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Ravana's ten heads symbolize these six Shastras and four Vedas which made him a great scholar.

Ravana the demon king Lanka is referred to as Dashanan meaning ten-headed ("das" means ten and "anan" means head). When one describes Ravana they characterize him to be larger than life, with 20 hands, and 10 heads, in which he retained great oceans of knowledge, he was blessed with amazing supernatural powers that enabled him to vanish, throw rain and fire or launch thousands of arrows during the war. There are numerous legends and theories behind why Ravana had ten heads and what did they depict.

1. Knower of ten scriptures

According to the legends, Ravana is believed to be a prodigy with comprehensive knowledge of the ten sacred Hindu texts and scriptures. He was well-versed in the Six Shashtras/Darshanas- Sankhyashastra (Mathematics), Yog Shastra (Yoga and Meditation), Nyayashastra (Law and Administration), Vaisheshik Shastra (Physics, Astronomy, and Mechanics), Purvamimansa (Philosophy, Justification), and Uttar Mimansa Shastra. He also retained complete knowledge of the four Vedas- Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. Thus, Ravana's ten heads symbolize these six Shastras and four Vedas which made him a great scholar and the most intelligent person of his time. He knew these Ten Scripts- Kanthastha (verbatim) and hence he was named 'Dashkanthi' (the one with ten throats which later became 'Dashanan'.

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Wikimedia Commons

avana is believed to be one of the most powerful beings to have been born on earth.

Ravana (meaning"one of terrifying roar"), is often portrayed as the 'demon king of Lanka, a symbol of evil and who played the role of the primary antagonist in the Hindu mythology epic, Ramayana. Ravana's demise is celebrated all over India every year on Dussehra, a festival that symbolises the defeat of Ravana by Rama, a triumph of good over evil. But, the essence of Indian mythology is beyond the simple good vs evil trope. When we dig deeper into each character of these epics, we find that there's an interesting story at every step.

Something that's not well known among the most population is the many virtues that Ravana had. Ravana is believed to be one of the most powerful beings to have been born on earth. He was the grandson of the creator of the universe, Brahma. Born as the eldest son of sage Vishrava and Rakshasi Kaikeshi, He was half Brahmin and half Rakshasa. He was a learned scholar who embodied great knowledge; he was well-versed in the six shastras and the four Vedas. Ravana is considered to be the most revered devotee of Shiva. It is believed that under his rule in Lanka even the poor ate off of a golden plate.

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Battle at Lanka as mentioned in the Ramayana

It must be noted that different religions and societies in Southeast Asia have alternative narratives of Ramayana, one of the greatest epic.

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Ganga Ghat. Wikimedia Commons

Five water bodies linked to the Ramayana era will be rejuvenated in the temple town of Ayodhya.

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