Dussehra is one of the Indian festivals, celebrated with pomp and gaiety. It has been ages, since when a number of rituals are being performed to please the Almighty on this day. It is the tenth day of Navratri which commemorates the victory of Lord Rama over the evil king Ravana. There is a vibrant history associated with the legendary Ramayana and the triumph of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura.
Triumph of Lord Rama Over Ravana
Dussehra is celebrated as mentioned in the epic of Ramayana, which says that Lord Rama, one of the eight incarnations of Lord Vishnu, killed the demon Ravana in Satyug. Ravana is said to have abducted Ramaâ€™s wife Sita. During the exile in the jungles, Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and younger brother Laxmana, Ravana took the pious lady to his kingdom through illegitimate ways. Therefore, faced the fury of Lord Rama, who won the war against the evil king along with his army of monkeys. The great follower of Rama, Hanuman, helped him in every stage of the fight.
On his way to Lanka, Rama organized Chandi Pooja to seek the blessings of Ma Durga, the Goddess of power and courage. After seeking her blessings, Lord Rama defeated and killed Ravana, and rescued Sita. Therefore, the day was celebrated to commemorate the victory of Rama over Ravana, which later came to be known as Vijayadashmi or Dussehra.
Assassination Of Mahishasura By Goddess Durga
Another legend is connected to Goddess Durga. According to the story, all the Gods in swarglok and the living beings on earth were upset by the tyranny of the demon Mahishasura, because he had acquired the invincible power to conquer the world. He was powerful enough to be uncontrollable even by the mighty deities – Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. So, these gods created a power called Goddess Durga, an avatar of Ma Shakti. She defeated the demon, successfully, and restored the swarglok to the Gods, as promised. Her victory is celebrated as Vijayadashmi or Dusshera, by many people following Hinduism.
Apart from the Ramayana, Dussehra is also connected to Mahabharata. According to a story, Pandavas where banished by Kauravas for 12 years and 1 year of disguise, because the former were defeated in gambling (chausar) by the latter. Subsequently, Pandavas did as decided! Since they were asked to remain incognito during that period, Pandavas did not want to be exposed to others. Therefore, they lay aside their divine and powerful weapons during the exile. They concealed their weapons under the shami tree. At the end of every year of the exile, they came to the shami tree to check whether their weapons were there. Before, approaching the tree they always used to worship it and Goddess Durga.
It was predecided that if Kauravas traced Pandavas, their exile would be extended for another twelve years. Since, they could find them, Pandavasfetched their concealed weapons from the tree and went to the battle field to fight the Kauravas. Pandavas emerged victorious. The event took place in dashami and since good had achieved victory over the evil, it came to be known as Vijayadashmi.