Conquer the Inner Ravana via Spiritually Ignited Bow and Arrow
‘Vices vanquished. Truth triumphed.’ These few words can summarise the significance of the grand Indian festival of Vijayadasmi, also known as Dussehra. A mammoth effigy of the demon Ravana of Treta Yuga is set ablaze every year in a vast space to commemorate this event, which celebrates the enormous feat of Lord Rama and His devout military as well as the embarrassing defeat of Ravana and his fellow demons.
As the spectators watch the gargantuan statue of Ravana in flames, they cheer, chant, and sing the praises of the Supreme, who had incarnated in the form of Lord Rama to rid the world of Ravana’s torment. However, a question arises here. Why does one rejoice when Rama, who was God Himself, defeated Ravana? God is Omnipotent. He can end the reign of evil in such a micro span of time that cannot be tracked even by the most precise computers of this world. Then, why should one deem this as a spectacular event? In fact, when an ordinary man accomplishes an extraordinary task, it is logical to commend him. However, when God, the Almighty, Himself defeats a being which is infinitesimally miniscule compared to Him, then why should one rejoice?
The rationale behind honoring the omnipotent Lord Rama for conquering Ravana is that somewhere within, we all know how ‘potent’ evil really is. The view of evil collapsing before the eyes is the dream of every decent soul on this globe. And there is a subtle realization that only power of God, not the ability of man, can protect us and put a stop to the treacherous condition of the world. Even today, through cheers, chants, and devotional songs, knowingly or unknowingly, spectators’ hearts invoke Lord Rama to come and stop the perpetuation of crime, abuse, and malice that stems from the misguided mind.
Effigy of Ravana is symbolic of the selfish and, very often, demoniac nature of man. It is the target of God’s wrath, since it is the one that has captured and imprisoned one’s Sita-like virtuous soul (Sita: Lord Rama’s wife). Until and unless the soul is liberated from the clutches of demoniac vices, man cannot function as he was created to. His entire life will be squandered in self-aggrandizement- as that of Ravana’s. And this mindset becomes an epidemic, infecting the whole society. That’s why, we see such a significant rise in world-threatening advances by many groups and societies.
There is a great amount of violence, hatred, and hostility between nations, communities, and individuals. Parents today are concerned about the type of world their children will inherit: a world which degenerates with each passing day, lifting the peak of evil to new heights. Malice and immorality are being passed on from one generation to the next and gradually trickling over to even the peace-loving societies. It appears as if evil is more prevalent than good.
The good that we have in the world is not ‘potent’ enough to counterbalance evil. Evil today is unadulterated evil. Quite contrary to unadulterated evil, goodness prevailing has been diluted to a great extent. We see that when a harmful chemical substance is not diluted but is concentrated, it exerts greater harm. And because our so-called goodness is diluted with negative tendencies, it is not potent enough; thus, we don’t see a swift change in the world.
Yet, the few who have chosen to transform themselves from within and are dedicated to uplift themselves from this illusionary realm- those who have accepted God’s will and sacrificed their own-they, by their spiritual qualities, can counterbalance the influence of evil.
With the influence of potent good souls treading the path of self-realization, the disciples of a Perfect Master, an increasing number of people become good. It was the purity of Hanuman, Laxman, Vibhishana, and Sugreev, just to name a few, that brought Lord Rama’s mission to a successful outcome. Victory over Ravana was achieved because each member of Lord Rama’s army was imbued with divine love, self-sacrifice, and purity. Each member, through patience and regular contemplation, was able to conquer his inner Ravana with spiritually ignited bow and arrow. They were then equipped from within to conquer what was outside. Had mankind sought to liberate its soul, it would have reached a state of continuous contact with the omnipresent divine, resulting in a potent force of goodness against its evil components.
Therefore, when a spiritual aspirant beholds the burning effigy of Ravana on Vijayadasmi, he should contemplate not on Ravana’s defeat per se but on negative tendencies within, whose vibrations impact the basic moral and spiritual fabric of this earth, creating kinks and wrinkles. Any negative thought arising even in a so-called good person emits forces into the environment that eventually contribute to the world’s overall depravity. Let a disciple then contemplate on the inner self and analyze what he has to burn from within. Let him have pity on that Sita-like Atman (soul) that lies in the clutches of the Mind and Maya.
Once he learns the dire need of first attuning himself to the Absolute through steadfast and proper use of the boon of spiritual knowledge -represented by Lord Rama’s bow and arrow- an aspirant can then celebrate Vijayadasmi and truly rejoice. Having known the exact meaning of it and having experienced the burning of negativities from within, the spectator/devotee will praise that Lord who works wonders inside the heart of all His seekers.
An incarnate Satguru ignites the fire of Divine Knowledge and bums to ashes man’s vices. He did it in Treta Yuga (Silver Age) and He can do it now too. As a disciple of such a Satguru, you not only become an observer of this grand feat on the designated day of Vijayadasmi but also observe each day, through the process of divine contemplation, how the inner Ravana is disintegrating before your very Divine Eye. Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan Wishes You all a Blissful Dussehra!!