India is a land of mythology, festivals and celebrations. The entire calendar is dotted with festivals celebrated across the land and breadth of the nation. We have just been through with the Navratris (nine nights). Today is VijayDashmi or Dussheraa (10th day), the day Ravana was killed by Lord Rama, a symbol of victory of Good over evil. All festivals are not just meant to be occasions for celebrations. The main aim of the mythological tales is to convey life lessons and strengthen human beliefs in the prevalent value system.
Its up to us to draw the right lessons or just eat drink and be make merry. I have drawn my own list of lessons.
Life is beyond our Comfort Zones…
‘Ramayana’ is a beautiful example of moving beyond comfort zones to excel. We all get used to certain comfort zone and prefer to function within certain self-drawn limits. But the one who breaks from the limits usually excels. As per the tale, Lord Rama, along with wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, gave up the princely life and lived 14 years in jungle away from the comforts of the palace he was used to. He gave up the comfort of the princely life and ‘Ramayana’ happened. May be, if he had not agreed to obey the decision of his father to spend 14 years in jungle, he would have lived and died as just another prince / King.
No one is perfect….
Ravana was one of the most educated/ intelligent humans of his time but still did the mistake (crime) of kidnapping a married lady, because he wanted to marry her. Because of this one mistake Ravana is remembered as a symbol of ‘Evil’ more so because nobody expected a learned man like him to indulge in such a crime. It’s a must to maintain balance in life, one should not get carried away by power.
Balance is what matters….
Knowledge is the most powerful attribute amongst all. During Navratri the Goddess is worshipped in various forms out of which ‘Durga’ (Symbolises Power/ Strength), ‘Lakshmi’(Goddess of Wealth) and Saraswati (Goddess of Education) are the most prominent. One got to work hard not just to acquire all three but also learn to maintain a balance between the three to be successful in life. Good education will certainly go a long way in helping maintain the required balance.
Life is a precious gift and is to be celebrated. One doesn’t have to wait for any day or occasion to celebrate; Be happy that you are alive and kicking. Ups and down will be there in life, even Lord Rama went through them but kept moving on and came back successful and victorious. His 14 years of penance in jungle ending in victory over the ‘Evil’ Ravana. Whatever problems one may perceive he/ she is going through, one should be thankful for the gift of life. The nine days of festivities during ‘Navratris’ symbolises this spirit of celebrating life.
Nothing is beyond you….
Lord Rama did not have a well trained or equipped army but still with the help of ‘Vanar Sena’ (monkeys) succeeded in defeating the large trained army of Ravana, because he believed in his abilities and had trust in God. A well set focus, training and belief can make anything happen. History is replete with many examples of people rising from the rags to achieve success due to their hard work and focus.
Harmony with nature….
One has to learn to adjust and live in harmony with nature to be at peace. Lord Rama lived in harmony with nature and made friends with the animals who helped him in successfully completing the 14 years exile in forest as also in defeating Ravana. Unplanned cutting down of jungles and destruction of nature is proving disastrous for the human race and leading to so much destruction year after year. One must learn to co-exist peacefully with others to succeed in life. More friends you make more support you are likely to have in the time of crisis.
Respect for Elders….
Lord Rama, for sheer respect of his parents, simply abides by the directions of spending 14 years in jungle. It doesn’t mean that even illegal directions have to be obeyed, what it means that elders have to be respected for they took care of you when you required it most during your infancy and growing up years. Emotional and physical support of the family and friends matter most during adverse situations.
It is the evil within which affects us all the most ; if this is eliminated then there will be so much peace and harmony in life.