I started reading a book called “Some aspects of Ramayan and Mahabharata” by Bibek Debroy. (You can borrow it here https://archive.org/details/someaspectsofram0000debr/page/15/mode/1up)
First chapter of this book logically attempts to prove why Ravana couldn’t have been a rakshsha and possibility of him without ten heads and twenty hands.
Bibek provides verses from Valmiki Ramayan that shows inconsistencies in portraying Ravana sometimes as 2 handed / 1 head and sometime as 10 headed / 20 handed.
Considering that readers would justify these consistencies with Ravana ability of taking any form he wants (because of his rakshsha powers), Bibek further points out even if Ravana used to switch between these 2 forms, it doesn’t make sense that he would do so rapidly on same occasion. Example -
When Ravana came to abduct Sita, he assumed 20 handed 10 head form but when he tries to grasp Sita he uses 2 hand (Aranya kand , 49th Sarga, sloka 8-9) https://valmikiramayan.net/utf8/aranya/sarga49/aranya_49_frame.htm
संरक्त नयनः श्रीमान् तप्त कांचन भूषणः | क्रोधेन महता आविष्टो नील जीमूत सन्निभः || ३-४९-७ दश आस्यो विंशति भुजो बभूव क्षणदा चरः |
वामेन सीताम् पद्माक्षीम् मूर्धजेषु करेण सः | ऊर्वोः तु दक्षिणेन एव परिजग्राह पाणिना || ३-४९-१७
As you see switch between 2 form just doesn’t add up. Similarly when Fighting with Jatayu, Jatayu cuts Ravana’s 20 hands and immediately in next verse Ravana hits him with 2 hands.
Finally Bibek goes on to justify that 10 headed form could actually be mask that Ravana used to wear. He further states that multi form aspects of Rakshahs and gods (4 headed brahma) and personalities (like Sahastrabahu Arjun) were introduced in post Christian Era and influenced from Greek mythological creatures.
Personally to me this goes against all the beliefs and conception that I have in our mythology and somewhere hurt the sentiments because then what is the truth?
How does the other Hindu acharyas justify inconsistencies pointed out in Ramayan? Are there scriptural references to multi headed or multi handed gods in Vedas? (since Vedas are considered to be documented before Christian Era and if they have references to multi headed/handed gods then it should refute Bibek’s theory that Hindu multi headed gods were influenced from Greek mythology)