Vijayadashami or Dussehra

Published On : September 4, 2022  |  Author : Astrologer Pt Umesh Chandra Pant

Auspicious Hindu Festival Vijayadashami or Dussehra

This is the most auspicious Hindu festival that is celebrated as a tribute to victory over evil force. Widespread popularity of this festival is largely attributed to the fact that it emits the lesson of truth, kindness, love, fervency and passion among people, as well as it portrays the victory over evil force. This festival is also celebrated to honor the reincarnation of lord Vishnu as Rama and his ideals as a human being, that is so inspirational to emulate. Vijayadashami/Dussehra has been spreading the message of brotherhood and bravery, since time immemorial. Just as the advent of autumn makes every water resource pure and sacred, at the same way, Maryada Purushottam Shri Rama quelled the increasing tyranny of monsters on earth, like killing tyrant Ravana and gaining victory on Lanka kingdom. As a result of this epic victory, the festival of Dussehra is celebrated with great pomp and shows. The festival is known as Vijayadashami and Dussehra, respectively. The number of 10 (ten) marks its utmost importance during this occasion. Because victory over injustice happened during tenth day of this occasion, therefore, learned scholars and pandits have said that this festival is the giver of victory aka Vijayadashami. This was the day when tyrant Ravana was killed, or the ten-headed oppressor Ravana was defeated, along with elimination of evils ingrained in each of his head. Lord Rama attained victory over that ten-headed dictator Ravana, thus marking the occasion as Dussehra. It is celebrated on Dashami tithi of Shukla Paksha during Ashwini month every year, also known colloquially, the month of Quar. People of Hindu religions worship their armors/weapons during this day, learn the arts of war. Mata Jagdamba had killed the devil, Mahishasura in this day, thus ending permanently the evil of monsters on earth and ensuring emancipation of Gods and saints. Like every year, this year also, the festival of Dussehra will be celebrated on 25 October 2020, on Sunday of Shukla Paksha

Vijayadashami Vrat And Puja Methods

Devotees, who want to perform vrat and puja during Vijayadashami, ought to behave themselves religiously like following rules and rituals, as well as celibacy. They should worship deity Mata Aadi Shakti Jagdamba with great devotion and reverence. On the day of Vijayadashami, wake up early in the morning, finish your daily routine like attending washroom etc. and wear new clothes and jewelries looking attractive and religious. Keep all the essential things regarding puja and others in front of Mata Durga and Shri Rama, wherever you’ve placed them, or place all the collected things related to puja in front of the statue of the deity placed at your home. Now sit on a clean object meant for puja and make sure your face is eastbound or northbound. Now sprinkle holy water on your body, sanctify your sitting place, lit up diya and take Sankalp of your vrat. Thus, start the puja of Maa Jagdamba according to shadopchar method. Also, worship divine bodies, such as Lord Rama, Mata Sita, Laxman, and Hanuman portrayed in a pictorial courtyard. You can also have the puja done by a Brahman priest that will ensure avoidance of any mistake during the course of worship. You can conduct puja on your own. For any mistake that may occur, beg pardon from the God and convey your desire to Him by praying, “O lord! Rid me of all sufferings and bless me wisdom. May I be in forever accumulation of fame and prosperity.” Now praying like this, offer your worship to the lord.

Vijayadashami And Lord Rama

There are countless religious texts dedicated to the life of Lord Rama. Popular among them are Ramayana composed by Valmiki and Shri Ramcharitmanas composed by Shri Goswami Tulsidas. So enormous is the kindness and generosity of Lord Rama and His stories that the gravity of the same can’t be assessed even by Shesha, Mahesha, Ganesha, and Mata Sharda, the mother of knowledge. Now imagine how can the wisdom of mere humans assess the enormity of the divine almighty Lord Rama? Mentioned in the Ramcharitmanas written by Goswami Tulsidas is that – “The reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama has countless reasons behind his birth, each surpassing one another in countdown.” When the tyranny of Ravana increased unbridled on earth, then all the divine beings, including mother Earth, went to Lord Vishnu, praying to him, “O Lord! Destroy the evil force on earth and set up religion there. Saints and subjects are all screaming out of the intolerable tyranny pressed upon them by Ravana.” And then Lord Vishnu birthed at king, Dasharatha and kept entertaining the king and queen Mata Kausalya. Later, he destroyed the evil force that gripped the earth and proved his incarnation by eliminating the evilness ingrained in domestic life and society worldwide. He won over many undefeated warriors, killed the tyrants and spread the message of religion all over the world. Endowed with omnipotence, Lord Rama never overstepped his accountability, a virtue that made him Maryada Purushottam Rama. Today his name is taken with utmost reverence by Hindu devotees who have etched his name on to their heart and soul.

