Dussera 2022

I’d begin with wishing you and your loved ones a very happy Dussera this year. I’d like to take an opportunity to reflect (and ask you to do the same) upon self.

Dussera is not merely a celebration of victory of Lord Ram over Ravan, and it is not just even the symbolic celebration of victory of good over evil.

I am privileged to have been taught that Ravan was not a bad person from the beginning, as he is often portrayed to be. He was the great-grandson of Lord Brahma, son of saint Vishrava and kaikasi (rakshasi), thus got the title of Brahmarakshas. He was a scholar, a devotee, a good king, a good warrior and a man of principles. By no means this is to be put in comparison of Lord Ram as he is the epitome of good, the best ideals and virtues a person can uphold.

The question still lingers – why did Ravan turn evil. Or why was he killed by Ram – we all know the historic answers of capturing Sita and the followed episodes of Ramayan. There is more to it. Ravan was served a death sentence for the crimes and atrocities he carried out, but through the epic, the message being conveyed is that the fate of person is decided by his/her own deeds. Evil does not outrightly mean misdeeds. Anger, hatred, envy, fear, delusion, lust, ego, greed, pride and selfishness are often compounded and resulting in bad deeds.

Take a minute. Do you hate someone? Why? Is it too difficult to be a bigger person and forgive? Does forgiveness make you afraid of losing your self? Is your ego coming in the way of the good act? Too prudent to take the first step to mend things? Facing hard time to understand anyone else’s perspective? Let alone understanding, too delusional to be even ready to listen?

Purely out of coincidence, I was at Jason’s place yesterday evening to bid adieu to his parents as they were returning to India, and Swades movie was on TV, and the song Pal pal hai bhari.. was on. The lines hold true:

Mann se Raavan jo nikale, Ram uske mann mein hai..

(The one who can let go of the evil attributes will find Lord Ram (poetic reference to goodness within)).

Wishing Happy Dussera to others alone is good, but insufficient. We ought to embrace the virtues of good too, to conquer over evil within us.

Lord Ram had a difficult life. Often movies and stories only speak of the glorious sides of Ramayan.

Ram had his fair share of torments in childhood. His teenage/adulthood was not a comfortable and pleasant ride either. Even after rescuing Sita, he was not at peace. Other woes continued to follow him (read Uttar Kand, please).

Path of Ram is not easy. It is long, it is discomforting. All you get is good virtues and pain. On the other hand, Ravan’s path is/was short-lived, had it’s own joys with a tragic end.

It is difficult to be good. Be the good, so you may truly embrace and radiate that goodness around.

Happy Dussera once again! May you be blessed with the strength and courage to walk on the righteous path.

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