Monday, October 6, 2014

The 10 Names of Ravana

rawanah, rabon, lankesh, lankeshwara, lankapati, ravaan, names
The 10 Names of Ravana
Dasagriva is one of the earliest sobriquet given to the Ravana. The name Dasagriva can be found in Valmiki Ramayana. It is made up of two Sanskrit words, dasa and griva. Dasa which simply means ten and griva, a beautiful singing voice/neck. Thus, by simple translation, Dasagriva means one with ten beautiful singing voices.

Again, Dashakantha is combination of two Sanskrit words dasha and kantha. The dasha means ten and kantha means voice box or throat. Thus, Dashakantha means one who have ten voices.

Iraavanan is another name used for Ravana and popularized by the Tamil literature. It is made up of two Tamil words, Ira and Avanan, which simply translates as a boy with incomparable beauty or a man with strong principles.

The name Ravaan is the Sanskritization of Dravidian name Iraivan. The meaning of name Iraivan in Tamil or any Dravid language is the king or lord.

According to Lankan folklore, the name Ravana has roots in two Sanskrit words, Rakshak and Vana. Thus, these two words give a different meaning to the name, one who looks after the jungle.

Like Dasagriva and Dashakantha, Dashamukha is made up of two Sanskrit words dasha and mukha. The dasha which means ten and mukha which means the face, gives the meaning to the name Dashamukha, one with ten faces.

Dashaanan, another sobriquet given to Ravana, which means one with ten faces or heads.

According to a popular Hindu legend, Ravana, once tried to lift Mount Kailash, where Lord Shiva resides. But he failed, when Shiva toed Mount Kailash and unknowingly crushed Ravana’s hand, which were still under the Mount Kailash. It made Ravana yelp and yelp was so strong that it caused an earthquake. Lord Shiva lifted his toe, only when Ravana sang one of his famous creation, Ravana Shiva Stotram, and gave him the name Ravana, one who can shake earth with his cry.

Lankapati, an epithet used for Ravana, which simply means the lord of Lanka.

Dasis is the corruption of Sanskrit name Dashashis which means one with ten heads.

Ravana is also known as Dashamesha, Lankesha, Lankeshwara, Thotsakan (Thai), Lawana (Maranao) and many other names in Ramayana related literature.

Note: This is my second post under, Dashamukha series. If you have missed the last post, you can read it here, Dussehra: Something More than Rama and Ravana or if you have already read it, you can subscribe the rss feeds or facebook page for upcoming posts.

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