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THE ANCESTRY OF RAVANA
Buddhists, such as predominate in the country today, traditionally held Ravana in respect,
perhaps knowing he was one of their own ancestors. The famous Buddhist Sutra, the
Lankavatara, looks to Sri Lanka as a holy land and the Sutra is given in honor of Ravana
himself, who is styled as the king of the Yakshas, much like Kubera in Hindu thought.
Hence the recent tendency of South Indian politicians to look up to Ravana as a Dravidian
hero may be misplaced. Ravana more properly belongs to the peoples of Sri Lanka, whose
ancestry derives from the north, as does his brother Vibhishana who was an ally of Rama.