Happy Dusshera And Symbolism Of 10-headed Demon

Wishing you all Happy Dusshera (दसरा/विजयादशमी).

Indian culture is filled with many festivals and traditions. Each festival and tradition also has a regional flavour, and some of them are celebrated across India – for example Dusshera and Diwali (Deepawali – the Festival of Lights).

While all festivals have many old stories, folklores and rituals, it’s also a new tradition to reinterpret them in modern context and celebrate in progressive manner.

Today’s festival Dusshera is a good example of this positive change.

Dusshera or Vijayadashami is the day when Lord Ram defeated the 10-headed demon Ravan and returned to his home in Ayodhya.

It is celebrated as victory of Good/Virtuous over Evil.

However, the modern interpretations also extend this metaphor of Ram (Good/Virtuous) and Ravan (Evil) to various fields/domains to convey the message.

Some go overboard and make far-fetched connections and completely goof up the message. For example, here is a picture posted by Quess Corp – a company that is into business of providing temporary workforce and unskilled/semi-skilled labour.

They have likened each head of Ravan to a problem area in skill development and deployment of temporary/semi-skilled workers.

However the only problem is that the Ravan has only 9 heads instead of 10. Now, one may say “So what? What’s the big deal?”.

Well, this just shows that the creators of that picture don’t understand what the festival stands for, what are the key characters and what they are known for. It’s better not to indulge in such campaign if you don’t fully understand the nuances.

Well, if I were the creator I would have defended it with an innovative argument. The 10th head is invisible and that symbolises the Unknown/Unseen demon 😋🤗. When you deal with metaphors and imagination you can always find a way to justify and cover up the gaffe.

However, there are many others who use this metaphor well and apply to their own domain.

Here is another poster from an investment/ financial advisory firm. Behavioural Finance is a new hot topic in the world of investing. And thanks to the work of Daniel Kahneman, the cognitive and emotional biases have become central theme of the self-professed Value Investors and Buffett-Munger type investing.

So this particular advisory came up with a symbolic Ravan – they didn’t show any human form, nor did they show 10 heads. Instead they mentioned 10 behavioural biases which often lead to the worst mistakes in Value Investing. Those are the 10 demons we should try to overcome to be a successful Value Investor. Pretty good message! Have a look…👇

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