Dussehra or Vijayadashmi is one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals that is not only celebrated in India but in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with religious fervor. This year, we are celebrating the tenth day of Navratri on 22nd October, 2015.
Marking the day as a victory of good over evil, Ravana is born again this year who will be killed by the hands of Rama and this tradition will not cease for the coming years. Throughout our lives, we have been taught to be good as no matter how powerful evil is, it’s the good that wins.
When I gained experiences and read books, I wondered about the man called Ravana and how majestic he had been in terms of his knowledge, power and prowess. And when I found out about his side of the story, I was amazed and argued about his supremacy with all.
Here are few facts that made me respect the man, Ravana (yes, I respect him)!
- Ravana completed one of the most challenging reparations of all eras by standing on one leg for hundreds of years to Brahma and was blessed with Amrut which he placed in his nav. Also, later Ravana began an atonement post which Shiva blessed him with ten heads which characterized the 4 Vedas and 6 Shastras which he grasped and his heads became the live symbol of his profound intellect.
- He invented his own musical instrument called Ravana Hattha, was an excellent Veena player and the very first Raagas were described by him only. He even composed Shiva Tandava which is the most appreciated work in the admiration of Lord Shiva.
- An excellent Ayurvedic physician and Vaidya Shiromani, Ravana wrote books on Ark Pariksha, Kumar Tantra, Nadi-Priksha and was also the creator of medicine Sindhuram which healed injuries instantaneously among other works.
- Ravana was the eminent warrior in Angampora, traditional martial arts of Sinhala.
- In fact, according to Sri Lankan texts, Ravana advised favorable time to Rama to initiate the battle and blessed him ‘Vijayi Bhava.’
- A master of Tantra Vidya, he wrote Ravana Samhita, a famous book which is an exceptional accumulation of his knowledgeable works.
- On his deathbed, it is said that Ravana trained Lakshman political teachings and shared experiences with him. He guided him to always maintain decent terms with cook, charioteer, gatekeeper and brothers as those are the people who can harm the most. He asked Lakshman to always have faith in astrology and movement of stars which can never be incorrect.
With such traits added to his persona, why Ravana is killed each year or are we forgetting the real essence of the entire story? Were the circumstances that made Ravana evil and Rama good? Without getting into the argument of who’s right or wrong, the question here is each year if we are burning the effigy of Ravana, what are we actually doing?
A man blessed from Lord Shiva and Brahma is in today’s world called a sinner not because he was the villain in the story but his pride, ego, greed, arrogance and love for power led him to his path of destruction. (The 10 heads had other side too; negative.)
Each year, when we see a burning Ravana in front of us, remember it is not the Man who is being killed but what he held (EVIL) that made him on that side. Also, when we strike an arrow to the huge figure, look deep into yourself and ask- Are you Rama (GOOD)?
Maybe, the Ravana (EVIL) will rise from the ashes again next year and will be burnt again every year, but will Rama (Good) prevail in you all this while?