Biographies | Daitya
Raavan-1: Who Was Raavan and Preamble to Raavan's Birth
1. Who was Raavan and Preamble to Raavan's Birth
Who was Raavan?
Maharshi Pulastya Jee was one of the ten Maanas sons of Brahmaa: Angiraa, Atri, Bhrigu, Daksh, Kratu, Mareechi, Naarad, Pulah, Pulastya and Vashishth. He was married to one of the nine daughters of Kardam Rishi and Devahooti: Havirbhoo. Pulastya and Havirbhoo had two sons: Maharshi Agastya and Maharshi Vishravaa. Muni Vishravaa had two wives: Idvidaa and Keshinee (Kaikasee). From Idvidaa he had a son named Kuber, and from Keshinee he had three sons; Raavan, Kumbhkarn and Vibheeshan. and one daughter Shoorpanakhaa.
Thus Raavan was the son of Muni Vishravaa (from Kaikasee, the daughter of Sumaalee Raakshas), but better-known as the grandson of Maharshi Pulastya, and half-brother of Kuber. He had two brothers more, Kumbhkarn and Vibheeshan and one sister Shoorpanakhaa. Because he was born with ten heads that is why Muni Vishravaa named him "Dashgreev" (who has ten Greev=necks). Vaalmeeki Raamaayan covers his life account in very detail. More than 30 Sarg are devoted to him in Uttar Kaand.
He is known as Raavan, Dashgreev, Dashaanan. He was killed by Raam. According to "The Aangiras Dictionary of the Hindu Religion and Culture" (p. 317), "The extra nine heads represented nine sins with which Raavan was afflicted. They were (1) anger, (2) arrogance, (3) cruelty, (4) dishonesty, (5) hypocrisy, (6) lust, (7) malice, (8) revengefulness, and (9) lack of faith in God. When Shree Raam destroyed the heads of Raavan, He destroyed the evils of human beings that these heads represented and showed mankind that they should get rid of these heads."
Preamble to Raavan's Birth
All three were very brave and mighty and graceful like Rudra. They grew up soon, and when they heard about the Var to their father they also went to Sumeru Parvat to do Tap and did it very earnestly. Brahmaa Jee got very pleased with their Tap and asked them to ask for any Var. They asked that they should win all their enemies and they could live long. Brahmaa Jee granted them the Var and went away to his Lok.
Now they started troubling Devtaa and Daitya all alike. One day they asked Vishwakarmaa to built a house for them like Mahaadev's house. Vishwakarmaa built Lankaa Nagaree up on the peak of Trikoot Parvat in the midst of the ocean. It was all made in gold and was 30 Yojan long and 100 Yojan wide. It was unapproachable to even Devtaa so it was very safe. Its boundary wall was very strong. The three Raakshas liked it very much and started living there.
A Gandharv woman named Narmadaa, married her three beautiful daughters to those three Raakshas. Maalyavaan had eight sons and one daughter; Sumaalee had 10 sons and three daughters and Maalee had three sons, named Anal, Har and Sampaati who became the ministers of Vibheeshan, from their wives. But the three Raakshas still used to trouble Devtaa and destroy Rishi's Yagya.
Devtaa Go to Vishnu
Raakshas army also ran away back to Lankaa. Vishnu killed running Raakshas too. Seeing this Maalyavaan returned and said to Vishnu - "You are not ashamed to kill these small Raakshas? If you want to show your bravery then come and fight with me." but later on he also had to run to Lankaa. After this they all left Lankaa and went to Rasaatal to live there.
Later Kuber, Muni Vishravaa's elder son and Raavan's half brother, was appointed as the fourth Lokpaal along with Yam, Varun and Indra. On asking "Where I should live" Muni Vishravaa advised Kuber to live in Lankaa Puree. So Kuber started living there comfortably. Sometimes he used to go to visit his father in his Pushpak Vimaan which Brahmaa Jee gave to him.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 06/19/13