Friday, October 3, 2014


DUSSEHRA OR VIJAYADASHAMI - Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashmi, is a major Indian festival celebrated on the tenth day of Ashvin month according to the Hindu calendar. This day falls in the month of September or October. The day culminates a 9 day fasting period of Navratri in the Hindu culture. The day also coincides with immersion of the idol of Goddess Durga. The day is celebrated to commemorate the killing of demon Ravana by Lord Rama. The day also celebrates the killing of demon Mahishasur by Goddess Durga.
Dussehra celebration spreads the message of the victory of good over sin. It is believed that the celebration of Dussehra started in the 17th century, when the king of Mysore ordered the celebration of the day on a grand scale.

Ever since, the day is celebrated with great fervor and energy. There are a lot of mythological tales associated with the day. According to Ramayana, demon Ravana was killed by Lord Rama on this day as revenge against the cruel act of kidnapping Goddess Sita by the former. Mythology also has it that Goddess Durga killed demon Mahishasura after a long spell of cruelty and oppression by Mahishasura. Largely, the day is celebrated to commemorate the prevalence of good over evil. The day is celebrated on a large scale in India as well as in Bangladesh. 
The most famous Dussehra celebrations in India are those in the city of Mysore. Goddess Chamundeshwari is worshipped on this day and a grand procession of her idol is taken out across the city. Major buildings are decorated with lights and color across the city.

Today, Friday, 03 October 2014,  is Dussehra (Vijaya Dashami). The Vijayadashami or Dussehra festival is of a tremendous cultural significance in India and it is celebrated with gaiety and love. In Nepal, Dussehra or Dasara is celebrated as Dashain.  After Navaratri, the tenth and final day is Vijayadashami, the day of victory. Vijayadashami or Dussehra festival is celebrated as victory of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana and also triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo Demon Mahishasura. There are also other events that mark the celebrations on this day, such as the end of the exile period of Pandavas and their coming back to their kingdom.Other famous Dussehra celebrations in India take place in Kolkata and Orissa, where the festival is preceded by week long celebrations. People visit the Pooja Pandals wearing new clothes, prepare traditional food at home and celebrate the festival with their friends and families. In most other parts of India, plays are organized across cities depicting the story of Ramayana which culminates in the killing of Ravana on this day. Statues of Ravana are burnt everywhere in India on Dussehra and in Delhi, the event is attended by political dignitaries in the Ramlila Maidan, which is a large ground traditionally used for staging the annual Ramlila. In short, it  is a celebration of the victory of good over evil, and when people burn in a huge bonfire the effigy of Ravana, the ten-headed demon, it also represents the destruction of the false ego and the process by which we can purify ourselves of the ten sins, meaning the sins committed by the ten active senses (the senses of perception and organs of action). (Editor's note).

Dussehra Vijaydashtmi is one of the most important Hindu festivals; it celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over wicked Ravana. In many places large effigies of Ravana are burned to symbolize the ultimate victory of goodness over evil. It follows another festival of nine nights of worship of goddess Navratri, culminating in victory on the tenth day. (Vijay means victory, and dashtmi is tenth day.)  [...] The philosophical and symbolic concept of Navaratri points out that the demon Mahishasura is our own ego within, and the goddess to destroy is the all-powerful Shakti of spiritual internal meditation, through which the energy is moved from the lower chakras of violence, lust, and greed to the higher chakras of goodness, knowledge, and charity.

Dr. Hiro Badlani :
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 54: “Hindu Festivals”

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

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