Today is Vijaya Dasami, the last day of navarathri pooja. I had been wondering since my childhood, why is dasara celebrated over and over, when the demon was killed long ago. Every festival is in memory of something that had happened in the past. This includes our birthday celebration as well. Why should one remember once past and celebrate?
Is it just to say that I am happy about this past event or is there anything new that I gain every year of completion?
Celebrating birthday for example, interested me as a child because I had a chance to wear color dress to school (what a relief from the regular blue and white uniform), was the point of attraction for that day, because my friends come asking for chocolates to me, and I get to show off much on what I had J. But it is generally not much of importance to the elders unless that is an occasion created to catch up with old friends or make some good business contacts with huge parties.
What is the importance of celebrating such past events, which are considered to be mythical stories which we believe, might be true. Same is the case with Karthigai Deepam, or any other festivals. And Hindus have so many to remember…can’t list one after the other in this small space. Every day ends up being a memorable day. Then when is the time to live the present?
While I was thinking through all these, I realized a correlation between the this Dasahara (so called dasara), is to kill all the symptoms of demons within us over the 9 days of prayer, acknowledge our ignorance of who we are and what is our goal on earth and build the knowledge from the basics to inherit the dasa mahavidya and get an initiation to start practicing the same from the last day of navarathri (Vijaya Dasami), when the Vijaya (victory) praptham (achievement) on the progress towards Brahma Vidhya. We let the goddess’s divine nectar flow through us to enlighten us towards the Bhrama Vidhya.
I have learnt through various resources and gurus that our physical existence has a subtle existence in a different plane, which is the mirror image or the replica of our physical presence. This can be realized when one dreams or sleeps. Certain concepts are hard to imagine, or may be my definition is not effective to understand, but for people who have had a taste of it, will know what that meant.
The mythical stories (be it was true or not), is meant to show us that every individual during his lifetime inculcates certain negative energies from his environment and from his karmas(actions). We may not be aware of what level of such demon characteristics are there within us. To lead our path towards the demon or the good is our choice. I don’t want to say demon and God, because, both aspects of good and bad are the creation of the almightily God. Unless the negative exists, there is no positive. The more one urges to kill the negative, the positive also dies, we converge to nirvana (the zero, or the unity of ying yang, or shiva shakti, or the time and space). This is the concept embedded in Sri chakra, or Mandala, or the Kabbalah system (tree of life).
Such could be the reason, to demolish the demon existing in oneself; these festivals have to be used to improve our spiritual understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
The birthdays by the way J, if not for the any of the above mentioned reasons, could be celebrated, to pay due respects to our parents who were the cause of our birth, giving us(our souls) another opportunity to realize using the gifted physical body.
Hope this post helps us improve our perception on pooja and help us understand each process and celebration and our goal of birth. Whether we know or not, every human is going through his goal of birth, but making a conscious effort will benefit a long way to be a better social as well as spiritual being.