As we approach the winter, there are many festivals that point to the incarnation of divine presence within our world to help rebalance the distribution of ignorance and wisdom.
This day marks the triumph of the light over the darkness. If you can remember the opening line from the Gospel of John, the light of divine presence cannot be overcome by darkness.
Dussehra, derived from the number ten in Sanskrit (daśa) and verb for killing (hara) is built around the story of Rama (also a word derived from the root for light) kills Ravana, a ten-headed demon. In the Hindu mind-set, this is not a story in the sense of something made up. It is a way of pointing to actual reality.
The holy day is also called Vijayadashami, occuring during what is astrologically known as śukla pakṣa (the luminious fortnight) that conincides with Navaratri, a nine-night festival in which the triumph of good over evil is celebrated through the goddess Durga, herself an incarnation of the Supreme Shakti. (see my previous blog)