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Dussehra 2019: What did Ravana's 10 heads signify?

By Vishal S

New Delhi, Oct 08: Dussehra is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Ram over Ravana, the demon (Rakshasa) king of Lanka. Ravana is an important character in epic Ramayana, which is considered holy by the Hindus. In Valmiki's Ramayana, Ravana is portrayed as an immensely powerful and tyrannical demon-king.

A Ravana effigy

Ravana abducting Lord Ram's wife Sita is the most important part of the epic Ramayana. Lord Rama travels a long distance, faces hardships and crosses the sea to battle with Ravana and rescue Sita. In the final battle fought in the island of Lanka, Lord Rama kills Ravana.

Though Ravana is known for his evil deeds, he was very learned and knowledgeable, as per Hindu mythology. He was son of a sage named Vishrava and daitya princess Kaikesi. Ravans was one of the most intelligent scholars of his time. As per the beliefs, Ravan had mastered 64 types of Knowledge, the skills of Kshatriyas and the holy books of Brahmans.

[Dusshera 2019: Significance, puja timings and more][Dusshera 2019: Significance, puja timings and more]

Ravan was a scholar of all four Vedas. According to one opinion he took great interest in astrology and knew quite a lot about it. Ravan also authored Ravan Sanhita, a powerful book on the Hindu astrology. Ravan possessed a thorough knowledge of Ayurveda and political science. Ravana is also described as a follower of Lord Shiva, a great scholar, a capable ruler and a maestro of the Veena. But, he was very egoistic and proud about his power and skills.

Ravan was born to a great sage Vishrava (son of Pulastya) and daitya princess Kaikesi (daughter of Sumali and Thataka). He was born in the Devagana gotra, as his grandfather, the sage Pulastya, was one of the ten Prajapatis or mind-born sons of Brahma and one of the Saptarishi (Seven Great Sages Rishi)

Ravana is described as having 10 heads and 20 arms. His ten heads, as per mythology, represent his 10 qualities which are Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Moha (delusion), Lobha (greed), Mada (pride), Maatsyasya (envy), Manas (mind), Buddhi (intellect), Chitta (will) and Ahamkara ( the ego).

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