Ravana the Demon King

Ravana the Demon King


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Ravana, in Hinduism, the 10-headed king of the demons (rakshasas). His abduction of Sita and eventual defeat by her husband Rama are the central incidents of the popular epic the Ramayana (“Rama’s Journey”). Ravana ruled in the kingdom of Lanka (probably not the same place as modern Sri Lanka), from which he had expelled his brother Kubera. The Ram Lila festival, an annual pageant popular particularly in northern India, is climaxed with the defeat of Ravana and the burning of huge effigies of the demons.

Ravana is described as having 10 heads and 20 arms and is vividly portrayed in Rajasthani painting of incidents of the Ramayana, flying away with Sita, fighting with Rama, and sitting with his demon councillors. In sculpture, a favourite incident depicted is his shaking of Mount Kailas. Shiva stopped him by pressing the mountain down with his toe, keeping him imprisoned beneath for 1,000 years. Notable examples of this representation can be seen at Ellora in Maharashtra state and at Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour.

Glorification of Ravana is not unknown. In modern times, Tamil groups who oppose what they believe to be the political domination of southern India by the north view the story of Rama as an example of the Sanskritization and cultural repression of the south and express their sympathy for Ravana and their antipathy toward Rama.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Matt Stefon, Assistant Editor.


Ravana was born to a great sage, named Vishrava (also Vishravas or Vesamuni) and his wife, Kaikesi, who was a daitya (demon) princess. Even today, the residents of the Bisrakh village in Uttar Pradesh claim that their village was named after Vishravas and that Ravana was actually born there.

The word "Ravana” means "roaring”. It is the opposite of Vaisravana, which means "to hear clearly”. Both Ravana and Vaisravana (more popularly known as Kubera, the Treasurer of the Devas) are the sons of Vishravas. Besides this name, Ravana is also addressed by other names such as Dasaanana, Ravula, Lankeshwara, Lankeshwaran, Dasis Ravana, Dasis Sakvithi Maha Ravana, Ravaneshwaran and Eela Vendhar.

Shin Megami Tensei [ edit | edit source ]

Ravana cannot be fused until after he is either defeated (Law and Neutral) or joins the player's party (Chaos).

Majin Tensei II: Spiral Nemesis [ edit | edit source ]

Ravana is fought in Amnesia's Sabhas on the Dark-Law and Light-Chaos routes.

Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner [ edit | edit source ]

Ravana is the demonic form of Varin Omega, empowered through the "Turbulence" Atma. He is fought in Ajna, in two forms. First, he appears as a chameleon-like creature, capable of turning invisible. Due to this, it appears in a line of six possible attack targets. Any multiple-target attacks will be nullified: it has to be hit in the exact attack target to receive damage.

After enough damage has been dealt, Ravana will open its tail and encase itself in a protective shell. It will no longer be able to turn itself invisible, but it will gain its signature move, "Hunger Wave." This attack is capable of inflicting the "Hunger" status effect, which causes the affected party members to either lose HP or attack one of their own. The party cannot cure it on their own, but Sera will automatically cure one party member at random (this does not consume a Press Turn icon). It also has a strong Wind-type attack, Infinite Wind.

Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 2 [ edit | edit source ]

Player will encounter Ravana again in the second game. This time the battle starts directly in his second form without the skill "Hunger Wave".

The Demons of the Ramayana

Villains, ghosts, witches and demons, every good story has a bad guy…. The conflict of “good” versus “evil”. Somehow good always prevails, but who doesn’t like a “Happy Ending?”.

The Ramayana, the story of the mighty warrior Lord Rama through his trials and tribulations, has inspired millions over the centuries. Originally written in the ancient language of Sanskrit by Sage Valmiki, the Ramayana teaches us about Dharma (duty and righteousness), devotion, hope, bravery, respect, confidence, among many more qualities.

Exiled for fourteen years, by his dearest father King Dasharatha, Lord Rama began an adventure to save his beautiful wife Princess Sita from the evil demon Ravana with his faithful brother Lakshmana, and companion Hanuman. The finale is his mighty battle with Ravana but along the way with his trusted bow….there are a number of demons they slay…. But who are they?, many blogs talk about the gods and goddesses, but it’s time to find out more about the bad guys. All these demons do not feature in the Jai Jais Ramayana as the version is shortened for children to enjoy.

