LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Hanuman learns how to kill Ravana from his brother Bhibek (Thai Ramayana mural at Emerald Buddha Temple)

Ravana's exiled brother Bhibek has joined Rama's side and often saved those who Ravana wounded. When Ravana seems unable to be killed by any possible method, Hanuman turns again to Bhibek for a solution to the puzzle. Bhibek explains to Hanuman that Ravana's soul is kept separately from his body, stored far away in a special cylindrical container. Hanuman realizes that Ravana will not die until the cylinder is obtained so both Ravana's body and soul can be destroyed. (Photograph by Margery H. Freeman. More about the photograph)

Within an elevated pavillion, adorned with gold leaf, Hanuman kneels at the feet of a crowned demon. The demon gestures forward with his extended left arm, telling Hanuman how to proceed.

Readers of the Harry Potter books will recognize a parallel plot device in the invincibility and ultimate vulnerability of Lord Voldemort, whose soul is fragmentd into pieces (called “horcruxes”), which are each stored separately and must all be destroyed if Voldemort is to die forever.