What emotions do Ravana’s 10 faces represent?


Ravana effigy. News18 Hindi.

Ravana is an important character in Ramayana and is considered to be a great warrior. But at the same time he is considered evil in Indian mythology due to his actions, like kidnapping Sita.

Dussehra is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Ram over the demon king. However, Ravana was a magnificent ruler and a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Among his many names is “Dashagriva” or one with 10 heads. But what is the significance of these 10 heads?

While the heads earlier symbolised Ravana’s mastery over the six shastras and four Vedas, people studying mythology interpret the heads as the representation of the flaws of Ravana. These are Kaam (lust), Krodh (wrath), Lobh (greed), Moh (obsession), Maatsarya (Envy), Mada (vanity), Jaddata (insensitive), and more.

Let’s have a look at the significance of Ravana’s 10 heads:

1. Kaam (Lust): Ravana’s lust for a married woman (Sita) led to his end.

2. Mada (Pride): This means loving one’s perfect self. Ravana was knowledgeable but he was too proud about his intellectual and military prowess.

3. Ahemkara (Ego): Ravana was full of ego and failed to see what he was doing was wrong.

4. Moha: (Attachment to possessions): Ravana was too much attached to his possessions and chose to cross all boundaries to keep them.

5. Lobha (Greed): He went wrong as he was overpowered by his greed and decided to abduct Sita.

6. Krodh (Anger): Ravana used to get angry at not getting what he desired and that is what destroyed him.

7. Maatsarya (Envy): The demon king used to envy others for the things they had and wanted to possess those things by all means.

8. Jaddata (Insensitive): Ravana never cared about other people’s feelings and always gave priority to satisfying his own ego.

9. Ghrina (Hatred): He hated other people. It was his hate that destroyed Ravana eventually.

10. Bhaya (Fear): His fear of losing his possessions was the cause of his sinful deeds.

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