TAKE NOTE:There will be some gore which may not be suitable for some children.

Name: Akampana

Akampana was a maternal uncle of Ravana. He was one of ten sons of Sumali and Ketumathi. He also had four sisters. Later he was killed in the battle of Lanka by Hanuman.

Name: Akshayakumara

Akshayakumara was a son of Ravana and Mandodari. He was killed by Hanuman during the encounter in Ashok Vatika.

Name: Atikaya

Atikaya was a son of Ravana and his second wife Dhanyamalini. He was killed by Lakshamana.

Name: Devantaka

Devantaka was an son of Ravana. He was killed by Hanuman, in the mighty war of the Ramayana.

Name: Dhumraksha

Dhumraksha was a maternal uncle of Ravana. He was one of ten sons of Sumali. Dhumraksha was killed by Hanuman.

Name: Dushana

Dushana was a man-eating demon in the Ramayana epic. According to original scriptures, Dushana and his twin brother Khara younger brothers of Ravana, were demons who ruled the DandakaForest. After Lakshama humiliated Shurpanakha by cutting off her nose and ears, Khara and Dushana went to war against Lakshmana and Rama. During this fight, Dushana was killed by Rama.

Khara was a man-eating demon in the epic Ramayana. He was a younger male cousin of Ravana and the son of Kaikesi's sister Raka. He was killed by Rama, along with his brother Lakshamana when he attacked Rama after Shurpanakha's humiliation. After Lakshamana cut off Shurpanakha's nose, Khara fought against Lakshmana and Rama. During this fight, Khara lost and was killed by Rama, who also killed his brothers Dushana and Trishiras. He was the ruler of the Danda Kingdom, roughly equivalent to the Nashik district, with Janasthana (Nashik city) as its capital. He protected the northern kingdom of Lanka in the mainland and his kingdom bordered with the Kosala Kingdom, the kingdom of Rama. He was well known for his superior skills in warfare. In the Ramayana war, between Rama and Ravanas, Khara's son, Makaraksha, fought on his uncle, Ravana's side, and was killed by Rama.

Name: Kumbhakarna

Kumbhakarna was second son of Vishrava and Kaikasi. He was younger brother of Ravana and elder brother Vibhisana and Surpanakha. Despite his gigantic size and great appetite, he was described to be of good character and great warrior in those times. When offered a boon by Brahma he was tricked into asking for eternal sleep. A horrified Ravana, out of brotherly love, persuaded Brahma to amend the boon. Brahma mitigated the power of the boon by making Kumbhakarna sleep for six months and being awake for the rest six months of a year (in some versions, he is awake for one day out of the year).

Name: Maricha

Maricha is a demon, who is killed by Rama. He is mentioned as an ally of Ravana, the antagonist of the epic. His most notable exploit is his role in the kidnapping of Sita, Rama's wife, he turns himself into a golden dear in one retelling of the story to entice Sita to step out of the protective circle the Lakshman Reka, made by Lakshama to protect Sita, when he goes to assist Rama.

Name: Prahasta

Prahasta was a maternal uncle of Ravana and chief commander of Lanka's army. He was a son of |Sumali and Ketumati. He had 9 brothers and four sisters. One of his sister was Ravana's mother Kaikashi.

Name: Ravana

Ravana is the most famous demon in the Ramayana. Ravana was the demon king of Lanka. He is the main demon of epic Ramayana. He was son of Vishrava and Kaikashi, and the brother of Shurpanakha and Khara. He performed penance for Lord Shiva for many years, and in return received a great blessing from the god himself that he cannot be killed by any god, demon, or other divine being.

Extract from ‘The Jai Jais, Ramayana, page 21, “Ravana was a terrifying giant with ten heads, and a haunting face with yellow brick-like teeth. His twenty arms slithered from his body like a net of angry snakes, His enormous shadow cast a mountain of darkness on the land”.

