Ravan burning

Yet again India witnessed the effigy-burning of Ravana during the festival of Dussehra. This is how the stage was set initially with Ravana in the middle and Kumbhkaran (Ravana’s brother) and Meghnath (Ravana’s son) on the sides:

Ravana in the middle
Ravana in the middle

Some pictures of the fireworks that happened to initiate the ceremony:

Fireworks 1
Fireworks 1

Fireworks 2
Fireworks 2

Fireworks 3
Fireworks 3

Fireworks 4
Fireworks 4

Fireworks 5
Fireworks 5

In short the story goes as below: Ravana kidnaps Sita, the wife of Rama. Rama launches a battle, and after a few days of fighting, is face to face with Ravana on the day of Dussehra. He shoots a burning arrow and Ravana turns into a fireball:

The Fireball
The Fireball

This is what remains a bit later:

Remains
Remains

So Ravana is killed by Rama, and Sita saved. For more details visit the Wikipedia link.
Watch a video by clicking here.

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Deh Shiva bar mohe

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, first Indian Sikh prime minister is undergoing a confidence motion as I write this. He invoked a war prayer by Guru Gobind Singh Ji while introducing the motion. The meaning of the prayer is very well narrated here. I quote below the relevant section:

“Daahay shiva bur mohaay eaahay sub karman tay kabhuun na taruun
Na daruun aar saun jab jaayaay laruun nischaay kar apuni jeet karuun
Aar sikh ho apanay hi man ko eah laluch ho gun tau uchuruun
Jab aav ki audh nidhan banaay aut hi run main tab jhonnj maruun”

Shiva, God Almighty
Pray do confer
A blessing on me
From Pious deeds
I should not flee

And in a battle
There shouldn’t occur
Any fear in me
Determined I may spur
Myself to victory

And Pray Almighty
Let my mind gather
A lesson for me
A craving to utter
Praises of Your Majesty

When the end is nigh
Let me then stir
Myself to ecstasy
And enter
The battlefield and die

(translation by J S Chadha)

In the prayer, “Shiva” stands for God Almighty, who is the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer. (Once you have decided Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are one and the same person, you can refer to him by any of those names.) Same goes for “Ram”, which literally means One who is Omnipresent.

An explanation in my own words: God, please grant that I may never back out from the path of good deeds. If I have to go to war and fight (towards the good cause), that I may be the victor. That I may have only one greed in my mind, which is for the utterance of Your Bounties. When the end of my life is near, that I may die on the battle-field fighting the enemy.

I wish the Akali leaders would support the Sikh Prime Minister. Issuing an Edict would be taking a political matter too much into the religious domain. All the best Mr.Prime Minister 🙂

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