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Significance of ten heads of Ravana

Significance of ten heads of Ravana



Ravana, one of the most powerful beings ever to roam the earth is also known as the supreme anti-hero in Ramayana. He was the king of Rakshasas and is depicted with 10 heads and 20 arms, giving him the name of “Dasamukha” (10 faced) or “Dasagriva” (10 headed). He was born to Sage Vishravan and Asura mother Kaikashi.

Ravana’s 10 heads symbolize the 6 Shastras and 4 Vedas, making him a great scholar and the most intelligent person of his time. He was a master of 64 types of knowledge and all arts of weaponry. A highly learned Brahmin, Ravana has to his credit over a dozen of texts of which Arkaprakasha, Kumaratantra, Indrajala, Prakrata Kamadhenu, Prakrata Lankeshvara, Ravana Samhita, Rigveda Bhashya, Ravanabheta, Krishna Yajur Veda etc. are some of the best known. He is known to have compiled Sama Veda with the relevant musical svaras (notes) and his Shiva Tandava Stotra is yet the most popular hymn ever sung in praise of Lord Shiva. His ten heads thus stood for this multiplicity of his genius.



Another negative interpretation of Ravana’s 10 heads are the 10 emotions or senses in a human:

  1. Kaam (lust)
  2. Krodha (anger)
  3. Moha (delusion)
  4. Lobha (greed)
  5. Mada (pride)
  6. Maatsarya (envy)
  7. Manas (the mind)
  8. Buddhi (intellect)
  9. Chitta (will), and
  10. Ahamkara (ego)

Hindu traditions emphasize on the importance of controlling one’s senses and projecting just the intellect alone, which is considered supreme over others. The use of other emotions are considered to be detrimental to the growth of a soul.  The great king Mahabali advised Ravana to shun these nine emotions and to keep only intellect to which Ravana justifies that the possession of all these facets are equally important and make him a complete man.

The head controls our destiny and the ten 10 heads of Ravana controlled his actions which ultimately let to his destruction. The king of Lanka became a slave to his senses and since he could not control his desires, he not only destroyed himself and his clan but the whole Lanka was reduced to ashes as well. Having all this knowledge and not being unable to harness his powers was one of Ravana’s biggest regrets as he lay dying on his deathbed.

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14 Responses to "Significance of ten heads of Ravana"

  1. Bhumika  April 20, 2015 at 3:53 am

    i am not sure what the ten heads symbolized but i do know that he practically had 10 heads. This technique of growing a cut off limb has has been rediscovered in the west. Only as of now they have managed to grow a part of a finger by applying a specially developed regenerative powder on the finger itself. As far as i can gather, the reason why Ravana’s life was in his naval is that Ravan had also discovered this regenerative powder, but instead of applying it to any severed limb individually he carried a pouch of the powder inside his naval. Significance of the naval is that before a human is born he develops his body and grows all his limbs through the umbilical chord, therefore by attaching the regerative powder to his naval Ravana could develop any part of his body again and again the way a baby develops his limbs with the help of the nourishment supplied through the umbilical chord. As far as i gather Ravan had innumerable heads, Ramji had cut 10 heads before Vibhishana told him to hit the naval.

    Reply
  2. kajal  August 1, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    10 is an odd figure -for head count physically.there has to be one head in the centre and remaining equally divided on two sides.11 is more reasonable. or have the heads one above the other.
    no 10 heads mean a normal human being uses only 10 % of his intellect while ravana used 100 %.

    Reply
    • Ritu  September 17, 2016 at 1:51 am

      I do agree with kajal only…bcoz 10 heads means he uses his intellect 100%….he was genius…n m sorry to the guy who were talking abt zero n arayabhatt…he need to improve his knowledge…lol…he considered zero with 10 n 100s…lol. Poor fellow

      Reply
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  4. Devilish Holy Books  December 12, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Forget that and answer this,

    How 10 heads of Ravan were counted at that time as 10 has a zero while there was no invention of 0 at that time. Aryabhatt had not invented 0. 0 was invented by Aryabhatt near to 5th centuary.
    And how did ppl know Kauravs were 100 brother as there are 2 zeros in 100?

