As Ravan had 10 heads, Does each head have individual names? Did Ravana got all names for his heads?

How he had got 10 heads?


Ravana was born with ten heads.

His birth is mentioned in the Chapter 9 of Uttara Kanda Uttara Kanda of Ramayana as well as this answer by user Keshav Srinivasan. It is written that he was born with ten heads. From

Having been thus accosted, the girl, O Rama, after a length of time brought forth a very terrible and hideous offspring having the form of a Raksha, having ten necks, furnished with large teeth, and resembling a heap of collyrium, with coppery lips, twenty arms, huge faces, and flaming hair. On his having been born, jackals with flaming mouths and other ferocious beasts began to gyrate on the left. And that god showered down blood ;and the clouds uttered forth harsh sounds.

The names of the ten heads are not mentioned in the Uttara Kanda or Ramayana. I presume that there are no names to them.

Due to these ten heads, he got the names 'Dashagriva', 'Dashakantha', 'Dahsaanana'. As he was a descandant of Pulastya Brahma, he was also called as 'Paulastya'.

The name Ravana is given by Lord Shiva when he tried to uplift the mount Kailasa. It is from chapter 16 of Uttara Kanda which is also explained in this answer by user Arya.

And as in consequence of thy arms having been hurt by the mountain, thou hast uttered a terrific yell, which struck horror unto the three worlds and put them shaking, therefore, O King, thy name shall be Ravana. And Devas and men and Yakshas and others living on earth shall call thee Ravana terror to creatures. So, O Paulastya, which way thou wishest, and permitted by me, O Lord of Rakshasas, go thou.


I heard another story

The 3 bros (Ravana, Kum and Vib) do yagna to Brahma. But Ravana is not comfortable with yagna and feels out of place. He cannot focus. So, to impress Brahma and speeden the process, he cuts his own head and puts it into fire. Brahma, much too impressed, puts it back. Ravana repeats. Brahma repeats. And so they play on for about 10 times in toto. Finally Brahma, thinks ‘Enough is enough!’ and appears before them. Hence, Ravana is said to possess 10 heads!

Ravana’s 10 heads denote 6 shashtras & 4 vedas that he mastered in his lifetime.

His ten heads also represent 10 human emotions:

  1. Kaam – Lust

  2. Krodha – Anger

  3. Moha – Delusion

  4. Lobha – Greed

  5. Mada – Pride

  6. Maatsarya – Envy

  7. Manas – Mind

  8. Buddhi – Intellect

  9. Chita – Will

  10. Ahamkara - Ego

  • 1
    This is also from Uttara Kanda. But the heads were already there during his penance. He cut his nine heads but Brahma restored back. And these are ten different heads not a single one. Do you have sources for the representation of ten heads? Nov 21 '17 at 18:06
  • see but modern author hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/15150/…
    – AZinkey
    Nov 22 '17 at 12:47

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