Navaratri, culminating with Dussehra, is a cultural festival of great importance and significance for all. It is a festival that is all about the goddess. In Karnataka, Dussehra is about Chamundi, in Bengal it is about Durga. Like this, it is about various goddesses in different places, but essentially it is about the feminine goddess or the feminine divinity.
Dussehra – The tenth day of celebration
Navaratri is replete with symbolism about vanquishing evil and wanton nature, and about having reverence for all aspects of life and even for the things and objects that contribute to our wellbeing. The nine days of Navaratri are classified as per the three basic qualities of tamas, rajas and sattva. The first three days are tamas, where the goddess is fierce, like Durga and Kali. The next three days are Lakshmi related – gentle but materially oriented goddesses. The last three days are dedicated to Saraswati, which is sattva. It is related to knowledge and enlightenment.
Vijayadashami – The Day of Victory
Investing in these three will make your life in a certain way. If you invest in tamas, you will be powerful in one way. If you invest in rajas, you will be powerful in a different way. If you invest in sattva, you will be powerful in a completely different way. But if you go beyond all this, it is no longer about power, it is about liberation. After Navaratri, the tenth and final day is Vijayadashami – that means you have conquered all these three qualities. You did not give into any of them, you saw through every one of them. You participated in every one of them, but you did not invest in any one of them. You won over them. That is Vijayadashami, the day of victory. This brings home the message of how being in reverence and gratitude towards everything that matters in our lives leads to success and victory.
Dussehra – Devotion and Reverence
It is my wish and my blessings that all of you should celebrate Dussehra with total involvement, joy and love.
Of the many things that we are in touch with, of the many things that contribute in making and creating our lives, the most important devices that we employ in making a success of our lives are our own body and mind. Being in reverence towards the very earth that you walk upon, towards the air that you breathe, the water that you drink, the food that you eat, the people that you come in touch with and everything else that you use, including your body and mind, will lead us to a different possibility as to how we can live. Being in a state of reverence and devotion towards all these aspects is a way of ensuring success in every endeavor that we partake in.
Celebrate Dussehra With Joy & Love
Traditionally, in Indian culture, Dussehra was always full of dances, where the whole community mixed, met and mingled. But because of external influences and invasions over the past two hundred years, we have lost that today. Otherwise Dussehra was always very vibrant. Even now it is still so in many places, but it is being lost in the rest of the country. We have to bring it back. The Vijayadashami or Dussehra festival is of a tremendous cultural significance for all who live in this land – irrespective of their caste, creed or religion – and should be celebrated with gaiety and love. It is my wish and my blessings that all of you should celebrate Dussehra with total involvement, joy and love.