Those who peep through the city boulevards today can witness innumerable tall effigies filled with the crackers. Some of these effigies will feature with ten head, while some may be single headed with different sizes waiting to be exploded later, accompanied by the cheering crowd. For the people who make these sculptures, the height is a matter of pride itself. By now you may be familiar of the occasion, but such is the potential of Dussehra for the people.
In India Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth month of Ashwin to mark the victory of good over evil. Cities all around the country will embellish on the occasion with fancy lights, accompanied by dances and music. They have also geared up in all means to light up the mind blowing fireworks. This unique Hindu festival has a lot to offer for everyone.
Navratri portrays different manifestations of Goddess Durga and culminates as Dussehra on its tenth day. There are two stories behind the Dussehra celebrations. The first one belongs to Lord Rama who fought with demon Ravana to regain his wife Sita. The ten headed fearsome Ravana kidnapped Sita and held her as captive in his kingdom of Lanka. Lord Rama later killed Ravana and rescued Sita and it is because of this, effigies of Ravana are being burned on the occasion of Dussehra. On the occasion of Dussehra, Ramleela plays will be organized in many areas, which will forecasts Lord Rama and his life. This is considered as one of the oldest and popular acts in India.
According to myths, it was on this day that Goddess Durga defeated the ‘buffalo demon’ Mahishasura. She is also known as Mahishasura mardini. Goddess Durga, also known as Maa Shakti killed Mahishasura and saved the world from evil. So the day is also known as Vijaya Dashami. The day will mark the end to Durga Puja and people will immerse the idols and visit each other’s house. Later sweets and gifts will be exchanged to cherish the occasion.
Dussehra is also scientifically significant. It marks the end of hot summer in North India. The climatic change to winter is supposed to create ideal conditions for infections. The smoke evolved from the burning of effigies will cleanse the atmosphere and make it conducive for our healthy living. The temples perform the serene Homa with the same intention.
In Sanskrit, Dasha Hara means removal of ten bad qualities in us namely Kama (Lust), Krodha (Anger), Moha (Attraction), Lobha (Greed), Mada (Over pride), Matsara (Jealousy), Swartha (Selfishness), Anyaaya (Injustice), Amanavata (Cruelty) and Ahangara (Ego). By the rituals and divine chants, devotees are bound to redefine themselves by eradicating all the evils by virtue of goodness.
From now on, the impatient wait for unleashing the butterflies in the stomach is on. It’s just hours away for the outdoor fairs and grand melas to take the forefront. Celebrate Dussehra with utmost passion and immerse yourself in festive cheers!