What do the Dussera or Vijaydashami celebrations signify?

After nine days of Navratri, the tenth day, which is celebrated as Dusserah or Vijayadashami signifies the victory of good over evil.

On this day, we celebrate the victory of magnanimity over pettiness, of the big mind over the small mind.

According to the Ramayana, Vijaydashami marks the day that Lord Rama defeated the demon king Ravana. The tenth day after Navratri also signifies the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura.

Normally, when the mind is taken over by negative tendencies, we keep fighting with it. This is when we surrender it to the Divinity by saying, “I can’t fight with my own mind, so You take care of it and you show me the path”.

This is what the nine days of Navratri signifies, i.e., the victory of the spiritual power, the higher self over pettiness and small things.

There are many situations or states of mind, but generally you can categorize them into three kinds:

  • When there is craving or longing for worldly or spiritual experiences
  • When there is dullness. There is neither longing nor there is any interest in anything. A sense of inertia in our mind. You just go on with inertia. This situation can set now and then in life
  • When there is contentment, happiness and joy. The purpose of all this celebration is to move from inertia to joy; to move from longing to contentment.

There are those who do not even look at their mind, they just keep working. Then there are others who keep looking at their own mind all the time. Both are not good. Take the middle path. Take a look at the mind, once in a while but not all the time. Do you see what I’m saying? Otherwise you will become self-centred, thinking all the time, ‘What do I want?’ or ‘I am feeling like this’.

Forget about how you feel. Feelings keep changing – one minute they are good, next minute they are not good, so what! Move with valour and courage. Winning over the small mind is Vijaya Dashami.

In the small mind there is bickering, judgements and all kinds of noise that goes on. Navratri is a time to overcome these tendencies and unite with the source.