Few Shaivite devotees equal the dashamukha (ten-headed) asura Ravana in terms of bhakti and accumulated favour. King of the prosperous kingdom of Lanka and a warrior of the finest order, He is best known as the villain of Ramayana where His mighty ego is brought down by the gentle yet sturdy Rama. The Ravana murti that you see on this page depicts Him in His bhakta-roopa, right in the midst of an offering He is making. He kneels on one knee; upon the other He balances the veena, a classical musical instrument which, according to legend, He played with great skill. It is actually His tenth head, an integral part of Himself, that He offers to Lord Shiva in the form of the veena.
A tiger-skin dhoti symbolic of His personal strength and ferocity. An infinite number of arms (He is sahasrabhujadhari, the one possessed of a thousand arms) indicative of His infinite prowess. A bejewelled crown in green, gold, and blue colours on each of His nine remaining heads. A superb, handsome face that is lined with much wisdom and solemnity, as well as a blinding sense of the self. Note the skill with which each aspect of the figure has been carved, from the striations in His moustache to the layers in His adornment.
A wide-set pedestal supports the half-kneeling figure. The solid-coloured top is complemented by the richly coloured lotus petals down the sides. In keeping with the style of Dravida architecture and iconography, a simple flower motif graces the midline.
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