Thursday, October 22, 2015



Ravana, the supreme anti-hero of Ramayana -is the king of Rakshasas is depicted with ten heads and twenty limbs. He is also known as Dashaanan (10-headed) or Dashamukha (10-faced). He was the son of Sage Vishravan and Asura mother Kaikashi. The symbolisation has two theories in Hindu mythology. One puts Ravana on a pedestal as a man with great knowledge and high intelligence. As per this theory Ravana's 10 heads sym bolise 6 Shastras and 4 Vedas making him a great scholar. He was supposed to be a master of 64 arts including weaponry. A highly learned Brahmin, Ravana has to his credit over a dozen of texts of which Ravan Samhita, Rigveda Bhashya and Kumartantra are well known. He is known to have compiled Sama Veda with the relevant music svaras (the notes) and his Shiva Tandav Stotra is one of the most popular hymns ever sung in the praise of Lord Shiva. His 10 heads thus stand for multiplicity of his genius.
The second theory puts Ravana as a symbol of negative or evil emotions that exists in every human being. A man needs to conquer these emotions as they are considered to be detrimental for the growth of human soul and hence should be discarded.As per mythology, King Mahabali advised Ravana to get rid of his negative emotions, which he refused saying that the possession of these facets are equally important for him to remain a complete man. As our head controls our destiny, Ravana too could not control his emotions and desires that led to his destruction ultimately.

1 comment:

  1. can you identify where exactly in the ramayana this conversation between mahabali and ravana occurs?