Vijayadashami And Its importance

The festival of Vijayadashami is superior and special on various counts, which are very useful and important, from the standpoint of religion. It is also very important from the standpoint of our family and domestic aspects of our lives. It also holds its significance from the viewpoint of social, economy and political sphere. This festival teachers the mankind diverse aspects, including teaching and spreading the message of how to fight against evil and tyranny. This is because the tyranny of Ravana caused excruciating pains to the saints, rishis and subjects, tormenting the soul of humanity, including people on earth, who were at the receiving end of bestiality vented by the demon king, Ravana. The power of Ravana was overbearing, so much so that it defeated even Gods, and he was extending his widespread superiority across the universe. Under such circumstances, no human and god had the power or courage to face straightway to Ravana, who was attempting to destroy the balance of the nature. He had created an atmosphere of terror and dictatorship on earth. Thus, by defeating all types of evil and tyranny the divine almighty has finally given this message, that evil force, howsoever mighty like Ravana who was endowed with limitless power, finally gets the taste of defeat in the end. Savior of goodness and religion, the Divine Almighty conquers such evil force, eventually, and establishes religious harmony. In this way, the festival of Vijayadashami is the message of solving a different type of issues and maintaining harmonious adjustment among the mankind. This is so auspicious festival giving the lesson of victory over evil force, truth over injustice, and victory of religion and humanity over demons of tyranny. According to Muhurta Chintamani, the occasion of Vijayadashami that is celebrated on Dashami of Ashwin month is indicative of the stars who rise in the sky, thus symbolizing the day of victory. Therefore, those who take bath during this day and participate in puja, havan, Japa, and Aayudh Pujan get divine favor in their lives. Bathing at pilgrimages like Prayag and Ganga, together with giving alms, and conducting Pitri Tarpan during this day, can destroy all ten doshas, thus helping the devotees get respite from all sufferings and they get along with on the path of prosperity, continuously.

Vijayadashami And Its Tales

Our religious texts and mythological books contain different accounts or tales associated with Shri Vijayadashami or Dussehra festival. According to them, lord Vishnu took reincarnation of his divine form in Treta Yuga as Rama, and the purpose behind it was to annihilate evil forces running rampant all over the earth and universe. Even after the elapse of so many eons since the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu happened, the freshness of the divine story is still intact as it was in those times. As mythology narrates, in Treta Yuga, Lord Shri Vishnu reincarnated as Rama, along with His other divine forms, like Laxman, Bharat, and Shatrughna. There was immense love and respect among the four brothers. They were born to destroy the demonic tyranny. In fact, God had to reincarnate on earth because they could not refuse the beseeching of the saints and the mankind to grant them respite from the demons. And to appease their request, Lord Shri Rama took birth on earth along with his other divine forms. Accounts of these details are described at length in epics like Shri Valmiki Ramayana and Shri Ramcharitmanas. This festival is known as an occasion being celebrated ten-days in continuance starting from Pratipada to Dashami tithi. Another story indicates that Ravana wanted salvation from the hands of lord Rama, thus explaining his mean conduct of unleashing injustice and tyranny, and he kidnaped Mata Sita under the guise of a saint, regardless of the fact that he was a great scholar. Later, the tyrant Ravana was killed by Lord Shri Rama who gained victory on Dashami. There is another tale associated with Mata Jagdamba, that a demon named Mahishasura performed a hard meditation for eons to please Lord Brahma and gain from him the boon of immortality. Pleased at his meditation, Lord Brahman said to him, that the boon of immortality can’t be granted to him (Mahishasura) but his death could be caused through means impossible to devise. However, as lord Brahman said, “You will be killed because of a lady as a result of your own tyranny and pride.” Thereafter, the divine lady of Mata Durga reincarnated along with other divine forms and killed the demon on this very day called Vijayadashami. And Mata Durga was called Mahishasura-mardini (killer of Mahishasura). The day of Vijayadashami has its ancient values as well, in which king, Shivaji, did a clarion call to fight against Aurangzeb, as he understood the virtue of protecting Hindu religion and dignity from tyrant Mughals, and subsequently defeated Mughal armies.

