Today, we celebrate Dussehra, the festival of the victory of Lord Ram over the demon Ravan, the victory of the power of Goodness over Evil.

It seems like the plot of every superhero movie- or rather the plot of every Hindi movie (J), doesn’t it? The hero, after overcoming many obstacles, rescues the Damsel in Distress after defeating the villain. But it is not the same. The story of Ramayan is significantly different than the normal story in many ways. To start with, Ram is not only the hero, he is perceived to be God. While the debate continues to rage whether or not he is God, it is safe to say that he is one with Godly qualities. But then, even Ravan is not your regular villain. He was a brilliant scholar, a great warrior, and a hard-core devotee of Lord Shiva, with one flaw- his unconquerable desire for Sita. It is said that after Ram killed Ravan, he bowed to him. This shows that even Ram was aware that Ravan was a great soul, with human limitations.

The lesson to be learnt here is that in every one of us there resides Ram as well as Ravan. It always excites us to see the good win over evil in the external world. This Dussehra, let us try to defeat the Ravan within us, so that only Ram prevails. Trust me, it is a difficult feat. It is very easy to recognize and overcome the evil outside us – to know that this person hurt me, or that person lied to me, my luck is not good and so on. But it takes a great deal of courage and faith to acknowledge the evil within us, let alone overcome it. We easily find a hundred excuses to place the blame on someone or something else other than ourselves and defend ourselves.

But it is truly worth all the efforts and pain. Because the end result is a burden-free, guilt-free mind, a clean and free heart and a pure and innocent soul. What more can you ask for? So this Dussehra, I urge all of my readers to look into the depths of their own souls, look within, weed out all the regrets of the past and worries of the future; and discover the beautiful blissful silence and peace that are the reflections of the One… God bless you all.
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