The Ravana-Sita Syndrome: A combination of opinions, emotions, or behaviour in an emotional relationship between two people, where one party is convinced that he/she is the tyrant in the relationship, thus making him/her a metaphorical Ravana & his/her partner, Sita in the relationship.
In India, we strongly believe that all our mythological tales of Gods & Goddesses, of Demons & Devils, carry powerful messages within them for the readers or listeners. Most of these messages are tips,tricks, advices and life hacks for living a better and wholesome life. The above philosophy concocted out of an epic old tale, is not one of those!
This is taking the legendary story of Ramayana and trying to humanise the essential characters so as to learn something from their situations …in hindsight. Also considering that this is a home-made, add salt-as-per-taste type of philosophy, you can take a certain amount of ‘artistic’ or ‘creative’ liberty to retro-fit it to your story.
In simple words, for you to feel that you are either Ravana or Sita in your story, even a singular match in the traits of either characters, Ravana or Sita, or a match in the bigger picture of the saga called Ramayana should be more than enough. And to answer the question of why is there no Shri Raam in this equation? That’s because we as humans tend to be the ones in-distress or causing distress, we are never the Gods we look upto or pray to. So let’s not kid ourselves, we can’t call ourselves Shri Raam!
So Ravana was a bad guy, a tormentor, a vile demonic king and like the mythological 100 heads of his, today there 100 viewpoints of who he truly was. Some say he was a great ruler who had a momentary lapse in judgement or gave in to lust, while others believe he chose his path fully knowing his fate & anticipating his doom. There also a heavy dose of he-did-it-for-his-sister, who had the hots for Shri Raam and got punished for making a move on him!
What does remain steady in this saga though is the fact that he kidnapped Sita, the wife of Lord Shri Raam and kept her in captivity without so much as even touching her “physically”. Though as captive to a captor they must have had an emotional bond (maybe of hatred). What he did next was, wait… wait for Shri Raam to come rescue Sita. And when they finally met, they then fought like ‘Men’ and Ravana was vanquished, completing the cyclical triumph of good over evil, reuniting husband and wife.
But what if, the so prophesied good never turned up to battle evil? How long would evil sit in wait for self redemption? Wouldn’t at some point evil just say, ‘Fair enough, I have to play both roles’ as the story has to move forward. Or, would the abductee at some point of time decide, ‘F**K it..it’s go time!’ and just come up with a plan. It’s hard to say what would have happened and that’s not the agenda here.
The agenda is the inexplicable plot-point of how at some point in life we are tyrants to some Sita, and some Ravana is the abductor of our life. These roles aren’t gender specific because of the parallel lives that we live. A Ravana while being a Ravana for someone can be also be a Sita of some-other Ravana. For example, a henpecked husband (Sita) married to an angry abusive wife (Ravana) might be a bad abusive boss (Ravana) to his helpless employee (Sita). The permutations & combinations are endless, each exclusive to the type of emotional relationships that we have.
There also those rare cases where both parties involved view each other as “Ravana” and themselves as “Sita”, like in the case with India & Pakistan currently. But that being said, every Ravana and Sita somewhere is waiting for someone, for their Shri Raam. An arrival, that will manifest a change leading to the end of misery along with the end the tyranny. Now as we are told, The Lord works in mysterious ways and comes in different forms. So potentially embedded in our heads is the search for that person, place, animal or thing who will either finish the Ravana and save us… or finish us and save Sita.
Sadly in reality it doesn’t work that way, at-least not for most of us. We are the Ravanas and the Sitas of our world either by choice or by fate. For a Sita, the Raam who comes to end her Ravana, will in the words of Harvey Dent ‘live long enough to see himself become a villain’. And once freed, there is no guarantee that Sita wont switch sides and become Ravana.
Maybe the frivolity of this philosophy points something much more simpler as as an answer. Maybe it is not an external force of faith that we are waiting for, maybe its a force of change from within.
A metamorphosis within ourselves, if and when we start identifying the Ravana-Sita syndrome within our emotional relationships. And if this theory is even remotely plausible, then at the minimum for once in our lives, we will either be both, or at the least a metaphorical Sita to some Ravana. But at the point in time when we get aware of being the victim or the oppressor a.k.a the Ravana-Sita Syndrome, regardless of what we are Ravana or Sita, it is upto us to make the next move and not sit idle… Waiting for Shri Raam.