Hindu Culture


By December 16, 2021May 17th, 2023No Comments

Ravana, the evil Lanka king, is the character to establish curiosity in Ramayana readers. He is the epitome of evil in Hindu Mythology. However, on the other hand, he is the very brahman who performed ceremonies of pre-war yagya for Lord Ram. Ravan was born the sworn enemy of Ram, also at the same time, Ravan worship Shiva and he was also the most devoted bhakt of Lord Shiva of  that time. The Lanka-King was a fair and justice loving ruler but he was also the most egoistic man. Ravana had a lot of different personalities that have many legendary stories attached with them.

Who Was Ravana?

Ravana was born as Dashanana, demon with 10 heads, to Rishi Vishrava and demon princess Kaikesi. He had two brothers, Kubera and Vibhishan. According to old mythological tales, as Ravan and Kuber were sons of Rishi Vishrava, they were named as Ravan, the roaring one, and Vaisravan, the passive listener, respectively in Sanskrit language. Dashanan grew up to be an intelligent young man.The name Dashanan was for his genius knowledge of the Vedas and political science.

He then decided to meditate and pray with his brothers to gain Vardans from Lord Brahma. After 11000 years of harsh meditation and complete devotion, Brahma finally decided to bless the three brothers. Ravan asked for immortality but as the lord couldn’t give him that he gave him the next best thing. Brahma said that Dashanan will be invincible against all his creations, except humans. Ravan was satisfied with this. He then proceeded to rule Lanka Kingdom. Later he annexed the kingdom of his brother Kubera after defeating him. With the growth of his powers and kingdom, his ego and lust also grew.

The Great Shiv Bhakt’s Downfall

Ravana And Shiva

Ravan, because of his greed, decided to get more Vardans from the Tridev(Brahma, Vishnu , Mahesh) and went to Kailash Parvat to please Lord Shiva. He prayed for many years but it did not gave him any result. This angered the Lanka King and he decided to lift the Kailash Mountain with Shiva on it and take him to Lanka with him.

Devi Parvati got enraged seeing Ravana’s actions and woke up Shiva from his meditation. When Lord Shiva realized what was happening, he put his foot down crushing Dashanan underneath it. The half-demon yelled out in pain and requested Lord Shiva to release him but Shiva paid no attention to his cry. Ravana prayer to Lord Shiva by composing the Tandav Strota, beautiful verses to appease the Lord Of Destruction, Shiva. Shiva was finally calm and released him from under the mountain and named him Ravan, the one who screams. After this Ravan became a devout bhakt of Shiva and chanted his name till his death.

The Story of Ravana’s Downfall

Time flew by, and after the incident Ravan became more and more unjust to the ones around him. However, he remained fair to his people in the kingdom of Lanka. Science and technology fared well under his rule and the Lankans excelled in magic as well as space science. They had developed the impressive Pushpak viman under the patronage of Lord Brahma, Ravan’s ancestral grandfather. However, Ravana desired the viman along with the kingdom of Kubera. The unjust ways of the Lanka king spread far and wide.

Destiny had its own way to counter the ego of Ravan. Lady Sita was of marriageable age. Thus, her father conducted a swayamvar. The Lanka King decided to attend the swayamvar but lost to Lord Ram. Later on, he kidnapped Lady Sita as he was still mesmerized by her beauty. When Ram decided to go to Lanka after building the Ram Setu to retrieve Sita, he needed to perform a yagya.

Only a brahman and a Shiva-bhakt could perform this yagya. Ram spread out his request for the requirement of such a person in the state of Lanka. The only person who fit this description was the Lanka-king himself. When Ravana came to know of the dilemma that Ram was in, he graciously offered to perform the yagya for the Lord. He did it with the best of his abilities and knowledge and blessed him at the end of the ritual.

Ravan Saw His Defeat Beforehand But Still Went On With The War, Why?

First aspect that people saw was that the demon-king had a lot of arrogance which defeated his decision-making skills. Second aspect of this was that by foresight (Divya dhrishti) he knew that Lord Rama was the 7th avatar of Vishnu. Ravana knew that getting killed by Lord Ram would make him achieve Moksha.  The valiant Ravan fought at the field. Lakshman approached Ravan when he was about to pass. Ram had sent his younger brother to ask for knowledge of diplomacy and political depth from the fallen Lanka-King. The latter was generous enough to give all his learning to the young prince. As he left his demon body, Ravan was grateful to Lord Ram for finally helping him attain salvation.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

  • Ravana is good or bad?

Ravana, the King of Lanka, in some cultures represents evil. However, in certain cultures is the symbol of knowledge andconsidered the greatest bhakt of Lord Shiva.

  • According to hindu mythology who was ravana’s mother?

Ravana’s mother was the rakshasi princess Kaikesi

  • What is Ravana mother and father name?

Ravan’s father is Rishi Vishrava and his Mother is rakshasi princess Kaikesi

  • How powerful was ravana?

Ravan was a very Knowledgeable person. And this knowledge helped him built his power and empire.

  • Is Ravana a God?

Ravana is not a God. But he is the King of all Demons.

  • What was Ravana’s religion?
Ravana, by religion was a Hindu. Also, sometimes he was known as Shiv bhakt Ravan.

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Chetna Kaushik

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