Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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RAVANA

(Rha-VAN-ah)
Variations: The King of (Sri) Lanka
Ravana, according to Hindu lore, was once the king of Lanka, faithful to his god, and ruler of a prosperous kingdom. He was brave, courageous, and smart, and knew how to use every type of weapon with a degree of skill. Only Lord Shiva himself could kill him. He was further blessed with the ability of flight and invisibility, and could make it rain water, fire, or thousands of arrows. Despite all of this, in his heart Ravana was a pleasure seeker who sought to use his abilities and gifts for his own personal satisfaction, which in turn caused him to become lustful, proud, quick to anger, and filled with jealousy. Open to corruption, he succumbed and fell from his status as human and devolved into a ten-headed and twenty-armed demon that became the king of the RAKSHASAS. As a demon, he is now driven by his compulsion to drink human blood. A highly skilled shape-shifter, he is also strong enough to split a mountain with his bare hands. Ravana can rip a man's soul right from his body, regenerate lost limbs, and is immune to all the elements of this plane of existence. Should an attack reach his only vulnerable place, his heart, Ravana can be struck dead by any blow or attack that would destroy a human heart. However, he can be resurrected by pouring blood into his mouth.
Source: Shashi, Encyclopedia Indica, 418­39; Summers, Vampire: His Kith and Kin, 300; Turner, Dictionary of Ancient Deities, 335
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