India celebrated the festival of Dussehra last week. Dussehra is a very popular festival which celebrates many events – the victory of good king Rama over demon king Ravana, the victory of goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasur, the festival of Navratri and the nine divine nights of fasting as well as a couple of other mythical happenings from across the country. It also marks the beginning of winter and kick starts the festive season in India, with Diwali being the next big celebration around the corner.
The underlying message across each of the above events is the same – the festival of Dussehera celebrates the victory of good over evil. So whichever way one might chose to embrace the festivities, the focus remains on eliminating the negative and welcoming the positive.
My favorite Dussehra celebration is the enactment of Ramlila, where giant effigies of the demon king Ravana are burned to commemorate the victory of Lord Rama over evil. As multiple sparklers light up the evening sky, I wish that our troubles burn away like firecrackers and happiness be multiplied ten times (like the ten heads of Ravana)!