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Art by Nisachar

Ravana, also known as Lankeshwar, or Dasamuka, Raphanasuan, Raavun, or a hundred other names, is the son of a noble father and a Raksasha mother. From a young age, he was gifted in the arts, in science, in warfare, in politics - even in music.
Following his initial training, Ravana performed an intense penance to Shiva, lasting several years. During his penance, Ravana chopped off his head 10 times as a sacrifice to appease him. 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. The nectar of immortality, stored under his navel, dictated that he could not be vanquished for as long as it lasted.
Ravana also asked for absolute invulnerability from and 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. Thus Ravana known as 'Dasamukha' or 'Dashaanan' (Dasa = ten, mukha/anan = face).

Ravana, armed with immortality, raised an army then besieged and conquered Shambhala, then earned from Shiva the legendary sword Chandrahas. His abilities now truly awe-inspiring, Ravana proceeded on a series of campaigns, conquering humans, celestials and other demons. Conquering the netherworld completely, he left his brother Ahiravana as king. He became supreme overlord of all asuras in the three worlds, making an alliance with the Nivatakavachas and Kalakeyas, two clans he was unable to subdue. Conquering several kingdoms of the human world, he performed the suitable sacrifices and was crowned Emperor.

Kubera at one point chastised Ravana for his cruelty and greed, greatly angering him. Proceeding to the heavens, Ravana fought and defeated the devas, singling out his brother for particular humiliation. By force he gained command over the devas, celestials, and the serpent races.

Eventually, Vishnu had to reincarnate himself as a simple human, Rama, and after a long and epic journey eventually managed to defeat the great Rakshasa by learning the source of his immortality and destroying it by shooting him in the navel, where the holy nectar was held.

With Ravana gone, Rama installed Vibhishana in his place in Lanka, and the Deva resumed their rulership. Nevertheless, Ravana's legacy echoed through the centuries as one of the most powerful Mythborn ever known.