Why Couldn’t Ravana Move Shiva Dhanush?

Why Couldn’t Ravana Move Shiva Dhanush?


The strong demon king Ravana was reputed to be a great follower of Lord Shiva. He was renowned for his physical prowess, sharp mind, and command of both magic and the arts of combat. Ravana was, however, limited in one way: he was unable to transfer Shiva Dhanush.

A bow known as the Shiva Dhanush was purportedly made by Lord Shiva. No mortal man was supposed to be able to carry it or even thread it because of how heavy it was. Ravana, however, made an effort to raise and string the bow at Sita’s Swayamvar in an effort to earn her hand in marriage. But despite his best efforts, he was unable to even slightly move it.

Scholars and Ramayana lovers have been perplexed by this occurrence for ages. Why wasn’t Shiva Dhanush moved by Ravana, who was reputed to be so strong and powerful? There are several rationales that might apply.

The fact that Ravana wasn’t a sincere follower of Lord Shiva may be one explanation. He could have appeared to be a devotee to get what he wanted, but he was not really blessed by Shiva. This is corroborated by the fact that Ravana finally turned into a fierce foe of the gods before being murdered by Rama.

Another idea is that Shiva Dhanush could not have been moved by Ravana due to his lack of strength. According to legend, the bow was so heavy that only a man who had been genuinely favoured by the gods could lift it. Even though Ravana was powerful, he was unable to withstand Shiva Dhanush’s heavenly strength.

The ineptitude of Ravana in moving Shiva Dhanush is a third theory. According to legend, Shiva’s might and authority were represented by the bow. The only individual who could move the bow was one who was genuinely deserving of Shiva’s blessings. Being the ruler of demons, Ravana was not deserving of Shiva’s favour.


The reason why Ravana could not move Shiva Dhanush is a matter of debate. However, the three explanations above provide some possible answers. Whatever the reason, the fact that Ravana could not move the bow is a sign of his limitations. He may have been a powerful demon king, but he was not strong enough to overcome the divine power of Shiva Dhanush.


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