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Raavan- Enemy of Aryavarta

Amish Tripathi

  Raavan – Enemy of Aryavarta

  Amish is a 1974-born, IIM (Kolkata)-educated, boring banker turned happy author. The success of his debut book, The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy), encouraged him to give up a fourteen-year-old career in financial services to focus on writing. He is passionate about history, mythology and philosophy, finding beauty and meaning in all world religions. Amish’s books have sold more than 5 million copies and have been translated into over 19 languages.

  Other Titles by Amish


  The fastest-selling book series in the history of Indian publishing

  The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Trilogy)

  The Secret of the Nagas (Book 2 of the Trilogy)

  The Oath of the Vayuputras (Book 3 of the Trilogy)


  The second fastest-selling book series in the history of Indian publishing

  Ram – Scion of Ikshvaku (Book 1 of the Series)

  Sita – Warrior of Mithila (Book 2 of the Series)


  Immortal India: Young Country, Timeless Civilisation

  ‘{Amish’s} writing introduces the youth to ancient value systems while pricking and satisfying their curiosity…’

  – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

  (Spiritual Leader & Founder of the Art of Living Foundation)

  ‘I wish many more would be inspired by Amish Tripathi…’

  – Amitabh Bachchan

  (Actor & Living Legend)

  ‘Amish is India’s first literary popstar.’

  – Shekhar Kapur

  (Award-Winning Film Director)

  ‘Amish has a fine eye for detail and a compelling narrative style.’

  – Dr. Shashi Tharoor

  (Member of Parliament & Author)

  ‘{Amish is} one of the most original thinkers of his generation.’

  – Arnab Goswami

  (Senior Journalist & MD, Republic TV)

  ‘{Amish is} a deeply thoughtful mind with an unusual, original, and fascinating view of the past.’

  – Shekhar Gupta

  (Senior Journalist & Columnist)

  ‘To understand the New India, you need to read Amish.’

  – Swapan Dasgupta

  (Member of Parliament & Senior Journalist)

  ‘One of India’s best storytellers.’

  – Vir Sanghvi

  (Senior Journalist & Columnist)

  ‘Through all of Amish’s books flows a current of liberal progressive ideology: about gender, about caste, about discrimination of any kind… He is the only Indian bestselling writer with true philosophical depth – his books are all backed by tremendous research and deep thought.’

  – Sandipan Deb

  (Senior Journalist & Editorial Director, Swarajya)

  ‘Amish’s influence goes beyond his books, his books go beyond literature, his literature is steeped in philosophy, which is anchored in bhakti, which powers his love for India.’

  – Gautam Chikermane

  (Senior Journalist & Author)

  ‘Amish is a literary phenomenon.’

  – Anil Dharker

  (Senior Journalist & Author)

  First published by Westland Publications Private Limited in 2019

  1st Floor, A Block, East Wing, Plot No. 40, SP Infocity, Dr MGR Salai, Perungudi, Kandanchavadi, Chennai 600096

  Westland and the Westland logo are the trademarks of Westland Publications Private Limited, or its affiliates.

  Copyright © Amish Tripathi, 2019

  Amish Tripathi asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

  ISBN: 9789388754088

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organisations, places, events and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.

  All rights reserved

  No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.


  Start Reading


  ‘When extraordinary good . . .

  List of Important Characters and Tribes

  Note on the Narrative Structure


  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Other Titles by Amish

  Om Namah Shivāya

  The universe bows to Lord Shiva.

  I bow to Lord Shiva.

  To You,

  I was drowning,

  In Grief, in Anger, in Depression.

  You have pulled me into the open air of Peace,

  If only for a little while,

  By merely listening to my words.

  And it is not Mere Words when I say,

  That you will always have my quiet gratitude,

  You will always have my silent love.

  ‘When extraordinary good fortune of overwhelming

  Glory comes to a person,

  Retreating misfortune increases the power of its Sorrows.’

  – Kalhana, in Rajatarangini

  Who among you wants to be great?

  Who among you wants to lose all chance at happiness?

  Is this Glory even worth it?

  I am Raavan.

  I want it all.

  I want fame. I want power. I want wealth.

  I want complete triumph.

  Even if my Glory walks side by side with my Sorrow.

  List of Important Characters and Tribes

  Akampana: A smuggler; one of Raavan’s closest aides

  Arishtanemi: Military chief of the Malayaputras; right-hand man of Vishwamitra

  Ashwapati: King of the northwestern kingdom of Kekaya; father of Kaikeyi and a loyal ally of Dashrath

  Bharat: Ram’s half-brother; son of Dashrath and Kaikeyi

  Dashrath: Chakravarti king of Kosala and emperor of the Sapt Sindhu; father of Ram, Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughan

