रैल्योक्यात त्याच्या नावाची दहशत होती. तो शुर आणि तितकाच बुद्धीमानही होता परंतू “प्रतिशोध” घेता घेता रावणाने कुबेराकडून लंका मिळवली, इंद्राचा पराभव केला, यमदेवाला हरवलं, शनी देवाला कैद केलं, अत्याचार केले, कत्तली सुद्धा केल्या आणि स्वतःच असुर राज्य निर्माण करून लंकाधिपती झाला, अखेर रावणाचा व त्याच्या साम्राज्याचा शेवटही प्रतिशोधातूनच झाला. म्हणूनच प्रतिशोध हा रावणाच्या व्यक्तीमत्वाचा अविभाज्य घटक होता.

आजच्या कलियुगात फक्त राम राहुन चालत नाही कधी कधी परिस्थिती अशी येते कि रावण होऊनही जगावं लागतं. रावण या व्यक्तीमत्वातल्या वाईट गोष्टी सोडल्या तर आचरणात आणण्यासारख्या आणखीन खूप काही गोष्टी त्याच्या चरित्रात सापडतात. मुळात रावण या नावाचा अर्थ आक्रोश असा होतो तर राक्षसाचा अर्थ रक्षक असा होतो परंतु रामायणामुळे या दोन्ही नावा बद्दल प्रत्येकाच्या मनात हिनतेची भावना आहे. स्वतः महादेवाने रावणाचे दशग्रीव हे नांव बदलून “रावण” हे नांव बहाल केले. रावण या कादंबरीतुन मला रावणाच्या खालील गोष्टी नव्याने समजल्या. तो कितीही वाईट जगला किंवा वागला असेल परंतु त्याच्या व्यक्तिमत्वातल्या खालिल गोष्टी आजही आपल्याला पथदर्शी ठरतील अशा आहेत.

आजच्या स्मार्ट सिटीचे स्वप्न रावणाने त्या काळी लंका उभारून पुर्ण केले होते. रावण व त्याच्या भाऊ बहिणींनी आंतरजातीय विवाह केले. लंकेतील प्रत्येक लहान मुल व तरूणाला गुरूकुलात येऊन शिक्षण घेणं सक्तीचं होते अन्यथा त्याची लंकेतुन हकालपट्टी व्हायची. महालातील व्यापारी कचेरीत कामगार नेमताना बुद्धीमत्ता हाच निकष लावला जायचा, जात-पात वा स्री-पुरूष असा भेदभाव नसायचा. वेळ प्रसंगी लढण्यासाठी स्रीयांना शस्रज्ञान दिले जायचे. लंकेतल्या ‘लंकिनी’ या स्रीला रावणाने राजधानिच्या संरक्षणाची जबाबदारी दिली. रावणाचे पंजोबा असुर राजा सुकेशा यांनी पुष्पक विमान बनवलं म्हणून त्यांना विमानाचा जनक म्हणता येईल तर बुद्धीबळाचा शोध रावणाने लावला. मातृहत्या केली म्हणुन स्वतःच्या भाऊजीचे मस्तक छाटले. त्याची शिकण्याची तीव्र ईच्छाशक्ती, कुटुंबाची काळजी आणि प्रजेवरील प्रेम कौतुकास्पद होते. संकरित जन्म, दासीपुत्र माणुस सुद्धा शक्ती, भक्ती आणि बुद्धीचातुर्याच्या जोरावर राजा होऊ शकतो हे रावणाने तैलोक्याला दाखवून दिले.

युद्धात रावणाच्या नाभीत बाण मारल्यानंतर रावणाला गुरू माणून त्याच्याकडून ज्ञान घेण्यासाठी रामाने लक्ष्मणाला रावणाकडे पाठवले. शेवटच्या क्षणी रावणाने लक्ष्मणाला शिष्य माणून विद्या दिली आणि आपण बसलोय ईकडे रावणाला जाळत. माणूस मेल्यानंतर वैर संपते उरते ते फक्त त्याने केलेल्या चांगल्या आणि वाईट गोष्टी. सध्या आपण हजारो वर्षानंतरही व्यक्तीला दोष देत बसण्यापेक्षा त्याच्यातल्या वाईट गोष्टींना मुठ माती देऊन त्यातल्या चांगल्या गोष्टी अंगिकारून स्वतःला समृद्ध करायला हवे. रावणाला हरवल्यानंतर रामालाही वाटले की लक्ष्मणाने रावणाला गुरू माणून त्याच्याकडून शिकले पाहिजे मग आपणही का शिकू नये ?

“रावण : राजा राक्षसांचा” या कादंबरीत लेखक शरद तांदळे यांनी रावणाची व्यक्तिरेखा अतिशय सोप्या आणि साध्या शब्दात मांडली आहे. यात रावणासह, मंदोदरी, कुंभकर्ण, प्रहस्त, महोदर, महापार्श्व, सुमाली, मेघनाद या असुर योद्ध्यांच्या पराक्रमालाही न्याय देण्यात आला आहे. ऐतिहासिक लिखान व त्याचे संदर्भ हे वादग्रस्त आणि तितकेच अवघडही असतात परंतू शरदरावांनी मात्र हे धनुष्य लिलया पेलुन रावणावरची मराठीतली पहिली कादंबरी लिहून रामायणातल्या एका व्हिलन कॅरॅक्टरला न्याय दिलाय. लंडनला विमानात जाताना सहज पुष्पक विमानाची आठवण झाली आणि हवेत उडता उडताच या कादंबरीची पहिली ठिणगी शरद तांदळेंच्या डोक्यात पडली व आज हि कादंबरी रावणाची दुसरी बाजू मांडून अजरामर झाली. राजकीय रामराज्यात रावणावरची कादंबरी प्रकाशीत करून शरदरावांनी त्यांचे धाडस दाखवून दिले आहे. विजयादशमीला फक्त रावण जाळून दुष्ट प्रवृत्तीचा नाश नाही होणार त्यासाठी रामाचे आचरण आणि रावणाची शक्ती अंगिकारून आपण आपल्या मधील दुष्ट विचारांना जाळायला हवे.

लेखक : प्रा.विशाल गरड
दिनांक : २९ जून २०१८

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