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Dussehra is one of the most noteworthy festivals in India and it is celebrated on the tenth day of Navaratri. This festival is celebrated to memorialize the victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana.
This festival is also known as Vijayadashami or Dasara or Dashain. But the most widely used word for this festival is Dussehra. It falls on the tenth day of Navaratri and so it is also known as Durgotsav. This festival implies the victory of good over evil. This festival is widely celebrated in the entire part of India and also many neighboring countries also celebrate this festival. Bangladesh, Sri lanka, Nepal celebrate this festival.
There are many incidents in the past including from Mahabharata, Ramayana and to very ancient period for the reason to celebrate this festival.
One such story is of Goddess Durga and Mahishasura. Mahishasura was a demon’s king. King Mahishasura was also known as Bison’s because he was born in the form of Bison. He was a very cruel king and his desire was to conquer all the three world in the Universe. For doing that he required power. So he started praying to Lord Brahma to get a boon. He kept praying for Lord Brahma years after years. He kept praying in spite of the rain, sunlight, hunger. He had not stopped until the Lord Brahma came from the heaven and asked Mahishasura to request what he wanted. Lord Brahma was very happy with the consistency of Mahishasura and was ready to give him whatever he asked for. Mahishasura asked that no man in this entire universe that is Heaven, Hell and Earth should be able to kill him. And then Lord Brahma gave him the boon that no man in the three worlds should be able to kill him. He had not asked for Women because he thinks that women do not have the ability to kill him. After getting the boon from Lord Brahma the cruelty of Mahishasura began largely. He started torturing everyone without fear. He not only tortured normal human being but also Devi’s and Devatas. He was so confident that no one in this world could kill him, he began torturing Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and alsoLord Brahma. He kept going on and on. Day-by-day his cruelty kept increasing. This kept going on for years. And then all the Lord’s decided to kill Mahishasura but they could not kill Mahishasura due to the boon given by Lord Brahma. So they created a female Goddess Durga. The Goddess Durga was created by combining all the power of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, and Lord Brahma. The god of destruction gave her the Trishul and Lord Vishnu gave her the Sudarshan Chakra.
Goddess Durga has 18 arms and she sits on Lion. The fight between Devi Durga and Mahishasura started and with a very huge army of demons King Mahishasura attacked Devi Durga. In this battle the demon King Mahishasura fought in the form of an elephant, bison and also Lion. The war between Durga and Mahishasura lasted nine days and on the tenth day, the Goddess Durga had killed Mahishasura. From nine nights the fight between demon king and the goddess Durga kept going on and in the morning of the tenth day, the war was won by killing the cruel demon, Mahishasura. It was a fight between good and evil. And the victory of the goddess Durga indicates that the victory of good over evil. Therefore this day is also known as Vijayadashmi.
In Ramayana we see another story between the demons king Ravana and Rama. It is said that on the day of Dussehra, Lord Rama killed the demon Ravana. It is a belief that when Lord Rama killed Ravana that time all the evil in the world is being destroyed by the goodness. On this day in many parts of northeast India the statues of the demons king Ravana is being burned. There is also a huge firework that takes place near the burning statues. All this happens on plain ground.People celebrate a lot with huge noise and dance. There is also a stage performance depicting the war scene between Lord Rama and the demon King, Ravana.
Marigold is the flower which is well known in the Hindu culture. It is used to decorate the doors in the house. Mostly in the states of Maharashtra, it is a tradition to decorate the frontier of the house with Marigold flower as it is also a symbol of purity and peace. During Durga Puja and Dussehra, this flower is of significant importance.
It is a tradition mostly in the northern states of India. People used to sow the seed of Barley in the earthen pots right from the first day of Navaratri. The importance of doing so is that on the tenth day of Dussehra, the nine-day-old sprout which is called Navratras are used for luck. Male places them in their caps or behind their ears.
The Apta tree is also known as Bauhinia and it is a native Indian tree. In Maharashtra, the leaves of this trees are plucked and given to each other like gold. It is because the God of wealth ‘Kubra’ had converted the leaves of Apta leaves into gold to help a scholar named ‘Kautsya’ to pay fees which is known as ‘Guru-Dakshina’. The guru Kautsya accepted only the ones he needed and the remaining of the millions of leaves which was in gold were distributed among the residents of ‘Ayodhya’
This tree also played a significant role in the festival of Dussehra. People worship this tree after Durga Puja. It is considered a very important ritual. The Pandavas had hidden there weapons inside this trees.
Gods and Demons reside in each one of us. The victory of good over evil is the theme of this festival. And, if we kill our demon thoughts that are inside us and replace those with good thoughts, that’s the true victory. And to celebrate this victory, the festival of Dussehra is celebrated.
“As The Candlelight Flame, Your Life May Always Be Happy, As The Mountain High U Move Without Shy, As Sunshine Creates Morning Glory Fragrance Fills Years As Flory, All Darkness Is Far Away As Light Is On Its Way. Wishing U All A Very Happy Vijaya Dashami.”
Festivals play a significant role in our day to day lives. We worship different Gods and accordingly there are different festivals that we celebrate to mark the occasion. Festivals provide us with an opportunity to spend quality time with our family, friends and relatives. There are so many rituals attached to the festivals and this makes the entire concept of celebration of festivals even more colorful & exciting.
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