With the keyboard at the correct angle and inclination, the blog’s website and details provided, I sat down to pen (more like type) my thoughts, only to realize that my mind is cluttered with them. Where do I start? How do I have the dream debut? It feels akin to have waited the entire period of my exams to sleep contently and not being able to do so thereafter as I am too excited. And then it struck me, why not start the same way I feel? After all, the entire purpose of starting to write one is to share my thoughts. So here it is, the first blog I have ever tried, on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami!
I have always heard from my family during my formative years that there are three and a half important day(s) that carry a lot of significance in the Sanatana culture, and any task started on these days would fetch results year long. Yugadi, Akshaya Tritiya, Vijayadashami form the three days, whereas Bali Paadya is half-day. It is with this belief I begin to talk about my observations and opinions in a hope that they will meet the desired outcome.
Dussehra (दशहरा), when split, means defeating the 10 bad qualities within ourselves. Those ten are Kaama Vasana (Lust), Krodha (Anger), Moha (Attachment), Lobha (Greed), Mada (Pride), Maatsarya (Jealousy), Swartha (Selfishness), Anyaaya (Injustice), Amanavata (Cruelty), and Ahankara (Ego). The tenth day of Ashweeja/Ashvina maasa in shard rutu is celebrated as Vijayadashami and has great importance in all the Yugas. Bhagavan Sri Rama killed Ravanasura in Treta Yuga, the Pandavas revealed themselves to the world, after their agnyatavaasa (living in hiding), by re-claiming their weapons from the Shami/Jammi tree and saving Virata desha from Hastinapur. It is for this reason the Shami tree is sacred to the Hindus and is worshipped throughout. As one can observe, the day carries immense positive energy and jubilant vibes, however, in a rather sad state of affairs, this festive spirit is being muddled by bringing in distorted, maligned, ill-thought, and half-knowledge information. Veneration and glorification of Ravana by saying he was a scholar, a great warrior, and whatnot are not only appalling but also malicious. One Twitter user, who also writes for The Hindu, also went on to say that Ravana was only avenging his sister, Surpanakha’s, humiliation and that if Rama had apologized that would have sufficed. Even after another user pointed out that Ravana had abducted Sita, the former went on to justify it by saying it was only to avenge.
Such is the idiotic sense of discussion this festival has been reduced to. Oblivious to the fact that Ravana had committed numerous sins, including raping Rambha, the Apsara, a narrative always lurks around the festivals targeting either environment, people, or the personalities involved in the festival. A brief account of Ravana’s ghastly sins can be seen here.
After being vexed with so many fallacies surrounding not just festivals but also the culture as a whole, I have come forward to write and discuss few beliefs, facts, and suggestions from whatever little I know. I certainly do not have the entire knowledge of my culture and certainly do not claim ownership of the rituals or festivals, however, I know enough to say that an infamous narrative is false and distorted. With this consciousness, and blessings of Hari, Vayu, and gurugalu I have decided to be the squirrel in the building of Dharma Sethu, contributing in whatsoever minuscule way I can. I wish to keep my first blog as a glimpse and plan to write more elaborately, giving as much information as possible to whatever I decide to share. Hope you all can enjoy, appreciate, and learn.