"Ravana performed an intense penance (or tapasya) to Brahma, lasting several years. During his penance, Ravana chopped off his head 10 times as a sacrifice to appease brahma. Each time he sliced his head off a new head arose, thus enabling him to continue his penance. At last, Brahama, pleased with his austerity, appeared after his 10th decapitation and offered him a boon. Ravana asked for immortality, which Brahma refused to give, but gave him the celestial nectar of immortality was stored under his navel..... The 10 heads of Ravana signify the 10 forms of love.. yes! love! 1. Loving your designation, your post or qualifications - that is called ego (ahamkara) 2. Loving family & friends - attachment (moha) 3. Loving self- perfection- which leads to regret (paschyataap) 4. Loving/wanting perfection from others- anger (krodha) 5. Loving the past - leads to hatred (ghrina) 6. Loving the future - leads to fear (bhaya) 7. Loving/wanting to be no.1 - this is jealousy (irshya) 8. Loving things- brings greed (lobha) 9. Loving parts of the body of the oppposite gender(or the same)- it is lust (kama) 10. Loving fame, money, your children- brings inertia/ insensitivty (jaddata) An important thing to notice here is that all the negative feelings also are forms of love. Actually, they are said to be "distorted forms of love". Indeed, every action, every thing, every feeling is a form of love. One must realise that. Though this is not the reason why ravana had 10 heads. Coming back to the issue. Ravana was said to be occupied by these negative feelings which led to his destruction. Ravana was said to have mastered 4 vedas and 6 shastras. (Some say that this is what the 10 heads signify- the 4 vedas & the 6 shastras). He was a master of 64 types of knowledge. But there was no use of all this learning.Though he was the master of all knowledge, he did not put them into practice. Though he had all the wealth, he could not enjoy anything because of excessive desires. He became a slave to his feelings which finally led to his doom. Dusshera is celebrated on the tenth day (after 9 days of navaratri). Burning the Ravana with 10 heads on the 10th day symbolizes the destruction of these 10 negative feelings. One needs to win over these 10 distortions of love! ..& that is why dusshera is also known as vijayadashmi, i.e., winning(vijaya) over the 10(dashmi).