On names that people adopt from Ramayana!

Shailesh Kumar
2 min readApr 20, 2020

People love to name their kids from Ram’s family (though I doubt anybody uses Kaikeyi and Manthara). It is fun to think of names of characters from Raavan’s side which are still in use and the ones nobody uses anymore.

I have known many people with name Indrajit. Prof Meghnad Saha was an Indian astrophysicist. Sulochana was Meghnad’s wife and it’s a fairly common female name. Her other name was Prameela and this is also a commonly used name.

My father says that some people are named Vibheeshan too though I have personally not met anyone. I can see quite few people on Facebook with this name.

Nobody uses names like Atikay, Narantak, Devantak (other prominent sons of Raavan) though (I guess).

Meenakshi was the birth name of Shurpanakha and is very popular. Though nobody uses her other names being Chandranakha and Shurpanakha.

Akshay Kumar was the youngest son of Raavan who fought valiantly with Hanuman in Ashok Vatika. And it’s the name of one of our most famous film stars.

Oh and I was so wrong about Mandodari. A cursory search in Facebook shows that there are lots of women named Mandodari.

I do doubt if anyone is named Dhanyamalini (Raavan’s second wife), however Malini is certainly in vogue (Hema Malini comes to mind).

And yes, nobody wants to name their kid as Raavan. Though some people do assume this name at times as a symbol of resistance against the prevailing order. If you think about Raavan’s life, he was actually a big hero in his initial life where he took over the rains of the oppressed Danava people, established his new Raksha Dharma (with the principle of we will protect (Vayam Rakshamah)) and empowered them against the atrocities of the Devas. It was only in later part of his life that the weaker aspects of his personality became more prominent.

The real tragedy is Kumbh Karan. He was such a pious character and in some sense a fountain of knowledge. He stayed true to dharma in general. That’s why Raavan didn’t like him much and used to keep him away (asleep in mythological terms). When Raavan turned to him during the war, even at that time, Kumbh Karan tried his best to get Raavan to see his folly. However, at the end of the day, he prioritized his duty towards his brother and his community and preferred to fight and die at the hands of the avatar of Narayan himself. And yet, people just associate him with laziness, so nobody wants to name their kids on him!

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Shailesh Kumar

Python | JavaScript | Web Applications | Math | Statistics | Computer Vision | Sparse Representations https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaileshkumar1729/