Ravana was a very big Vedic scholar also. But one thing, that he was against Rama... And for this disqualification he is still described as asura, raksasa

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"he was a very big Vedic scholar also. But one thing, that he was against Rama... And for this disqualification he is still described as asura, raksasa"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Rāvaṇa was a great personality, a great devotee of Lord Śiva also, and materially his kingdom was very much advanced. It is said that Lanka was made of gold. Actually there were many palaces. And he was a very big Vedic scholar also. But one thing, that he was against Rāma... And for this disqualification he is still described as asura, rākṣasa.
Lecture on BG 13.8-12 -- Bombay, October 2, 1973:

The central point is bhagavad-bhakti. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. If one is not a devotee of the Lord, Kṛṣṇa harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ—he cannot possess any great qualities. That is not possible. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ.

We have seen practically. Just like Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa was a great personality, a great devotee of Lord Śiva also, and materially his kingdom was very much advanced. It is said that Lanka was made of gold. Actually there were many palaces. And he was a very big Vedic scholar also. But one thing, that he was against Rāma... And for this disqualification he is still described as asura, rākṣasa. So harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ mano-rathenāsato dhāvato bahiḥ. If one is not devotee of the Lord, he will simply concoct on the mental platform. So that will not make.

Rāvaṇa also wanted to make a staircase to go directly to the heavenly planet. Just like we are. At the present moment, we are trying to go directly to the moon planet by sputnik. But it has failed. It is not possible. In that way we cannot go. If we want to go to another planet, the process is described in the Bhagavad-gītā: yānti deva-vratā devān piṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ (BG 9.25). If you want to go to the higher planetary system, then that particular devata, Indraloka, Candraloka. The moon planet is Candraloka. That is also considered as one of the heavenly planets. So you have to prepare yourself by karma-kāṇḍīya activities. Then you can go there by... After this body is finished, you immediately transfer to certain planet where you want to go.

Similarly, if you want to go to the planet where Kṛṣṇa lives, Goloka Vṛndāvana...

goloka-nāmni nija-dhāmni tale ca tasya
devī-maheśa-hari-dhāmasu teṣu teṣu
te te prabhāva-nicayā vihitāś ca yena
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.43)

There is... Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo vyaktyāvyakta-sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). They are described in the Bhagavad-gītā that "Beyond this material nature there is another nature. That is called sanātana." Paras tasmāt tu bhāva. Bhāva means svabhāva or nature. As you see this material nature... Although you are seeing, you cannot go. You are so limited, conditioned. You see so many planets twinkling at night, but there is no possibility of going there.

You cannot go to the nearest planet, even the moon planet, by your mechanical arrangement. The modern scientists, the sputniks experts, they say to go the topmost planet of this universe it will take forty thousands of years. Who is going for forty thousand, flying forty thousands of years and again come back and see you: "Yes, I went to such and such planet." Is it possible? So we are so poor. It is not possible in that way.

So this is the position of our going to the material planets, and what to speak of the spiritual planets? That is far, far away. You cannot travel within the space of material world.

panthās tu koti-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo
vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānām
so 'py asti yat prapada-sīmny avicintya-tattve
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.34)

Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara. Not only one year, two years, three years or forty thousand years. Koṭi-śata-vatsara. Koṭi, you know, one hundred times lakhs makes koṭi and again multiply it by hundred. Koṭi-śata-vatsara. And the speed. What is the speed of that aeroplane? Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo vāyor athāpi. Aeroplane. Vāyur manasaḥ. And with the speed of mind. Airplane running with the speed of mind. You know what is the speed of mind. You are sitting here, and within a second your mind can go some ten thousand miles away, within a second. So even with that speed and running on, koti-sata-vatsara, you cannot go to the spiritual planet. This is the position. So 'py asti yat prapada-sīmny-avicintya-tattve. So in that way you cannot go.