Killing of Asuras

The spear goes straight to the heart of the asura. A throwing axe spinning over long distances in the space, over the battlefield, reaches its target by decapitating the asura’shead. This often marks the end of the long lasting vicious rule of the devil over the sufferers. The battle between Kartikeya and Surapadman lasted for years; some battles went on for decades, while some went on for thousand years. During my childhood, I wondered how can battles last for thousand of years. What does this mean to the common man?

Most of the Hindu festival marks the triumph of God over the Devil. Rama fired a fatal arrow towards Ravana, Varaha killed Hiranyasha, Durga slayed  Mahisashura, Krishna killed Kamsa, Narasimha removed the intestines of Hiranyakapishu and there are lots of innumerable stories of Hindu Gods exterminating the devils.  At the end, everything culminates with celebrations. Vijaya Dashami marks some kind of celebrations. After carrying the physical burden of kavadi, the next day is usually marked by the celebration of Thirukalyanami.e the marriage of Muruga.

The puranasalways depict Gods killing demons because at some point in time the Gods are to intervene, sometimes in the form of an avatara, to destroy evil and end religious persecution and calamity on earth. The aim is to restore dharma and righteousness.

This is about battle, as per Hindu mythology. But what about restoring Dharma in our day-to-day living? With whom do we fight? A person requires great determination to win this inner psychological battle. This unknowingly happens to us on a daily basis.The meaning of every battle lasting over thousand years means that we require many life times, if not, thousand of lifetimes to defeat evil which is our own bad ego, vices, attachment and evil habits. Our soul would require transmigration into several bodies over hundred and thousand years to be able to attain selflessness. Over thousand of years we would resolve our karma and our new physical body shall continuously implore on God to help us release ourselves from the material bondage.

Many soldiers on the devil sides are killed on the battlefield. The killed ones range from key strategethat lead the battlefield, as well as the less important and front liners. Some of the casualties (asura’s side) are allied kings, princes, ministers, charioteers and others. All of them do not die at one go. Soldiers from the devil’s army decimate over times, until we see the downfall of the main villain protagonist (asura) on the battlefield.

Similarly, the soldiers, as described in Hindu mythology, are the protectors of our evil habits, vices and bad ego.  They prevent the merging of the mind with the soul. They prohibit the mind from getting tamed or getting spiritually advanced. They rule the mind and make you, as much as possible, ego-centric. They encourage you to misuse your sensory organs such as hurtful talks from your mouth, eyeing others property, eating prohibited food, involve in the listening of negative and provocative arguments and others. When you drill down to look deeply you will see that these soldiers, i.e the defendant of the misuse of your sensory organs, are not easy to destroy. That’s why the battles takes ages and ages to finish. The end of the battle, which concludes, with the destruction of the asurasignifies the destruction of your evil sides. Hence, the killings of your vices and bad habits is a tedious process and last for thousand years.

These are all lumped to explain the significance of Hindu festivals marking the triumph of God over the devil.

Nanda Narrainen

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