It's Dusshera today...a Hindu festival that signifies victory of good over evil which ends when Ram conquers the evil demon Ravana.....I'am not a religious person, so these Hindu mythology stories of Ram & Krishna only seem to as the epics of Homer like Iliad to me, they are a piece of literature, that give me an insight into the society, people & times they were written in....1 read them to have a better understanding of the evolution of Hindu & Indian society & the Hindu mindset.
So, When i woke up today & checked my twitter & other social networking sites, I was expecting to see a lot of Happy Dusseherra wishes & status messages...but as i was going through my Public timeline on twitter i saw a lot of people discussing about the relevance of burning Ravana as a symbol of evil in modern times....when the devil is so commonly rampant...I read questions like" Ravana has been damned to be burnt at the stake of evil for eternity....but rapists & terrorists & murderers in our times just spend 10-20 yrs in prisons or maybe a lifetime..so is our system of justice flawed?"....the questions were many as I saw people dissecting the events & characters of Ramayana.
This happens every year....The new generation India questions the age old traditions that they grow up with without questioning the significance behind them, to find the relevance of these practices in their present day lives...As read through & pondered....this thought came into my mind:
Our ancestors believed strongly in Symbolism...all these ancient texts are filled with characters & acts that stand for some symbolic meaning..So, What was the symbolism behind burning of Ravana year after year on Dusshera at the hands of Ram...my answer is " That the purpose behind throwing Ravana (considering the great scholar he was) to this eternal damnation of being burnt as a symbol of evil, was to set an example for people that would act as a deterrent to prevent them from doing wrong, it was meant ,so that every year when they looked at the effigy of the man burning & realized who he had been, they would also realize that one wrong act could subject them to such an eternal hell, Who would want such a fate???"
Thus even in our times, the symbolism of this day has not diminished, it's just that we have lost the meaning behind the symbol!!!