Essay by daxinfamousCollege, UndergraduateA, October 2002

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Son of Vishrava and Kaikasi was the main villain in the Ramayana, Ravana, the ten-headed, twenty-armed god-king of the island of Lanka. "Ravana's name means "He who makes the universe scream." According to 1st Canto, Srimad-Bhagavatam, in his war for control of the universe Ravana attempted to deploy forces to higher planets (such as the abode of Indra, King of the devas) by building a staircase from his headquarters on Earth -comparison with the story of Babel comes easily to mind."(2) He came to earth because in his previous life he was one of two gatekeepers of Lord Vishnu's palace in the spiritual world. He was cursed by sages and told to leave the spiritual world. And for some reason he could not become a god in this life, so he was destined to be a demon.

Lanka (now Sri Lanka) was built on top of Trikuta Hill reaching the clouds.

This was where Ravana stayed, with many other demons. Ravana was evil enough to take from Prahasta, his brother, the huge aerial chariot, Pushpaka. Pushpaka was built by Visvakarma; "no one could determine its power or cause its destruction. It was built with the intention that it should be better then all the similar structures. It was floating in the atmosphere without any support. Also it had the ability to go anywhere that Ravana wanted it to. It had chambers of remarkable beauty. Everything about it was symmetrical and unique. Knowing the intentions of the master, it could go anywhere at high speed unobstructed by anyone including the wind itself.... It had towers of high artistic work. It had spires and domes like the peaks of mountains. It was immaculate like the autumnal moon. It was occupied by sky-ranging Raksasas of huge proportions with faces...