Updated on: Friday, November 05, 2021, 02:59 AM IST

Deepavali: The victory of dharma over adharma


The festival of Deepavali is on. In the North, the celebration is about Bhagavan Sri Rama returning home after killing Ravana on Dussehra day. Every house is lit up. I have also heard people say that it is for the Pushpak Vimana to land. That is in a lighter vein. The other legend is about Bhagavan Krishna killing Narakasura. Hence, Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated as one of the main days of Deepavali.

Mahalakshmi manifested on this day representing all prosperity and resources, not just money. In all these stories it is always the victory of Dharma over adharma. This reminds me of the promise that a war-borne soldier takes to fight all enemies – both within the country and outside the country. There is not a single battle the ancient kings would have lost had the enemy not been supported by traitors within. A spiritual warrior looks at inimical forces both within oneself and without.

It is easy to destroy an enemy outside of us. On closer examination, we find that the enemy we hate because of certain qualities is also because of the same qualities we have within us. We may not be aware of the same or have not confronted it. That is why the Bhagavad Gita speaks of qualities that are asuric that we have to uproot within ourselves. So, to fight enemies within and without is the message that is given in all Hindu festivals. The Dharmic forces have to fight the Asuric forces.

This is both literal and symbolic. We may dismiss this as stories and legends and not history but I would like to remind the readers of a fact. A fact in time becomes history or historical references, history becomes a legend and a legend becomes a myth. This is how a myth is formed. It all starts with facts. On this holy occasion of celebration of the victory of dharma over adharma, let us make it a victory in our personal lives of dharma over adharmic tendencies and beliefs.

(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at

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Published on: Friday, November 05, 2021, 06:00 AM IST