Dussehra is a divine festival. All festivals are important in their own way, but Dussehra is unique in that it points towards the over all development in life. Though a series of festivals follows Dussehra, it is the festival of Dussehra that marks the beginning of a person’s all round development.
Dussehra or Vijayadashmi reminds us that one who indulges the ten senses in the objects of the world and seeks enjoyment therefrom loses the battle of life like Ravana. The wise one, who restrains his ten senses and reposes in his True Self, and also leads others towards Self Bliss, emerges victorious like Lord Rama, and attains the Immortal state as well.
One who moves towards the Eternal, experiences inner peace, inner light and contentment like Lord Rama. But the one, who forgoes the eternal and seeks happiness from the impermanent, meets Ravana’s fate. To drive this principle home, and to rid us of the attraction towards the impermanent, is the objective of burning Ravana’s effigy on every Dussehra.
The body is transient, wealth is not eternal, and we are steadily heading towards death with each passing day. Our only duty is to garner the wealth of dharma; and for that purpose human birth alone is suitable.
Life is an art and one who doesn’t know the art of living fails to know the art of dying as well. He dies and is re-born again and again. One who knows the art of living, his life unites him with the Bestower of life, and death merges him with the deathless Lord. Life is a celebration, a song, and a melody. Live life in a way that would illuminate life, and die as would exude fragrance…it is for this very purpose that you have come to this world.
You have not come to rot in this world. You have not come to give birth to a few sons and daughters, become a mother-in-law, grandmother or grandfather, and then die in the end. You have come to experience, before death comes, your Eternal Self, Whom even death can’t touch; and Dussehra inspires you towards this goal.
The war between Ramji and Ravana is over, but the war between the Rama-attitude and Ravana-attitude within us continues. Lest the jiva is defeated in the war, Tulsidasji guides us, saying –
तुलसी हरि गुरु करुणा बिना विमल विवेक न होई
Pure discrimination does not arise without the compassionate Grace of God or the Sadguru. Without the Grace of the Sadguru, without Satsang, one remains bereft of the insightful discrimination that provides answers to questions like, “Where lies real happiness? For what purpose have we been endowed with human life?”, etc. Without the Sadguru’s benign Grace, the jiva has been wandering in search of peace and bliss not for a couple of days or years or lives, but for ages together, with no idea about the right source of true peace and bliss. It therefore needs to avail itself of the Sadguru’s company and Satsang. The company of saints equips one with the insight as to what should be done, and what should not be done, what brings excellence to life and what needs to be done before death strikes. Once you have known all this, you have truly benefited from the holy company of saints and accomplished the very goal of human life.
The craving for sense enjoyments takes one on the path of Ravana, while the techniques imparted by the Saints fill one’s life with inner bliss. And sooner or later, the jiva realizes its True Self, which is the true goal of human life.