Happy Bada Dashain

Vijaya Dashami marks the victory of Lord Rama over demon king Ravana and the slaying

of the otherwise invincible demon Mahisasur by Goddess Kali. The festival, thus, symbolises the triumph of good over evil, truth over falsehood, and light over darkness. On Navaratri — the nine nights preceding Vijaya Dashami — Goddess Bhagawati, the symbol of Shakti (power), is worshipped. On the tenth day, devotees receive jamara and tika as Bhagawati’s prasad. Visiting elder relatives to receive tika and jamara along with their blessings has become a time-honoured religious tradition. Dashain or Durga Puja is also a time for introspection, as it stresses such eternal virtues as truth, love, compassion, fellow-feeling, universal goodwill, and shedding of jealousies and prejudices.

Merry-making is a part of Dashain. But the message of the festive occasion is eternal. At this juncture of Nepal’s history when there is hope for a new dawn as both the state and the Maoists are negotiating permanent peace and democracy based on the will of the Nepali people, the need to imbibe this message has become all the more important. The leaders need to go beyond their routine Vijaya Dashami messages. What better occasion than Bada Dashain to make resolutions to try to follow in the footsteps of Lord Rama — from whose perfect personality and flawless governance based on the popular will, righteousness, morality, justice, kindness, and dharma, the concept of Rama Rajya is often extolled — as they parley to carve out the future of Nepal?