“Ravana” means “terrifying cry” and “Ravananugraha” means “kindness to Ravana”.
Here is what is told to Rama in the 16th section of 7th and last book (Uttarakanda) of India’s great epic Ramayana about how Ravana got his terrifying name and how Shiva got his friendly epithet “Ravananugraha”:
Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, once defeated and looted residence of his half brother Kubera on Mount Alaka, which is in the area of Mount Kailash. Ravana from then on used the flying chariot called “Pushpaka”, which had been owned by Kubera previously.
But on the way back through the air to Lanka, the Pushpaka Vimana was not able to fly over a mountain forest. Shiva’s sacred bull Nandi explained to him that he, Ravana, could not cross this area and should not disturb. Hearing this, Ravana answered by insulting him. In turn, he was cursed by Nandi. Ravana, full of disdain, then uprooted this entire mountainous area and lifted it. But when the mountain trembled because of this, the deities dwelling on it were also shaken. This occured just when Parvati enjoyed dalliance with her husband Shiva. Parvati had to embrace the Great God in order to cling on tight. Shiva, the Greatest of all Gods, disturbed by the demon king of Lanka, then, only as as in sport, pressed the mountain back with his great toe. The mountain caught Ravana’s arms and the demon could not move away any more. When Ravana felt the pain in his arms, he set up a shout so loudly that the threefold universe - heaven, earth und underworld - were shaken tremendously.
The sages of the world were terrified by that earthquake, which seemed to indicate the beginning of the end of the universe. They advised Ravana to save himself and the world by bowing himself down to seek Shiva’s clemency and to seek the Great God himself as refuge. This is what Ravana did. And he began to praise the Great God with plenty of hymns. And he continued to do so for a good thousand years.
Finally, the Great God Shiva was pleased and set free Ravana’s hands and said to him:
“Pleased am I with thee on account of thy hymns. And as in consequence of thy arms having been hurt by the mountain, thou hast uttered a terrific yell, which struck horror unto the three worlds and put them shaking, therefore, O King, thy name shall be Ravana. And deities and men and Yakshas and others living on earth shall call thee Ravana - terror to the creatures.”
Thus, it was the sound of this cry shaking the universe, “Ra-vana”, that gave that mighty king of Lanka his name.
And it was the grace of the Great God and his turning to the wrongdoer that gave the name of this story, “Ravananugraha. “Anugraha” is a Sanskrit term for “favour”.
The name of the mountain is not mentioned in this section of the Ramayana, but Shiva’s famous abode is Mount Kailash, and this famous story of the Ravananugraha, often depicted in Hindu art, is usually called “the lifting of Mount Kailash” or “the shaking of Mount Kailash”.
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