Bharat is a land of festivals. His Divine Holiness Hariprasad Swamiji envisaged the need of the hour and therefore prioritized nurturing youth’s culture and spirituality by observing auspicious Hindu calendar events, aiming to prepare them for success in all life aspects.

At AVM, we celebrate all festivals with great pomp and enthusiasm. Duss+hra, the compound word, means the day of defeating the ten-headed demon Ravan. Ravan, despite being an exceptional scholar, researcher, and powerful warrior, was aggressive and arrogant. His ego led to him being portrayed as a hated villain, despite his virtues. Thus, people observe this day by putting his effigy on the flame as a mark of destroying negativity.

On October 24th, Dussehra was celebrated at AVM with great passion. The day also is very special for AVM family since it is the Paarshadi Diksha Diwas of Param Pujya Hariprasad Swamiji Maharaj. The congregation of AVM students and staff members gathered at the quadrangle in front of the Mandir at around 6:20 p.m. with high spirits. The celebration was set off with the poojan of Shree Thakorji by the honourable principal, Dr. Vijay Sir. Followed by an introductory speech by Mukesh Sir who shed light on the significance of the day. The celebration then featured an enlightening dance drama, enacted by AVM kids showcasing the exceptional quality of Prabhudasbhai (HDH Hariprasad Swamiji during His youth days) with the theme of singing virtues of others to become brahmroop – entrenching a quote from Gunatitanand Swami ni Vato “ગુણ ગાવાથી જીવ બ્રહ્મરૂપ થઈ જાય.”

Every human characteristic is a combination of certain vices and virtues. The play contrasted the tattler’s focus on negative traits and fault-finding, and the altruistic nature, emphasizing the virtues of others without focusing on their flaws. The folk dance was a colourful presentation by kids showcasing Yogi Bapa’s (Guru of Swamiji) contentment with Prabhudasbhai for utilizing time for praising virtues rather than gossiping.

Towards the end of the celebration, the effigy of Ravan, glutted with firecrackers was set ablaze signifying that good will always win over evil. The audience, amidst the fumes, prayed for strength to let go of impure thoughts and vices, focusing on the positivity and virtues of each other.

Written by: Sharmistha Ma’am