Raavan, the demon, was a ruler of Lanka whose terror was troubling all from powerful Devas to common people, but when the pot of sins of Raavan started leaking out, Bhagwan Vishnu, incarnated as Prabhu Shri Ram, killed him and re-established the rule of Dharm, and the same day is revered as Dussehra. Dussehra marks the end of the greatest threat to peaceful human existence, and celebrating this day means that we are celebrating the victory of good over evil. In Sanskrit, Dasha” stands for ten; here it is Ravana’s ten heads, and “Hara” means to defeat or remove.
Many people use to raise questions about how a person can have 10 heads and term it a mythology without even going through the texts.
We have seen many people argue that burning Ravana’s effigy again and again is a waste of time. How can a human have 10 heads? All these things are myths; thus, they term these stories mythology, but the reality is far different.
Most importantly, Ramayan is not mythology; it is our proud Bharatiya history. Mythology means a story based on myths and fiction. On the other hand, Raavan having 10 heads is purely a symbolic thing that represents Raavan’s 10 evil sins. Let’s read about them.
10 Heads of Raavan:
- Lust (Kama): Raavan is considered a symbol of lust; he had lust for many women, lust for power and wealth, and everything he saw wanting was in his possession only. It was Raavan’s lust that made him abduct Maa Sita and repeadedly forced him to marry her, knowing that she was already married to Bhagwan Ram. The lust of Raavan became the biggest reason for his downfall and the destruction of his legacy.
- Krodh (Anger): Another harsh impact of sin that we can learn from the life of Raavan is anger (Krodh). Anger is capable enough to spoil the efforts we make to achieve something. It was Raavan’s anger that made him impatient and commit wrongful acts, which hastened his end.
- Bhay (fear): Fear of losing something always drags you into the well of sin. Fear of losing his possessions and Maa Sita at the hands of Prabha Shri Ram and Vanar Sena made him so impatient and out of senses that he lost everyone, including his brothers, sons, his amry, and trusted allies, but he still didn’t lay down his arms and weapons before Bhagwan Shri Ram and, at the end, was killed by Prabhu Shri Ram in a fierce battle.
- Moha (Attachment): Ravana was strongly attached to his possessions, and after he started considering Mata Sita as his own, he went on to cross all boundaries to keep her under his control.
- Maatsarya or Irshya (envy or jealousy): Moha leads to Maatsarya, the desire to possess all the things, but when this addiction worsens, the person even wants those that belong to others by all means. In that case, a person commits a sin and adopts the path of Adharm.
- Buddhi (Misuse of Intellect): Demeaning the gift of God that is intellect and wisdom for fulfilling evil deeds is one of the biggest sins for me. Raavan was intelligent and well versed in languages, and Shastra’s thus able to manipulate people more convincingly. Dharm says an intelligent person should work for the nation’s and people’s welfare and use his potential wisely, whereas if the same person makes his moves in committing evil deeds, that becomes more malignant than that of an idiot, and that’s the power of wisdom and intellect. Thus, power or wisdom in the wrong hands is the most dangerous thing.
- Mada (Over Pride) or Ahamkar (Ego): It’s always laudable if a person is proud of himself, but, when this pride is exaggerated, it turns into Ego. Ego is just like a termite that weakens you and enables the path of your end. The same occurred with the Raavan, as it was Raavan’s ego which led him towards his end.
- Lobha (Greed): Expecting achieving heights and growth in life is good but, when this thing turns into greed it becomes harmful to the concerned person. Greed is a kind of addiction and addiction is always deleterious and the same addiction gripped Raavan which spoiled him.
- Ghrina (Hate): Hate is another evil that not only destroys your opponent but you as well. Hate is a kind of fire which ignites not only to burn your enemy but, also indulges you along with it and the same we can learn from the life of the demon Raavan. Raavan had unwavering hate for Prabhu Shri Ram but, what happened at the end is crystal clear.
- Jaddat (Insensitivity): The last evil to you is your insensitivity, that Raavan didn’t care about anyone’s feelings or opinion or pain, he always did only those acts that satisfied his ego and desires without caring about the related ones. In the end, he died alone as he lost everyone in the war against Prabhu Shri Ram, including his loving brothers, sons, allies, friends and that’s the justice of nature we can also term it as the Karm repreats formula.
Most interestingly, the age of Raavan at the time he was killed was around 12-13 Mahayug, which is around 56 million years older than that of Prabhu Shri Ram.
In my opinion, the festival of Dussehra/Vijaya Dashmi is one of biggest lessons for humanity and the world as it offers that no matter how terrible and powerful evil is, its end is certain. To illustrate, Maa Durga killed Buffalo Demon Mahishasur after fighting a fierce battle for nine days. Thus, we celebrate it as Vijaya Dashmi and the rest of nine days are celebrated as Navratri, in which nine incarnations of Maa Durga are worshipped.
Likewise, Mahabharat legend Arjun’s victory against 100 Kaurav’s aided by Maharathi Karna, Bhishm Pitamah and Guru Dronacharya also falls on the same day of Vijaya Dashmi or Dussehra.
Who is a considered as a Dharmic person?
The person who follows the below illustrated principles and ideals is considered as a Dharmic person in the eyes of Parmeshwara and Devi Maa.
Patience, forgiveness, purity (both internal or external), suppressing the desires, control of the senses, honesty, loyalty, wisdom, knowledge and anger management are the qualities to become a Dharmic person and a true follower of Sanatan Dharm. These principles of Sanatan Dharm can be followed by anyone, irrespective of caste, race, ideology, religion and gender. For Sanatan Dharm and Parmeshwara, everyone is equal before his eyes.
Dussehra festival is not only a festival but, it is a chapter for modern inhabitants as well. The Chapter of righteousness and goodness, the chapter which induces you to know what is right and what is wrong. What to follow in life and what not to follow. These 10 heads of Raavan and the burning effigy of Raavan again and again is to remind us that what we sow we get simply, the Karm repeats, applies everywhere.
The story of Raavan reminds us that no matter how powerful, rich and big we become, we should always follow the path of Dharm, otherwise be ready to face the same destiny as faced by Raavan himself. Who became solely responsible for the fall of his clan, the death of his children, family members and subjects of his kingdom. The only solution to live a peaceful and healthy life, is to adopt the ideals and principles of Bhagwan Ram Chandra and follow the path of Dharm.