Ravana is known as the demon king of Lanka in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Today, we will share with you Ravana Family including his father, mother wife, and brothers.
Ravana also is known as Dashanan or Dashagriva, or Dashakantha was the legendary emperor of Lanka (modern day Sri Lanka). Ravana has been described as one of the most powerful beings to have ever lived on earth.
According to the Hindu legends, Ravana exercised his mighty powers to rule over gods, humans and other demons.
For instance, the Valmiki’s Ramayana describes Ravana as a mighty tyrant who held the Gods at ransom. He kidnapped Lord Ram’s wife Sita to take revenge on Rama and Laxman who cut off the nose of his sister Surpanakha.
However, despite being a tyrant, Ravana was a great scholar and a very capable ruler. He was a maestro of Veena and even created the musical instrument known as “Ravanhattha.” It is said that he possessed ten heads that represented his knowledge of the six Shastra and the four Vedas.
Ravana was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. He sang praises of Lord Shiva in his famous creation – The Shiva Tandava Stotram. He even tried to bring Mount Kailash to Lanka.
It is said that Ravana ruled Lanka for several hundred years. Lord Ram ultimately killed Ravana for kidnapping his wife, Sita.
Ravana had usurped Lanka from his step-brother Kuber. In fact, Lanka was created by the celestial architect Vishwakarma himself.
However, Ravana turned out to be an effective and benevolent ruler. In fact, Lanka flourished under his rule as he carried on several campaigns conquering humans, celestials, and demons.
Moreover, Lanka saw great advancements in science and medicine under the rule of Ravana.
For example, the “Pushpaka Vimana” (Aeroplane) was a great scientific achievement during his regime. In fact, Ravana holds a high position as a physician. There exist seven books on Ayurveda in his name. He even authored “Ravana Samhita” which is an anthology of Hindu Astrology.
So, Ravana was successful in creating one of the most advanced civilizations in human history. He was one of the greatest rulers of the world. It has been estimated that King Ravana ruled Lanka from 2554 to 2517 BC.
As per the Bhagavata Purana, Ravana and his brother Kumbhakarna were the reincarnations of Jaya and Vijaya who were said to be the gatekeepers at Vaikunta Loka (the abode of Vishnu).
Jaya and Vijaya were cursed to be born on Earth for their insolence. The Sanatha Kumara monks cursed them to be expelled from Vishnu Loka (Vaikunta) and be born on Earth.
They were offered two choices.
They could be born seven times in the form of normal mortals and devotees of Lord Vishnu, or else they could be born three times in the form of powerful and strong people but as enemies of Lord Vishnu.
Both Jaya and Vijaya wanted to be back with the Lord. So, they choose the later one. Ravana and Kumbhakarna were born as enemies of Lord Vishnu in the Treta Yuga.
Now, let’s know about Ravana Family and start with Ravana’s Brothers and Sisters.
Brothers and Sisters of Ravana
Ravana had six brothers and two sisters. Here, we provide you a brief but insightful account of his six brothers as well as two sisters.
Kuber who is also known as Vaishravana was an older half brother of Ravana. Kuber and Ravana were born to the same father by different mothers. Lord Kuber is regarded as the King of North Direction. He is the Guardian of Heavenly Wealth. He attained a boon from Lord Brahma to be the Guardian of Heavenly Wealth. Kuber ruled over Lanka before Ravana overthrew him.
Vibhishana was the younger brother of Ravana. He was a noble character and a great follower of Lord Shri Ram. He was one of the most important characters in the Hindu epic Ramayana.
Vibhishana was a kind-hearted brother who advised Ravana to return Sita to Lord Ram and uphold Dharma. However, Ravana did not listen to his advice. So, he left Ravana and joined Rama’s army.
Later on, when Ravana was defeated at the hands of Lord Ram, Vibhishana was crowned as the King of Lanka by Shri Rama.
Kumbhakarna was the younger brother of Ravana. He was huge in body-structure and very powerful, intelligent, pious, and jovial. He was skilled in warfare and unchallenged warrior in a battle that even Indra was jealous of him.
When he was asking for a boon from Lord Brahma, his tongue was tied by Goddess Saraswati on Devaraj Indra’s request. He wanted to ask for Nirdevatvam (annihilation of Devas). However, instead, he asked for Nidravatvam (sleep). His request was granted, but Ravana intervened and asked Brahma to undo the boon as it was, in reality, a curse. So, Lord Brahma altered the boon and made Kumbhakarna sleep for six months and awake for the rest six months of a year.
During the war with Lord Ram, Kumbhakarna was untimely awakened from his sleep. Kumbhakarna tried to convince Ravana to open negotiations with Lord Ram and return Sita to him. However, he failed to convince his brother Ravana. Eventually, Kumbhakarna fought for Ravana against Lord Ram and was killed on the battlefield.
Khara was the king of Janasthan, the northern kingdom of Lanka in the mainland. He had superior skills in warfare. Rama killed him. He had a son named Makaraksha who fought on Ravana’s side and was killed by Rama.
He was the Viceroy of Janasthan. He fought on Ravana’s side and was killed by Rama.
He was the king of the Underworld. He kidnapped Rama and Lakshman to sacrifice them to Goddess Mahamaya. However, Lord Hanuman saved their lives and killed Ahiravan and his army.
She was the sister of Ravana and married to demon Madhu. She was the mother of Lavanasura who was killed by Shatrugna, the youngest brother of Lord Rama.
