Dussehra is celebrated in the Indian subcontinent with much fanfare every year after the culmination of nine Navratras. Hindus observe fast during these nine Navratras and worship Goddess Durga in order to purify their souls and burn all evils on the tenth day i:e Dussehra by burning the effigy of Ten-headed Ravana – The king of Lanka and who despite being so learned and having so much wisdom and intellect couldn’t control the evil in his mind. Overpowered by the evil thought he committed the heinous crime of kidnapping Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, knowing it well that Lord Rama was powerful enough to defeat him and rescue Sita. Despite all the wisdom and intellect at his command, he committed an immortal sin for which he was never forgiven and we still burn his effigy every year.
Burning of the effigy is symbolic. People nowadays do burn effigies of living leaders or people of high position as a protest against their actions which don’t suit them, but the burning of the effigy of Ravana signifies the victory of Good over the Evil. Does this actually burn the evil? Where is the evil, and Does it vanish by burning it every year? The evil tirelessly follows the good and it grows like the weed. Unless we de-weed it regularly every day rather every moment, it will overshadow the good crop. Symbolism will not do any good to us. We need to cleanse our mind and soul and condition them in such a way that they always remain positive.
Ramayana the Great epic teaches us the various aspects of perfect life and duties towards others. Lord Rama is also called Maryada Purshotam, A person with Maryada i:e proper code of dignity and decorum. Lord Rama personally practiced perfect discipline in life and set examples for the conduct with parents, brothers, wife, society, followers, associates, master(Guru), and the enemies, without the slightest care for self-ego, pride, esteem, and hardships.
Dussehra signifies the constant fight with evil which grows faster than weed in our mind and we need to burn it rather uproot it moment by moment before it overshadows our intellect and makes us Ravana.
Ravana signifies Evil, Sita signifies a Pure soul and Lord Rama signifies The true spirit and a Perfect Master. India signifies the upper region i:e the abode of The Lord and Lanka signifies the earth. The pure soul descended to this world and got entrapped by the mind and its evil designs(Ravana). Having full faith in her Master, Sita remembers and prays her Lord for help; twho then invades Lanka and rescues the pure soul(Sita).
We the enslaved souls need to trust a Perfect Master/ Lord and pray before Him for help with full faith and trust. He will listen to our prayers if we are sincere and have complete trust in Him ; He will burn all evils from our mind and liberate us from this world of delusion. So, we need to understand the core of this symbolism and resort to its actual practice sincerely.