After I wrote the post on Diwali, a reader and I had a chat.. and she repeated the oft said characterization of Ravan. That he was just like Ram… so why was he considered inferior. And why is his killing considered victory of Good over Evil.
Like I said in my post, I do NOT consider Diwali to be victory of Good over Evil.. but a moment when one moves from Darkness to Light. Light in this case is the light of Truth.. out of illusion.
Ram represents Detachment. And Ravan represents Desire.
Everything that Ravan was characterised as – Gold plated mansions, Expensive palaces, picked up someone’s wife etc. – represent desire or materialism.
Ram on the other hand represented every type of detachment – no desire for kingdom, willing to live in minimal conditions, fighting someone else’s fight, friendly with not so fortunate creatures, eating berries.
It is NOT important whether it is just a story or such events actually happened. For the believers its all real. For me it provides some very profound lessons of moving from darkness of illusion to light.
It is not about judgment whether desire is good or bad… but the realization that desires bind and detachment liberates. You cannot begin your journey by saying “I will be detached”, then you never are. You have to start as a witness.. as an observer to your ownself as well as the world. Detachment is a consequence.