One of the popular Hindu festivals, Dussehra is celebrated with pomp and gaiety.
Since ages, a number of rituals are performed to please the Almighty, on the ceremonious occasion. It is the climax of the nine-day long celebrations of ‘Navratris’, which precede it. The festival commemorates the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. Apart from the legend from the epic Ramayana, and the story of the triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura, a vibrant history is associated with the festival.
Triumph Of Lord Rama Over Ravana
The celebration of Dussehra is rooted in the Hindu epic of Ramayana, according to which, Lord Rama, the eight incarnation of Lord Vishnu, killed the ten-headed demon Ravana, in Satyug.
Ravana had abducted Rama’s wife Sita. Rama, along with his brother Lakshmana, follower Hanuman and an army of monkeys, headed towards Lanka (Ravana’s Kingdom) in order to enter a war with Ravana and rescue Sita. 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, with the help of his fellow beings. 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 invincible power to conquer the world. He was undefeatable, even by the mighty deities – Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Therefore, all the Gods decided to create a power, which would destroy Mahishasura, free the living beings from his despotism and restore the swaglok to them. This gave rise to the creation of Goddess Durga, an avatar of Ma Shakti. With the weapons given to her by the Gods, Goddess Durga went to fight against Mahishasura. She defeated the demon, successfully, and restored the swaglok to the Gods, as promised. Her victory is celebrated as Vijayadashmi or Dusshera, by many people following Hinduism.