  Hanuman: A Naga and a member of the Vayuputra tribe

  Indrajit: Son of Raavan and Mandodari

  Janak: King of Mithila; father of Sita

  Jatayu: A captain of the Malayaputra tribe; Naga friend of Sita and Ram

  Kaikesi: Rishi Vishrava’s first wife; mother of Raavan and Kumbhakarna

  Khara: A captain in the Lankan army; Samichi’s lover

  Krakachabahu: The governor of Chilika

  Kubaer: The chief-trader of Lanka

  Kumbhakarna: Raavan’s brother; also a Naga

  Kushadhwaj: King of Sankashya; younger brother of Janak

  Lakshman: One of the twin sons of Dashrath; Ram’s half-brother

  Malayaputras: The tribe left behind by Lord Parshu Ram, the sixth Vishnu

sp; Mandodari: Wife of Raavan

  Mara: An independent assassin for hire

  Mareech: Kaikesi’s brother; Raavan and Kumbhakarna’s uncle; one of Raavan’s closest aides

  Nagas: Human beings born with deformities

  Prithvi: A businessman in the village of Todee

  Raavan: Son of Rishi Vishrava; brother of Kumbhakarna; half-brother of Vibhishan and Shurpanakha

  Ram: Son of Emperor Dashrath and his eldest wife Kaushalya; eldest of four brothers; later married to Sita

  Samichi: Police and protocol chief of Mithila; Khara’s lover

  Shatrughan: Twin brother of Lakshman; son of Dashrath and Sumitra; Ram’s half-brother

  Shochikesh: The landlord of Todee village

  Shurpanakha: Half-sister of Raavan

  Sita: Daughter of King Janak and Queen Sunaina of Mithila; also the prime minister of Mithila; later married to Ram

  Sukarman: A resident of Todee village; Shochikesh’s son

  Vali: The king of Kishkindha

  Vashishtha: Raj guru, the royal priest of Ayodhya; teacher of the four Ayodhya princes

  Vayuputras: The tribe left behind by Lord Rudra, the previous Mahadev

  Vedavati: A resident of Todee village; Prithvi’s wife

  Vibhishan: Half-brother of Raavan

  Vishrava: A revered rishi; the father of Raavan, Kumbhakarna, Vibhishan and Shurpanakha

  Vishwamitra: Chief of the Malayaputras; also temporary guru of Ram and Lakshman

  Note on the Narrative Structure

  Thank you for picking up this book and giving me the most important thing you can share: your time.

  I know many of you have been patiently waiting for the release of the third part of the Ram Chandra series. My sincere apologies for the delay, and I hope the book will live up to your expectations.

  Some of you may wonder why I decided to change the name of the book from Raavan – Orphan of Aryavarta to Raavan – Enemy of Aryavarta. Let me explain. While writing Raavan’s story, I realised a few things about the man. Right from when he was a child, Raavan raged against the circumstances he found himself in. He was very much a man in charge of his destiny. Initially, I felt Raavan had been cast aside by his motherland and was thus, in a sense, an orphan. But as the story unfolded in my mind, I felt the decisions that took him away from his motherland were deliberate. He chose to be the enemy rather than being cast into the role of the orphan.

  As some of you know, I have been inspired by a storytelling technique called hyperlink, which some call the multilinear narrative. In such a narrative, there are many characters; and a connection brings them all together. The three main characters in the Ram Chandra series are Ram, Sita and Raavan. Each character has life experiences, which mould who they are, and each has their own adventure and riveting backstory. Finally, their stories converge with the kidnapping of Sita.

  So while the first book explored the tale of Ram, the second the story of Sita, the third burrows into the life of Raavan, before all three stories merge from the fourth book onwards into a single story. It is important to remember that Raavan is much older than both Sita and Ram. In fact Ram is born on the day that Raavan fights a decisive battle—against Ram’s father Emperor Dashrath! This book, therefore, goes further back in time, before the birth of the other principal characters—Sita and Ram.

  I knew that writing three books, in a multilinear narrative, would be a complicated and time-consuming affair, but I must confess, it was thoroughly exciting. I hope it is as rewarding and thrilling an experience for you as it was for me. Understanding Ram, Sita and Raavan as characters helped me inhabit their worlds and explore the maze of plots and stories that illuminate this great epic. I feel truly blessed for this.

  Since I was following a multilinear narrative, I left clues in the first book (Ram – Scion of Ikshvaku) as well as the second (Sita – Warrior of Mithila), which tie up with the stories in the third. There are surprises and twists in store for you here, and many to follow!

  I hope you enjoy reading Raavan – Enemy of Aryavarta. Do tell me what you think of it, by sending me messages on my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts given below.




  It has been a terrible two years. I have been cursed with more grief and suffering in this benighted period, than what I had experienced in my entire life before. Sometimes I felt that the structure of my entire life was collapsing. But it did not. I survived. The building still stands. This book worked like a keystone. And the ones I acknowledge below, have been my buttresses; for they have held me together.

  My God, Lord Shiva. He has really tested me these last two years. I hope He will make it a little bit easier now.

  The two men I have admired most in my life, men of old-world values, courage, and honour; my father-in-law Manoj Vyas and my brother-in-law Himanshu Roy. They are both up in heaven now, looking at me. I hope I can make them proud.

