Dussehra Day* is one of the most sacred days in the Hindu calendar. The word "Dussehra" is derived from two words, "dasa" which means "ten", and "hara" which means "destruction". Dussehra is the day which celebrates the destruction of the ten.
As the story goes, Sri Rama vanquished the king of Lanka, Ravana, the ten-faced rakshasa. Sri Rama cut off the ten heads of Ravana. Therefore, this day is regarded as a day of victory. It should be a day of victory for everyone of us..
Within everyone are the ten faces of Ravana: they need to be destroyed, if we are to make any progress in spiritual life. The ten faces are passion, anger, greed, infatuation (or attachment), pride, lust, hatred, selfishness, jealousy and the cleverness which makes a man crooked. One by one, let us tackle the ten aspects of the demon within us.
What a beautiful expression you used, as you spoke to me on the phone, last night! You said: "I could control my anger once again and I had my second victory, today!" In vanquishing the demon of anger, etc., is the true victory of life. But that is only the beginning. Side by side with the effort to cleanse ourselves of the negative quality of anger, we must cultivate the positive quality of forgiveness, forbearance, patience. Then shall we be able to radiate the love and peace of God, wherever we go!
The Dussehra is the day of victory. It is also the day of union, re-union. Specially in Bengal, on this day (called Durga Puja), all those who live away from their dear ones must return to their homes. Mothers meet their children: wives meet their husbands. It is a day of great rejoicing. And, this morning, I asked myself: "Where is my home?" And I answered: At the Lotus-feet of my Guru! There let me return, today, and there let me remain for ever and evermore!"
May the benedictions of the sacred Dussehra Day be upon you! May yours be a life of true victory! May you move on from victory to victory, until shedding the "ego", you enter into the Joy and Peace of God and dwell for ever at the Lotus-feet of the Guru!
*October 5, 2022 is Dussehra
Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philisopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader