Ravana, the great mythical king of Lanka has been depicted as a demon because he did the wrongful act of kidnapping Goddess Sita according to the epic Ramayana. However, in some parts of India and Sri Lanka, he is worshipped by many as they consider him far more than his role in Ramayana. He was a capable and revered ruler. A sincere devotee of Lord shiva, he was a profound scholar.
You must have seen the idol or pictures of Ravana with his 10 heads and 20 hands. This was a mere depiction of the qualities and attributes of the king. His ten heads represent his knowledge of the six shastras that include Sankhya Shastra (Mathematics), Yog Shastra (Yoga), Nyaya Shastra (Law), Vaisheshik Shastra (Physics, astronomy, mechanics), Purva Mimamsa (Philosophy, Justification) and Uttar Mimansa Shastra and four vedas comprising Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda. These heads were the symbol of immense and diversified knowledge that Ravana possessed.
He also was given a blessing of immortality from Lord Brahma in the form of a nectar that was said to be stored in his belly.
So, the ten heads that give him a demon like appearance are in fact a symbol of his expansive knowledge.
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