Name: Shurpanaka

Shurpanakha was daughter of Vishrava and Kaikashi and younger sister of Ravana. According to Ramayana, she met the Rama during a visit to the forest of Panchavati. She was instantly smitten by his youthful good looks. Rama meanwhile kindly rejected her advances, telling her that he was faithful to his wife Sita and thus would never take another wife. Rejected, Shurpanakha then approached his younger brother Lakshamana, who also rejected her, the humiliated and envious Shurpanakha attacked Sita was defended by Lakshamana, who cut off her nose and left ear and sent her back to Lanka.

Extract from ‘The Jai Jais, Ramayana, page 21, “Shurpanaka could not break the love between Rama and Sita. The demoness became extremely angry. She was strong and scary she was fuming with rage. She had a large belly and deformed eyes, and her thick matted coppery hair shook like an autumn tree blowing in the wind”.

Name: Tataka

Tataka was a beautiful woman who was transformed into a demoness, when she tried to seduce the Sage Visvamitra. As a demon, she used to drink the blood of living creatures and used to kill anything she saw. In one of Rama's few great acts, and upon the sage’s request he broke her curse by slaying her.

Extract from ‘The Jai Jais, Ramayana, page 7, “After Vishvamitra told both brothers about Takata’s strength and temper, Rama clenched his fist around the centre of his faithful bow and produced a sharp twang. The noise echoed through the forest and pierced Tataka’s ears which infuriated her even more”.

Come and find out more on the story of Ramayana definitely a child friendly version of the epic Ramayana for children aged 8-12, with some magical illustrations by James Ballance. The Ramayana has been co-authored by Sunita Sha and Rishi Handa.

Power does not come without sacrifice. The greater the sacrifice, the more immeasurable the power. Ravana, the Demon King of Lanka knew this. For years he worshipped, showing his devotion through isolation, prayer, and penance before the shrine of Shiva. Yet for years he was met with only silence. In his pursuit of immortality, he sacrificed his very life. He cut off his own head.

Agony and pain met him as it regrew. He was greeted not by Death, but by rejection. Shiva the destroyer did not want him. Ravana was undaunted. Nine more times his head was offered, and on his tenth sacrifice, finally Shiva was sated.

For the Demon King, Shiva granted a boon. Instead of immortality, he gained invulnerability against those he viewed as threats: Gods and Demons. Ravana could not be destroyed.

A master of combat, a genius scholar, a peerless leader, and now invincible, Ravana amassed an army of fiends and monsters to conquer the world. None could stop him. The Monkey King tried, but Ravana fought off his attacks. The Demon King’s armies conquered all, leaving Ravana to rule from a golden throne.

Vishnu, in his wisdom and grace, would not permit Ravana’s dominance. By Gods and Demons Ravana could not be harmed, but by mortals.

Thus was Vishnu reborn Rama, a mere man. Now trained as a warrior, Rama calls the Demon King to battle.

Pride scraping like a knee on stone, Ravana rallies his monstrous siblings, his conquered allies, and his formidable army to answer Rama’s taunt. And their rivalry will shake the world.

Who is Ravana?

Ravana was an emperor who lived about 5000 years ago in Sri Lanka (Heladiva — Lankapura) dates human habitation to 125,000 years and beyond.

He was a descendant of ‘Surya Wansha’ of ‘Hela Yakka’ tribe (ancient Sinhala tribe). According to Rāmāyana, the emperor Ravana was assassinated by Rāmā. But referring ola manuscripts, rock inscriptions and folklore of Sri Lanka, Ravana has not died at war. He was not to killed by any other common person as Dasis Ravana represented the soul of a Bodhisathva.

The emperor had many names as he ruled many countries. Rāvanā, Dasis Rāvanā, Ravula, Rāvanan, Rāvan are some of them. He is called Dasis Ravana which means the king with 10 great talents. As a well experienced Ayurvedic physician the king wrote several books on medicine. As an artist, he composed Ravana rāgas.

King Ravana’s technological and military prowess was so renowned that he is depicted in Indian literature as having ten heads and numerous hands holding a multitude of weapons. When eventually King Ravana succumbed, to the wrath of Rāmā, (his Indian nemesis) the people of India rejoiced in victory and celebrated in a festival atmosphere. To this day, the festival of ‘Deepavali’ celebrated each year by one billion Indians including the Tamil community, is a celebration of the defeat of this famed Hela King Ravana.

