SPECIAL: Dussehra - Victory of Good over Evil


City Air News photo: Mandep Kumar Verma

Come September and an intangible bubbling excitement begins to charge the Indian air. Folks go about their daily chores as usual. The first big festival of the season celebrated by all Hindus of India on the tenth day after Navratri (September or October) is Dussehra / Vijay Dashmi .

Dussehra is celebrated as the day of Rama's victory over king Ravana, the 10-headed demon king of Lanka who had abducted Rama’s wife, Sita.  The Dussehra festival celebration is unique in its perspective and significance. Is the celebration of the Victory of Good over Evil. 

On the day of Dussehra / Vijay Dashmi, Ram, killed the great demon Ravan, who had abducted Ram's wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka . Rama, who was a devout believer of Durga, the Goddess of War, prayed to her for the first nine days of battle and killed the evil Ravana on the 10th day along, with his brother Lakshman follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle to rescue his lovely wife Sita. He shot Ravana with a bow that pierced his navel. Out flowed the nectar of immortality that was stored in a pot in his navel, thus destroying his invincibility. Sita had been returned to her husband Ram and they now make their way to Ayodhya in triumph and glory. Thus, it is on the Diwali day that Lord Ram, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the Treta Yug, returned to his capital Ayodhya after the exile of fourteen Years. 

Consequently, to commemorate the return of Ram, Sita and Lakshman to Ayodhya, people celebrate Diwali with the bursting of crackers and by lighting up their houses with earthen diyas. This grand style of celebration has continued, year after year. To this day, the whole of Ramayana is enacted in dramas staged in huge pandals and maidans, in cities, towns and villages, on the occasion of Dussehra and Diwali. 

Dussehra marks the beginning of the pleasant winter season after the searing heat of summer. Dussehra is celebrated with pomp and pageantry reminiscent of medieval times. Almost every part of the country has its own specific way of celebrating the victory of good over evil.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012