Let all patriotic souls come together on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami and learn the lessons of simplicity, compassion and fearlessness from Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram. This will garner us the strength to face anti-national elements in order to preserve unity, integrity, character and ethics of this land. If we are able to do so, we shall bestow upon us the sense of victory. This will be our best gift to our nation.
Vijayadashami is the festival of celebrating victory. It is the celebration signifying victory of truth over lie, justice over injustice, beneficence over malfeasance, godly virtues over evil virtues, and good over bad.
Colours of many festivities are interwoven in Bharat. Every festival conveys a message in one way or the other. Generally, people are excited while celebrating the festival with full fervour, but are often oblivious or ignorant towards the inherent message behind that festival. Vijayadashami, also known as Dussehra, falls on the Dashmi of Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month. It is the day when Bhagwan Sri Ram and Maa Durga ended the tyranny of Ravan and Mahishasur respectively. However, today there is a need to go beyond this symbolism and ponder over the real message behind this festival.
Bharateeya culture has always worshipped valour and revered strength. Victory is not possible without strength. Hence, every Hindu God depicts a weapon. However, this power was always used to establish the might of Dharma over Adharma. Therefore, it is prudent to worship benevolent power. To convey the same message there is a tradition of offering prayers to weapons on the day of Vijayadashami as a mark of reverence to strength.
Sri Ram is known as Maryada Purushottam, the one who follows the rules ideally. He epitomises truth, respect, wisdom, affection and sacrifice. His journey is a journey of being human to being human par excellence. Hence, even after ages songs are sung and heads are bowed to revere the virtues he possessed. On the other hand Ravan is the symbol of conceit, evil, self-centered approach, filthy opulence, tyranny and ruthless materialism.
Sri Ram and Ravan coexist in all of us. There is an ongoing struggle between the two. On the occasion of Vijayadashami, we must profess to make that Ram within us stronger so that the wisdom of Sri Ram prevails over the ruthlessness of Ravan.
Ram and Ravan coexist in our national lives too. It comes in front of us in various manifestations. Sometimes it lures us in the form of Golden Deer incarnated by Marich or it comes as a deceptive looks of Shurpnakha, or it comes in as terrorist attacks on our ancient culture unleashed by Khar and Dushan by means of attacks on national and cultural symbols and their saviours. To dethrone such evil and anti-national powers, Bhagwan Ram mobilised all nationalistic and fidelitous entities and successfully accomplished the goal.
The spotless and clean character of Bhagwan Ram was equally, or perhaps more important in this victory than the building of united national strength. Hence the belief that all the evils of the society can only be eradicated by means of the strength gathered through the life of individuals with impeccable character in the light of the Hindu values. Ravans and such evil powers are not residing in far flung areas but are very much present in the same society where we live spreading tyranny and violence wherever they can. Hence we need to galvanise the centres of vigilant citizenry in every corner of nation. Every village should have its own Ram Sena. Such united entities by virtue of its strength and pure nationalistic
viewpoints should act as saviors of culture and religion. This is what Vijayadashami is trying to convey us.
Every age had different manifestations of Ravan. In the contemporary context, it is in the form of terrorism. If it is not sufficient then inflation, unemployment, social disparities, caste and religious fundamentalism are adding to the already complex and difficult scenario within the country. To provide a panacea for all the curses, we need to use our limited resources with wisdom and resort to rational use of power when required, as Bhagwan Ram did. In the present context, we need to kill someone to achieve our goal as the reference of Ravan is restricted to any individual but reflected in terms of thought process, vision and psyche which cannot tolerate cheerful and prosperous atmosphere around. People with emotions of Ravan tend to disorient from one’s national and social commitments. The knowledge of Ravan propels one to use position and power for accumulation of wealth. Every human being has some manifestation of Ravan within. Eradicating an individual will not eradicate the Ravan within. We need to eradicate evil thoughts, narrow mindset and skewed visions. This is difficult but not impossible.
Vijayadashami is the day of victory. This belief is prevailing for ages. It is believed that the position of all astronomical bodies on this particular day is such that facilitates success for any work initiated on this day. Maa Bhagwati is worshipped on this day as a symbol of victory. Vijayadashami is the day to resolute, to dedicate oneself for nation building. It is the day to profess character building to achieve the same. It is a message of not losing our patience amidst all turbulences. If we are as steadfast as Bhagwan Ram, we shall achieve what we are set out for. Resolutions to problems don’t lie in resources but in resolute faith. We must profess to change order of society. Dark will not go away by just cursing it. We must light a lamp to eradicate the darkness. However slow, we must make progress on the path we charted out. We should continue to strive hard till# the goal is achieved, till we must not look back.
With this resolution in mind, the first Sarsanghachalak of RSS, Param Pujyaniya Dr Hedgewar commenced the work of RSS in 1925 on this auspicious day. Today this small sapling has spread itself into a giant banyan tree. It is the world’s largest and strongest voluntary organisation. It will complete 90 glorified years of its operations on this Vijayadashami. Despite many obstacles and turbulences, all Swayamsewaks are united, resolute and marching ahead towards their goal. They are incessantly progressing towards the goal of prosperity and security of the nation.
So, let all patriotic souls come together on this auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami and learn the lessons of simplicity, compassion and fearlessness from Maryada Purushottam Sri Ram. This will garner us the strength to face anti-national elements in order to preserve unity, integrity, character and ethics of this land. If we are able to do so, we shall bestow upon us the sense of victory. This will be our best gift to our nation.
Dr Manmohan Vaidya (The writer is Akhil Bharateeya Prachar Pramukh of RSS)