  Neel, my 10-year-old son; and you will pardon this father’s emotionality when I say, ‘My boy is the best there ever was and ever will be!’

  Bhavna, my sister; Anish and Ashish, my brothers, for all their inputs to the story. As always, they read the first draft. Their views, support, affection, and encouragement are invaluable.

  The rest of my family: Usha, Vinay, Shernaz, Meeta, Preeti, Donetta, Smita, Anuj, Ruta for their consistent faith and love. And I must acknowledge the contribution of the next generation of my family towards my happiness: Mitansh, Daniel, Aiden, Keya, Anika and Ashna.

  Gautam, the CEO of my publisher Westland, and Karthika and Sanghamitra, my editors. If there are people outside of my family, who are the closest to this project, it is this trio. They are an unbeatable mix of capability, politeness and grace. Here’s hoping for a long innings together. The rest of the brilliant team at Westland: Anand, Abhijeet, Ankit, Arunima, Barani, Christina, Deepthi, Dhaval, Divya, Jaisankar, Jayanthi, Krishnakumar, Kuldeep, Madhu, Mustafa, Naveen, Neha, Nidhi, Preeti, Raju, Sanyog, Sateesh, Satish, Shatrughan, Srivats, Sudha, Vipin, Vishwajyoti and many others. They are the best team in the publishing business.

  Aman, Vijay, Prerna, Seema, and the rest of my colleagues at my office. They take care of my business work which gives me enough free time to write.

  Hemal, Neha, Candida, Hitesh, Parth, Vinit, Natashaa, Prakash, Anuj, and the rest of the Oktobuzz team, who have designed the cover for the book, and done a fantastic job at it. They have also made the trailer and helped manage many of the social media activities for the book. A brilliant, creative, and committed agency.

  Mayank, Shreyaa, Sarojini, Deepika, Naresh, Marvi, Sneha, Simran, Kirti, Priyanka, Vishaal, Danish and the Moe’s Art team, who have driven media relations and marketing alliances for the book. They are more than an agency, they are advisors.

  Satya and his team who have shot the new author photos that have been used on the inside cover of this book. He made a rather ordinary subject look better.

  Caleb, Kshitij, Sandeep, Rohini, Dharav, Heena and their respective teams who support my work with their business, legal and marketing advice.

  Mrunalini, a brilliant Sanskrit scholar, who works with me on research. My discussions with her are enlightening. What I learn from her helps me develop many theories which go into the books.

  Aditya, a passionate reader of my books, who has now become a friend and a fact-checker.

  And last, but certainly not the least, you, the reader. I know this book has been delayed a lot. My sincere apologies for this. Life just took me away from writing. But it did bring me back. And I will not falter from here on. Thank you for your patience, love and support.

  Chapter 1

  3400 BCE, Salsette Island, west coast of India

  The man screamed in agony. He knew his end was near. He wouldn’t have to bear this pain much longer. But
he had to hold on to the secret till then. He had to. Just a little longer.

  He steeled himself and repeated the chant endlessly in his mind. A chant that held immense power. A chant sacred to all in his tribe: the tribe of the Malayaputras.

  Jai Shri Rudra… Jai Parshu Ram… Jai Shri Rudra… Jai Parshu Ram.

  Glory to Lord Rudra. Glory to Lord Parshu Ram.

  He closed his eyes, focusing on the mantra. Trying to forget his present surroundings.

  Give me strength, Lords. Give me strength.

  His nemesis stood over him, preparing to inflict yet another wound. But before he could strike, he was pulled back roughly. By a woman.

  She whispered in an angry, guttural voice, ‘Khara, this is not working.’

  Khara, a platoon commander in the Lankan armed forces, turned towards Samichi, his childhood love. Until a few years back, Samichi had been the acting prime minister of Mithila, a small kingdom in north India. But she had since abandoned her post and was focused on finding the whereabouts of the person who had appointed her. The princess she had once served: Sita.

  ‘This Malayaputra is a tough nut,’ Khara whispered. ‘He won’t break. We have to find the information some other way.’

  ‘There is no time!’

  Samichi’s whisper was rough in its urgency. Khara knew she was right. The man on the rack was their best possible source of information for now. Only he could tell them where Sita, her husband Ram, his brother Lakshman, and the sixteen Malayaputra soldiers accompanying them were hiding. Khara also knew how important it was to extract this information. It was their chance to get back into the good books of Samichi’s true lord. The one she called Iraiva—Raavan, the king of Lanka.

  ‘I am trying, but he will not last much longer like this,’ Khara said in a low voice, trying to mask his disappointment. ‘I don’t think he’ll talk.’

  ‘Let me try.’

  Before Khara could respond, Samichi strode up to the table where the Malayaputra lay shackled. She yanked off his dhoti and threw it aside. She then wrenched his langot away, leaving the poor man completely exposed and moaning in shame.

  Even Khara seemed horrified. ‘Samichi, this is—’