Dusshera is symbolic of the victory of good over evil. The myth and legends point to the victory of Rama over Ravana and Durga over Mahishasura.
We are all happy that Rama defeated Ravana and Goddess Durga killed Mahishasura. So now that both Ravana and Mahishasura are out of the way long ago, does it mean that we are now living in good times? Hardly.
Look around you and you will find so much evil in the world today also. So has Ravana taken birth again? Has Mahishasura become alive again? If so, where is Rama and Durga? Are they just imprisoned in temples and Chief Guests during Navaratri?
The point that we miss in all this is that these stories are not external. There is a Rama and Ravana within us. There is a Durga and Mahishasura within us. It is the way we think that determines whether we are Rama or Ravana, Durga or Mahishasura. The battle is in our minds – the battle of good and evil. Who will win?
It is said that good ultimately wins over evil. But is it that given enough time, good will win? What about till then? Is evil dominating till then? Will good win before we die?
It is very important to realize the evil within us. We mistakenly believe it is outside. But look closely. Is anger out there? Is envy or jealousy or hatred out there? Or in here? Who gets frustrated and irritated when things are not going your way?
We think other people are the cause of our negative reactions. It may be so. But that does not let you off the hook. The inner war is the cause of the outer war, not the other way round. If you are at peace internally, where is the need to hate someone, get angry at someone, or become irritated?
Check within who is in charge – good or evil. Have you taken offence on someone saying something bad about you? Are you complaining about something or someone? Are you wishing other people in your life were different and treated you more lovingly? Do you feel misunderstood and that no one is listening to you? Are you carrying grudges against someone who has hurt you in the past? Are you planning to take revenge for some wrong done to you? Are you constantly worried about how you will succeed in life? Are you afraid about what others will think about you?
If any of this is true even momentarily, it means evil exists in you. One of the characteristics of evil is that it keeps you in deception. You feel everything is ok. That it is natural to be this way. That the problem is not with you but with others. This gives evil time to incubate and grow till it becomes very difficult to manage and overcome. In the end, we die without experiencing the victory of good over evil.
Our notions of good are quite superficial, just limited to good external behavior. It is like putting on a fake smile while going to a party you don’t want to or congratulating someone on their success while internally smirking that he did not deserve it.
Appearing to be good has become more important than truly being good. In fact, we do not even know what it means to be truly and genuinely good. We keep repeating that good ultimately wins in the end. After all that is what is conveyed in all the movies and all the mythological stories, isn’t it?
The point is not that I am painting a picture of the world in which nothing can be done. The point is that the hero of the movie is not some other person. It is YOU.
There is a Rama and Durga within you. Instead of identifying yourself with your name and circumstances, you must identify yourself with these forces of good within you. That is when the battle of good against the evil actually begins. Until this battle begins, evil is winning hands down.
Once evil is seen within, the seeing itself is the good, the fight begins. You will see how your anger has fractured your relationships. You will see how your misperceptions have ruined your friendships. You will see how your envy and jealousy have distorted your understanding of others. You will see how your vengefulness and hard feelings have crippled the quality of your life. You will see you have no love within you for anyone. You will repent for carrying hard feelings for someone. You will forgive and ask for forgiveness. You will start loving everything for the first time.
Only and only then good is said to win. Once good awakens, it will know what to do, it will tell you what to do. There is no chance then for Ravana and Mahishasura to gain any foothold. There is a path of goodness, there is a good life that one can live. It is our birthright to live a good life with love and affection for nature and other human beings. Are you ready for such a life?
Mahishasura was a shape-shifting demon. Just like him, the evil within us comes in different manifestations. You have to be as agile and persistent as Durga to overcome these stratagems. Your aim must be to live a life of goodness, to be a genuinely good human being. No amount of wealth, success and fame can compare with such a life.
I invite you to live the good life. Wish you a Happy Dusshera!