A ten day extravaganza of Navratari Utsav culminating on the day of Viajay Dashmi called Dusherra, marks the Victory of good over evil. It is observed either on tenth day of Ashwin month or on the day of new moon in Bhadrapada.
The most popular legend associated with Dussehra festival is that of Lord Rama. Lord Rama performed “Chandi Homa” and invoked the blessings of Durga, who blessed Rama with secret knowledge of the way to kill Ravana. Lord Rama then went to Lanka along with his brother Laxman, devotee Hanuman and the army of monkeys to rescue his wife Sita from the manacles of demon King Ravana. Lord Rama defeated and vanquished the ten headed demon king Ravana and rescued his consort Sita and since then, Desherra is celebrated all over the world to celebrate the “Vijay” of good over evil.
The Mahabharata is another legend that depicts about the celebration of Dussehra festival. The Pandavas were five brothers who fought against evil forces with a set of their divine and distinctive weapons. They abandoned their weapons and went into exile for one year. They hid their weapons in a Shami tree and found them at the same place when they returned from exile. They then worshipped the tree before going to a battle, which they won and this epic is also observed with the celebration of Dussehra festival.
Lord Krishna said in the Geeta:
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् |
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ||
Meaning: For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the evil and for the establishment of dharma (righteousness), I (the Lord) am born from age to age.
On the day of Dusherra, huge fairs are organized all over the country and huge effigies of Ravana are often burnt on bornfires. Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit “Dasha-hara (remover of bad fate) which means “remover of ten heads of Ravana”. It is a day when devotees worship Goddess Durga which is the representation of strength, ability and courage. Many people perform special prayer and food offerings to the gods at home or in temples throughout India. Dusherra is celebrated with lots of gusto throughout the country and in some parts of Nepal. In Kerela, Vidhyarambham is performed which is an ancient ritual of initiating the children into the world of Knowledge. On this day, Shami poojan or Aprajita poojan is also observed. According to the Purans, Arjun hid his weapons in the hole of a Shami Tree during his time of exile and started living as a Vrihanna in the kingdom of King Virat. Later on with the help of king’s Son, Arjun collected his weapons from the tree and got victory over his enemies. This way Shami tree protected Arjun’s weapons. Other than this, when Lord Rama was marching towards the Lanka, Shami tree told him that he will get victory. This is the reason that Shami tree is worshipped on the day of Vijayadashmi and is very dear to Lord Rama. If one is unable to find Shami tree, then Ashmantak tree can also be worshipped. This day usually ends with lots of crackers bursting and Ganesh and Laxmi Poojan.
OnlinePrasad.com wishes you a very Happy Dusherra and hopes that Lord Rama blesses you and your family with good health and care. You can offer prasad at Sai baba temple this Dusherra and seek blessings. To book, click here. Jai Shree Ram 🙂