Hinduism - Who Is Ravana In Hindu Mythology?


Ravana is the ten-headed demon ruler of Lanka in the Ramayana, the first of the two major Indian epics.

Vishnu, in his incarnation as Rama, is born to vanquish Ravana.

Ravana is the reincarnation of Vishnu's guardian Jaya, who was cursed by a guru to be reincarnated three times as a demon, each time being destroyed by Vishnu.

Ravana is a rakshasa, a sort of demon with enormous physical strength and a variety of magical abilities.

In Indian culture, rigorous physical asceticism (tapas) is commonly thought to develop spiritual strength and bring boons from the gods, and he uses it to supplement these natural powers.

When the deity Brahma comes and instructs Ravana to pick his boon, Ravana demands that he be able to be slain only by humans.

This effectively makes him immortal, since his abilities are such that no average human will be able to injure, much alone kill him.

Ravana then proceeds to torment the gods, certain that they would be unable to stop him.

He starts with his half-brother Kubera, a lesser god who loses his house and all he has to Ravana.

Ravana's near-invulnerability gets the better of him, and the mighty demon starts to break all moral and ethical conventions.

He has a history of abusing and kidnapping women, which has resulted in a slew of curses from his defenseless victims, many of which prophesy his demise.

Rama's brother Lakshmana mutilates his sister Shurpanakha as a consequence of one of these curses.

Ravana is determined to revenge this insult, and he believes that abducting Rama's wife Sita is the best way to do it.

Ravana steadfastly refuses to listen to his wife Mandodari and brothers, who chastise him for his actions and implore him to return Sita and make peace with Rama.

His inflated pride and desire to revenge his sister's insult deafens him to their advice, and he pays the price for his obstinacy with his life when Rama kills him in combat.

Ravana, like other demons, isn't wholly evil by nature, but he is very strong and imperfect at the same time.

Ravana is said to be a devotee (bhakta) of the deity Shiva, and the Shivatandava Stotra, a hymn to the dancing Shiva, is sometimes credited to him.

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