Loving and Divine Soul,

Let the choicest blessings of God and the masters be upon all of you. I take this opportunity to pray for you as we celebrate Vijaya Dashami, the Day of Victory. This day of victory is dedicated to Lord Rama who conquered the evil force represented by King Ravana. For success, Lord Rama worshipped the Divine Mother. Since that time, the Day of Victory is dedicated to the worship of the Divine Mother.

Nowadays, the Divine Mother is worshipped in many parts of India as a recognition of the divinity that manifests in the form of Divine Motherhood. The Mother's divinity permeates all creation. When we are engrossed in the mundane, material world without spiritual training and insight, we forget the presence of divinity, and we see everything as matter and worldly.

Ravana etymologically refers to the force that makes life miserable. The name is derived from the root verb ru, which means "to cry" or "to make others cry." Ravana represents desire, expectation, unnecessary ambition, excessive possessions, and worldly attachments, which all breed fear. But do we really want to be free from the tormenting power of Ravana?

While living in the world we become attached to material things and worldly objects for sense gratification. We live with a fear of losing happiness and a fear of death with regard to our near and dear ones or even ourselves. We are overburdened with rushing desires that make our lives miserable.

To be victorious, we must cultivate virtues such as humility, generosity, bravery, inner detachment, and freedom form unnecessary desire. In this context, I remember a Sanskrit verse often quoted by our beloved Gurudev that says:

     udarasya trinam vittam shurasya maranam trinam
     viraktasya trinam bharyam nisprihasya trinam jagat

     "For a generous person, wealth is insignificant. For a brave
     person, life does not include a fear of death. For a person of
     inner detachment, worldly pleasure is no longer alluring. For
     someone free from desire, the world is merely a temporary
     dwelling place."

In other words, to be victorious over the forces of Ravana, we must cultivate the qualities mentioned in the above verse. We should be generous. Ordinarily human beings are selfish and self-centered. To rise above it, we should consider that we belong to the Divine Mother or God and the entire creation is intimately related to us. Anyone's suffering is our suffering. Generosity is not just related to giving wealth, but is also about giving time and talent. We should love to serve all without discrimination.

Ravana has ten heads. This implies that desires and passions are created in our minds and hearts when the ten sense organs become restless and run in ten directions. We should all be compassionately detached and free from the tumultuous pull of the sense organs and the mind that constantly multiply desire.

We should live like heroes, brave warriors, because we belong to the Divine. We are children of the Divine Mother. We have inherited divine qualities from Her, but we do not use them in the best manner. We should learn to love, serve, and care for all.

We should be worthy children of the Divine Mother. Just as every parent wants to see their children's success, similarly the Divine Mother wants our spiritual progress and our victory in the battle of life. We should become victorious by conquering our inner enemies such as fear, anger, passion, desire, and greed. That is the way to celebrate the Day of Victory. It should not be an annual celebration; instead, it should be a constant celebration throughout life.

Let the Divine Mother bless each one of us and give us strength to be her worthy children.

With Love,
Prajnanananda

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