Dussehra: More than Rama and Ravana

Rama and Ravana
Dussehra, the day, Raghunandan Ramachandra defeated the Lankapati Dashanan Ravana and rescued his wife Sita. The name Dussehra has its roots in two Sanskrit words Dasha and Hara, where first word Dasha represents the Dashanan Ravana and second part Hara means the defeat. By which, Dussehra can be interpreted as the defeat of Ravana. Similarly, the day is also known as Vijaydashmi, which means the victory on the tenth day of the war.

As per hindu beliefs, on this day in Treta Yuga, Shri Ramachandra, the seventh avatar of Vishnu killed Ravana, who had abducted Rama's wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Rama, along with his brother Lakshman, some staunch followers Hanumana, Angada, Jambuvan and Vanara army fought a great war to rescure Sita. The entire narrative is recorded in the epic Ramayana.

But do you really think? It really happened. I mean someone with a handful of staunch followers, and a monkey army defeated a fierce-some enemy with an army of tens of thousand. I don't really think so. But I am not saying Ramayana is a bland lie. I think, it is a over-fictionalized retelling of what really happened. And, it is all symbolic.

I think, Ramayana is all symbolic. The word Rama means "an ideal being, a person who believe in spreading happiness and joy" whereas Ravana means "an obnoxious being, a person who cries a lot about the situation and surroundings". So, if we deduce from these simple meanings, it was fight between ideal way of living versus not so ideal way.

Similarly, Dashanana, one with ten faces, the title attributed to Ravana, is also symbolic. It was about his ten vices not ten faces or ten heads. His ten vices are 1. Kama (lust), 2. Krodha (anger), 3. Moha (attachment), 4. Lobha (greed), 5. Madda (pride), 6. Matsara (jealousy), 7. Swartha (selfishness), 8. Anyaya (injustice), 9. Amanavta (cruelty) and 10. Ahankara (ego). And if we carefully observe our surrounding, we will find that most of people are being infected from these ten vices.

In the end, it is not all about Rama and Ravana. It is about you and yourself. And Dussehra symbolizes you conquering your vices, not Ram's victory over Ravana. I hope, I have conveyed my message clearly. But if you think, I have missed something, please enlight us, with your knowledge. Your comments are welcome.

Photo Credit: The BlackCat/Enrique Alcatena

Note: This is my first post under, the post series Dashmukham. Hope you will come back to read my next post in the series.


  1. Though I believe it had happened, I appreciate your analysis and moral deduction from the epic. In present context, we too have the opportunity to become Rama after overcoming Ravana in the form 10 vices you indicated.

    1. First thank you Ravish to drop your comments here. See, I am not saying, it hadn’t happened at all. All I am saying, that it is overly fictionalized and overly romanticized retelling of what really happened.

  2. Great analysis. Sometimes beliefs dilute the real purpose, maybe that has happened with our mythology. Your post is a mature interpretation of Dussehra..

  3. It is true that RAVAN was invincible but what he planned and made fate execute his plans is really amazing... RAVAN was the only one who has mastered the art to change FATE or VIDHI KA VIDHAN...he abducted SITA to give PRABHUVL RAM a valid reason to come and fight..HE knew that present race of RAKSHAS is beyond reconciling and thus got all killed by hands of PRABHU RAM, LAKSHMAN & HANUMAN giving salvation to all inspite of the race karma he got them freed from the cycle of birth and death.. he sent bhibisan to PRABHU RAM knowing thatvthe race or generations of rakshas through bhibisan will be good... there are many more things which can be looked at different aspects or perspective or logic..The war did happen and conclusion drawn can be either realistic or theoritical...just what we believe in and how deep we think

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