History Of Dussehra: 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 triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishasur, a vibrant history is associated with the festival. In this article , we have provided interesting information on the history of dussehra.
TRIUMPH OF LORD OVER RAVANA: The celebration of Dussehra is rooted in the Hindu epic of Ramayana, according to which , Lord Rama , the incarnation of Lord Vishna, killed the ten- headed demon Ravana, in Satyug. Ravana had abducted Rama’s wife Sita. Rama, along with his brother Lakshmana, follower Hanumana and an army of monkey headed towards Lanka ( Ravana’s Kingdom) in order to enter a war 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 MAHISHASUR 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 Mahishasur, 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 Mahishasur, freed the living beings from his despotism and restore the swarglok to them. This gave rise to creation of Goddess Durga, and avatar of Ma Shakti . With weapons given to her by the Gods, Goddess Durga went to fight against Mahishasur. She defeated the demon successfully, and restored the swarglok to Gods, as promised . Her victory is celebrated as Vijayadashmi or Dussehra, by many people following Hinduism.
The festival which is thought as the “ Victory of Good over Evil” & “ Return of God from Exile”.
RAIN OF GOLD COINS: According to a story, Kautsa the young son of Devdatta ( a Brahmin), was residing in the city of Paithan. After persuing his education under the guidance of Rishi Varatantu, he wanted to offer a dakshina to his Guru. Although the Guru refused initially , he later asked for 140 million gold coins. The student approached King Raghu for the coins, because he was renowned for his generosity. When three days of the student’s request, King Raghu asked the God of Wealth- Kuber- to create a rain of gold coins near the Apati and Shanu trees. After presenting the promised gold coins to his Guru , Kautsa distributed the rest of the coins to the needy, on the day of Dussehra. Since then, people loot the leaves of Apati trees and present to each other as a symbol of gold on Dussehra.
SHAMI TREE: Another legend connected to the origin of Dussehra finds place to the greatest Hindu Epic Mahabharata. According to a story, Pandavas where banished by Kauravas for 12 years and one year of disguise, because the former were defeated in gambling (chausar) by the later. Subsequently Pandavas decided to spend there first 12 years of exile in the woods and last year of disguise. Since they were asked to remain incognito during that period, Pandavas did not want to be exposed to others. Therefore, they lay aside the divine and powerful weapons during the exile. They concealed their weapons under the Shami tree, situated close to the place of their residence. At the end of every year of the exile Pandavas came to the Shami tree to check whether their weapons were there.
Whenever Pandavas approached the tree, they worshipped it and Goddess Durga, the presiding deity in the mean time, Kauravas where making every attempt to trace Pandavas, so that they could extent the exile time, because it was said that if they where found, they would have to spend another 12 years in the woods. However the Kauravas could find the Pandavas only passed the stipuled time. Subsequently the Pandavas went to the Shami tree fetched their concealed weapons and went straight to the battle field to fight the Kauravas. Pandavas emerged victorious. The event took place in Dashmi and since good had achieved victory over the evil, it came to be known as Vijayadashmi. Since then, people hug each other under the Shami tree and exchange its leaves.