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Heartiest blessings on this auspicious Victory Day – globally celebrated this year on 4th/5th October as per the Sanskrit soli-lunar calendar (coinciding with Yom Kippur). Known as Vijaya Dasami in Sanskrit (lit. victory on the tenth lunar day), this ancient tradition of commemoration is hailed for the victory of truth, and conquest over external and internal adversaries. May you become victorious on the path of your noble pursuits and the related earnest exertions without inculcating anxiety or fear.

Your inspiration might be somewhat dampened by the challenging times around the world and nearer to home, and you might be waiting for the triumph of truth. The theme of Victory Day guides us that spiritual solace is dependent upon your moral strength and patience. Due to several external factors related to karma (momentum of action), noble seekers often appear to be suffering and wicked schemers seem to be gloating, yet the triumph of virtue is measured in spiritual depth instead of in material terms.Victory Day is a reminder that ultimately truth prevails and if the process is excruciating in the interim, it is only for the sake of burning the pending karma. Faith grows through revealing experiences and by the support of an inspiring learning environment, thereby building virtuosity in a step-by-step manner. During that process of growth, there is no need to thrive on disbelief. Just as we cannot deny our existence or even ignore our subtle feelings, we should allow our beliefs to lean on truthfulness.

There is no way to truth, truthfulness is the way. This aphorism is verily a reality. It is difficult to perceive absolute truth, for its revelation depends on the transparency of our own internal instruments of knowledge (layers that conceal pure perception) and the degree of perseverance. Moreover, the right vision is often clouded. Triumph over ignorance is a real victory, even if outwardly one might appear to be marginalized.

Events arise surrounding and impacting one’s life due to the urges that initiated this life, set into motion from a greater momentum of karma that is not so obvious. Since pursuit of truth depends on deepening meditative insight – a maturing of inner vision that is ultimately instantaneously clear, one could resort to the following three cardinal aphorisms on truth during the maturing process.

(A) Contemplation of the absolute truth verily chastises impure formulations in the mind (even if that absolute truth is in itself not crystal clear). (B) Loyalty to truth is the ultimate penance (for truth is your essential being and not worth forsaking due to infatuation with egoism or greed). (C) Devotion to truth leads to sanctity in the heart; thus sanctified, one can win back truth from the clutches of time (for even the sense of time rides on the principle of truth, and truth is never lost even if time has passed).

In the practical world, success and happiness are attained temporarily through a combination of earned merits based on acquired knowledge, practical experience, strength, commitment, and reliability mixed with limiting qualities such as desire for material pleasures, hankering for fame, selfishness (as opposed to compassion).

Spiritual virtues do not necessarily enable one to get such material success – they do help one to overcome the causes of pain and misery. As a result of this spiritual insight into pain and sources of anxiety or fear, there is the erosion of suffering – the ultimate goal of internal victory. A balance needs to be employed to achieve both internal and external victory. Herein the internal victory ushers in the moral strength to bring about external victory in the practical world (albeit without succumbing to worldliness).

Practising virtue in the face of surrounding ignoble events may not bring about happiness promptly. It is necessary to be happy through inner work first and then tackle duties with patience. Seekers who are attempting to overcome violent thoughts or negative feelings in their heart experience the consequent pain of that violence inwardly. When that shackle of subtle imprints of violence is shattered, they can be happy.

The effort involved in overcoming the violence within can be painful. However, if those violent impressions are allowed to fructify, the consequence would perhaps be much more painful than the effort to overcome those impressions. Victory Day beckons us to effect this inner work first so that we can be happy before executing our duties. There is no way to happiness, but happiness is the way. There is no way to love, love is the way.

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