She was the sister of Ravana. Surpanakha was very beautiful just like her mother, Kaikesi. She secretly married the Davana prince Vidyutjihva.
Surpanakha was enchanted by the beauty and grace of Ram and Lakshman. She approached them for marriage. However, both Lord Rama and Lakshman denied her proposal. Laxman cut off her nose. Ravana took the revenge by kidnapping Sita.
Lord Kuber and Ravana Relation
Lord Kuber is regarded as the eldest son of Sage Vishrava. Vishrava had two wives namely Ilavida and Kaikasi. Ilavida gave birth to Kuber. His second wife, Kaikasi, was a Rakshasa (demon) and gave birth to Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Vibhishana.
Kuber used to rule over Lanka, and his relations with his cousins (Ravana, Vibhishana, and Kumbhkaran) were extremely good. However, Kaikasi did not like the friendly relations of his sons with Kuber.
So, she called her sons and instructed them to improve their stature in comparison with Kuber. She reminded Ravana that he is a demon and Kuber is a God. The relation between Gods and demons has always been of enmity.
Thus instructed by his mother, Ravana along with his brothers Kumbhkaran and Vibhishana went off to the forest to perform Tapasya. Ravana eventually succeeded in pleasing Brahma and obtained the desired boon to become very strong and powerful.
Ravana started torturing his step-brother, Kuber. He attacked Kuber and drove him out of Lanka. Ravana even snatched Kubera’s Pushpaka Vimana. He also declared that whosoever gave Kuber refuge would be killed by him.
Kuber went to his grandfather Pulastya for advice who told him to pray to Lord Shiva on the banks of Gautami Ganga. Ultimately, Lord Shiva appeared before Kuber and blessed him that he would become the god of all wealth.
Father of Ravana
Sage Vishrava was the father of Ravana. He was the son of Sage Pulastya who was one of the ten Prajapatis and one of the Sapta Rishis.
Sage Vishrava was a scholar par excellence who had gained powers by performing immense Tapasya. Vishrava gained great name and fame amongst the fellow rishis.
Sage Bharadwaja was so impressed with Vishrava that he married his daughter, Illavida, with Vishrava. Kuber, the God of Wealth and the original ruler of Lanka, was the son of Vishrava and Illavida.
Even Asura Sumali sought the alliance of Vishrava and married his daughter, Kaikesi, with him. Kaikesi gave birth to Ravana who later overpowered the devtas and captured Lanka by defeating Kuber.
Mother of Ravana
Kaikesi (also known as Nikasha and Keshini) was the mother of Ravana. Kaikesi was the daughter of Rakshasa Sumali and his wife Ketumati who was a Gandharva princess.
She seduced Sage Vishrava and married him. Along with Ravana, Kaikasi was the mother of Kumbhkaran, Vibhishana, and a daughter, Surpanakha.
She had ordered Ravana to return Sita to her husband. However, Ravana did not obey his orders. When Ravana threw Vibhishana out of Lanka, Kaikesi ordered Vibhishana to go and fight on Rama’s side.
Wife of Ravana
Ravana had three wives – Mandodari, Dhanyamalini, and a third wife. Ravana and Mandodari married with Vedic rites. Mandodari was the daughter of Mayasura (who was the King of Asuras) and the Apsara Hema. Meghanad (Indrajit) was the eldest son of Mandodari and Ravana.
Sons of Ravana
Ravana had seven sons from his three wives.
Meghanada was the eldest son of Ravana and Mandodari. He was named as Meghanada because his birth cry was like thunder. Meghanada got the name Indrajit after he overpowered Devaraj Indra and conquered the heavens (Indra Loka).
Meghanada was a mighty warrior. He possessed several powerful celestial weapons, including Brahmastra, Pashupatastra, and Vaishnavastra. He mastered the art of warfare under the guidance of Sukracharya, the Guru of the Daityas (demons).
Meghanada played an active role in the battle between Rama and Ravana. Meghanada was said to be invincible in battle because of a Yagna he performed before every battle. In fact, he twice defeated Lakshman and even Rama once.
However, eventually, Meghanada was killed by Lakshman as he disrupted his Yagna with the help of Vibhishana. Meghanada was married to Sulochana who was the daughter of Shesha Naga, the King of Serpents.
Atikaya was the son of Ravana and his wife, Dhanyamalini. He was the younger brother of Meghanada. Once he infuriated Lord Shiva. The deity hurled his Trishul at him.
However, Atikaya caught the Trishul in mid-air and humbly bowed before Lord Shiva. So, Lord Shiva got pleased with him and blessed him with secrets of archery and divine weapons. Atikaya possessed excellent skills in warfare. Lakshman killed him.
Akshayakumara was the youngest son of Ravana. He was sent by Ravana to stop Hanuman at Ashoka Vatika. Hanuman eventually killed him.
Narantaka headed an army consisting of 720 million rakshasas (demons). Angada, son of Bali eventually killed him. Lord Hanuman killed Devantaka during the war.
Trishira was a skilled warrior. He engaged Lord Ram in a fight. He was eventually killed by Lord Rama.
Prahasta was a powerful Rakshasa Warrior and the chief commander of Ravana’s army in Lanka. Lakshman killed him.
Well, that’s all in this post on Ravana family wherein we covered father, mother, brothers, wife, and sons of Ravana. We hope that you liked the post. Thanks for reading. We welcome your comments and suggestions.