The Essence of Our Festivals

Happy Dussehra (Vijayadashami) to everyone. May love and joy rejuvenate your life.

This is one of the best time of the year when we celebrate lots of festivals and I have been celebrating and enjoying these festivals since my childhood. But somehow this year at this time I have been thinking about the essence of all these festivals. A few days back I was watching an interview of one of India’s finest writer and he said- ” the more educated we are, the less Indian we are becoming”. I was pondering over that after that.    Is it really the case? 

Frankly, growing up over the years I had never realized the true essence of all our epics and festivals. It is almost like eating something without knowing it’s ingredients or effects on the body. If anyone would ask about the significance of Dussehra, what simply we know is it’s the day when Ram killed Ravan, which signifies the triumph of good over evil. I always used to think people worship and respect Ram because he was a great king, had great knowledge and always on the path of dharma. However, in one of the interview Sadhguru (a mystic) said-                                                                                                 “People do not worship Ram because his life was super successful, in fact, his life was a disaster. One after another there were troubles in his life but despite all the troubles he never became hateful or lose his calm. In terms of today’s world, his life was a failure but even then he managed himself so well. That’s why we bow down to such a man.” 

I wonder sometimes how ridiculous we are, on the one hand, we worship and celebrate our goddesses. Our women had written Vedas and Upanishads along with men thousands of years back and at the same time, we debate everywhere about feminism. To some people, feminism is judged by how much women earn compared to man. Women always had respect and dignity in this culture. Unfortunately, today words like feminism, women rights are trending topics. 

We worship young women on the eve of Navratri but in the same country women don’t feel safe to walk alone in the streets.                                                                                        Something is wrong with our mindset!

We have more ancient manuscripts and scriptures than any other civilization in the world despite the destruction of our institutions like Nalanda. However, most of us never had time to pay attention to the knowledge our ancestors have given us. We are always busy in our worldly affairs. We are busy in debates like whether Ramayan and Mahabharat are real or fiction stories. In all of these, we forget the essence of it. The debate should be about what we can learn and apply in life from all those great people in those epics.  What fascinates me about all the festivals celebrated here is the deeper meaning of the festivals. Although I have known about Vijayadashami or Dussehra from childhood, I feel like I have started knowing the true meaning now. 

Just think about the significance of these festivals-

In Navratri, three forms of Feminine are worshipped in the form of Durga (Power), Laxmi (Wealth) and Saraswati (knowledge). But on the tenth day, which is celebrated as Vijayadashami signifies liberation from all aspects of life. One must be involved in all the worldly affairs necessary but should never attach to those. 

There is so much to learn from Ravan and the mistakes he had done. He was one of the wisest person on the earth. However, when in life there is only knowledge without love and compassion, ego makes it’s entry into life. Despite his knowledge, a kingdom made of gold, all the material pleasures, he was never satisfied. Ravana personifies today’s modern people who run behind things one after another without knowing the reason and have characteristics like greed, lust etc. 

On the other hand, there was Ram, who instead of having harsh situations all his life he never loses balance in life, lived all his life with values and ethics. His situations had thrown all kinds of troubles to him but could not take away who he is. His life was a perfect example which shows us-

” what the world will throw at us is not in our control, but how we will                   respond or what we will make out of it is completely in our control” 

We bow down to such a character.     

Let us not become a creature who instead of having a big brain does not think and question. Let us dig deeper to know the essence of our festivals instead of celebrating just as a ritual.

Let’s not become less Indian with more education (and don’t correlate your degree with education). Remember the ultimate aim of having education what Swami Vivekananda said-

quotes-of-swami-vivekananda-31-728

 

  Have a blissful week. Until next time                                                                                                                                                                -Joy 

 

 

Source:

  1. Navratri
  2. Sadhguru on Shree ram’s Life
  3. Dussehra significance

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