DUSSEHRA is the day to celebrate the victory of good conquering evil. Mythology celebrates the killing of the demon Ravana by Sri Rama on the 10th day of their battle. But is that really what we continue to celebrate after so many eons?
For the spiritual seeker, every Vedic festival is the unravelling of life lessons. The ancient seers in their infinite wisdom marked certain days as festivals to pass these learnings and open the door to the inner world and help us realize the divinity within us.
The good over evil that this auspicious day hails is in truth about the conquering of the evil in us by increasing the good. An eternal on-going war. The festival is preceded by navratras – or nine nights of fasting. Fasting is not just from food but the abstaining and gaining mastery of a vice per day, and therefore at the end of the 9 days we celebrate Dussehra or Vijayadashmi – the victorious tenth day!
Symbolically the severing of the 10 heads of Lord Ravana depict the 10 vices or demons a human being has to vanquish – Ego, Passion, Pride, Anger, Greed, Infatuation, Lust, Hatred, Jealousy and Selfishness. In our daily hurried lives we forget our true purpose. This festival with its ten days gives us a chance to be aware and consciously strive to get rid of these traits that tend to consume us and are a common hindrance to one’s spiritual path.
How do we get rid of these traits?
Ego has been the cause of downfall for many a person. Ego manifests itself within us and urges us to be the right person all the time. Drop the ego and watch what happens. When you let go of the need to be right all the time, you automatically get rid of the ego.
Anger, jealousy and hatred are vices that can consume you. Control your anger and hatred before they control you. Practise meditation to keep control these vices. When you meditate not only does it help you keep calm and focus in your inner self, but also move s you closer to your spiritual consciousness and divinity.
Learn to give unconditionally to get rid of your greed and selfishness. Once you are able to help people, the need to store and want more automatically reduces. When you share, you know the joy of giving and the feelings of greed and selfishness are overcome with happiness.
Passion and lust stem from attachment. Once you are aware of what or who you are attached to these will shed automatically.
Pride comes before a fall. Be humble in all that you do and you will experience bliss and peace within you.
As outside so inside, is an ancient truth. So this Dussehra go beyond the tales of Ravana and Rama and find them inside you. Go inward, seek deeper. May this Dussera be a day that marks your overcoming of the vices that exist within you and be a journey into the righteous path to life.
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