The beauty of Indian mythology lies in the fact that there are no black and white characters. It refrains from taking a binary view of people, endowing heroes with weaknesses and villains with nobility. And thus, many of the antagonists of Indian mythology traditionally thought of as villains are all powerful and skilled. Here is a list of the 10 most powerful villains from Hindu mythology.
10 Most Powerful Villains From Hindu Mythology:
Kansa is the most well known and most hated villain in Hindu mythology, and is the ruler of Mathura and the uncle of the Preserver God Krishna. Not only is he an oppressive ruler, slayer of six nephews and an imprisoner of his sister and her husband but also a prospective killer of a God. His power lies in his hold over his kingdom and the vast range of demons he has power over, whom he sends to kill Krishna.
Raavan is the abductor of Sita, the destroyer of his uncle and a selfish, lustful, greedy and angry man. He has acquired tremendous power through penance as well his martial arts training, and his citizens love him for his fairness. However, his actions of kidnapping someone else’s wife make him a vile villain.
Kaikeyi is a woman villain, and both her power and villainy is in feminine was. As the favourite wife of her powerful husband ruler Dashrath, she enjoys tremendous political and personal power. Apart from this, her mind games, impulsiveness and ruthless selfishness set her apart.
First Lord of the Daitya’s Hiranyakashyap’s name means the one is clotherd in gold. He is powerful enough to shake the foundations of heaven and drive the gods away. Apart from his military strength, he is also ambitious and greedy. He harbours the desire to replace the god of all creation, the grandfather deity Brahma, with Trisiras. Thus he is powerful due to his mad desires as well as his immense physical power.
Duryodhan is the legendary antagonist in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, who employs cruel, immoral and even murderous tactics to finish of his cousins and enable him to claim the throne. He is greedy, power lusty, disrespectful to women and extremely ambitious. His power comes from his social and political connections, his ambition and his willingness to do anything to get what he wants.
As the name if this demon suggests, this blind demon is born out of the darkness when Parvati closes Shiva’s eyes and darkness pervades the universe. This Asura goes on to obtain a book from Brahma that gives him superhuman strength, beauty and eyesight and says that he wont die until he desires a mother figure. Even Shiva was unable to defeat him until he began to list after his mother figure Smashana Kalika.
Raktabija was a demon endowed with supernatural abilities who rose up against Goddess Kali. His name means blood-seed as he was granted a boon that every time a drop of his blood was spilled, it would transform into a 1000 times more potent version of himself. Kali defeats him by licking all of his blood before it can reach the ground.
With unimaginable military prowess, Tarkasur defeats even Gods such as Indra, Vayu, Kubera, Yama, Varuna and Agni in battle. Myths say he also captures the sons of Garuda and renders the army of gods unconscious. In addition, he also possesses a load of celestial weapons such as Pashupati Astra, Narayan Astra as well as the all destructive Bramhastra. It takes Shiva’s son Kartikeya himself to finish him off.
Unlike all other warrior demons mentioned here, Shakuni is a lame man who possesses no military prowess. However, his tremendous power lies in his mind. He is extremely intelligent and witty, with no emotions whatsoever. He seeks only to put his nephew on the throne, and employs immoral, indecent and cruel tactics to do that.
Goddess Durga is famously called Mahishasurmardini after this demon she slayed. A formidable demon, he was half a bull and half a man with enough power to wrestle the gods and the God of the Gods Indra out of their place in heaven. He was destined to win over the three worlds even before his birth, which points to his great power.