1. Power Of Faith
Ravana performed an intense penance (or tapasya) to appease Shiva, lasting several years. During his penance, Ravana chopped off his head 10 times as a sacrifice made in the name of Shiva. Each time he sliced his head off, a new head arose, thus enabling him to continue his penance. At last, Shiva, pleased with his austerity, appeared after his 10th decapitation and offered him a boon. Ravana asked for immortality, which Shiva refused to give, but gave him the celestial nectar of immortality. Ravana also asked for absolute supremacy over gods, heavenly spirits, other rakshas, serpents, and wild beasts. Contemptuous of mortal men, he did not ask for protection from these. Shiva granted him these boons in addition to his 10 severed heads and great strength by way of knowledge of divine weapons and magic. Faith, it seems, can move mountains!
2. Power Of Knowledge
Ravana belonged to an august lineage, having been born as the grandson of Brahma, the creator of the universe, and the son of the sage Vishrava and younger brother of Kubera, the deity of wealth. Ravana was a scholar and connoisseur of arts. Ravana possessed a thorough knowledge of Ayurveda and political science. His ten heads represent that his knowledge of the six Shastras and the four Vedas. “While Ravana was aggressive and arrogant, he was also an extraordinary scholar. Under his father’s tutelage, he mastered the Vedas, the holy books, and also the ways of Kshatriyas (warriors). He is even credited with writing a commentary on the Vedas and verses on medicine. An excellent Veena player, he also composed the Ravanstuti,” said Satkari Mukhopadhyay, noted Sanskrit scholar, Ramayana expert, and consultant with the National Mission of Manuscripts at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
3. To Be A Good King
Ravana was a very efficient and just ruler, acknowledged even in Valmiki’s Ramayana. In his rule, Lanka was called Sone ki Lanka and entered the golden and most prosperous period in its history. He assumed leadership over the army of demon king Sumali and established a golden rule over Lanka. According to Hindu mythology, Lanka was built by Vishwakarma, the best of all architects. Ravana was also a caring ruler, who looked after his subjects well.
4. An Excellent Warrior
Ravana was a very powerful and skillful warrior. Lord Rama could not kill Ravana easily, it was only on the tenth day of the battle that he could kill Ravana. Ravana conquered many territories and defeated asuras as well as devas. He also possessed Shiva’s weapon Chandrahas.