Friday, October 12, 2007

Victory over evil

-By Swetha Amit
Celebrations have always generated tremendous zest and vivacious energy amongst many. This is especially with regard to festive season that briskly brings about a fervent touch in the air. Whether it is Ganesh Utsav or Gokulashtmi, all festivals are celebrated with a welcoming smile and an inherent sparkle in our eyes.

Grand preparations are gradually beginning as one gets ready for the upcoming nine nights and ten day festival called ‘Dusshera’ or ‘Navarathri’. This is celebrated with equal pomp and splendor throughout India though in their own special, unique way.

Down South, idols of Gods and Goddesses are kept on steps and are decorated with lights and a colorful rangoli beneath them. Sometimes themes are used such as the ten avatars of Vishnu or Krishna’s playful days in Vrindavan. Or episodes from the Ramayana or the Mahabharata also form a part of this splendid colorful exhibition. Creative minds work furiously to decorate and adorn their houses with exclusive themes, such as replica of a certain road, or a bazaar scene, modern day theme parks and even malls! Welcoming and honoring the ladies with "haldi" (turmeric) and "kumkum"(vermillion) signifies the respect shown to the Goddess in each one of them. Little children are often made to sing songs in their sweet little voices. Their melodies portray purity and innocence whisking those around them on a musical trip and pleasing the almighty immensely.

In the north it is celebrated as Ramas victory over Ravana where on the day of Dussehra Ravana’s effigy goes up in flames, signifying destruction of evil.

Another form of this grand celebration involves the exhibition of various forms of dance like Garbha and Dandiya. Adorned in colorful attires, millions get ready to dance the night away which glorifies the flamboyant form of expressing exuberance of driving away the murkiness as much as they can. The glow in their faces, the illuminating effect and the joyous beats is enough to drive the spells of gloom away.

In the eastern part, Durga Puja is celebrated for these ten whole days. The staunch devotees worship the Goddess with several offerings and sincerity. Well being and prosperity are silently asked for with folded hands and simultaneously thanking her for being a savior and protector from the vile. Saying prayers ardently with energetic holy chanting brings about goodness in many trying to surpass the vicious elements in them.

The mythological significance of Dussehra is that which symbolizes victory over evil. The collective forces of the goodness in all the Gods emerged as the supreme power in the form of the mighty yet beautiful Goddess Durga seated on a fierce lion and destroyed the villainous and dreaded Mahishasura-a demon who created havoc in the heavenly abode engulfing it with darkness.

While we are celebrating this joyous occasion of triumph over the villainous stance that occurred centuries ago, why not form a collective unit of our virtuous qualities and battle against these destructive forces inside us and emerge as a supreme being?

Enemies of mankind include greed, anger, lust, envy and ego. Such malignity tends to eclipse and overshadow the goodness prevailing in us. There are times when we succumb to the strong pull of these undesirable forces which result in impertinent follies in varying degrees. This often results in us feeling regretful in the long run. Such manifestation of these impudent imps tends to bring out the worst in us.

A perseverant and an earnest effort towards this arduous task of conquest, is sure to spring up a new sense of exhilaration within us accompanied with a radiance which will drive away the dark spells.

This strenuous battle will indeed reap its rewards as we jointly combat the callous elements with a divine force that is present in each of us. This will enable the existence into a higher plane eternally, eventually making the petty and dreadful enemies cow down before us. Such is the significance of this victory over evil which will give us more than one reason to celebrate with every passing year.
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Appeared as story of the day



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