Sadhguru: Ravana was a fierce devotee of Shiva and there are many stories about them. A devotee shouldn't become great, but he was a great devotee. He came to Kailash all the way from down south – I want you to just imagine walking all the way – and began to sing Shiva’s praises. He had a drum which he used to set the beat and composed 1008 verses extempore, which is called the Shiva Tandava Stotram.

Shiva was so pleased and enamoured listening to this music. As he sang, slowly, Ravana started climbing Kailash from its Southern Face. When Ravana was almost on top, and with Shiva still engrossed in this music, Parvati saw this man climbing up. 


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There is space only for two people on top! So Parvati tried to bring Shiva out of his musical rapture. She said, “This man is coming all the way up!” But Shiva was too engrossed in the music and poetry. Then finally, Parvati managed to bring him out of being enthralled, and when Ravana reached the peak, Shiva just pushed him off with his feet. Ravana went sliding down the South Face of Kailash. They say his drum was dragging behind him as he slid down and it left a furrow on the mountain all the way down. If you look at the South Face, you will see a wedge-like scar in the center going straight down. 

It is a little inappropriate to distinguish or to discriminate between one face of Kailash and the other, but the South Face is dear to us because Agastya Muni merged into the South Face. It is just a South Indian prejudice that we like the South Face and I think it is the most beautiful face! It is definitely the whitest face because it is very snowy there.


In many ways it is the most intense face but very few people go to the South Face. It is far less accessible and involves a more difficult route than the other faces, and only certain type of people go there.

Editor’s Note: Watch the YogiShiva web series, stories on the Stillness, Exuberance and Intoxication aspects of Shiva narrated by Sadhguru.