Vijayadashami And Its Beliefs

One of the beliefs associated with Vijayadashami is that it ends at least ten sins of the devotees, if they worship the deity Durga with staunch devotion and keep adherence to all rituals regarding this. It is also believed that someone should see the bird called Nilkanth as doing so is believed to give the person the pious result equal to the ten times bathing in the Ganga river, plus he gains peaceful solution to mental agony and sufferings. Another belief about Vijayadashami suggests sacrificing and worshiping, besides offering prayer to Ayudh (weapons). It is also said that if you want to achieve victory, it pays off religiously well if you worship Mata Durga and Shri Rama, and Shami tree. This is because both Mata Durga and Shri Rama symbolize energy/power, Shami, on other hand, is symbolic of fire. There is a gathering of people around a designated spot where effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarana etc. are burnt. Harmonious meeting of people during this day is another belief we have for this festival. It is believed that Lord Shri Rama killed Ravana this day, thus riding the earth from tyranny and giving the mankind and saints a great respite, plus instituting the flag of religion once again on earth. This day also witnesses burning of gigantic effigies symbolizing demonic force, and it is also believed to start a new work during this day to get effectual result. In other words, any new activity you want to start during this day will result in good outcome. In the ancient times, kings and emperors used to worship their armaments and chariots in order to gain victory over another kingdom during war, a custom that is still in practice. Thus, there are many beliefs associated with the festival of Vijayadashami which are still in existence.

Vijayadashami Symbolizing Brotherhood

The festival of Vijayadashami spreads the message of brotherhood and unity, not only in India, but in all over the world. On the other hand, it is also the giver of evil-destroying divine force. It gives the message of eradicating social and domestic menaces and instituting religion and ensuring its protection. Injustice and despotism, how powerful they are, must be destroyed at any cost. This festival indoctrinates the sense of brotherhood among Indians by forgetting their respective grudges. People hug each other by putting aside their personal grudges and envy and congratulate each other. They touch the feet of their elders and take their blessings. Also, the festival spreads the message of sanitation around neighborhood to keep the environment neat and clean. This ensures dawn of thought that paves the path for mutual cooperation, respect and maintain sanitation so that people live in a prosperous way.

The Splendor Of Vijayadashami

The festival of Vijayadashami is so popular, that it is celebrated at different places in India, with a great splendor and enthusiasm shown by devotees. People take out the procession in large scale in villages and towns, displaying eye-catching effigies of Rama, Laxman, Shatrughna, Ravana, and Kumbhkarana etc. Participating in the procession is children, adults and old people. Stage for Ram-Leela is organized beautifully at several places. Artists are dressed in such a finery that they resemble straight to divine form of Lord Shri Rama and Mata Janaki, as if they are taking part in the procession or Shobha Yatra. The festival of Dussehra is celebrated with great pomp and shows in different places in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Mysore, Kullu (Himachal Pradesh, Panjab, Bengal, Odisha, Gujrat, Kashmir, and other places in India, including capital state of Delhi. The festival being celebrated at these places portrays a very divine charm. People offer prayer to their ancestor Gods and Goddesses. They play a variety of musical instruments to showcase dance and other beautiful programs. Worship dedicated to different divine lords is organized during this day. Shops are decorated beautifully, where people make sale and shopping. People take delight in sweets. Therefore, the festival of Dussehra is such a charm in all over the world but in India, it draws special attention. In this day, people worship the effigy of Mata Durga ensconced in a big Pandal offer Her special prayer. Pious women offer ingredients of sixteen adornments to deity Mata Durga, in great devotion. They adorn the deity with different fineries, such as fortune-giver sindoor, bracelets, bangles, Mahavar, noserings etc. Women apply the fortune-giver sindoor and distribute the same to one another. And men-folks smear on each other Gulal/colors and rain flowers and celebrate the festival enthusiastically. Next day, on Ekadashi tithi, immersion of Mata Durga takes place. Devotees observing fast/vrat since the first day of Dussehra break it on exact tenth day, the concluding day of the festival. On this day, that symbolizes killing of Ravana by Lanka-winner Shri Rama and his arrival at Ayodhya, people hug each other and show unity. They touch the feet of their elders and take their blessings. Thus, the festival of Vijayadashami is celebrated ten-days in great splendor by devotees. The festival is surely the symbol of victory and prosperity.

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