Ravana, also spelled as Ravan, was a legendary figure in Hindu mythology who is primarily known as the antagonist of the epic Ramayana. He was the king of Lanka, which is believed to be present-day Sri Lanka and was known for his great power, knowledge, and wealth.
With that said, King Ravana is a prominent figure in Hindu mythology and is often portrayed as a negative character due to his abduction of Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, one of the major deities in Hinduism. However, there are also aspects of King Ravana’s character that are worth highlighting and may present a positive image of him.
According to the Ramayana, Ravana was a devotee of Lord Shiva and possessed many magical powers, including the ability to change his shape at will. He was also an accomplished musician and scholar, having mastered the Vedas and other sacred texts.
Ravana is known for his abduction of Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, which led to the great war between Rama and Ravana. Ravana was ultimately defeated and killed by Lord Rama in the war, and his story continues to be a popular theme in Hindu mythology and Indian culture.
King Ravana was considered a scholar, with expertise in various fields, including music, literature, medicine, and astrology. He is also said to have written several books on these subjects, demonstrating his knowledge and intelligence. Additionally, he was a devout worshipper of Lord Shiva and is said to have performed several religious rituals and penances in his honor.
In some interpretations of the Ramayana, King Ravana is portrayed as a tragic hero, whose downfall was a result of his arrogance and ego, but who also had redeeming qualities, such as his knowledge, bravery, and loyalty to his kingdom and people. It is said that he was a just ruler who provided for his subjects and ensured their well-being, even though his actions towards Lord Rama’s wife were not justifiable.
In some South Indian communities, King Ravana is also worshipped as a deity, with temples dedicated to him. These communities view him as a symbol of strength, knowledge, and valor, and celebrate his positive qualities.
One of the positive traits attributed to Ravana is his devotion to Lord Shiva. Despite being a fierce warrior and a powerful king, he was a devout follower of Lord Shiva and is said to have performed many austerities and penances to please him.
Additionally, Ravana is also known for his knowledge and intelligence. He was a master of the Vedas and other scriptures and was also a skilled musician and artist. Some interpretations also suggest that he was a fair and just ruler who took care of his subjects.
It’s important to note that these positive aspects of Ravana’s character are often overshadowed by his negative actions, particularly his abduction of Sita and his rivalry with Lord Rama.
What did Ravana look like?
The Valmiki Ramayana describes Ravana as “One who has twenty arms, ten faces and a broad chest, and a possessor of all regalia of Indra, the god of kings”.
What race was Ravana?
He was born to Sage Vishravan and Asura’s mother Kaikashi. Hence he is considered half Asur (demon) and half Brahmin (sage). Ravana is known as the supreme antagonist in the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana. He is depicted as a Rakshasa (demon) and the great king of Lanka.
Who built Lanka for Ravana?
In Hindu mythology, it is believed that the golden city of Lanka was built by Lord Vishwakarma– the “Principle Architect of the universe” , when Lord Shiva asked Vishwakarma to build a beautiful place for him and Goddess Parvati to reside after their marriage. Lord Vishwakarma designed a beautiful palace made of gold.
The symbolism of Ravana’s 10 heads
- Kama (lust)
- Krodha (anger)
- Moha (delusion)
- Lobha (greed)
- Mada (pride)
- Maatsarya (envy)
- Buddhi (intellect)
- Manas (mind)
- Chitta (will)
- Ahamkara (ego)