    Fake stories? I don’t know.

    Reply
    • vinamr goel  June 3, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      At that time stories were written in sanskrit so ravan had dasham heads not english 10. Similarly case of 100. And all these stories, facts and experimentations were preserved by the nalanda university which was burned into ashes because of its legacy

      Reply
  5. Sai Deep  January 25, 2016 at 11:39 am

    oh my god!

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Ten heads of Ravana – India-InfoFacts

  7. sridhara  March 25, 2016 at 10:39 am

    as we learnt from our elders, ravana known as dhashakanta and twenty arms.he lifted kailash parvath to get shiva’s aatma linga,even after visiting kailash parvath there we saw raksha sarover ( a alkaline water). When ravana lifted kailash parvath it started shaking, then parvathi asked shiva why do you allow him to do all this kidding, and asked to control him. then shiva pressed his foot on the floor, then ravana’s hand cought between mountain and ground, then ravana started crying, his cry went up to universe . after all the devatha’s prayed shiva to releave them for their non bearable sound, so shiva relaxed the force on mountain, so as to ravana can remove his hands. this sarover was created due to the crying of ravana, even today we can view formation of soil ten arms on both sides . and sarover is at head side. the length of the arms is abovt more than miles. also heard that ravana was claiming asta paada. to sit and do pooja of shiva. each paada’s height is about 40 to 50 feet. it is also said that bharatha chakravarthy, of ayodya sriraama’s ikshwaku vamsha (not shakuntala dushyantha’s son,) was also claiming the astapaada to discus dharma with shiva.. even in Ramaayana, also discribed Ravana was if get arroused he would become 12o feet. 12 times of SRIRAAMA.

    Reply
  8. COORAY  March 26, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Sri Lanka Version-King Ravana did not use any physical force on Seetha and it was Laksmana the younger brother of the prince Rama that harassed Suparnaki the charming beautiful sister of King Ravana while she was meditating in Dandaka. As she was there to gain spiritual upliftment and refused his advances this made Laksamana to disfigure the face of this beautiful lady, on hearing of this act King Ravana instead of taking revenge from Laksamna abducted Seetha and braught her to Lanka and kept her in custody under guard while giving her all the necessary comforts. King Ravana’s court room was built with crsytal walls with glittering precious stones and the kings head was reflected on each wall giving the image of one having many heads.
    THIS SAGA EVEN TODAY IS BEING PLAYED OUT BETWEEN INDIA AND SRI LANKA?

    Reply
  9. Jayeprakash  April 17, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Zero was “reinvented” or “rediscovered” by Aryabhatt near 5th century. We should nit forget that India was faced with many great wars ( Mahabharat etc) whereby many books and records was destroyed. I think many of the theories have been reinvented or rediscovered…

    Reply
  10. K K Viswanathan  May 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    The Vedas are eternal , it has no authorship , It is an integral part of Cosmic breath. The slokha Poornamada Poornamidam, Poornaat, Poornamudhachate talks everythings as part of the whole which includes infinity as well as zero. So zero was always there

    Aryabhata only brought it to the common man similar Newton discovering Law of Gravitation which was there even before Newton’s discovery

    Reply
  11. proud to be indian  July 15, 2016 at 7:00 am

    wow,beautiful….one thing everyone should understand ..the person who cant respect past can never attain anything from future..yeah.ravan didnt touch sita bcoz he had a curse from rambha,if he touches any woman without her permission his heads will be destroyed and lead to his death which made him not to touch sita.And everytime he wanted her to make under senses so that she herself will agree..but in vain….
    I wanted to tell one more thing the people who dont know the exact essence of anything has no right to talk about it..but as we live in India everyone has right to express their own feelings…but before doing such comments just try to know maximum and use some wisdom for whats right and whats wrong…

    Reply
  12. Sudha Sathyanarayana  October 4, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Wonderful information
    Just from ten heads of ravana, I understood science behind it, thank you

    Reply

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