He was an Emperor who controlled 10 states & he was the founder of civilizations like Māyā Atex in South America, Egypt in Middle East. Archaeologists believe that, this “Hela / Asura” civilization is the Atlantis civilization which was destroyed by a nuclear war.

Also, Some may believe that the Ramses II of Egypt is referring to this great Emperor Ravana. If you’re interested in that story read this awesome quora answer here.

What does Sri Lankans think of Ravana?

Here’s the most interesting part of the article.

Legend has it that King Ravana was a very learned and pious man, a wise, just and peaceful Ruler, a loving husband, a fond father & brother. A famous flutist & composer well versed in Vedas, Angas and Sastras.

As I already mentioned above He is called Dasis Ravana which means the king with 10 great talents. He was a descendant of Surya Wansha and Hela Raskshasa tribe. (Ancient Sinhalese tribe) He was one of the best fighters in Angampora, the traditional martial arts of the people in Lanka.

A Rare Representation of The Demon King Ravana

Музей: National Museum - New Delhi

"Ravana, the King of Lanka" (Early 19th Century), автор – UnknownNational Museum - New Delhi

This exceptional and unconventional painting from Kangra, depicts Ravana, the mighty demon King of Lanka, presented in a manner that is reserved for the representation of a deity enshrined for worship as is widely rendered in Indian miniature painting.

Such a deity-like manner of representation of Ravana is very rare in Indian art.

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”.

Enthroned, the Valmiki Ramayana describes him as a spectacular sight to behold - “attired and bejewelled in sumptuous jewels”, “shining forth with marvellous garlands” and likened to the magnificent image of “the Sun in firmament on the supreme golden throne”, and whose appearance itself is “catastrophic”, resembling Kala, the “Ultimate-Time”, that sits with a “wide gaped mouth” waiting to engulf all creation into its being.

Ravana is described in various texts as fearsome demon, blessed by the god of creation Brahma to remain invincible in battle..

..against gods or celestial creatures such as Gandharvas and Asuras, or sages and exalted souls, birds, or reptiles, or other monstrous creatures, but is ultimately defeated by an incarnation of the god Vishnu as mortal - Rama, the prince of Ayodhya.

Tradition has him to be very wise and learned. He is believed to have been a worshipper of the god Shiva and composed the mantra of Shiva Tandava Stotra in his praise, as well as written a treatise on Hindu astrology called the Ravana Samhita.

Ravana is depicted in the folio with his ten heads spread out in a long horizontal row one next to the other crowned by a fourteen-peaked coronet.

In his numerous arms he holds various weapons arrayed in a circle around his body..

..which seem to whirl around him like little planets encircling him.

He is seated on a sumptuously rendered jewel-studded gilt throne..

..and a heavily bejewelled parasol with strands of hanging pearls shelter him and mark his royal status.

Attired in a pink dhoti with a white cummerbund woven with gold encircling his waist, a pale yellow wrap similarly gold woven twists around his bare torso.

The painter masterfully renders with exquisite detail the minute folds of the dhoti that fall gracefully over the crossed legs ending in a dainty, scalloped arrangement.

Equally fascinating is the precision and workmanship of the cloth spread out over the throne..

..the barely perceptible shading on the hands or the face..

..and the resplendent ornamentation of the throne and the parasol.

Pitched against a stark red background, and contrasted by a white cusped niche encircling his form, he presents an awe-inspiring image.

Ravana the Demon King - History

Before I begin my next story I would like to review the previous stories. As I have said before, life has a beginning but it also has an end. The first two stories that I have told you reveal the significance of birth. I hope that through those two stories you have realized that everyone has a purpose for their existence just like Rama, his brothers, and Sita.

Okay, so now for the flip side. I can’t wait to tell you some pretty intense, exciting, and strange deaths. I hope through the next two stories you are able to see that you win or lose by the way you choose. I think that the next two characters are prime examples of choosing and losing.

Let me begin by giving you some background information about the demon king, Ravana. First of all, he was the ruler of Lanka, which is where all of the Rakshasas lived. Remember that all Rakshasas are terrible and very evil, but they are no comparison to Ravana. He was the worst of the worst. Even his physical appearance reeked of evil and wickedness with his ten heads and twenty arms. It is important to know that he was very powerful and unable to be defeated by the gods. Only men could only defeat him, which connects this story to the birth of Rama and his brothers and its importance! Without further ado here is the story of Ravana.

