Publish Date: 15 Oct, 2021
You know Dussehra is around the corner when the streets are no more lonely at night, when your backyard gets filled up with colorful flowers, When street vendors' food option is not limited to just one dish and when all you can hear is devotional and soothing songs blessing your ears, and mind. Dussehra followed up by 9 days of Navratri is one of the most awaited Hindu festival. The festival of Dussehra is observed on the tenth day of the Hindu month of Ashvin, which normally falls in September or October. It is also one of those festival which is celebrated across the nation.
According to Mythology, Dussehra is celebrated for two reasons: the first is to mark the defeat of the demon King Mahishasura by Goddess Durga, and the second is to celebrate the return of Lord Ramchandra and Devi Sita, along with Lakshman, to Ayodhya after spending 14 years in the jungle. This year the festival will be celebrated on 15th October, 14th October will mark the end of Navratri.
History of Vijaya Dashami:
In the East and North-east, Durga Puja or Vijayadashami is celebrated, while in the Northern and Western states, Dussehra is celebrated. Throughout India, Dussehra is known by several names, but the essence remains the same. Dussehra is not just a festival to celebrate, it’s a message, spirit and power which influence people mind and guides them to follow the right path. ‘Dharma’ as we say according to our holy books. ‘Burai pe sacchai ki jeet’ is the core message behind the celebration of Vijaya Dashmi or Dussehra. The word 'Dussehra' denotes the festival's significance. The word Dus Ahara is made up of two words. The word 'Dus' means ten, and the word 'Ahara' means the tenth day. Another meaning states where 'Dus' denotes Ravana's 10 heads, and 'hara' denotes defeat.
Vijaya Dashami is celebrated for many reasons, in which 2 of them are more prominent. In northern and western part of India, mostly the day is celebrated to mark the win of Lord Ramchandra who defeated 10-headed demon King Raavana. According to Ramayana after the 9 days of battle Lord Rama killed Ravana on the 10th day and that’s why the day is celebrated as Vijay means Victory and Dashmi means 10th day. One more reason behind the celebration is because it was also the same day when Goddess Durga killed demon Mahishasura who got the boon that no man could kill him.
Katha/ Kahani/story of Vijaya Dashsmi:
Story behind Vijaya Dashmi related to Lord Ramchandra:
It so happened that Lord Ramchandra who is avatar of Lord Vishnu had to spend 14years of his life along with his wife Goddess Sita who is avatar of Mhalakshmi and his brother Lakshmana in jungle after his father King of ayodhya Dashrath asked him to, following the wish of Kaikayi. After they moved to the jungle, demon kind Raavana kidnapped mata Sita and took her to his kingdom in Lanka. Lord Ramchandra then gathered an army of monkeys where he met Lord Hanuman and together formed a bridge on the water connecting Lanka. The bridge is known as ‘Ram setu’. The battle started and day after day Ravana started loosing his brothers and son, on the 10th day of battle Lord Ram and Ravana faced each other where the demon king got defeated. It is also believed that before the battle, lord Ramchandra prayed to goddess Durga in order to achieve victory. Over the evil.
Story behind Vijaya Dashmi, related to goddess Durga:
The second popular reason behind the celebration of Vijaya Dashmi is to mark the end of demon Mahishasura by Goddess Durga. According to the story a demon named Mahishasura who was in the shape of buffalo after getting the boon from god that no man can kill him in any battle started creating havoc everywhere and defeated many Deva’s. The problem soon started becoming the matter of concern as Asuras slowly started conquering the devlok. In order to fight with the demon, ‘The tridev’ (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) combined their energy into Shakti, a single mass of incandescent energy. This led to the arrival of Goddess Durga, all god gave their power and special weapon to her in order to fight Mahishasura. The battle then continued for 9 long days and on the day 10th Mahishasura got killed by Mata Durga and this marked the reason of celebration for Vijaya Dashmi.
Story behind Vijaya Dashmi related to Mahabharata:
Although this one is not as popular as the first two reasons but according to Mahabharata it was also the same days when Pandavas came with full force after spending 12 years in exile ‘Vanwaas’ with additional one year of ‘agyatwass’ (exile incognito). During the time of their agyatwas they hid all their weapons under the tree of ‘Shami’ many people worship the tree of shami. The period marks the end of their agyatwas and they recovered their weapons, revealed their identities and defeated Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra.