Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Dussehra!

Today is VijyaDashami / Dussehra - a festive ocassion which has always intrigued me. As a kid I heard its the day when Ram killed Ravan and it symbolises the victory of good over evil. Back then I thought Ravan must've been a really evil man being the "king of asurs/demons" and he deserved what he got. But as I grew old I came to know that "Ravan" was infact a Brahmin and a very intelligent one at that with vast amount of knowledge. This revelation shook my childhood beliefs about Ravan.

Ever since then I ve tried to find the true meaning of the symbolism of Ram's victory and Ravan's defeat. Isn't it true that "Jab tak Raam hai... Ravan rahega" ? Is it possible that "good" can actually eliminate "evil" from this world ? What does this symbolism mean for me as an individual and for the society that I live in ? Is it just about victory of good over evil ? Are we missing out on the fine print attached to this event thanks to our usual tendency to take a macro view ?

Every Dussehra in particular I like to take a micro view of life. Based on my experiences and understanding of life I try to refine what is "Ram" and what is "Ravan" for me. This I believe is a very important exercise for anyone who wishes to finally sign off from this world as a good human being.

Its very easy to get caught in the web of fast paced life that we now lead and lose perspective of what is good and what is "not good" (I think "evil" is too strong a word and after all the concept of "evil" depends on how we define "good" isn't it ? ) Hence its very important to use the symbolism of such festive ocassions, to take a momentary pause from our routines and get a refined perspective about our lives.

We Indians are blessed to be born in a culture which provides a well defined mechanism for this in the form of Dussehra, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan, Guru Poornima and numerous other big and small festive ocassions... if only we all looked beyond the material things which we've conveniently associated with these festivals, we would be better human beings and consequently our society/nation would be a much better place to live in!

Anyways Wish everyone a Very Happy Dussehra!! Hope you all are able to identify the "Ram" and "Ravan" in your life, thinking, conduct etc.

Here are few lines from a song in the movie "Swades" which come quite close to capturing the essence of "Ram" and "Ravan" for me...

Raam hi toh karuna mein hai, shaanti mein raam hai...
Raam hi hai ekta mein, pragati mein raam hai...
Raam bas bhakton nahin shatru ke bhi chintan mein hai...
Dekh taj ke paap raavan, raam tere mann mein hai...
Raam tere mann mein hai, raam mere mann mein hai...
Raam to ghar ghar mein hai, raam har aangan mein hai...
Mann se raavan jo nikaale, raam uske mann mein hai...
Mann se raavan jo nikaale, raam uske mann mein hai!


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me said...

Well, I've been toying around with the idea that, at a subtle level, dark is just a misunderstanding of light... especially if one thinks that good means only a submissive thing rather than a fulfilling thing. Maybe that's too random of a way to express myself here...???

Enjoyed reading your post!

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