Why is Ravana portrayed as ten-faced?

Everyone First Grandmother Stories must be from our great Epics, Ramayana or Mahabharata.  While reading Ramayana, The First intriguing Outline of Ravana will be the ten-headed, twenty-armed figure. At the age of Eight, I had early access to Books and Epics. So I read from Siruvarmalar to Ramayana through comics or short stories.

It took me few years to really know why Ravana is portrayed as ten- faced. In Indian Mythology, The spiritual gurus preached the students that wisdom places importance on the control of one’s emotions and we need to project the intellect alone, as being supreme Leader/King.

The great King Mahabali (Guru of Ravana), advises Ravana to embrace only the intellect and ignore the other nine base emotions of anger, pride, jealousy, happiness, sadness, fear, selfishness, love, and ambition. He stressed the need to overcome the Self and have considered the emotions as negative to the advancement of the soul.

But, in his response to Mahabali, Ravana justifies as below and triumphs in the possession of all these ten Emotions (Facets) The Emotions molds him Complete.

Anger: Misdirected anger can cause harm. But it is a basic emotion of life. Get angry at the plight of the tribe, be furious and fight for the tribe to have the best life.

Pride: feel proud about the people, race, culture, language art and music. Struggle hard in the life to achieve success and pride is the only reward of accomplishment.

Jealousy: The Biggest key motivation for human kind. Jealousy is the driving force of progress, envy is the motivating force of life.

Sadness and Happiness: equanimity of these emotions are impractical. When we have a loss, we Consulate with crying. If we do not find happiness in the beauty of the rising sun, feel ecstasy in the smile of a little baby, lose in the happiness of music, is life worth living?

Fear: It helps to be prepared for dangers that we must face. It is fear that make to understand that there are things that cannot be controlled and helps to understand God.

Selfishness: The word you is prominent. We want to achieve whatever achieved earlier and much more. Its better being known as the most selfish Person in the world, rather than dying unknown as a selfless non-entity.

Love: The king of emotions. Love yourself above all. Without being passionate, nothing which is endearing has no significance.

Ambition: It’s a Key to progress. Ambition is the horse that pulls lives forward.

Intellect: It is important but it is not being the only one the head worth having. Without any of the other emotions, it is just an empty skeleton.

Ravana sees himself as the embodiment of a complete human being, without any deception to holiness or controlled by social and religious norms. Rama may be seen as God, but Ravana is the more complete man.

To see life as we want to be. Not for what it is.


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