Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 24th. It is the final day of a Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil, generally marking Lord Rama’s defeat of the demon king Ravan.
Different parts of India celebrate Dussehra in different ways. Scenes from Rama’s life might be enacted, grand processions may take place or effigies of Ravana burned.
For some Hindus it is a very religious holiday; for some it isn’t. Hindu families who celebrate Dussehra in a religious fashion commemorate it with the worship of idols, objects of prosperity, and weapons.
Another common religious duty is fasting – though only the women fast. There is not one set way to fast; some will fast all daylight hours, some might only fast garlic and onions.
Many Hindus feel the pointlessness of following empty customs. They feel the hypocrisy of oppressing their neighbor while observing supposedly meaningful religious traditions. It has been reported that many are actually becoming atheists.
Let us pray that those truly desiring to connect with God will meet the God for whom there is no idol. Pray that they come to understand that it is by mercy and lovingkindness and truth (not superficial ritual) that wickedness is cleansed from the heart. [Proverbs. 16:6]