9 Lesser-Known Facts About Ravana
- November 13, 2020
By Srinidhi Murthy
Ravana, the ten-headed demon king of Lanka, was one of the central characters of the Ramayana. While many are aware of his end at the hands of Rama, some of his major life events are still unknown to many.
Ravana was not his original name
He was originally named Dasagriva, meaning the one with ten heads.
He was named Ravana after a chance encounter with Shiva
While travelling in his pushpaka vimana, a celestial chariot that would always obey its rider, Dasagriva came across Mount Kailasha where Lord Shiva lived with his wife. The pushpaka vimana, however, couldn’t fly past the mighty mountain, and so, the arrogant Dasagriva went on to lift the mountain by himself. As the mountain began to tremble at Dasagriva’s might, Shiva pressed the mountain down with his toe, crushing Dasagriva’s hands. Dasagriva let out a loud scream in agony, earning him the name ‘Ravana’, meaning ‘one who roars or screams’.
Script: A. Saraswati | Illustration: Ram Waeerkar
He was one of Shiva’s greatest devotees
Humbled by Shiva, Ravana became one of his greatest devotees, composing hymns in praise of the Destroyer, under the Kailasha mountain. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva presented him with an invincible sword called the Chandrahasa.
He had been defe...