What Does The Festival Of Dussehra Signify?
Dussehra is one of the most significant Hindu festivals celebrated in India. More generally, it celebrates the victory of good over evil. And in specific terms, it commemorates the victory of Lord Rama, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu over the evil, demon ruler of Lanka Ravana. Besides, it also said that on Dussehra Day, Goddess Durga had slain the evil demon Mahishasur.
The Story Behind Dussehra Festival As In Ramayana
Dussehra the festival of victory holds the immense noteworthiness that dates back to the lore of Ramayana. It is also named as Vijayadashami as per the Hindu scripture. As per the Hindu super epic Ramayana, the day marks the shattering of the bloated ego of Ravana and victory of good over evil. Ravana had abducted Lord Rama’s wife Sita, so he waged a war with Ravana to get back his wife Devi Sita, wherein he was strongly supported by his brother Laxamana and disciple Hanuman. The word Dussehra originates from the Sanskrit language, where “Dus” stands for ten and “Hara'' means Annihilated. The two words combine and imply “Annihilating of ten evil faces with the hand of Lord Rama”.
The Story Behind This Festival As Per The Legends Of Goddess Durga
According to the Hindu text, the day is also marked as the culmination of the 9 days Navratri festival. It is the day when the goddess Durga had made her last assault on Mahishasur and liberated the world from the evil force. Thus, the worshipping of different manifestations of goddess Durga and celebrating Dussehra came into being and dedicated as Vijayadashami. The word Navratri means nine nights in Sanskrit, “Nava” means nine and “Ratri means Night. And During these nights and ten days, the nine from Shakti Devi are worshipped.
Dussehra 2020: Date And Muhurat
This year, Vijayadashami falls on 25 October 2020, Sunday. But Bengal Vijayadashami will be celebrated on 26 October 2020, Monday.
Muhurat timings for Vijayadashami Puja
Vijay Muharat: 02:05 PM to 02:50 PM on 25th October
Aparahna Puja: 01:19 PM to 3:36 PM on 26th October
The Gods And Goddesses Worshipped On Dussehra and Vijayadashami
Lord Rama: Dussehra, the festival of victory is the occurrence of a phenomenon when Lord Rama defeated the demon Ravana and conquered his territory before reaching his hometown Ayodhya. It is estimated that Lord Rama took 20 Lunar Cycle to come back to Ayodhya after defeating the devil king of Lanka, Ravana from the exile of prolonged fourteen years.
Goddess Aparajita: In many regions, the Goddess Aprajita is worshipped as the deity of an odyssey. As per her name suggests, she cannot be defeated, and thus, Lord Rama sought the blessing of Goddess Aprajit before waging war against Ravana. However, in the age of Vedic, the worship of goddess Aparajita was restricted to only Kshatriya and Kings.
Shami Tree: Shami tree is a very significant tree of an earlier era as it is believed that before hiding for a long one year Arjuna hid his weapons inside the Shami tree for its protection. Thus, in the southern part of India, the tree is worshipped as a symbol of goodwill. In southern states of India, the Shami Puja is also well-versed as Banni Puja and Jammi Puja.
Regional Variations In Celebrating Dussehra
The festival is celebrated differently across the state in India. In most of northern and western India, it is celebrated in honour of Lord Rama. Drama, Dance and Musical plays called Ramlila, based on the tale as described in the Ramcharitmanas are performed at fairs.
In Northern India, the Dussehra is also celebrated by burning enormous dummies of demon Ravana. It is celebrated twenty days before Diwali. On this occasion, the rituals of Ram Lila takes places where plays and music revolve around the tales of Ramayana attended by hordes of devotees in the days preceding Diwali. Many devotees also perform Astrological Tips and Rituals to make their Dussehra more notable.
In Kolkata, the day is commemorated with upholding Durga Puja, as Bengali called it.
In Southern India, the nine days of Navratri are observed with a display of Gods and Dolls called Golu. Sweets are also prepared on this special occasion of Dussehra to mark the festival.
Ravan Dahan The Victorious Journey Of Lord Rama
In some other places, the main attraction of Dussehra is Ravan Dahan. It involves the burning of towering effigies along with those of his brother Kumbhakaran and son Meghnad. Besides these, people also burst crackers and fest with their families. Colourful fairs and exhibitions are also put up in many places. Usually, the timing of Ravan Dahan is between 5 pm to 7 pm, i.e., evening time.
The Importance of Celebrating Dussehra
The Dussehra festival celebrates the end of evil by the good and the day also marks the end of Ramlila and celebrates Lord Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana. Thus, the day is celebrated as a new beginning, the establishment of a new and fresh righteous order in the society and freedom from negativity and evil that reside inside us. The day can also liberate us from the present-day evils and taboos that are not oblivious in front of us, they are instead personified as in the form of a demon. It is also believed that if we perform Durga Saptashati Puja on this day, Goddess Durga’s blessings will protect us from all the malefic forces. In case, you are unsure of Vedic processes and mantras, our renowned Pandit can help you in performing Durga Saptashati Puja to invoke positive energy in your life.
In Mysore, the celebration happens on a large scale where Dussehra honours the Goddess Chamundeshwari (another name of Goddess Durga) of Chamundi Hills, who killed the powerful demon king Mahishasura.
The True Spirit Of Dussehra Festival
The victory of good over evil is the central theme of this festival. On this day, people pray for prosperity and good health and celebrate the day by indulging themselves in delicious feasts. Notably, this time due to the pandemic, the steak of festivals may lose its attractiveness. Indeed, precaution is a must in these trying times. So celebrating this festival in a much simpler way without a big gathering will be the best offering to the deities.
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What Does The Festival Of Dussehra Signify?