rāvaṇa रावण

Definition: रावण a. [रु-णिच् ल्यु] Crying, screaming, roaring, bewailing; इत्युक्त्वा परुषं वाक्यं रावणः शत्रुरावणः Rām.3.56. 26 (com. शत्रून् रावयति क्रोशयति शत्ररावणः). -णः Name of a celebrated demon, king of Laṅkā and the chief of the Rākṣhasas; स रावणो नाम निकामभीषणं बभूव रक्षः क्षतरक्षणं दिवः Śi.1.48. [He was the son of Viśravas by Keśinī or Kaikaśī and so half-brother of Kuber. He is called Paulastya as being a grandson of the sage Pulastya. Laṅkā was originally occupied by Kubera, but Rāvaṇa ousted him from it and made it his own capital. He had ten heads (and hence his names Daśagrīva, Daśa- vadana &c.) and twenty arms, and according to some, four legs (cf. R.12.88 and Malli.). He is represented to have practised the most austere penance for ten thousand years in order to propitiate the god Brahman, and to have offered one head at the end of each one thousand years. Thus he offered nine of his heads and was going to offer the tenth when the God was pleased and granted him immunity from death by either god or man. On the strength of this boon he grew very tyrannical and oppressed all beings. His power became so great that even the gods are said to have acted as his domestic servants. He conquered almost all the kings of the day, but is said to have been imprisoned by Kārtavīrya for some time when he went to attack his territory. On one occasion he tried to uplift the Kailāsa mountain, but Śiva pressed it down so as to crush his fingers under it. He, therefore, hymned Śiva for one thousand years so loudly that the God gave him the name Rāvaṇa and freed him from his painful position. But though he was so powerful and invincible, the day of retribution drew near. While Rāma who was Viṣṇu descended on earth for the destruction of this very demon was passing his years of exile in the forest, Rāvaṇa carried off his wife Sītā and urged her to become his wife but she persistently refused and remained loyal to her husband. At last Rāma assisted by his monkey-troops invaded Laṅkā, annihilated Rāvaṇa's troops and killed the demon himself. He was a worthy opponent of Rāma, and hence the expression:-- रामरावणयोर्युद्धं रामरावणयोरिव ।]. -णम् 1 The act of screaming. -2 Name of a Muhūrta. -Comp. -अरिः Name of Rāma. -गङ्गा Name of a river in Laṅkā.


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