Dusshera also known as Vijayadashmi and is one of the main festival of Hindus. The 10th day after Navratri is called Dussehra, on which number of fairs is organized throughout northern India, burning effigies of Ravana .the word Dussehra comes the word DUS meaning TEN and HARA meaning annihilated. So Dusshera is the day in which the ten facts of evil were destroyed. Each festival that is celebrated in India has its own importance; Dussehra is also one of them. This festival is celebrated in every nook and corner of India with full zeal and enthusiasm.
Vijaya Dashami is celebrated on Ashweyuja sukla Paksha Dashami. This celebration starts from navratri and ends with the tenth day festival of “Dussehra”. Navratri and Dussehra is celebrated throughout the country at the same time, with varying rituals, but with great enthusiasm and energy as it marks the end of scorching summer and the start of winter season This year Vijaya Dashami is celebrated on Wednesday the 24th October 2012.
It is a celebration of victory of good over evil. This day is known as Vijay a Dashami because it is on Vijaya Dashami that Rama Killed Ravana. Who had abducted goddess Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Lord Rama was a great believer in the powers of goddess Durga, and he prayed to her for nine days before he himself entered the battle on the tenth day. It also believed that Ravan had ten faces they are probably symbol of ten evils. Hence on Vijaya Dashami it is also a custom to worship vehicles, instruments, machines etc. Every instrument or machine of the factory is worshipped and kept idle for the day. Puranas also opined that on this day warrior Goddess Durga defeated and killed the buffalo demon Mahishasura.
Vijaya Dashami is the day which guarantees success in any venture that is taken up. Hence lot of people would start any new business or venture on Vijaya Dashami. Vijaya Dashami is one of the biggest festivals that are celebrated in India and it is a national holiday on Vijaya Dashami.
The’ Ram Lila an enactment of the life of Lord Rama is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra. On the tenth day (Dussehra or Vijay Dasami), larger effigies of Ravana, his son and brother Meghnadh and Kumbhakarna are set to fire. The theatrical enactment of this dramatic encounter is held throughout the country in which every section of people participates enthusiastically.
In burning the effigies the people are asked to burn the evil within them, and thus follow the path of truth and goodness, bearing in mind the instance of Ravana, who despite all his might and majesty was destroyed for his evil ways. Other famous Dussehra celebrations in India include that of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, Kolkata and Orissa, where the festival is preceded by week long celebrations. People visit the Pooja Pandals wearing new clothes, prepare traditional food at home and celebrate the festival with their friends and families. In most other parts of India, plays are organized across cities depicting the story of Ramayana which culminates in the killing of Ravana on this day. Statues of Ravana are burnt everywhere in India on Dussehra and in Delhi, the event is attended by political dignitaries in the Ramlila Maidan.
Ravana is worshipped in the morning of Dussehra and everyone performs the ritual before eating anything. All the members of the family should take bath early in the morning, wear clean clothes and get ready to sit in Pooja.
Barley is grown on the First day Navrata . This plant is then kept on the Kand and then the god is worshipped with Dhoop, Diya, Rice and Roli. At some places there is a ritual to keep barley on the ear of son in a family and are offered to Lord Rama. The 10th Kand of cow’s. After worshipping Ravana in the morning, his mannequin is burnt into ashes in the evening on the rise of the “Vijaya” star. The burning of his mannequin takes place before sunset because according to Hindu culture cremation is not performed after sunset
.In Maharashtra this festival is also known as Sima Ullanghan. People cross the border of their territory on this day in the evening dressed up in new clothes and get the leaves of the “Shammi tree”. These leaves are then exchanged among friends and relatives as gold.
Shami Pujan and Ashmantak tree should also be worshipped on Vijayadashmi. There is a story related to this Pujan, according to which Devi Parvati asks Lord Shiva about the significance of Shami Tree on which lord Shiva says that 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.
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. If one is unable to find Shami tree, then Ashmantak tree can also be worshipped.
People exchange the leaves of the Shami tree among friends and relatives as gold. Aparijita and Vishnu Kranta plant is also worshipped on this day. This plant brings victory and is dear to lord Vishnu. Along with paying for victory people also pray for joy and prosperity. By worshipping the weapons on this day people call for the power of god. They clean their weapons that are used in daily lives, arrange them in a row and worship them.
Dussehra is one of the most auspicious date of the year. It is an Abhuj Muhurta. Taking up new projects and inaugurating any business is considered auspicious on this day. Purchasing any new vehicle, electronic item, gold and clothes on this day is also considered auspicious. Worshiping lord Neelkantha on Dussehra brings prosperity.
People start new work on the day of Dussehra. They perform special rituals like Shasta Puja. In ancient times, Kings used to worship for victory before going on for any war. Fairs are organized in every corner of the country. Dussehra is a symbol of sacrificing all the evil deeds, anger, ego, violence etc.
Many traditions and versions are completed in the festival of Dussehra. Many customs are practised in this festival and some important religious works like Krishi Mahautsava, Shastra Mahautsava, Shani pujan , Aparajita Pujan and Shastra Pujan are performed.
Dussehra has its own cultural significance. In India, farmers bring home the grown crops in a form of wealth and worship the grains on this auspicious occasion. This festival is celebrated in various different forms throughout the country. Dussehra is a symbol of sacrificing all the evil deeds, anger, ego, violence etc. People achieve happiness in all spheres of life by worshipping on this day.