Ramayana clearly says about the norms for acquiring knowledge. Ravan abducted Sita and it ended up in the fall of a powerful and learned Ravan. While Ravan was lying down counting his final moments, Rama told Laxman that Ravan is a very knowledgeable person, though wicked and asked him to go to him and see if some precious knowledge is shared.
Laxman went to him and shouted, “Eh demon king, all your life you have only taken, never given. Now Rama the great has given you a chance to share your vast knowledge. Let not your learning die with you. Utilise this chance to share them and earn some grace.” Immediately Ravan turned his face away.
Laxman returned angrily and reported the matter to Rama.
“He is as crooked as ever. He continues to be stubborn, not even thinking of sharing anything.” said Laxman.
Hearing this, Rama smiled and asked Laxman, “Where were you standing when you talked to Ravan?” “Close to his head so that I can hear him clearly.” replied Laxman.
Rama put his bow and arrows down and gently walked towards Ravan. He knelt down at his feet, palms joined, and spoke, “Oh, ruler of Lanka, you did a cruel thing of abducting my wife. It compelled me to fight with you and I had to punish you too.
You are no more my foe but friend only. How I see you is just as how the whole world saw you and respected you, also as the proud son of Visravas the great. I am bowing in respect. In case you do not want any knowledge to die with you, I request you to share it now.”Surprising Laxman, Ravan opened his eyes, turned to him and said, “I wish I had more time to have lived your Guru than living your enemy. Not much time to share anything. Still, I would like to say one thing – one of the important things I have learned in my life. A lot of dissatisfying wants influence us. We run after such pleasures blindly. But factors that truly contribute to our growth fail to attract us – we resist them with multitudes of reasons of our own. That’s why I hurried to abduct Sita and refused to face you. Rama, this is the greatest knowledge in my life. I give you my last words in life.”
This story reminds us how ignorant we are in sorting out our goals and setting priority status. According to Ravana, it is this unawareness that leads to the fall of a person, how powerful he/she be. This story also tells us the preliminary requirements an ardent seeker requires. Rama suggests that a chance to learn shall not be spoiled and Ravana showed that transfer of knowledge happens only with the right attitude. It also should be noted that all Gurus need not necessarily be as virtuous as we think them to be.