In the land of Lanka, there was a great and powerful king named Ravana. He lorded over his people with his intimidating eyes and muscular arms. It was just another day in his kingdom when he first heard the name of the most beautiful woman in the world and the root of his destruction, Sita. He had been lounging in his king-sized bed with his servants and lovers all around him, showering him with praise and compliments, food and pleasure. Until this moment he had for the most part felt complete. He had whatever he wanted, however much he wanted, whenever he wanted it! He had the confidence of a god and never doubted his ability to engage in a battle and win. This day started like every other day, but that all changed when his annoying little sister ran into his palace.

His sister, Surpanakha, told him about the men in the forest who had chopped off her nose and ears. She wanted him to take serious action towards these men who had disfigured her! Ravana wasn’t so worried he simply shrugged it off because they were only men. What could they do? He ate men for breakfast. Surpanakha was not satisfied so she pulled at his weakness, women. She told Ravana of the beautiful woman that she had seen with these men and how she had to be his. This thought drove Ravana crazy until he schemed up a plan to kidnap her.

Once Ravana had Sita, the beginning of his end had begun. Ravana’s selfish desire for a woman who was another man's wife laid out the path for his destruction. It wasn’t long after Sita’s abduction that Rama pieced together a magnificent, powerful army to take on Ravana.

Finally the battle began. Rama and Ravana fought constantly, using on each other every weapon they had. Rama eventually started to wear on Ravana when he used a mantra to destroy Ravana’s most dangerous weapon, the trident. Rama never slowed down and destroyed Ravana by sending his Brahma-Astra into his heart. This is the moment where Ravana's story comes to an end. His choices brought him to this place in his life and it ultimately took his life.

Ravana’s existence comes to an end first and foremost because he was an evil and horrible Rakshasha. Secondly, his death is brought on by his inability to be satisfied and his immense amount of selfishness. The factors that led to Ravana's death show that we all win or lose by how we choose. Ravana chose to upset the gods so Vishnu was born as Rama then, Ravana steals Rama's wife which upsets Rama and starts the war. In the same sense, he could have chosen alternative pathways that would have resulted in a different outcome. If he would have chosen differently he might have lived longer, and not died such a brutal death.

Author’s Note: In my story about Ravana I wanted to emphasize the importance of choices. My next two stories are about deaths, and I wanted to show that everything we do in life starts with a choice. Therefore, the outcomes of those choices can lead in different directions. Some choices lead to success and other choices lead to failure. I know that everything is not simply black and white, but our choices do affect the paths that our lives take. Ravana definitely made choices throughout his life that led him to his epic and brutal death by Rama. While writing this story I felt that it was important to describe Ravana and his characteristics. I think that it showed that he had already made many decisions to get to where he was. He didn’t wake up one day and decide to be wicked instead he constantly made choices over time that brought him to his destruction. I also thought it was important to show how this story and Rama’s story come together. Rama was born to destroy Ravana, which might not have ever happened if Ravana would have made better choices throughout his life. I hope that the readers see the difference between Ravana and Rama even though that was not the primary focus of my story.

10. Ravan and his brother Kumbhkaran were actually avatars of Vishnu's gatekeepers.

Ravan and his brother Kumbhkaran were actually Jaya and Vijaya, the gatekeepers of Vishnu, which made them a little arrogant. So much so that once when the four Kumaras, mind-born sons of Brahma showed up at the gates of Vaikunth (Vishnu's abode), Jaya-Vijaya mistook them for naked children (a result of their tapasya). This enraged the sages so much, they cursed Jaya-Vijaya saying that they would be parted from their lord. When they asked for forgiveness, the sages said that they could either spent seven lifetimes on earth as Vishnu's avatars' allies or three lifetimes as their enemies. They naturally chose the latter. In one of those three lifetimes, Jaya-Vijaya were born as Ravan and Kumbhkaran.

Watch the video: 6 Curses on Raavan That You didnt Know. Secrets of Ramayan